Living an Active Retirement in Gig Harbor, Washington

Jennie Wetter June 6, 2024
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Living an Active Retirement in Gig Harbor, Washington

Retirement is a time to savor the freedom from work, try new hobbies, and truly enjoy life. For those looking to stay active and fulfilled, Gig Harbor, Washington, is an outstanding choice. Consistently ranked as one of the top places to retire in the country, Gig Harbor sits just outside of Seattle & Tacoma at the gateway to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in the picturesque Puget Sound. This charming waterfront town offers a wealth of activities, breathtaking natural beauty, a welcoming community and easy access to SeaTac airport, making it a sought-after destination for retirees.

Embracing an Active Lifestyle in Gig Harbor

Gig Harbor's vibrant community and diverse recreational opportunities make it the perfect spot for retirees who crave an active lifestyle. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a culture lover, or someone who enjoys community involvement, Gig Harbor has something for everyone.

Outdoor Activities in Gig Harbor

1. Hiking and Walking Trails: One of my favorite things about Gig Harbor is the abundance of trails that offer stunning views and peaceful landscapes. You’ll find many people heading to the downtown waterfront taking their friendly canines for a walk. Cushman Trail is a 6 mile paved pathway that's perfect for walking, running, or biking. Sehmel Homestead Park, with its mix of forest trails and open fields, is ideal for a leisurely stroll or a more vigorous hike. McCormick Forest Park offers a great place to hike on a rainy day due to its thick canopy from the dense forest. 

2. Water Sports: The calm waters of Puget Sound are perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing. Gig Harbor Boat Rentals has various options to explore the bay, while the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Club provides opportunities for both recreational and competitive paddling. 

Dragon Boat Racing has become a very popular activity in the harbor for many retirees. Whether you're a beginner looking for a social and inclusive activity or an elite athlete seeking a high-performance sport, dragon boating offers a unique blend of tradition, culture, and teamwork. You can learn more about it here

3. Fishing and Boating: Love to Fish? You won’t get enough of Gig Harbor's rich maritime heritage. The local marinas and charter services make it easy to enjoy a day on the water, whether you're fishing for salmon or simply enjoying a leisurely boat ride. 

Check out Gig Harbor’s Fly Shop for the best places to fish or take one of their popular Fly Fishing classes.

What a better way to catch the sunset from a sailboat or yacht. Charter a sailboat or yacht from Cruise Hobbes.

4. Golfing: If you’re a golf enthusiast, you’ll love the Canterwood Golf & Country Club.  It offers a beautifully maintained course, along with other amenities such as pickle ball, tennis courts and a swimming pool. Their gated community is a popular place to live because of their amenities and social activities available. There are over 44 golf courses around Gig Harbor including the famous Chambers Bay Golf Course

Cultural and Social Activities in Gig Harbor

1. Arts and Crafts: Gig Harbor has a vibrant arts scene. The Harbor History Museum and local galleries showcase regional artists, while various art classes and workshops are available for those looking to explore their creative side. Artists open up their studio and invite the public to demonstrate their craft at the Gig Harbor's Open Studio Tour. This self-guided tour features professional artists from various mediums.

2. Community Events: Gig Harbor hosts numerous events throughout the year, from farmers' markets and summer concerts to holiday parades and art festivals. These events foster a strong sense of community and provide ample opportunities to meet new friends. 

The Maritime Gig Festival is an annual celebration with a packed weekend of fun activities in downtown Gig Harbor. There is a parade, several vendor booths, live music and many activities throughout the weekend including Blessing of the Fleet & a classic Car Show.

Gig Harbor Film Festival is one of the hottest destinations on the independent film festival circuit - it hosts more than 80 visiting filmmakers & screens over 100 films.

Ready to meet new friends? Ready to have new adventures? New Neighbors of Gig Harbor might just be the exact thing you need! This local organization has almost 1000 members who participate in their choice of over 60 activity groups including a variety of art groups, book clubs, hiking, biking, wine clubs, happy hours, dining out, cards and games, men’s groups, and regional outings. All of these groups are led by member volunteers and new groups continue to form.

3. Volunteering: Many retirees find fulfillment in giving back to the community. Gig Harbor offers numerous volunteer opportunities, from the local food bank to environmental conservation projects. Engaging in volunteer work is a great way to stay active and connected. If you’re interested in knowing more local organizations to support, reach out! Through our Great Give Back program at Infinity Real Estate we have helped numerous charities and can suggest some that fit your needs.

Health and Wellness in Gig Harbor

1. Fitness Centers and Classes: Staying fit is easy in Gig Harbor with several fitness centers and community centers offering a range of classes, including yoga, Pilates, and aqua aerobics. One of the first places we always recommend when first moving to Gig Harbor is the Tom Taylor Family YMCA. It’s a popular spot for its diverse programs and social activities and a great place to meet new people!

2. Healthcare Facilities: Quality healthcare is a top priority for retirees, and Gig Harbor is home to excellent medical facilities, including St. Anthony Hospital, which provides comprehensive healthcare services. There are multiple health clinics and specialists in and around Gig Harbor making it easy to access the medical help you need.

Why Retire in Gig Harbor?

Scenic Beauty

One of the most compelling reasons to retire in Gig Harbor is its stunning natural beauty. The town’s waterfront, with views of Mount Rainier, provides a serene and picturesque backdrop for daily life. The combination of lush forests, pristine waters, and charming small-town ambiance makes every day feel like a vacation.

Safe and Welcoming Community

Gig Harbor is known for its low crime rate and friendly residents. The tight-knit community creates a sense of belonging, and the town’s amenities are geared towards fostering a safe and enjoyable environment for retirees.

Proximity to Urban Centers

While Gig Harbor offers a peaceful retreat, it’s conveniently located near larger cities like Tacoma and Seattle. This proximity allows residents to enjoy the benefits of urban amenities, such as world-class dining, shopping, and cultural attractions, without sacrificing the tranquility of small-town living.


For retirees looking to lead an active and fulfilling life, Gig Harbor, Washington, offers an unbeatable combination of natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and a welcoming community. Whether you're exploring the great outdoors, engaging in cultural activities, or simply enjoying the scenic views, Gig Harbor provides the perfect backdrop for a vibrant and enriching retirement. It’s no wonder that so many retirees are choosing to call this charming town their home. 

With its array of outdoor activities, cultural events, and community spirit, Gig Harbor truly is a retiree's paradise. If you’re considering a move, this gem on the Puget Sound might just be the perfect place for your next adventure. 

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