A Kayak Adventure
If an open-air boat still isn’t close enough to the water, Gig Harbor Rent-a-Boat can accommodate as many as 25 people on a guided kayak tour.
The recreational kayaks, which are available in both singles and doubles, are safe, stable and don’t require previous experience to use, said manager Amber Scouller.
Two-hour guided tours can be scheduled anytime an instructor is available. Guides lead kayakers beneath old docks or past historic net sheds. Each kayak trip promises sightings of harbor seals and, possibly, their pups, depending on the time of year, as well as great blue herons, eagles, crabs, sea stars, sea cucumbers, deer on the beach and even Mount Rainier on the horizon — but only on clear days, Scouller said.
Gig Harbor Rent-a-Boat also offers kayak tours to the diminutive white lighthouse, only 15-feet tall, that was built in 1988 at the entrance to the harbor. In the morning, groups can paddle to the lighthouse, where they stop for coffee and pastries. Evening tours include sparkling cider on the lighthouse beach.
“They’re basically the same tour, but the morning time in the harbor is so peaceful and such a completely different feel than during the evening tour,” Scouller said.
Morning or evening, a beachfront toast is a great way to cap off a trip to this authentic, postcard destination.
On the Water
For visitors who want to get off the land and onto the water, Destiny Harbor Tours offers two-hour narrated tours of the harbor and Puget Sound.
Captain Tom Drohan, who started Destiny Harbor Tours in 2007, takes passengers on a 12-mile loop out of the harbor and into the sound while filling them in on the area’s geography, history and wildlife. Passengers often spot seals, sea lions and eagles during the expedition.
Drohan also likes to take his tours to the pair of twin suspension bridges that make up the current Tacoma Narrows Bridge: One bridge was built in 1950 to replace the one that collapsed in 1940, and a parallel bridge opened in 2007 to handle the increasing volume of traffic.
“It’s a two-hour trip, but when you get back, you’ll feel like you really went somewhere,” he said. “It’s a wonderfully diverse tour. It’s realistic; it’s an education; it’s explaining what they’re looking at,” Drohan said of his tours. “I turn the motor off and tell stories and a little bit of a history. It’s very personal without being corny.”
City of Gig Harbor