Gig Harbor, WA

Over our New Year’s trip we stayed in Gig Harbor, a small waterfront town just over the bay from Tacoma. While we weren’t there long, it was a gorgeous stay, and somewhere we’ve vowed to return to–especially in warmer weather!

The town is curved around the harbor, and just over there on the horizon the white tip of Mt Rainier peeks up, a gift on the cloudless days. We followed the coffee cart gal’s directions to her favorite place in town for spectacular views– a tiny park at the mouth of the harbor. I suspect she and her friends ignore the “private” sign, hop the fence, and spend their evenings poking around the boat docks and dipping toes in the water. But we were model citizens and contented ourselves with admiring the views.

The weekend we visited saw some frosty mornings, which covered the leftover Christmas decorations and sent us bundling up in coats and scarves. Despite the cold we walked the main drag of town along the harbor and poked in shops. We scrounged up dinner at the Best (and only) Thai Restaurant in town, and tasted the goods at the local distillery.

The morning we left we had breakfast at Net Shed No. 9, which I could have stayed at all day. Actually, I pictured hanging out on their dock until the sun came out and warmed the world up, having lazy summer meals on the water followed by some tide pool explorations or a kayak trip. As it was, we set aside those summer dreams and instead warmed up with their giant cinnamon roll and dark coffee, happy for the adventure we’d had.


If You Go:

Harbor History Museum: It was closed over the holiday weekend we were there, but this small museum looks worthwhile! We spied some interactive displays and lots of Peninsula history, along with a boat in the back.

Heritage Distillery: A small batch distillery making whiskey, gin, and vodka in several varieties. Stop by their tasting room downtown to try some!

NetShed No. 9: Delicious food in a beautiful setting. (I can’t find an online menu, and the link here has only the spare details. Nevertheless, I promise it’s good!)

Finnholm View Climb: A set of wooden stairs from Harborview to Franklin streets–hike to a rewarding view!

Harbor WildWatch: A marine life educational program based in Gig Harbor, these folks have regular events that let kids and adults see, touch, and ask questions about wildlife and the Puget Sound. In the summer they host tidal pool programs on the local beaches, while the winter sees Pier Into the Night, a unique experience with a live video feed of a lighted scuba dive. We’ll definitely be back to check it out!