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  • Writer's pictureGig Harbor Living Local

Explore Uptown Gig Harbor, Washington

An Upscale Playground


Explore Uptown Gig Harbor, Washington

Photo by Samantha Elise Tillman

By Marguerite Cleveland

If you want to shop in Gig Harbor, head to Uptown Gig Harbor, an outdoor marketplace with a variety of local and national storefronts. Uptown Gig Harbor is also the informal name given to this area of Gig Harbor with a variety of recreational activities for both adults and children in an upscale setting.


Discover a wide variety of local and national retailers at the Uptown Gig Harbor shopping center. This upscale venue is designed to resemble an old-fashioned town plaza. There are plenty of outdoor spaces and seating areas to relax in, and there is even a fish pond. Plan to take an “art walk” around the grounds, which has a variety of art including contemporary sculpture, rock fountains and traditional gongs. For the kitschy lovers, check out Ben and Jerry’s Cows.

Among the 35 retailers is Paper Luxe, which is a huge supporter of the independent greeting card artist. You’ll find a unique collection of greeting cards as well as other gift and stationery items. Frankie is a locally owned boutique with a variety of cute women’s clothing and accessories. For the perfect children’s gift, visit Teaching Toys Too. This locally owned store is dedicated to helping shoppers find quality, educational and age-appropriate toys from their large inventory from around the world.

Book lovers should take a short detour to Invitation Books, a locally owned independent bookstore. It is a community-oriented space with two book clubs that meet monthly at the shop as well as other events. Visitors will find an eclectic selection of new books, stationery and book-lover accessories. The store is a beautiful space, and the owner is very supportive of local authors. Stop by The Garden Room for home goods and the Metropolitan Market for gourmet foods and flowers.


Spring begins the Gig Harbor Flower Farmers Market, which runs through the end of September. It is held every Wednesday at the Uptown Gig Harbor shopping center. Meet local farmers and purchase fresh locally grown flowers.

For the ultimate in family fun, visit Ocean5, a venue both adults and children will enjoy. Ocean5 offers two types of bowling, and you can book private suites for your group. Experience your favorite golf courses from around the world at a Tog Golf Swing Suite. There is a two-story laser tag experience for up to 40 players and an arcade with more than 50 games. Unusual for a venue of this type is an upscale farm-to-table restaurant with locally sourced ingredients for the chef-driven global menu. There is also a great selection of beer, wine and craft cocktails.

Arguably one of the best in the state, Escape Hour Gig Harbor elevates the escape room experience. Each room is presented as an epic adventure with carefully crafted immersive experiences. This is not your average escape room. Dim lighting, sounds and music, as well as hidden doors and moving features, all add to the excitement. These adventures will challenge both adults and children. The company has received multiple awards and is Washington’s top-rated escape experience.


The Inn at Gig Harbor makes a perfect base to explore all that Uptown Gig Harbor has to offer. It is just a short walk to shops, restaurants and entertainment. The rooms’ warm neutral colors evoke a cozy ambiance for a relaxing stay. The inn is pet friendly with a very low pet fee of $15 per night. Rooms include a hot breakfast buffet each morning. Locals love the Park and Fly option, where guests enjoy a relaxing night at the hotel before departing on the airport shuttle to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

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