Gig Harbor

Gig Harbor

Brief History

Gig Harbor is a city in Pierce County. It is a popular tourist destination, due to its close access to several state and city parks, and historic waterfront that includes boutiques and fine dining.

For centuries, the Twa-Wal-Kut band of the Puyallup Tribe had a longhouse and permanent camp at the head of the harbor.

In 1841, Explorers from the Wilkes Expedition discovered the harbor’s opening and entered the bay in a small captain’s gig, which is the reason they named the area Gig Harbor.

Over the next few decades, the town grew into a bustling fishing village with distinctive Croatian and Scandinavian communities. Lumber mills and boat-building yards also sprang up.

It was incorporated as a town in 1946.

Tourism has replaced fishing as a main industry, but the city’s fishing heritage is preserved in the 17 historic net sheds that line the waterfront.


City of Gig Harbor: History

Gig Harbor Guide: History


Community Vibe

All the communities in Gig Harbor offer a vast opportunity to explore, experience, and enjoy everything that makes Gig Harbor so amazing. From busy city to farmland areas. It is truly a quaint little town, that always has something going on.

There are numerous state and city parks for you to visit, so there is always something to do. You can find areas to scuba dive, explore the beach, go boating, fishing, crabbing, clamming, run through the forest, play on the playground, even places for your pets to safely run around… the possibilities are endless.

Want to go shopping?

For a fun shopping experience, take a stroll along the harbor. There are many interesting little craft and gift shops and places to dine, the history museum, and historic landmarks along the waterfront. Check out the Finholm View Climb to get a wonderful view of the harbor marina and Mt. Rainier.

Uptown is also an incredible place to visit. Filled with diverse shops and larger department stores to help you find anything you may need. There is also plenty of dining and entertainment. Catch a movie at Galaxy Theater and grab a bite to eat on the way home.

Most of all, just get out and enjoy the community.


Helpful Links

City of Gig Harbor

Historic Waterfront


Peninsula School District

Tacaoma Community College

Public Transportation


Harbor History Museum


Gig Harbor Area School Information

School NameCityGrade RangeRating
Goodman Middle School
Gig Harbor6-86
Harbor Heights Elementary School
Gig HarborPK-55
Lighthouse Christian School
Gig HarborK-8
Hosanna Christian School
Gig HarborPK-8
Artondale Elementary School
Gig HarborPK-57
Gig Harbor Academy
Gig HarborPK-5
Harbor Christian Schools
Gig HarborPK-12
Providence Christian School of Gig Harbor
Gig HarborK-5
Harbor Montessori
Gig HarborPK-8
St. Nicholas School
Gig HarborK-8
Harbor Christian Schools
Gig HarborPK-12
Gig Harbor High School
Gig Harbor9-129
Discovery Elementary School
Gig HarborK-56