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Holiday shopping in Gig Harbor

Enjoy shopping in a scenic setting

The Christmas wonderland at The Garden Room in Gig Harbor. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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There is something about crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge into Gig Harbor. You can feel the stress melt away with the scenic views as the traffic lightens up. For a change of pace, holiday shop in Gig Harbor at two very distinct locations, Uptown and Downtown.

Downtown Gig Harbor is the waterfront area facing the harbor. There is a variety of just about every type of shop imaginable. Shoppers are sure to find a gift for everyone on their list with antique and vintage stores, bookstores, clothing, jewelry, galleries, gift and home décor shops. If you have a boater or fisherman on your list, check out some of the marine stores. There are also 20 unique specialty shops where you can select the perfect gift you won't find in chain stores. For more information, visit One of my favorite stores is For the Love of Spice, which carries spices, gifts and flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars. My go-to gift this year is its Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar, which is a truly unique gift that is amazingly good.

For the Love of Spice, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday, 3104 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, 253.858.0272

When you are ready for a break, stop into Heritage Distilling Company (HDC), which has locations in both Uptown and Downtown. Try one of its seasonal drinks made with handcrafted and distilled spirits. While sipping, consider the gift options. A "My Batch" class makes a perfect gift. Learn about the distilling process and take home two bottles produced that day. Another option is a Cask Club membership, which includes a signature cask with your name on it and your spirit of choice. You decide when it is aged enough to bottle.

Heritage Distilling Company, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, 3207 57th St. Ct. NW, Gig Harbor, 253.509.0008

Uptown Gig Harbor is an upscale shopping destination with more than 30 shops and restaurants. One store that really stands out is the locally-owned Garden Room.  This store goes all out for Christmas, taking a full week to decorate. People come from all over the area to take their Christmas photos at the store. What makes this store so special is the staff -- they are all designers who can help you pick the perfect decoration. There are also two floral designers on staff.

"We pride ourselves on our customer service," owner Christine Wickstrom said. "We sell artificial Christmas trees and slim line trees. We carry items from Thailand to Amsterdam and shop all over the world to have the best prices. We put a lot of detail into our displays so people can learn how to do it in their own homes."

Wickstrom, who is also a military brat, is offering a special military discount through the holidays of 20 percent off one item.

Uptown Gig Harbor, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 4701 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Harbor, 253.851.4557

For a more relaxing holiday shopping experience, head across the bridge to Gig Harbor. It is well worth the $6 toll.

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