A Place to Thrive | By Rachel Kelly | Photo by Samantha Elise Tillman
Gig Harbor is one of the most picturesque little towns in the Pacific Northwest. With a serene harbor, water views, a thriving downtown, rich history and a caring community, Gig Harbor is one of the best places to grow up and grow old.
Our community is vibrant. It is a walkable community, with people who are easy to get to know. The same goes for the downtown waterfront, with an accessible variety of locally made and produced foods and goods. The city’s roots in the working waterfront can be felt in the variety of seafood available. From locally acclaimed chowder or casual fish and chips to a widely beloved dinner with a view, there’s something for everyone. The options don’t stop with seafood, with breakfast and coffee spots, Teriyaki, Thai, traditional Italian, Mexican, inventive Pacific Northwest cuisine, wine bars, deli favorites and gourmet burgers, all along the walkable downtown waterfront.
Nestled just beyond the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (the infamous site of “Galloping Gertie”), Gig Harbor is across the way from the busy Tacoma metropolis. This makes Gig Harbor within reach of the amenities of a larger city, but still nestled into a peaceful niche that qualifies as an escape. The community is close knit, and authentic, with highly rated schools and thriving local commerce. A great place to raise a family, quality of life is key in Gig Harbor, with close to 600 acres of public parks, impressive considering the city itself is just over 3,000 acres. Many of these parks reside on or near the waterfront. With welcome access points to water for all comes the opportunity for sport, entertainment, arts and nature. Combined with a dedicated and invested city structure and people, our community is one that thrives outdoors and in communal spaces.
Gig Harbor has a rich history, with local museums dedicated to preservation of the charm that brought settlers for decades. The original backbone of the economy was professional fishing and boat building, and echoes of that history are seen in the annual Maritime Gig Festival, which include the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony for operational fishing boats headed out to sea for the season. The tradition originated with fishermen but now extends to servicemen, boaters and sailors as well. Gig Harbor still builds boats today, but many local fishermen spend summers up in Alaska where fishing is more profitable. In downtown Gig Harbor lies the Harbor History Museum, celebrating 10 years in the current location in 2021, which dedicates 7,000 square feet to showcasing the rich and unique local culture and history. For a live look at a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, visitors can attend re-enacted classes at the restored Midway Schoolhouse. Other historic sites include the Eddon Boat Building, Wilkinson Barn and Gig Harbor’s Historic Netsheds.
Here in Gig Harbor, our residents thrive. It’s a feeling that we pass on to our guests. So, whether it’s the community, food, history, or simply the beauty, whatever the reason, welcome to our home. Welcome to Gig Harbor. We love it here.