Gig Harbor is the name of both a bay on Puget Sound and a city on its shore in Pierce County, Washington, United States. The population was 7,126 at the 2010 census.
Gig Harbor is one of several cities and towns that claim to be "the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula". Due to its close access to several state and city parks, and historic waterfront that includes boutiques and fine dining, it has become a popular tourist destination. Gig Harbor is located along State Route 16, about 6 mi (10 km) from its origin at Interstate 5, over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. A $1.2 billion project to add a second span to the bridge was completed in 2007. From Gig Harbor, Tacoma can be reached in under 20 minutes and Seattle in under an hour.
During a heavy storm in 1840, Captain Charles Wilkes brought the captain's gig (small boat) into the harbor for protection. Later, with the publication of Wilkes 1841 map of the Oregon Territory, he named the sheltered bay Gig Harbor.
In 1867, fisherman Samuel Jerisich came to the Gig Harbor area, along with many other immigrants from Sweden, Norway, and Croatia. The town was platted in 1888 by Alfred M. Burnham.
Gig Harbor was officially incorporated on July 12, 1946. Commercial fishing, boat building, and logging dominated the economy until the construction of the first Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940.