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Romantic getaway to Gig Harbor

A short drive and a world away

Final touches on a meal at JW in Gig Harbor. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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Even with busy military schedules, sometimes you have an unexpected free weekend. Grab your sweetie and head across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to the maritime village of Gig Harbor.

The Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites is your base for the weekend. The hotel has a lovely garden setting and is in walking distance to the waterfront area known as downtown with its many restaurants and shops. Splurge on a suite with a Jacuzzi tub and in-room fireplace. These updated rooms are very luxurious and more like what is found in a five-star hotel rather than a three-star. Owner Sue Braaten goes above and beyond to provide a warm, welcoming environment with special little touches throughout the hotel and a friendly well-trained staff. Insider tip: When booking your reservations, call the hotel directly during business hours and ask to speak to Sue or Kathy Heerema and mention that you are military. Depending on the time of year, they may be able to do a better military discount or upgrade than the website offers.

Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites, daily, 6575 Kimball Dr., Gig Harbor, 253.858.9690,

Start your evening out with a cocktail at Brix 25. Owner Katie Doherty's philosophy is to make it better.

"If you are going to just have one cocktail, make it a great one," she said.

How many restaurants have a cocktail program? Brix 25 makes handcrafted cocktails with local and fresh ingredients, house-made mixers, syrups and liquors mixed with premium spirits. They are truly divine.

Brix 25, opens at 4:30 p.m. daily, 7707 Pioneer Way, Gig Harbor, 253.858.6626,

Another option for a drink before dinner is Morso. The wine selection is fabulous. Owner Steve Lynn is very knowledgeable about wine and ensures his staff receives ongoing wine education. Morso has an Enomatic® pressurized wine pouring system, which allows the restaurant to serve more expensive bottles of wine by the glass. It also offers a large selection of craft beers on tap and is a full-service restaurant. The atmosphere is so fun and relaxed, you might find yourself staying for dinner.

Morso, 4-10 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 2-9 p.m., Sunday, 9014 Peacock Hill Ave., Gig Harbor, 253.530.3463,

JW is your destination for dinner. This small (10 tables), cozy restaurant really shines in the colder months. The setting is an old house, and you can still see the logs used to build it.  It just feels like a warm hug when walking in the front door. The food is a fresh take on American comfort food. The scratch kitchen sources locally as much as possible. A truly standout dessert special was the chocolate chip brioche bread pudding, which was a puffy, melt-in-your-mouth slice of heaven. The kitchen at JW is open and the cleanest I have ever seen.

JW Restaurant, 4-9 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 4-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 4107 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, 253.858.3529,

There is plenty more to see and do in Gig Harbor. For more information check out

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