One of the coolest traditional fishing hamlets in Washington State’s Puget Sound is Gig Harbor. This earthy charmer serves as the gatekeeper to the dramatic Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula, while Mount Rainier is framed perfectly across the water. The natural beauty of Gig Harbor has encouraged a fantastic scene of art galleries, neat cafes, and waterfront restaurants catering to the steady stream of visitors who come here from the big cities of Seattle or Tacoma. The fishing town itself is the real highlight here. But you can also use the hamlet as a classy base for daytrips into the surrounding national parks.
Things to see
Jerisich and Skansie Brothers are two adjacent parks along Gig Harbor’s glorious waterfront that create a vast area of outdoor recreation and all-round natural leisure. If there’s a festival or event in town, chances are it’s happening here.
The maritime downtown core sits right on the water and is definitely the star attraction. Its historic streets are filled with unique boutiques, art galleries, bars, and excellent restaurants.
Just outside of Gig Harbor is the Olympic Peninsula, a vast wild area that’s home to North America’s only authentic rainforest. Many visitors use Gig Harbor as their base for daytrips into this incredibly lush and rainy national park.
Hotels in Gig Harbor
The historic character of Gig Harbor has encouraged a number of cozy bed and breakfasts to open on its leafy streets and along the waterfront. The town has a respectable independent motel scene. But if you prefer the predictability of a chain hotel, there are several on hand as well. Most of the lodging in Gig Harbor leans towards the upscale end of the spectrum.
Where to stay
Downtown Gig Harbor is the place to stay if you want to be within walking distance of the town’s amenities. There is a mix of historic inns and upscale hotels, so you’ll be catered for here whether you are a romantic couple or a family on holiday.
A short scenic drive along Highway 16 takes you to Tacoma, one of Washington’s largest cities and the location of a complete range of accommodation. If there is nothing available in Gig Harbor, you can find dozens of affordable chain motels right off Highway 16.
How to get to Gig Harbor
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is just across Puget Sound for easy access from all over North America and Asia. The Kitsap Airporter shuttle and rental cars are convenient transport options from the airport to Gig Harbor. Otherwise, it’s best to drive since there is limited public transportation in this remote corner of Washington.