This article originally appeared on WanderWithWonder.com.
When you think of romance, Gig Harbor, Washington might not come to mind. But, its twinkling harbor lights and sunset mountain views tell a different story. As a guest of the City of Gig Harbor, I discovered this picturesque town has plenty of romantic places to cuddle, kiss and inspire closeness.
The seaside town of Gig Harbor, known for its fishing heritage and Mt. Rainier views, is 49 miles from Seattle, 33 miles from Sea-Tac International Airport, and 11 miles from Tacoma.
Romancing Gig Harbor
An Inn with a View
I stayed at the Waterfront Inn, a 1918 Craftsman boutique inn nestled along the northern shores of Gig Harbor with incredible water views. My room, The Regatta Room, featured a queen-sized bed, a river rock fireplace, a large bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub, and my favorite amenity–a red brick patio only 20 feet from the water’s edge. After settling in, I took full advantage of the view from the patio and watched as a curious seal curled in and out of the sea.
On either side of my room, were two more harbor-facing rooms, The Crow’s Nest and The Boathouse. In total, the historic inn has six rooms, each with their own private entrance. Amenities include river rock gas fireplaces, large bathrooms with luxurious Jacuzzi tubs, flat screen TVs, and free wifi. All guests share a large over-the-water lounging deck with an assortment of tables, chairs, and loveseats. In the morning, I indulged in watching the shifting colors of the sunrise on the deck and listened to the musical sounds of seabirds. I also made a mental note that this spot would be perfect for an afternoon libation or cuddling up on a loveseat to watch the sunset.
Kayak, SUP or Paddle Boats
In Gig Harbor there is no lack of water activities. Guests can use the complimentary kayaks at the Waterfront Inn and launch right from their docks. Or take a 2-minute stroll to Lee’s SUP & Kayak Rentals to rent a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) or paddle boat. I decided on the SUP. Even as a newbie to the sport I found the protected harbor easy to navigate. Having seen Gig Harbor’s 15-foot lighthouse, which is only accessible by water, earlier in the day, I paddled slowly toward the harbor’s narrow entrance. About half way through my breath caught in my chest as Mt. Rainier appeared majestically before me. The image of its glistening white slopes accompanied me all the way to my destination and made me wish I’d brought my camera.
Gig Harbor Gondola
When one thinks about the ultimate romantic city, Venice might come to mind. Gig Harbor Gondola has brought a piece of that passion to Gig Harbor with Nelly, an authentic Venetian gondola. From the moment the tour started, the stage was set. Gondolier Synco met us in gondolier attire–a red and white striped shirt and a straw hat with a red ribbon. Once situated on the cushy pillow seats, we coasted out into the water and the tranquility of the setting lulled me into its embrace. Synco steadily rowed, pointing out the town’s historical net shed’s that were an integral part of the fishing fleet. Then in the harbor, the view of Mt. Rainier blazed in the sun before us, and the tinge of salt floated on the warm breeze. The oars dipped in and out of the water. Quiet took over as Synco rowed toward the lighthouse. When we turned around he asked if we’d like to hear a song and soon the air filled with a lilting Italian serenade.
For more information on what to see and do in Gig Harbor, WA visit the City of Gig Harbor.