Caption: Gig Harbor garden tour. Photo credit: Travel Tacoma
Gig Harbor is steeped in maritime history with boat building and commercial fishing playing a major role in the development of the area. The small town is also an an agricultural center, logging and lumber area and Native American fishing grounds.
In 1950, the historic Narrows Bridge collapse put Gig Harbor on the map. The Galloping Gertie Video gives you a birdseye look at the collapse.
Today, most visitors come for the excellent dining, art, gardens and unique nautical experience. Here a few things to see while enjoying Gig Harbor’s rich maritime heritage.
Dining Destination – The world famous Tides Tavern, MORSO, Devoted Kiss, Net Shed No.9 and Brix 25 along with Anthony’s and many other great eateries are giving Gig Harbor a great dining atmosphere, with award winning menus and chefs.
Raise a Glass – Heritage Distilling is the first and only craft distillery in the country to offer individuals the opportunity to legally be involved in the making of their own small batch distilled spirits. ‘My Batch’ sessions are offered monthly in the HDC tasting room. Another watering hole is 7 Seas Brewing. At 7 Seas Brewing they have created the Ultimate Proper Pint and take pride knowing their product is something of integrity and authenticity. 7 Seas is one of only a few breweries in the nation to can their beer rather than bottle.
Harbor WildWatch – Harbor WildWatch is dedicated to helping visitors and residents become more aware about the interesting ecosystem that is Gig Harbor. In addition to ‘Pier into the Night’, in which HWW takes bystanders on a nighttime exploration below the popular Jerisich Dock, HWW entertains and educates over 400 local school classrooms each year.
Arts Alive – Gig Harbor is a great art destination with many beautiful galleries, several art events and festivals throughout the year and two great performing arts companies, as well as concerts in the park in the summer.
Unique Accommodations – Gig Harbor has some very nice and different small lodging properties…among them is The Waterfront Inn and The Aloha Beachside B & B.
Gardens and Venues – beyond the Garden Tour gardens Gig Harbor has some beautiful gardens and unique accommodations that are available to the public for weddings, romantic getaways and events. Included are Pleasurecraft Houseboats, the waterfront Edgewater House B & B, Gig Harbor Cottage, and Olde Glencove Hotel
The Bridge – A park sits below the double spans of the Tacoma Narrows Bridges and provides visitors a viewing area to watch the bridge rise out of the water. “Narrows Park” is a joint project of the WSDot and Pierce County Parks.
The Gig Harbor Boat Shop – The Gig Harbor BoatShop and Eddon Boat Park have been extensively restored on the waterfront. The Eddon Boat Yard ‘make-over’ brought the building back to its traditional style. The renovations included restoring the exterior to its original and historic colors: Interior upgrades also took place and a viewing platform was added on the side of the building to give the public an opportunity to watch shipwrights in action during Gig Harbor BoatShop’s on-site operations.
Kayaking and Kayak Trails – Gig Harbor and the Key Peninsula provides a marine trial system of the Puget Sound. Also, kayaking in Gig Harbor Bay is huge. Gig Harbor is home to two-time National Champions Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Team.
Heritage– New heritage markers identify 18 sites of historic significance throughout Gig Harbor. Another 12 markers can be found in the surrounding areas of Rosedale, Fox Island and the Key Peninsula. The state of the art Harbor History Museum offers a chance for folks to create opportunities to experience the history of the Gig Harbor Peninsula.
The Skansie Net Shed – For many years, the Skansie Netshed was a place of work and refuge for Croatian brothers Anton and Vince, and the crew of the commercial purse seine boat, Avalon. A netshed is a working structure built over the water where commercial fishermen construct, mend, hang and dry fishing nets. These structures were also used to repair fishing vessels and served as a gathering site for Croatian fishing families.