Destination: Gig Harbor
Gig Harbor, founded in 1888, is a picturesque Puget Sound community across the Narrows Bridge from Tacoma. Commercial fishing, boat building, and sawmills were the economic lifeblood of this community.
The harbor is the center of the downtown area and is where we spent our time. A one mile walk along Harbor View—starting at the Tides Taverns and ending at the Finholm marketplace– celebrates Gig Harbor’s long maritime history and the many immigrants from Sweden, Norway and Croatia who fished the Puget Sound. Heritage markers on this Waterfront History Walk highlight points of interest, sharing facts about the people who settled in Gig Harbor and helped it grow.
The Skanski Brothers Park, which is a large, open, waterfront space with grass and docks, is home to the Fisherman Memorial. This large bronze statue depicting a fisherman hauling in his catch honors those who lost their lives at sea. The Finholm Hill Climb behind the market provides a stunning view of Mount Rainier, which on a clear day towers over the harbor.
Gig Harbor is a tourist’s delight. Not only does this walk provide a glimpse into the past, there are restaurants, book stores, ice cream emporiums, galleries and gift shops. There is an active arts community and the Gig Harbor Art Walk takes place the first Saturday of every month from 1-5 pm.
Across from Finholm Market are several restaurants with excellent views of the harbor and Mt. Rainier (when it is out). The Harbor Kitchen has sandwiches and salads and excellent deserts. The Marketplace Grille serves sandwiches, salads and fish and chips.
There were several book shops along Harbor View. We also stopped in at the Ebb Tide Cooperative Gallery to admire a wide range of fine arts produced by the local artisans.
How to get there:
Take Intercity Transit Bus # 603 to Tacoma: 10th and Commerce
Transfer to Pierce Transit Bus 2 and get off at Tacoma Community College (TCC transit center).
Transfer to Pierce Transit Bus # 100 to Purdy. Get off at Harbor View in Gig Harbor.
Take Pierce Transit Bus # 100 back to TCC transit Center.
Transfer to Pierce Transit Bus # 2 heading to Downtown Tacoma. Get off at 10th and Commerce.
Transfer to Intercity Transit Bus # 603 or Pierce Transit Bus # 603A to Olympia.
Cost summary: $2.50 from Olympia to downtown Tacoma. $1.75 from downtown Tacoma to Gig Harbor.
E HARBOR KITCHEN; 8809 N Harborview Dr.; 253-851-5454
MARKETPLACE Grille; 8825 North Harborview Drive; 253-858-3487
Ebb Tide Cooperative Gallery 3004 HarborView Drive