Gig Harbor is so named because in 1840, an explorer named Captain Charles Wilkes brought a small boat -- called a captain's gig -- into the harbor to get protection from a major storm.
Gig Harbor is a city on the bay of Puget Sound. Its 7,126 residents enjoy their location just a few minutes northwest of Tacoma and a little under an hour southwest of Seattle. Not surprisingly, the water that flanks this city is a major part of the lifestyle here, so when you arrive to search for apartments in Gig Harbor, bring your boat or at least your love of seafood!
Moving to Gig Harbor
If you plan to a buy a home in Gig Harbor, you'll want to hang onto your hat when you hear the prices, because they are about double Washington's average. However, rental homes in Gig Harbor are much more affordable. The median rent is just a little above the state's average, and that's pretty impressive for a well-liked city on the water.
If you have always been interested in waterfront living, this is where you need to look for housing. Whether you are considering condo rentals or prefer two-bedroom apartments, you can easily find a home that has a view of the bay, or is at least within walking distance of the water. But with the lower-than-average vacancy rate here, you'll have to start looking as early on as possible, especially if you're picky!
Once you find the home you really want, you will need to be prepared with the proper paperwork. After all, most landlords like to know their tenants can pay the rent every month. So bring along proof of income and money for a deposit. You can also expect potential landlords to check out your rental history and credit before handing over the keys to your new home in the harbor.
Gig Harbor Neighborhoods
This city has about 5.95 square miles of land that is broken up into several neighborhoods. Before you move here, you should learn the basics of at least a few of the major neighborhoods so you can increase your chances of enjoying your home and its surroundings.
City Center: This is among the costliest places to live in Gig Harbor, but that's probably because there's such a great mix of homes and businesses. Here you can find rental apartments, detached homes, and townhomes. Plus, you will be near Wilkinson Farm Park, El Pueblito, Brix 25, and several other places to play and eat.
Maplewood: This area has very few businesses, with mostly single-family homes and a suburban environment. This is where you can get a home that overlooks the water of the Salish Sea while being within walking distance of Sunrise Beach Park.
Rosedale: This is on the northwestern side of the city, with miles of coast along Henderson Bay. Here you will find Sehmel Homestead Park, McCormick Forest Park, and Rosedale Gardens, so hopefully you like the color green.
Artondale: This is pretty much the only landlocked area in Gig Harbor, which is quite a feat in a city that is surrounded by water. The tradeoff is that the housing is very affordable, and you're still only a few minutes from the coast. There's also the Woodbrook Native Plant Nursery, and the Wollochet Bay Estuary Park sits serenely just outside of this neighborhood.
Living in Gig Harbor
Once you arrive in this city, you will quickly see that there is plenty to do. In fact, it's considered a pretty popular tourist destination, so be prepared to feel the envy of the many visitors who would love to live here. Of course, many of the most popular attractions involve the water somehow, so you can either take a harbor tour or rent a boat for your own self-guided tour of the area.
There are also a surprising number of farms here for some reason, including Blue Willow Lavender Farm, Gentle Giant Ranch, and Creviston Valley Farm. And after a fun day outside, you can relax and grab a locally made drink at Olalla Valley Vineyard, Trillium Creek Winery, or 7 Seas Brewing.
No waterfront city is complete without some great shopping on the bay. The stores here are mostly clustered around City Center, organized into neat little shopping centers like Uptown Gig Harbor that practically beg you to stop by and buy stuff. And the restaurants are equally tempting, with options like Sunset Grill, Blazing Onion, Tides Tavern, and the Floatation Device Pub and Grill. Clearly, the shopping and eating opportunities alone are reason enough for you to start looking for a home in Gig Harbor!