Let's get lost in the Pacific Northwest, and I don't mean in Seattle or Vancouver, Canada. Little Gig Harbor — for most of the last century accessible only by boat — is a working fishing village ringed by tall pines on the ragged western edge of Puget Sound. Think sailboats, beachcombing, art galleries, a blessing of the fleet festival, fresh salmon, Washington state wines and the occasional glimpse of Mt. Rainier on the eastern horizon. At the far end of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge — famous for the collapse of its first incarnation four months after it opened in 1940 — Gig Harbor isn't easy to get to, about a 45-minute drive from Sea-Tac Airport. But it's worth it, as I discovered recently.
It has to be at the Maritime Inn (3212 Harborview Drive;  858-1818). Built a dozen years ago, it has 15 handsome guest rooms, all differently configured and decorated, some with private terraces, water views and gas fireplaces; rooms for two from $129, including a breakfast buffet. It's next door to Java & Clay Cafe, a coffee house cum ceramics workshop, and across the street from historic Skansie Brothers Park on the harbor.