Discover the Hidden Gems of Washington’s Gig Harbor

Searching for a coastal getaway between Portland and Seattle? Look no further than Washington’s Gig Harbor. While I love going up the coast in the Pacific Northwest, Gig Harbor was a place I’d yet to explore. With my three dear friends from out of town in tow, we enjoyed an overnight escape from our adventures in Seattle down the coast into the harbor.

When it was decided that my pals from England Holly and Alice would meet up with me for a girls week in Seattle, I knew good times were in store. Add in Holly’s friend from New Jersey, Lauryn, and we’ve got three first time visitors to the terrific Evergreen State. I adored my time in Washington last year and this was the perfect opportunity to return, as well as discover Gig Harbor.

Stay at Maritime Inn

Gig Harbor’s finest accommodations are certainly at the Maritime Inn. Combining a blend of modern
meets old world charm, Maritime Inn has been hosting its loyal guests for more than 30 years With
excellent suites and customer service.

We arrived ready to chill out for a bit and knew we were in good hands when we met Valerie at the
front desk. Not only did she ensure a smooth and easy check-in, but invited us back at 4pm for the Inn’s daily wine reception. With a cozy little patio and covered chairs out back near our room, we knew this was a plan.

The views of Gig Harbor. (c) Mary Farah
Arriving at Maritime Inn. (c) Mary Farah
The Avalon suite. (c) Mary Farah

With under 30 suites, the Maritime Inn has created a unique and nautical atmosphere for each room. We quickly made ourselves at home in room two, the Avalon. With 2 Queen sized beds, shower/bath and a great street view of the harbor, it was an ideal space and surprisingly ample for us. We even allowed more time for four women getting ready with one bathroom and still made it out early.

Along with evening wine, the Inn also has you covered for a caffeine break with coffee and tea served all day. Their morning continental breakfast also offers quite the variety with cereals, fruit and bagels. Our favorite thing about the Maritime Inn was the staff. Valerie and the rest of the team truly went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable. Service like this made the Inn seem similar to a bed and breakfast.

Enjoy the Town Outside Your Door

Maritime Inn’s location also enables you to park your car and keep it there during your time in Gig
Harbor. With so much within walking distance, enjoy walking by the water as you stroll along their main drag and pop into stores like Tickled Pink, a trendy boutique with fun Pacific Northwest souvenirs and handmade goods by local artists.

Directly across from our room was Java and Clay, a pottery studio and coffeehouse that had that
coffeehouse aroma I love so much. The coffee bar serves up all of your favorite espresso drinks in
addition to teas, smoothies and baked goods that include gluten-free choices.

Support local when you shop at cute boutiques like Ticked Pink. (c) Mary Farah
Watermelon cider at Gig Harbor Brewing. (c) Mary Farah

With several great breweries and bars to choose from, we decided on Gig Harbor Brewing Company for some girl talk and drinks. I loved the laid back atmosphere and variety of wines, beers and cider on tap. While I’m not much of a hard ale person, I decided on a six ounce glass of their watermelon cider. Certainly more mellow in flavor than I’d expected, it would still be too sweet for me to drink on a regular basis. I often cringe to go to a brewery, so it was great to see the gluten-free choices available.

Nosh on a Millville Pizza

Before the trip to Gig harbor, I was pleased to see that there would be several gluten-free choices during the stay. A highlight was definitely our meal at Millville Pizza. Formerly a nail salon, Millville Pizza serves up wood fired pizzas using family recipes. Best part? Their gluten-free crust. Unlike many parlors that simply buy frozen gluten-free dough, Millville uses their exact same recipe just switches up the grains in the flour so everyone can enjoy their pies.

I enjoyed the Sea Gem, their take on a Margarita, with a homemade pesto sauce. Having given up dairy quite a bit lately, this was the perfect “welcome back” to cheese and I devoured every bite. Millville’s atmosphere was laid back and fun with a welcoming staff and even better menu. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, rest assured as they also have plenty of salads and meat-free pizzas.

Margarita pizza at Millville Pizza. (c) Mary Farah
Caesar salad at Millville. (c) Mary Farah
Visit Heritage Distilling Company

Gig Harbor definitely had “sleeper town” vibes. Yet, look a little closer and you’ll soon see that the small city (with a population of under 10,000) just may have one of the best spirit distilleries in the country with Heritage Distillery.

Heritage Distillery is the brain child of husband-wife duo, Jennifer and Justin Stiefel. When the Stiefels were on a camping trip about ten years ago, they found themselves around the campfire, having a good time. Only dilemma? The bad batch of scotch they were sipping. The couple thought, we could make something better and thus, slowly but surely, Heritage was born.

We arrived for an incredible tasting and tour after lunch at Millville, which is just steps down from Heritage’s tasting room and shop. Specializing in vodka, we were quick to check out their options and decided on a flight each of some of their incredible flavored vodkas. Since vodka is commonly sourced from potato, corn or wheat, I was thrilled that Heritage goes a step further and distills theirs from grapes. The outcome? An incredibly smooth liquor that goes down just a little too well.

Arriving to Heritage. (c) Mary Farah
My vodka flight at Heritage Distillery. (c) Mary Farah

If a cocktail is on your mind, visitors can also opt for a mixed flight with a shot or two of a vodka of your choice in addition to one of their famed drinks like a Bestemors Collins and whiskey sour.

And while not gluten-free, Heritage’s prized “baby” has got to be their Brown Sugar Bourbon (BSB). It’s become a top seller and from what I hear, for good reason. BSB has already earned such honorable awards like the “World’s Best Flavored Whisky” two years in a row by Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskies Awards 2018 and 2019.

Visiting Heritage was a highlight of the visit. Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at the distillery taking over the Pacific Northwest.

Plan a Visit to Gig Harbor

While summer may be wrapping up, don’t let that stop you from planning an exciting getaway to Washington’s Gig Harbor. Since it’s just over an hour from Seattle, it’s the perfect coastal getaway after visiting the city. If you’re looking for some outdoor adventures, Gig Harbor is an ideal spot to kayak as there’s shops right on Harborview Drive to rent your gear.

If you’re wondering about the weather, it was certainly chilly in the evening but we lucked out with a mere few showers that gave it the ideal “Washington weather” feel. The best part about the Pacific Northwest is that unpredictable weather is the norm, and folks adjust. No matter what the skies may do, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Gig Harbor and beyond.

Learn more HERE.

(*Disclosure: This was a hosted visit on behalf of story purposes. All opinions are my own and I cannot thank Gig Harbor enough for my wonderful trip.)

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