Updated: May 24
Gig Harbor, a picturesque waterfront community in Washington state, offers a wealth of free activities that showcase its natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. From engaging educational experiences to scenic parks and lively markets, downtown Gig Harbor is a treasure trove of attractions that won't cost you a dime. Whether you are traveling on a budget or just looking for some fun things to do, this blog post will explore the top free activities that will make your visit to Gig Harbor a memorable one.
Immerse yourself in the fascinating marine world at Harbor WildWatch, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting stewardship and environmental education. Their engaging programs, such as guided beach walks and interactive touch tanks, offer visitors of all ages a chance to learn about Gig Harbor's diverse marine life, including tide pool creatures, shellfish, and sea stars. Enjoy their free events and educational programs to gain a deeper appreciation for the unique ecosystem surrounding Gig Harbor. Visit their “free-entry interpretive center in downtown Gig Harbor (brick building inside Skansie Park) to see a variety of interactive exhibits and marine aquariums.
Harbor History Museum: Delve into the captivating past of Gig Harbor at the Harbor History Museum. This free-entry museum showcases the area's history and heritage, featuring exhibits on First Peoples, farming, fishing, round rocks, and rooster races. You’ll see the collapse of the first Narrows Bridge, as well as the remarkable restoration of the 65-foot wooden fishing boat Shenandoah. With engaging displays, artifacts, and interactive exhibits that offer a glimpse into Gig Harbor's roots as a working waterfront town, it’s a great stop for everyone in the family.
Eddon Boat and Eddon Boat Park: Take a leisurely stroll through the Eddon Boat Park and admire the charming wooden boats crafted by the Eddon Boatyard. The park offers a picturesque setting along the waterfront, providing a tranquil spot to relax and enjoy the views in true maritime spirit. Bonus, when the tide is out this is a great spot for a beach picnic, to play in the water or to launch your kayak or paddle board.
Skansie Brothers Park: Located in the heart of downtown Gig Harbor, Skansie Brothers Park is a vibrant gathering place that hosts a variety of free events and activities throughout the year. Enjoy a picnic in the park while taking in the stunning waterfront scenery. The park also features a fishing pier and public dock, making it an ideal spot for families to unwind and enjoy the outdoors. There is also a small splash pad open during summer months that the kids will love!
Discover Gig Harbor's fishing legacy at the historic Skansie Netshed. This iconic structure, once used by local fishermen, now serves as a museum and community space. Visit this free-entry site to gain insights into the fishing industry's significance to the town's heritage and admire the beautifully preserved netshed. Check their website for hours of operation.
Waterfront Farmers Market (Summer Season): If you're visiting Gig Harbor during the summer, don't miss the Waterfront Farmers Market. Held every Thursday from June to September, this bustling market showcases an array of local vendors offering fresh produce, artisanal crafts, delectable treats, and live music. Stroll through the market, soak up the lively atmosphere, and discover the vibrant community spirit that defines Gig Harbor.
Donkey Creek Park: For nature enthusiasts, a visit to Donkey Creek Park is a must. This hidden gem features a scenic hidden trail that winds through the backside of the Harbor History Museum and boasts a picnic perfect meadow alongside the glistening waters of Donkey Creek. Explore the park's diverse ecosystems, keep an eye out for wildlife (especially Salmon), and enjoy the serenity of this urban oasis. P.S. Make sure to catch a glimpse of the Shenandoah – an old fishing boat the museum is restoring!
Dorotich View Platform: Most people miss this hidden view platform but it’s one of the best! Tucked just past Millville pizza, head towards the water and you’ll find yourself on a platform over the water with a giant open space for viewing in the middle. It’s a great place to catch a glimpse of some of the sea creatures who call Gig Harbor home.
Soundview Forest Park: Just past the Tides Tavern and across the street from 7 Seas Brewing is this small, hidden part with a series of trails. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in lush vegetation, twisty turns and fun paths. A great spot for kids to run around and your four-legged friends.
Overall, downtown Gig Harbor offers a wealth of free activities that cater to a variety of interests. Whether you're seeking an educational experience, a relaxing day in nature, or a lively market atmosphere, Gig Harbor has it all and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy it!