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Downtown Gig Harbor

Downtown Gig Harbor

In downtown Gig Harbor, you will find a plethora of sights, shopping, and pastimes which can easily provide a full day of simple pleasures. The most obvious joy of downtown Gig Harbor is, of course, the harbor itself. Located on the long stretch of waterfront, on a peaceful harbor, from which the town gets its name, downtown Gig Harbor has the best views in the city, the silvery water providing a serene backdrop to your day, and on a clear afternoon, you may even see Mount Rainier dominating the horizon out from the mouth of the harbor.

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Creator of this site, Darren Rivers, has spent 25 years raising a family in Gig Harbor while enjoying everything this incredible community has to offer. At the same time, Darren has become one of the top realtors in the country by providing top-tier, personable service to his clients. So, if you're looking for an ideal real estate agent who serves you as well as he knows his community, contact Darren and say hi!

Locations

The popularity of this location, means crowds on warm summer days and during events, both on the sidewalks, in parks, and boating in the harbor. Traffic can also be a real issue as there is only one 2-lane winding road that encompasses the harbor and the....

Location | Downtown Gig Harbor

The popularity of this location, means crowds on warm summer days and during events, both on the sidewalks, in parks, and boating in the harbor. Traffic can also be a real issue as there is only one 2-lane winding road that encompasses the harbor and the main district. Parts of this main road are the only easy access to Crescent Valley, Sunrise Beach, and other neighborhoods.

If you choose to live downtown, you will enjoy epic views, walk-ability, and the nearness of all these amenities but you will deal with traffic that can congest this popular area. You will also have street closures from various events throughout the summer. The Maritime Festival and parade is the main example. At Christmas, the boat parade also has a spontaneous lighted car parade that causes backups.

Detailed information on commuting, schools, and other general Gig Harbor amenities accessible from downtown can be found <here.>

Harbor Ridge Middle School sits above the waterfront and St. Nicholas Catholic School is also right downtown. Just up the hill from downtown towards Rosedale is the Gig Harbor High School.

It is also conveniently located near St. Anthony’s Hospital and with easy access to Highway 16.

Attractions

Dining is a great draw for the waterfront and downtown area with many options.

For a quick bite, The Gourmet Burger Shop is a perfect location.....

Attractions | Downtown Gig Harbor

Dining is a great draw for the waterfront and downtown area with many options.

For a quick bite, The Gourmet Burger Shop is a perfect location. Boasting a brilliant array of burgers, sides and drinks, this small local store is the ideal place to grab and go on a warm summer’s day, with both Donkey Creek Park and plenty of waterfront seating areas within easy walking distance to enjoy both the view and your meal.

If you’d prefer a proper sit-down place while maintaining a casual atmosphere, the Netshed No. 9 is a lovely restaurant located directly on the docks, with both indoor and outdoor seating right on the water (some of the best pancakes I’ve ever had in my life, trust me).

In terms of a fine morning meal, the breakfast sandwiches at Devoted Kiss is to die for. For a more formal dinner, Anthony’s Restaurant is a wonderful option as well. Also located on the waterfront, this establishment has some of the best views of the water in downtown, with an entire wall of windows facing directly out towards the harbor’s mouth (the perfect place to view Mount Rainier on a clear day, as I mentioned previously). Another grand option is Brix 25, if you’re looking for a particularly Pacific Northwest-accented meal.

As mentioned earlier, there are an abundance of outdoor activities available in downtown Gig Harbor. Whether it’s fishing from a pier or taking a gondola ride. Yes, that’s correct. You no longer have to go clear to Venice to ride in an authentic Italian Gondola boat!

Some of Gig Harbor’s vibrant local community events include The Maritime Gig Festival, one of the biggest of the year with 2 days of activities including a parade, concerts, booths, and “the blessing of the fleet”, an old mariner tradition. The Gig Harbor Summer Arts Festival is a quality, juried art event that has grown over 36 years to 120 booths plus food, live music, and other activities.

In the winter the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree is accompanied by a lighted boat parade in the Harbor and a lighted car parade down the main drag.

As for nightlife (ending fairly early) and a fine drink, Tide’s Tavern is a popular local bar and one of the oldest locations in the harbor, built over a century ago in 1910 and originally serving as a general store. Another popular space is the original distillery and tasting room of Heritage Distilling Co, the largest independently owned craft distillery in the Pacific Northwest, the most awarded craft distillery in North America for eight years running (my father still has a cask from a custom drink Heritage made roughly six years ago).

Gig Harbor nightlife has always been limited, and most things shut down early, but in the summer you can enjoy weekend evening concerts and outdoor movies in the Skansie Brother Park, an open, waterfront viewing area located smack in the middle of downtown. These draw large crowds and are quite popular, especially established local acts like The Shy Boys.

One of my favorite events hosted downtown is the Waterfront Farmer’s Market, a summer activity easily accessible by foot, road, and even water thanks to the park’s open dock and beach. Here you can find a cornucopia of locally grown and made products provided by the region’s local farmers (my personal favorites is the amazing local honey selection).

Outdoor Activities

Downtown is a great place to get outside. The large, historic Skansie Brothers Park is centrally located with a long pier for walking and fishing, and a historic net shed museum, but it is not the only park in the area. Further down the waterfront, you will....

Outdoor Activities | Downtown Gig Harbor

Downtown is a great place to get outside. The large, historic Skansie Brothers Park is centrally located with a long pier for walking and fishing, and a historic net shed museum, but it is not the only park in the area. Further down the waterfront, you will find Eddon Boat Park and Donkey Creek Park, a popular picnic area that has a viewing platform for watching the Salmon runs.

Locals love the amenities at the large Crescent Creek Park which can host large groups and also has tennis courts, a BMX park, and sand volleyball courts.

The water is not just for looks, as various kayak and paddle board rentals are strewn about the public docks, allowing you to take a leisurely lap around the docks whenever you wish, and even visit the small lighthouse which welcomes vessels into the harbor. You may even spot a couple seals out there! Another lovely spot of scenery can be found in Donkey Creek Park, where nature-lovers can watch salmon travel upstream during the early spring. Just across the street from the park is the Harbor History Museum, one of several local landmarks which celebrates the culture and history of Gig Harbor and the surrounding local region.

Walking probably tops the list here and locals love it, expect crowds on the waterfront in good weather and Gig Harborites love their dogs so expect to run into many. Not far from downtown is the ease of access to the Cushman Trail. This very long walking park stretches nearly to the Narrows Bridge. It is friendly for walking, biking, and pets. A bonus is that most of it passes through wooded green belts and yet is very safe.

Shopping

The charm of downtown Gig Harbor has remained thanks to leaders having the foresight to restrict building heights and corporate businesses. As a result, it has kept the historic “small-town” vibe that draws boaters from all around Puget Sound....

Shopping | Downtown Gig Harbor

The charm of downtown Gig Harbor has remained thanks to leaders having the foresight to restrict building heights and corporate businesses. As a result, it has kept the historic “small-town” vibe that draws boaters from all around Puget Sound. You will find all kinds of small local cafes and shops through the downtown corridor and along the walk-able, historic waterfront. What you will NOT find are big box stores.

Some local stores include Tickled Pink, a local women’s clothing and jewelry store which, by personal experience, has been a lifesaver for many a Mother’s Day. Right next door is The Love of Spice, a wonderful spice and tea shop which also sells plenty of unique kitchenware. And, my personal favorite, Lost Star Tabletop Gaming Outfitter, which caters to nerd culture with an array of tabletop and board games to peruse.

You will find local boutiques such as Treasures 4 Humanity, florist shops, small antique malls, and many specialty shops such as Cutty Sark Intimates and The Gig Harbor Boat Shop. The Harbor is a great area to buy a boat or just find a unique gift. A waterfront farmer’s market can be enjoyed Thursdays from June until September.

As for the food scene, restaurants and other purveyors can be found all over downtown. For a quick bite, The Gourmet Burger Shop is a perfect location. Boasting a brilliant array of burgers, sides and drinks, this small local store is the ideal place to grab and go on a warm summer’s day, with both Donkey Creek Park and plenty of waterfront seating areas within easy walking distance to enjoy both the view and your meal.

If you’d prefer a proper sit-down place while maintaining the casual atmosphere, the Netshed No. 9 is a fabulous restaurant located directly on the docks, with both indoor and outdoor seating right on the water (some of the best pancakes I’ve ever had in my life, trust me). In terms of a fine morning meal, the breakfast sandwiches at Devoted Kiss is to die for. For a more formal dinner, Anthony’s Restaurant is a wonderful option as well. Also located on the waterfront, this establishment has some of the best views of the water in downtown, with an entire wall of windows facing directly out towards the harbor’s mouth (the perfect place to view Mount Rainier on a clear day, as I mentioned previously). Another grand option is Brix 25, if you’re looking for a particularly Pacific Northwest-accented meal.

Type of Properties

Most of the downtown area of Gig Harbor was built up years ago and features many well-kept, historic, and vintage homes with views of the water or Mt. Rainier. Some yards for these properties are smaller than found in other areas of Gig Harbor.

Type of Properties | Downtown Gig Harbor

Most of the downtown area of Gig Harbor was built up years ago and features many well-kept, historic, and vintage homes with views of the water or Mt. Rainier. Some yards for these properties are smaller than found in other areas of Gig Harbor. These types of homes are in high demand. They are well kept and usually expensive because of the small supply and lack of room to build in the Harbor. Many of the historic homes along the water have been torn down and replaced by larger upscale luxury homes.

In the last 20-30 years the area has seen much growth including the construction of newer homes overlooking Tacoma and condominiums and higher density housing at various price points. A few of these include older apartments that are well maintained.

The Harbor has a limited amount of actual waterfront homes, but there are many options for water views.

On the far side of the harbor are more affordable older neighborhoods in wooded settings. The downside is the only access to these areas is winding around the harbor itself, which can be very time-consuming and create bottlenecks at certain times of the year. These homes offer larger yards and properties and are still pricey in comparison to other areas of Puget Sound.

Just outside of the downtown corridor is Crescent Valley drive which still features farms and equestrian properties with larger land opportunities.

Between downtown and Gig Harbor North lie areas that are starting to see modern neighborhood construction.

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Darren Rivers

Long-time Gig Harbor resident and realtor. Darren has raised two kids in town and helped hundreds of clients buy and sell real estate here.

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 Have questions about Gig Harbor Real Estate or just want to chat? Don’t hesitate to reach out!