MAPLE LEOPARD: Top Small Towns in Washington: Gig Harbor

Friday, September 16, 2016

Top Small Towns in Washington: Gig Harbor

travel, travelblogger, gigharbor, westsound, olympic peninsula

Yahoo for Friday! It's the last weekend of summer, I am soo sad to see it go. If you have read my blog for very long, you know how much I love cool rainy weather....ha not!  Anyway, I am still not done sharing posts from my trips around the sound the past few months. Up next: Gig Harbor.

 Experience the beauty of this west sound gem on an old fashioned trolley car ride!


Gig Harbor is a vibrant little city located on the west side of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.   It is known to some as the "Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula." There are so many beautiful towns and outdoor wonders to discover, on the peninsula.


This maritime city is considered one of the most picturesque small cities in America . A few sailor boys back in the 1840's arrived here with the Wilkes Expedition.  The 3 men came into the harbor on a longboat called a "Captain's Gig".

They were visiting from British Columbia( another breathtaking destination you must see- I was raised there!), and liked it so well they decided to stay. I wish I had that easy of an entry into the good ole USA, lotsa red tape!


I have been visiting Gig Harbor for many years,  it is definitely one of my favorite daytrip destinations. This is kind of crazy: I just found out this summer about the trolley ride! It runs back and forth through the city, from Uptown to Downtown.

It was so much fun to ride, and was a great way to see other parts of the city. The downside- the trolley only runs from June through early September.

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Where else can you ride all over the city for one buck! The ticket is good all day and you can get on and off the train as you please.  There are 3 main stops on the route and one of them is close to the Cushman Trail.

 If you are up for a long hike, bike ride or jog winding along side highway 16- it is totally worth the effort!  The trail ends at the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and you will be in awe of the jaw dropping scenery.

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This was another first for me- walking across the bridge. Actually there are twin bridges- walking across one was quite a trek! The second span was built 7 or so years ago to help ease traffic congestion.  Stay tuned - a post is coming soon featuring photography of the bridge.

Downtown:

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The  downtown area on waterfront has beautiful sweeping views of the sound. Offered here are the usual fun water activities and sports of other coastal towns in the west sound. One of my favorite things to do is discover new and unique coffee shops.

The Java Clay CafĂ© is one to check out. This isn't your average coffee shop: it's  also a pottery studio.  They often  host ladies night out, and kid parties as well.  If you are a fan of lavender flavor, the lavender ice tea here is so yummy!



Uptown:


Uptown Gig Harbor is a premier shopping destination in the west sound.  This is a fabulous place to shop, dine, and hang out. Summer concerts, a farmers market and other community events are hosted here through out the year. If you are a fan of Mexican cuisine, then be sure to stop in at Blue Agave. The food is authentic and very reasonable in price. National chain retailers as well as local merchants offer the latest in chic fashion trends. 

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It's getting late, so time to sign off.  Maybe you will experience the charm of this lovely city in the near future. Hopefully I have inspired you to explore your local area more- any big plans this weekend? Enjoy the last weekend of summer!
                                                                  XO Valerie

If you've never been to Gig Harbor, pin the post and save for later, thank you!








42 comments:

  1. Pinning this! I love small towns and I would love to visit Washington someday. How cool that you can ride around all day for $1?! That's a bargain. :)
    xoxo, erin | sandsunandmessybuns.com

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, lots of them here, so come on out Erin!

      VAlerie
      xo

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  2. It looks like such a pretty location!!! I have never heard of it but hopefully one day I can visit there!

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    1. Hey Mistle, I hope you can too, thanks for the visit!

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  3. Such a gorgeous city! I hope I can come visit one day!

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    1. Hi Adrianna < I sure hope you can too, would love to show you around...thanks a MILLION for all your techy help!!

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  4. Gig Harbor looks amazing! I shall add it to my travel bucket list.

    Alix | www.apintsizedlife.com

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    1. Hi Alix...its a fun little town ...its so close to the big cities, and lots of opps close by for exploring the outdoors of the PNW!

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  5. My wife's cousin and his family live there. Beautiful surroundings!

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    1. HI Dominic, I would love to live there myself..a fabulous little city! Hope you are doing well!

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  6. How cute! I haven't been there in so long, but this post really makes me want to visit again!

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    1. Thank you Marissa, yes not far from Seattle..hurry before the weather gets really bad..ha!

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  7. How fun! I am a born & raised Washingtonian and I have never been to Gig Harbor! This definitely makes it sound amazing though! I need to visit!

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    1. Wow sounds like me...well I wasn't born or raised here but have lived here forever and have never been to Mt.Rainier...crazy! Hope you get to visit soon, you will fall in love ..one of my fav spots

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  8. I really need to explore Gig Harbor sometime! It looks like such a fun and beautiful place!

    Polly
    http://gemsandjoy.com

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    1. Hi Polly, yes you will love it..such a fun town!

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  9. How pretty! I love the trolley too, what a fun way to get around!

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    1. Thank you Carlee..it makes for a fun tour of the town!

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  10. I haven't been to Gig Harbor but I have relatives who live there and I keep meaning to visit. What a cute town, and I love that trolley!

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    1. HI Marlynn..well time for a visit then...thanks for stopping in!

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  11. This looks like such a quaint and pretty town... thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures, too! I am out east but if I am ever out west... must explore!

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    1. Hi Clare, thank you so much..I sure hope you can visit someday soon..it is so lovely all around the Seattle area..just the weather stinks most of the year..ha

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  12. I would love to see Gig Harbor. I have only driven through Washington, so it is on my bucket list of places to see.

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    1. Hey willow..yes def put it on your list...such a neat little town!

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  13. What a fun trolley tour! I still haven't been to this part of the country. Hopefully one day!

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    1. HI Ashley...come west...lots of prettiness to see...I have never been to the east..so that's my next travel goal!

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  14. I live super close to Gig Harbor, but don't head over there often enough. If I do, I always make sure to stop in at Home Goods in Uptown! Thanks for the great post! You've inspired me to make a jaunt over to GH this weekend!

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  15. How beautiful! I'm dying to get up to the PNW! looks so beautiful xo Katie

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    1. Hey Katie..come on and visit...so much to see and do..wait til spring or summer..the weather is getting bad now for fall..wind and rain.yuck!

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  16. I haven't been to Gig Harbor, but I have heard some great things about it! I love your photos, it looks like a lovely place!

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    1. Thank you Christy!! I sure hope you can make it this way..happy travels..!

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  17. $1 for all day trolley ride is awesome! What a steal! So many great activities for any nature loving traveler!

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    1. Yes a great place for nature lovers for sure!

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  18. So much love for trolleys :) They're undoubtedly the most charming mode of transport out there, and man, $1 is a steal!

    I love learning about quaint little gems like this, especially since there's some hiking to do so close to the line. Definitely bookmarking this!

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    1. Thank you Alex, glad you stopped by and hope you can visit this fab little Town...lots of them around here!

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  19. Oh man- so cute! I haven't checked out too much of America, but this makes me want to just head straight on over to Washington!

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    1. Cool maybe you can make a visit...I haven't explored abroad at all..so I totally get it...its fun to check out other countries!

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  20. I have never heard of this place, but it definitely looks good (and so clean lol). I need to get to US as there is so much to see. Hopefully next year I will get the chance :).

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    1. Yes you need a visit here, I hope you can make it soon!

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  21. I've been wanting to visit Washington for a while now! I'm in California, so it would be a quick flight. The state looks so beautiful, it's on my bucket list! Thanks for sharing info on small towns. It's nice to have travel info outside of the obvious big cities.

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  22. Thank you for taking time to stop by! I looove CA! I miss all that warm down there! I hope you can make it up here soon, Gig Harbor is a must see and one of my fav's in the area!

    Valerie

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