Posted September 30, 2017
Close To What Counts, that’s what makes McCormick a unique community to call home. Just beyond the pristine forest and the walking trails and only 20 minutes away, is Gig Harbor, Washington – one of the small-town crown jewels of the Puget Sound. Looking for a quick half-day or full day get-away with friends, family or just on your own, Gig Harbor has plenty to offer, from great dining options to shopping to recreation. What makes Gig Harbor special is that it has something for everyone.
Here are 14 things to do when exploring Gig Harbor where getting to this charming coastal town of just a short hop from McCormick.
1 . Summer walk: A summer stroll really doesn’t get any better than Harborview Drive. Start the 2.5-mile trek at Old Ferry Landing Park and wind along the harbor to Crescent Creek Park, where chinook and Coho return to spawn in fall. Pass landmarks like the Fisherman Memorial, Eddon Boatyard, and Harbor History Museum, with the sail-studded harbor as your backdrop every step of the way.
Old Ferry Landing Park – 700 Harborview Drive (253) 851-6170
Crescent Creek Park – 3303 Vernhardson Street (253) 853-7638
Eddon Boatyard – 3805 Harborview Drive (253) 857-9344
Harbor History Museum – 4121 Harborview Drive (253) 858.6722
2 . What’s better than an aquarium? Harbor Wildwatch is better than any aquarium and it’s free. Why bother with admission fees and crowds when kids can play with sea stars, crabs, and anything else right under the dock? Naturalists from Harbor WildWatch set up free “touch tanks” in Skansie Brothers Park. This marine and environmental education organization started more than a decade ago but only recently took up permanent residence in the heart of Gig Harbor. Harbor WildWatch has gone from one person’s dream to create awareness and sustainability of the region’s marine resources to a fully-staffed organization, providing outreach, education, programs, training and much more. Admission is free and you’ll get to explore two interactive, self-guided exhibits.
3 . 98 stairs to a photo op: The Finholm View Climb is a 100 stair climb. Finholm View leads up to a panoramic lookout of Mount Rainier and Puget Sound.
Located at 8826 N. Harborview Drive
4 . Picnic spot: The Gig Harbor Lighthouse, on a sandy spit.
Located at 7506 Goodman Drive NW. Open 24 hours
5 . To–die–for clam chowder: The Tides Tavern is a real locals’ hangout and worthy of the crowds waiting for a waterside table—and a bowl of legendary chowder and must-order fish and chips. Try the halibut, and don’t skimp on the house-made tartar sauce. Boaters take note: Tides now has kitchen-to-boat delivery.
Located at 2925 Harborview Drive 253–858–3982.
6 . All–you–can–carry oysters: Although Minterbrook Oyster Company is a few miles from Gig Harbor, the spectacular view of Mt. Rainier over Minter Bay alone is worth the trip. Try a jar of fresh-shucked oysters; their specialties are the Yearlings or Ocean Pearls and the smoked salmon.
Located at 12002 114th Street, Key Peninsula North 253–857–5251
7 . Craft Brewing: If you are into craft brewing, thirsty adults will love the curated selection of craft and locally sourced beverages found throughout Gig Harbor. A culture all its own, the craft beer movement is continuously growing. From Gig Harbor’s own locally owned and operated 7 Seas Brewing and Heritage Distilling Company, to the exquisite Morso wine bar, there’s something sumptuous to sip on in every glass poured.
7 Seas Brewing – 3006 Judson Street (253) 514–8129
Heritage Distilling Company – 3118 Harborview Drive (253) 514–8120
Morso – 9014 Peacock Hill Avenue at North Harborview Drive (253) 530.3463
8 . Waterfront Farmer’s Market: Enjoy the wonderful Waterfront Farmer’s Market! Open every Thursdays June – August from 3-7pm. You will find a wide variety of vegetables, beautiful flowers, berries, honey, baked goods, fish, entertainment, chef demos, and much more!
Located at 3207 Harborview Drive, (253) 514–0071
9 . Ride a Gondola: A touch of Italy is staking a claim to Gig Harbor where you can ride a gondola. Gig Harbor is the perfect place to enjoy this leisurely water tour.
Located at 3117 Harborview Drive, Reservations (253) 432–0052
10 . Summer Sounds at Skansie: A wide variety of music every Tuesday throughout summer. Gig Harbor’s Summer Sounds at Skansie is an extremely popular and free outdoor concert series that runs on consecutive Tuesdays until August 15th at the newly renovated Skansie Brothers Park. All concerts start at 6:30pm and are held rain or shine. Returning in 2017 is the popular restaurant delivery service to the park by Gig Harbor’s favorite downtown eateries. Concert goers are encouraged to ride the Gig Harbor Trolley and bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Located at 3211 Harborview Drive
11 . Summer Arts Festival: Gig Harbor Summer Arts Festival. Approximately 130 artists and craftspeople in the 33rd Summer Art Festival on Judson Street in the historic downtown waterfront neighborhood. July 15 – July 16 10am – 5pm
Located at Judson Street
12 . Sip and Savor: Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival – July 29, 2017 at 12 noon. Celebrate the Region’s Wine, Spirits, Brews & Food!
Festival located at 4121 Harborview Drive
13 . Java & Clay Cafe: If you’ve got enough time or want to kill an hour or two, take a break and make art! As the name suggests, Java & Clay serves as both a coffee shop and paint-your-own-pottery studio. There are no studio fees to worry about and plenty of room to stretch out. Plus, after the customary handful of days to fire and finalize your creation, they’ll ship it right to your door.
Located at 3210 Harborview Drive (253) 851-3277
14 . Where to Stay: Although, if you can’t fit your adventure neatly into one day, there are plenty of hotels, B&B’s and other accommodations available to help you extend your “staycation.” The Inn at Gig Harbor and the Maritime Inn are two popular overnight destinations complete with all the amenities you need for a comfortable and relaxing weekend getaway.
For information on other popular attractions and accommodations in Gig Harbor, visit the Gig Harbor Guide’s website here.