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Gig Harbor, WA

Gig Harbor is a quaint waterfront village located on Washington's Kitsap Peninsula, 11 miles north of Tacoma. The area offers beautiful views of Puget Sound and Mount Rainer, while also featuring a variety of distinct shops, restaurants and festivals. Gig Harbor has a population of about 15,000.

The area got its name in 1841, when a crew of explorers sought shelter in a small bay. The crew was in a small boat, or "gig," and the name stuck. The first white settlers arrived in the late 1800s and operated commercial fishing, boat-building and saw-mill industries. In 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened and connected Gig Harbor to Tacoma. The bridge collapsed a mere four months after completion, however, the result of a powerful windstorm. A new bridge was built and opened in 1950.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

Gig Harbor's economy revolves around tourism. Small hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts, restaurants and shops cater to visitors who come to experience the charm of this sleepy village. In recent years, the retail industry has become more of a fixture of the town's economy, as large national retailers have begun to establish a presence in the city and its outlying area.

Major Gig Harbor employers include the Washington Corrections Center for Women, Cottesmore of Life Care, Fred Meyer, and Canterwood Golf and Country Club.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

BEST BETS

This tourist town has a large number of cultural activities for a city of its size. Some of the major cultural organizations are:

EVENTS

A diverse collection of annual events in Gig Harbor attracts residents and tourists. Many of the festivals are free. Some of the major events include:

FOR VISITORS

Gig Harbor is known as the playground of the Key Peninsula. Water surrounds the city, and water activities dominate recreational choices. Fishing, boating and kayaking are all popular. Several marinas, a public boat dock and three boat launches make it easy to access the water.

On land, bikers and walkers head to Cushman Trail or the quiet winding roads of the Crescent Valley. Four golf courses give golf lovers something to do, and bird watchers never know what they'll see at area parks or along the waterfront. Also, several campgrounds and playgrounds make for a fun outing with kids.

Major parks in the area include:


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