Gig Harbor, the southern gateway to the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas, lies just across the dramatic Tacoma Narrows Bridge from Tacoma. This tucked-away town sits on a scenic inlet framing a postcard-perfect view of Mount Rainier. Gig Harbor's strong Scandinavian and Croatian heritage has always influenced its nautical lifestyle and fishing-village character. Today specialty shops, creative boutiques, art galleries and waterfront restaurants add to its appeal and make it a wonderful get-away.
A car is really quite requisite to see the Gig Harbor area as a whole. Gig Harbor is easy to get to by car from the rest of the Puget Sound area. From Interstate-5 take the Washington State Hwy. 16 west across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The first four exits after the bridge are all Gig Harbor exits.
If you you're not driving your options are limited. If you must use the bus here's what's available to get around locally in Gig Harbor and from Tacoma/Seattle.
Pierce TransitRt #100(from Tacoma Community College (TCC) on S 19th & Mildred St to Purdy via Gig Harbor), 102 (Express bus from downtown Tacoma and Tacoma Dome station. Goes out to Gig Harbor during the afternoon rush hours and into Tacoma in the mornings). Otherwise take the #2 or #1 bus from downtown Tacoma to TCC from downtown and transfer to the #100 bus.
Sound Transit Rt #595 runs a direct express bus to Gig Harbor from downtown Seattle in the afternoons and into Seattle in the mornings during the week. Otherwise take the #100 bus into TCC and transfer to the #1 or #2 to downtown Tacoma (Commerce St) and transfer again to the 594 bus.
Kitsap Transit Purdy Connector runs buses between the Port Orchard Ferry (to/from Bremerton) & Purdy where passengers transfer to Pierce Transit Rt #100 bus down to Gig Harbor.
Kitsap Airporter makes connections to/from your door (or hotel) and Sea-Tac Airport . Tel: 360-876-1737
NOTE that bus services to/from Gig Harbor is limited and there's no (local) bus service on the west side of Hwy 16 or down to Key Peninsula].
Gig Harbor has many locally owned and operated shops in its downtown area, ranging from dress shops to music stores and jewelery studios. There are quite a few art galleries and other stores that sell art of various types.
No Dearth of Books, 7803 Pioneer Way (Behind the Nazarene Church), ☎ 253-853-3355, . One of three bookstores in downtown Gig Harbor, No Dearth of Books specializes in unique local interest books: maritime fiction & travel accounts, boating know-how, military, naval & aviation history, and the Pacific Northwest. The store also stocks a wide range of other genres, from classics to recent bestsellers. edit
Tides Tavern, 2925 Harborview Dr,, ☎ +1 253 858-3982. This Gig Harbor restaurant has been a local institution for many years. The smoke-free, 21 & over [it's a bar in the Washington State Liquor Control Board's eyes] environment is set on pilings over the harbor and is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine or beer, a tasty meal from an extensive menu. Perfect for kicking back, while looking the Sound wildlife, boat traffic, and locals coming in and out of The Tides.edit
Anthony's Restaurant, 8827 N Harborview Dr, ☎ +1 253 853-6353, . Part of a chain of Northwest-centric restaurants in the Puget Sound area and Gig Harbor's is one of the jewels in the chain's crown. Fairly upscale seafood fare shares the menu with traditional beef, chicken, and salad items. The restaurant's location is fantastic... at the head of the harbor with a drop-dead gorgeous view of the marinas, the homes clinging to the sides of the hill, and Mount Rainier. A bar downstairs features happy hour 1/2 price appetizer options and the same spectacular view.edit
Brix 25°, 7707 Pioneer Way, ☎ +1 253 858-6626. A fairly new dining establishment in the Harbor, but has quickly become one of the favorites. While this eatery doesn't have a view of any sort or even a very nice structure to call home, the menu and presentation is fantastic. Meals are exquisitely prepared and feature daily specials. The fare is primarily continental with a Northwest twist. Expect halibut, salmon, some shellfish, along with a filet mignon, or a duck breast on the menu most nights. Their wine selection is impressive and has won several awards, most recently the 2008 Washington Wine Restaurant of the Yearedit
Water to Wine, 9014 Peacock Hill Ave, Suite 103 (Located at the corner of Harborview Dr and Peacock Hill Ave), ☎ 253-853-9463, . Tuesday - Friday 11 am - 7pm | Saturday 11 am - 6pm | Sunday Noon - 4pm. Gig Harbor’s pre-eminent wine shop, with the largest–and most diverse–selection of wines in the South Sound area. Our knowledgeable staff delights in finding the perfect wines for your every occasion. (47 °20.4 ' N,122° 35.4' W)edit
The Wine Studio, 3123 56th st nw (In between the ProBuild lumberyard and the Inn at Gig harbor facing Highway 16. Look for Dream Design neon sign), ☎ +1 253-851-9463, . Th-Sa 11-7 Su 12-5. The Wine Studio is a wine and beer speciality shop and tasting room. Snuggle up next to the fire while tastingedit
Heritage Distilling Company, 3207 57th St Ct Nw, ☎ 253 509 0008, . The Pacific Northwest's premier Destination Distillery. Free samples of custom made spirits - whiskey, gin and vodka. Plus, the first and only Craft Distillery in the US to offer patent-pending programs for customers to legally make their own distilled spirits and/or have them custom aged to individual specifications.edit
There are several lodging choices in Gig Harbor from hotels, to bed-and-breakfasts, to motels, to vacation rentals.
Inn at Gig Harbor, 3211 56th St NW (Point Fossdick & 56th ST NW, off of Olympic Dr exit from Hwy 16.), ☎ (253) 858-1111, . One of the newest and most well known choices. The Inn features upscale lodging close to the city center with many amenities within the hotel. The construction is of a Northwest lodge style. One of the drawbacks to this lodging, though, is its location. It is a bit outside of the loop for exploring the area by foot and is set right against busy Highway 16. edit
Maritime Inn, 3212 Harborview Dr (At Harborview Dr & Rosedale St NW in 'downtown' Gig Harbor. From Hwy 16 exit at Pioneer Way/Wollochet Dr NW. Go NE along Pioneer Way to the end of the road and left turn on Harborview Dr), ☎ (253) 858-1818, . A small hotel right in the center of town, an excellent location to enjoy the many restaurants, galleries, and and shops by foot. This is Gig Harbor's only major lodging choice right along the waterfront. Rooms have fireplaces and many enjoy views of the harbor. edit
Best Western Wesley Inn, 6575 Kimball Dr (From Hwy 16 exit at Pioneer Way/Wollochet Dr NW. Go NE along Pioneer Way to to the first right (south) at Kimball Dr which runs parallel along Hwy 16), ☎ (800) 741-5072, . Not your typical Best Western. This is quite a nice lodging choice perched above the center of the town, convenient to some restaurants and freeway access. Rooms are nicely appointed including some with fireplaces and bay windows.edit
Waterfront Inn, 9017 N Harborview Dr, ☎ (253) 857-0770, . A small B&B right on the water in downtown. This is a perfect spot from which to explore this maritime village. The Inn was built in 1918 as a private residence and retains much of its exterior charm. There are three rooms in the waterfront area and three "Captain's Quarters" rooms that are not waterfront. Each room is outfitted with modern conveniences and is clean and uncluttered, unlike so many B&Bs.edit