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Waterfront Walking Tours 4th Season Begins in June

Gig Harbor’s award winning guided Waterfront Walking Tours begins its fourth season this summer on Wednesday June 6th and continues through August 29th.  The tours are presented by the Downtown Waterfront Alliance, Harbor WildWatch and the Harbor History Museum, all well versed at bringing history, nature, visitors and neighbors together. “We’ve found we get as many locals as we do out of town visitors on the tours” says Josh Sherwin, Downtown Waterfront Alliance Special Projects Coordinator. “Our Waterfront has many stories to tell, and few tell them better than our tour guides.” Leann O’Neill, one of the original tour guides from the Harbor History Museum added “Who knew that learning history could be so much fun, entertaining, and enlightening! By the end of the Saturday tour, it felt like we were all friends.”   Tour guide Al Abbott offered this perspective.  “Walking down the street with friends, taking in the spectacular views, and learning about our beautiful waterfront will make your day." 

On Wednesdays, the From Skiffs to Spirits tour offers a guided evening stroll along the waterfront with an opportunity to learn about Gig Harbor’s past – from net sheds and the historic fishing fleet to the effects of prohibition in the harbor, yesterday and today. The tour, geared more for adults, ends with an optional tasting at Gig Harbor’s Heritage Distilling Company downtown.  This free guided tour begins at 5:30 on Wednesday evenings June 6 – August 29, (except on July 4) and meets at the Harbor History Museum.  The tour lasts about one hour.

The original Harbor Heritage: Then and Now tour, will once again be offered on Saturday mornings. The one way, 1.3-mile route hugs the waterfront beginning at the Maritime Pier and ends at the Bogue Viewing Platform in the Finholm District.  Meet at the Maritime Pier at 10am on Saturdays, June 9 – August 25.  This family-friendly tour takes a 2-hour journey through Gig Harbor’s maritime and natural history.  Learn about the harbor’s founding families, pioneering industries, and the wildlife and natural resources that brought us all together. "The native peoples, the Croatian migration, the Scandinavian farmers and shopkeepers, the fishing fleet, the Narrows and Galloping Gertie, a beautiful bay in the Puget Sound, it doesn't get any better that this” says tour guide Kurt Grimmer.  Tour-goers will get a glimpse of what life was like in the early Harbor days and how activities from the past have influenced our present. 

No reservations are needed for the tours, just arrive shortly before the start time to sign in. Each tour has two guides, and each wears a headset microphone making them easy for all to hear.  Since both tours are one way, participants are encouraged to ride the Gig Harbor Trolley to get them back near the starting point, or to walk back and enjoy shopping or dining along the waterfront. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The tours are free to the public and presented by the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance in partnership with Harbor WildWatch and the Harbor History Museum.  For more information visit facebook.com/waterfrontwalkingtours or call (253) 514-0071.

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The Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to bringing together community and waterfront district stakeholders, encouraging economic vitality and preserving our historic character.  The office is located at 3133 Harborview Drive, Suite 101.  For information about the GHDWA contact Mary DesMarais, Executive Director, at (253) 514-0071.