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Gig Harbor

Gig Harbor is often referred to as the Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula. Nestled inside a sheltered cove near the southwest tip of Puget Sound, Gig Harbor sits near the west entrances to the Second and Third Tacoma Narrows Bridges. Home to approximately 7,000 people, the town is one of several outlying communities of the Puget Sound area.

American explorer Captain Charles Wilkes is credited with mapping and naming this cove, which served as a shelter for his small "gig" boat during a tempest in the early 1800s. Today, Gig Harbor is a stopping point for a different kind of explorer - the backcountry adventurer headed for the temperate rainforests and stirring coastlines of the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas. Boaters, hikers, mountain bikers, skiers and mountain climbers can find adventure in Gig Harbor's enormous backyard.

Within the city, there are numerous attractions to visit as well. Gig Harbor's festival season has become a regional tradition, beginning with its Maritime Gig Festival in June and Summer Arts Festival in August. Gig Harbor's ethic bluegrass music, Celtic tunes and Scandinavian traditions all take center stage during its summer and fall festivals. The season ends with the traditional Harbor Lights and Tree Lighting ceremony in December.

The Gig Harbor Farmer's Market runs daily from early April to late September, and features as many as 100 vendors of local arts and crafts, produce and other local specialties. A second market runs weekly during the summers on Wednesdays.

Gig Harbor's four distinct neighborhoods offer a tasteful selection of shops to visit. The most popular area is the Waterfront neighborhood, which is divided between the Historic District and the Finholm Marketplace, and includes artist galleries, antiques and gift shops. A map of Gig Harbor's shopping and residential neighborhoods is available from the Chamber of Commerce.

Visitor Information

City of Gig Harbor. 3510 Grandview Street, Gig Harbor, WA 98335. Phone: 253-851-8136.

Gig Harbor/Peninsula Area Chamber of Commerce. 3302 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, WA 98332. Phone: 253-851-6865; Fax: 253-851-6881. E-mail

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