Wollochet in Gig Harbor
The Wollochet area is one of the most established, original neighborhoods of Gig Harbor. The district boasts stunning Wollochet Bay, waterfront homes, views of Mt. Rainier, wooded neighborhoods, and ease of accessibility.
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Accessibility to water sports and activities is one of the highlights of this area. There is a public boat launch and the available properties offer many options for waterfront beaches and views. Wollochet Bay is a large, popular waterway for boating, wakeboarding, and other watersports and can get quite busy in the summer. The deeper half of the Bay is restricted in speed and shallow so it does not get as much noise from boats and jet skis.
Nearby parks include the Kenneth Leo Marvin Veterans Memorial Park with a playground and dog park and the Tacoma Narrows Park with fantastic beaches for walking and fishing.
The biggest attraction here is the feeling of quiet, resort-style living. The most unexpected feature in the area is a sizeable airport that has a great restaurant and hosts fun air show events and car shows. Dining at the Hub is a fun place to catch the sunset and watch small planes and jets taking off right out the expansive windows, but if you live in a neighborhood under the flight path you have to deal with the noise of small plane traffic. Fortunately, the bulk of the traffic pattern goes over the commercial area of Uptown, but some neighborhoods are affected.
The Wollochet area is almost entirely residential but does include the classic Gig Harbor “Anderson’s Store”, probably the first convenience store in Gig Harbor. They offer gas and typical convenience store items, with a gritty small-town, rural America atmosphere. Also in the area is the Artondale Farm and Nursery Store, a charming small business in what used to be the historic Artondale Grange.
A short 5-10 minute drive puts you in the heart of the large retail district of Pt. Fosdick, also known as “Uptown”, from the name of a large upscale shopping area that was built in 2008. Uptown itself features all types of stores from local boutiques to commercial chains like Marshall’s, J. Jill, and Ann Taylor Loft. You can find everything you need in the area from coffee shops, restaurants, major grocery stores, services such as dry cleaners, and even a large Cinema.
The amenities of the area are too much to list but some highlights are a medical center, a large, classy family fun center with bowling, dining, shopping, and other activities The newly built gourmet grocery, Metropolitan Market offers upscale options in a big box atmosphere. Around the corner from Metropolitan Market is the smaller local grocery, Harbor Greens offering a beautiful plant and flower selection, unique gifts, and a small deli. Few areas of Gig Harbor offer such easy access to this busy retail hub.
Across the freeway overpass from Uptown, you will find another shopping area with the flagship Cutter’s Point Coffee, a large, popular meeting spot that hosts open mics, Roundtable Pizza, The Goodwill, McDonald’s, a new Ulta cosmetic big box store, and other shopping and dining options.
A short jaunt down the hill brings you to Downtown Gig Harbor itself, with all of its small-town charm, and local dining and shopping options.
The popularity of this area is not just due to great views and an abundance of waterfront property. The biggest factor here is living in the beauty of quiet forested neighborhoods but having quick access to the amenities of Uptown Gig Harbor and Tacoma, unlike other more remote neighborhoods. Uptown is a 5-10 min drive, and Downtown Gig Harbor is 15 minutes away, as is Tacoma.
The area includes Harbor Heights elementary school and Goodman middle school and also allows easy access to the newly remodeled Artondale Elementary. Another small private school option is Lighthouse Christian Elementary.
Traffic is never an issue but allow time and patience for commuting on narrow, low speed, winding forested roads to safely get to your location. As with the rest of Gig Harbor, you must pass through other areas where traffic can get congested. For instance, heading to Seattle, you will have to fight very heavy traffic through Tacoma and Fife. To get to Olympia, southbound I-5 can have congestion through Joint Base Lewis-McChord, one of the largest military bases in the country.
In 2007 a second Narrows Bridge opened for eastbound traffic only, alleviating the massive traffic that the original bridge funneled both directions for many years. As a result, there is rarely any traffic and few closures at the Narrows crossing. For many years it was one of the biggest bottleneck in the areas prior to the opening of the new bridge.
Types of Properties
Due to Wollochet being one of the earliest areas developed after downtown Gig Harbor, there are some historic homes here and even a few farm-type properties.
The bulk of the construction in the area was from the 1970s to the 1990s. As a result, there is a large variety of home options in age and size. Most of these homes are single-family and there are a variety of neighborhoods. While some of these are HOAs, and a few are gated, most are not.
Many of the older neighborhoods boast large, wooded lots. Waterfront properties tend to have smaller lots but many are grand luxury homes, with smaller yards. Of course, having waterfront and water views, along with accessibility means steep prices.
People are often drawn to this area for the privacy many of the homes afford. Older properties offer long driveways off the main road. There are also a few family-style, walkable, neighborhoods to be found.
There are almost no multifamily properties in this area.