Once you cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge or step off the ferry to Bremerton from Seattle, you’ll be on Washington’s beautiful Kitsap Peninsula. While North Kitsap Peninsula is less crowded, there is plenty of natural beauty and fun things to do on the southern part of the peninsula.
If you arrive via the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the beautiful historic fishing village of Gig Harbor will welcome you first. Take the exit off Hwy 16 and head for the harbor. The Skansie Brothers Park with its historic net shed and fisherman’s statue is a harbor side gathering place. You’ll find the Visitors Bureau there in a historic home.
In the heart of Gig Harbor you’ll find accommodations and over twenty restaurants. A local favorite is the Tides Tavern where you can dine with a view of the harbor, and in good weather, enjoy the deck. If you want upscale farm to table cuisine, check out Brix 25°, lauded as one of the best restaurants in the Northwest.
Walk along the harbor and check out the interesting shops ranging from marine supply to a specialty pet store. Home decor shops beckon you. The foodie will want to peruse the offerings at Sariah Spices and Teas and taste specialty vodkas at the Heritage Distilling Company on the corner.
Prefer to explore Gig Harbor from the water? You can rent a kayak.
There is a walkway taking you along the harbor. A must-see is the Harbor History Museum. In back of the museum you’ll find a historic schoolhouse and a restoration project, the 65-foot purse seiner, Shenandoah. The museum has plenty of hands-on exhibits for kids and holds special events.
Destiny Harbor Tours offers a 2-hour narrated open boat tour of the harbor and beyond. There is also a shorter one-hour tour, the “Gig Harbor and Sound Vistas Tour.” Tours depart from a dock in back of Anthony’s Restaurant. Call 253-225-6306 for reservations and information.
If you are a fan of craft spirits, you can head out of the downtown area to Heritage Distilling Company, Inc.™ a Washington State Craft Distillery. The distillery, located at 3207 57th St Ct NW, is not the easiest to find. Give yourself a little extra time and read the directions on their website. You’ll be greeted warmly when you arrive and will be led past small private barrels and into the tasting room that features an array of flavored vodkas, gin and whiskey. You can take a tour and learn about how their spirits are made.
Once you spend a day in Gig Harbor you’ll want to return to stay there and spend more time. With good food, fun shopping and the beautiful view of Mt. Rainier and the harbor, Gig Harbor is a great place for a romantic getaway, family vacation or girls’ weekend away.
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