If you want to be greeted by scenic views every day of your retirement life, look no further than Gig Harbor, WA. The picturesque qualities of the bay are hard to beat. Behind the boats that fill up the harbor is the iconic and majestic Mt. Rainier in all its glory. Surround yourself with the beauty of Gig Harbor and feel years of stress slowly leave your body.
Gig Harbor has various outdoor activities to keep you fit and busy. Synonymous with water sports, the city offers activities like water boating, sailing and kayaking. There’s also tons of fun to be had on land—especially if you visit the nearby state parks—with activities like camping, hiking and biking waiting for you here. Want to take it easy? The waterfront is perfect for a leisurely walk.
Fishing deserves a special mention because it’s an easy hobby to get into (or maintain) in Gig Harbor. By retiring here you get access to several streams, reservoirs and lakes, as well as Puget Sound, which is an awesome destination for fishing. Whether you’re into fly fishing, spin fishing or chartering a fishing boat for deep-sea fishing, you’ll have many chances of catching a wide variety of fish in Gig Harbor.
Retiring near the water comes with the added benefit of being within close proximity to beaches. The beaches in and around Gig Harbor may not rival Florida’s or Puerto Rico’s famed beaches, but if your reasons for wanting to retire at the beach are mainly the atmosphere, the sound of the waves and water activities, then they’re more than enough. Plus, they don’t have the annoying crowds that popular beaches do!
Ease of Travel
Nature is not the only thing Gig Harbor is close to. With State Route 16 and Interstate 5 being easily accessible from the city, you won’t have trouble going to cities like Seattle and Tacoma in case you miss the feel of a big city. It’s also really easy to get to the smaller, quaint cities of Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo. And if you need to go somewhere really far, the Seattle-Tacoma Airport is only 30 miles from Gig Harbor.
Diverse Restaurant Scene
Pierce County’s organic produce and fresh ingredients combined with the fact that the city sits right next to a bay makes the restaurant scene in Gig Harbor as diverse as it is solid. Here, you’ll find the quintessential seafood restaurants, your favorite American fare and international options like Thai, Indian and Mexican food. Some of the best restaurants in the area include Net Shed No. 9, a casual breakfast restaurant that’s got both the classics and vegetarian selections, and The Tide’s Tavern, one of the town’s oldest restaurants serving great burgers and beer.
Beer and Liquor
Another great reason to retire in Gig Harbor is its huge selection of beer and other alcoholic beverages. There’s a good number of breweries in the city, which include The Hub, West Coast Brewing Company and 7-Seas Brewing. If you want to try out award-winning craft spirits, go downtown to the tasting room of the Heritage Distilling Co. On the other hand, if you’re more of a wine kind of person, Gig Harbor has wine bars like Morso and Brix 25, with the latter also serving craft cocktails.
Access to Medical Care
Medical care isn’t one of the most exciting things to consider when choosing a place to retire in, but it’s among the most important ones. Thankfully, when you choose Gig Harbor for any other reason, good hospitals and medical centers come with the package. It has the most number of medical centers per 1000 residents in the state. Examples of great healthcare facilities in the area include St. Anthony’s Hospital, the Franciscan Medical Group and Multi Care Health Systems.
Events and Festivals
Despite its laid-back atmosphere, Gig Harbor does have lots of exciting events and activities all year round. In the summer, there are outdoor movies as well as the Gig Harbor Film Festival. There are also concerts happening throughout the year. And if you’re a food and drink connoisseur, you’ll be happy to know that there are annual events that celebrate the two: the Gig Harbor Beer Festival in June and the Gig Harbor Food and Wine Festival in July. Other festivals celebrated in the city include the Gig Harbor Maritime Festival and Daffodil Festival.
Even when there’s no festival, event or concert, there are still plenty of reasons to go out and socialize with the locals. If you’re looking for community involvement, Gig Harbor has various churches, as well as many opportunities to volunteer. The local school district, hospitals and nursing homes are just some of the establishments that would greatly value your help. Workshops are also popular in the city, with several places offering lessons on jewelry-making, woodworking and more.