Overview of Gig Harbor
Located in southern Puget Sound, Gig Harbor is surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in the United States. Known as Washington’s Maritime Village, Smithsonian Magazine named Gig Harbor as one of the Top Five Small Towns for culture, charm and heritage. Local residents live a high quality of life on the waterfront, secluded from the bigger cities on the Washington mainland. Gig Harbor is a unique small town with approximately 7,000 residents who enjoy a laidback lifestyle traditionally associated with the Western states. Look for Gig Harbor apartments for rent, and find the crown jewel in Puget Sound.
Living in Gig Harbor, WA
European settlers were attracted to the sheltered harbor and abundant natural resources found in Gig Harbor and moved into the area in the late 1800s. Croatians and Scandinavians were among the first, launching a fishing industry, and establishing farms and small businesses on the Washington peninsula. Boat building and family commercial fishing operations dominated the waterfront and the local economy through the 20th century, using ferries and small steam boats to transport passengers and goods with the mainland. The isolation of traveling solely by water caused Gig Harbor to develop slowly until the Narrows Bridge was built in 1950, connecting the peninsula with the city of Tacoma.
Today, a large part of the Tacoma population is made up of retirees, commuters and vacation dwellers, keeping apartments in Gig Harbor in high demand. The city council works very hard to preserve the Historic District and Gig Harbor’s unique heritage, yet commercial and residential development has led to new neighborhoods, recreational and tourist amenities in town. The waterfront area remains protected, and with it, the town’s exceptional beauty is also preserved.
Gig Harbor Work and Study
Gig Harbor is home to a Tacoma Community College campus, offering a personalized course of study to residents in the Key Peninsula. TCC offers classes for medical office professional career training, adult basic skills and GED preparation, continuing education, computer literacy, math and writing tutorials, and credit courses for an associate transfer degree, among others. The college also has two programs for high school students. The Fresh Start program allows students to accumulate college credit and earn a high school diploma in a more mature setting while the Running Start program allows high school students to earn general university requirements at TCC while also working toward a diploma at a local high school. Tacoma Community College joins a host of other schools in the greater Seattle area in offering students a high-quality education.
For those seeking work, Gig Harbor has job opportunities in a number of different fields. The largest employer in the area is the Washington Corrections Center for Women with a workforce of over 250 people. Twenty-five percent of local residents work in the educational, health and social services industries in the Gig Harbor Medical Clinic, Manor Care Health Services, Cottesmore of Life Care, Medalia Healthcare, Metagenics, Multicare Urgent Care and the Peninsula School District schools. Other top employers in Gig Harbor include Canterwood Golf & Country Club, Century Tel, YMCA Camp Seymour, Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway. Local residents work in positions across the professional spectrum, making Gig Harbor apartments accessible for everyone.
Rentals in Gig Harbor, WA and Cost of Living
With the stunning natural features surrounding Gig Harbor, residents pay reasonable rent prices. United States Census Bureau statistics show that the standard apartment here costs $963 a month, which is only $33 more than the Washington state average. Because of the city’s peninsular location, everyday living expenses are costly in Gig Harbor. The city received a cost of living index of 111.6, which is more than the United States average of 100.
Gig Harbor Attractions and Special Events
Most of the Gig Harbor attractions are centered on the water. Visitors rent power boats, speed boats, kayaks, canoes and other boats and spend the day taking in the scenic Gig Harbor environment. The Gig Harbor Boat Shop, Destiny Harbor Tours and Harbor History Museum are local favorites for understanding the importance of boats in Gig Harbor. Gig Harbor is also home to the 7 Seas Brewing company, offering residents the best local flavors in an innovative craft brewery.
The city hosts the Gig Harbor Film Festival, featuring independent films that showcase the unifying power of cinema in promoting understanding, tolerance and global awareness. The streets of Gig Harbor fill with music during the warmer months in the Summer Sounds at Skansie series. Residents head to Skansie Brother's Park with chairs and blankets to enjoy live music on the Puget Sound waterfront.
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