The sights and smells of the vintage Northwest waterfront are alive and well at the Lakebay Marina in Lakebay, WA. Off the beaten path on the Key Peninsula near Gig Harbor, the Lakebay Marina harkens back to a rich, salty history. The nearly 100-year-old marina, nestled in the Mayo Cove in Carr Inlet, offers safe harbor to a small fleet of pleasure craft in a stunning location. To reach the marina, you must first “walk the plank” or pier, out to the old structure. There is not a lot of signage welcoming you to the idyllic spot, but when you see the old, white building at the end of a rather long gang plank you’llknow you have arrived.
The original pier was built in 1884 for private use and in 1928 became well-known for servicing the Mosquito Fleet. The building has been a popular site for locals, serving as a dance hall and gathering place for the community over the years. It was once known as the Washington Cooperative Egg and Poultry Association Lakebay Station. The site was officially placed on the Pierce County Register of Historic Places in 2019.
The marina is open everyday though the times differ. Best to check for hours of operation on the day you want to visit. Most days they are open by 11:30 for lunch.
Now, as you approach the old marina, I anticipate you asking, “This place serves food?” I answer your query with a resounding, “Yes!”. Don’t let the rustic exterior deter you. The fare is not extravagant but if you are hankering for a delicious hamburger on a grilled bun, hand-cut french fries, and a thick, old-fashioned shake whipped up in a vintage Hamilton-Beach milkshake machine you will be glad you took the trek down the pier.
The day I visited, the Marina was hosting a big, indoor garage sale with lots of unusual finds and maritime treasures. There was a note on the door with the owner’s cell number to call if the door was locked. We called and owner Mark came running to let us in and take our order. There is plenty of outdoor seating for those warm, sunny days and indoor seating for inclement weather.
If you’re looking for fine dining, this is probably not the place to eat. Head back to Gig Harbor for some five-star cuisine. But if you’re looking for a unique waterfront experience, a blast from the past, and a delicious burger, Lakebay Marina just might hit the spot.
ONE LAST NOTE: Lakebay Marina is a short hop from Penrose Point State Park which features hiking trails, campgrounds, and one of the most beautiful saltwater beaches in the area: perfect for swimming, picnicking, kayaking, and paddle-boards. The tide flats are amazing at low tide. Make sure to stop by the park for a visual feast.
Lakebay Marina and Resort, 15 Lorenz Rd NW, Lakebay, WA 98349, Phone: (253) 884-3350
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