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  • Writer's pictureGig Harbor Living Local

Shop, Stop & Play

Updated: Mar 1

Spring is the perfect time to rediscover the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront



Gig Harbor Downtown

 

By Marguerite Cleveland    


The Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront is an historic seaport village that is a charming blend of maritime heritage, vibrant culture and stunning natural beauty. Once a bustling fishing village, it retains its Old-World charm while offering modern amenities and lots of things to do. Boutique shops, art galleries and waterfront restaurants beckon visitors and locals alike who seek an escape from the grind of everyday life. Spring is the perfect time to visit when the sun is peeking out more often and the weather is mild. 


Shop


If you love to shop at small local businesses, then the Downtown Waterfront area is for you. There are more than 30 quaint boutiques, art galleries and antique shops within a few blocks. Visitors enjoy views of the waterfront while strolling from shop to shop. Take a break at Heritage Distillery to sample their handcrafted whiskeys, vodkas and gins all made from Washington ingredients. Whether you are searching for the perfect souvenir to remember your trip or seeking a unique gift, Gig Harbor’s Downtown Waterfront shopping district offers something for every taste and style.


Stay


The Maritime Inn is the only hotel in downtown Gig Harbor. Nestled in the heart of the historic village, the inn shares the rich maritime history of the area. The location is ideal and is just steps away from shops and restaurants. Skansie Brothers Park is just across the street and hosts many community events throughout the year.


From the moment guests step into the welcoming lobby and are greeted by the warm hospitality of the staff, they’ll feel the ambiance of this delightful inn. Each room is named after a historic boat that operated in Gig Harbor and has a large photo of it. Many rooms have harbor views, and all have a fireplace. Whether you're seeking a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, the Maritime Inn offers an idyllic retreat where you can relax, rejuvenate, and create lasting memories amidst the beauty of the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront.


Play


Visit the Harbor WildWatch website to sign up for a Wetlands Tour. This guided walk is an educational experience to discover what makes a healthy wetland. The walk takes place on an historic property. Learn about how wetlands are important to water quality. Take some time to visit the group’s Skansie Interpretive Center to learn more about the Salish Sea. There are a variety of exhibits including two aquariums and a marine touch tank.


Looking for a romantic evening, book a ride on an authentic Venetian gondola with Gig Harbor Gondola. It is such a unique way to tour the harbor with sunset views and a backdrop of Mount Rainier while being serenaded by the gondolier. Truly a special experience. Afterward, enjoy a meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants.


To learn more about the history of Gig Harbor, visit the Harbor History Museum. The museum is modern with up-to-date interactive exhibits. Visitors will find the exhibit on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the infamous Galloping Gertie, fascinating. Outside, visit an 1893 fully restored one-room schoolhouse. Then check the progress on the Shenandoah, a 65-foot purse seiner built in 1925. It is currently being restored by the museum and a team of volunteers.


Whether you are a longtime local or visiting for the first time, there is always something fun to see and do at the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront.



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