Ketchikan is your first introduction to the beauty of Alaska as this is the first port your cruise ship docks at when you sail north from Seattle. Wedged between the towering mountains and the water, Ketchikan is simply beautiful with its clean refreshing air, the blue skies and the clear waters below. Yes, it rains a lot here, but come rain or shine, the stupendous beauty of the area is unmistakable. In fact, the locals wait for the rain and rarely use their umbrellas, preferring to bathe themselves in the 'liquid sunshine'. The biggest collection of Totem Poles is right here and this is also home to the native Tlingit Indians, so get a perspective on the native culture of this fascinating tribe.
This is also your departure point for the vast expanse of wilderness of the Misty Fjords National Monument. The majestic sheer cliff faces, the cedar and spruce forest, crystalline lakes and plunging waterfalls all go up to making the Misty Fjords a place of dramatic scenic beauty. Adventure enthusiasts will love the opportunity to go kayaking, or exploring the back country and maybe spotting a grizzly or two.
- Take a flight'seeing tour over the Misty Fjords - it's a sight and a flight of a lifetime!
- Watch the Great Alaskan Lumberjack show for an entertaining evening
THINGS TO DO AND SEE
- Visit Creek Street to explore the history of this place through the several museums here. The Tongass Historical Museum and the
- Be sure to snack on smoked salmon here as this is the Salmon capital of the world!
- Visit the Saxman Tribal House 2 miles out of town and marvel at the world famous Abraham Lincoln Totem Pole and if you can't make it there then the Totem Heritage Center in town is a
surely a must visit.
- Go salmon fishing or bear watching - both if you have the time!
- Hikers should trek to Deer Mountain
GRAB A BITE
Salmon and sea food - what else would you eat at the Salmon Capital of the world? Anabelle's Keg and Chowderhouse is a good bet for seafood sampling, but worry not - almost anywhere you are bound to get great fresh seafood. Creek street and Stedman
Creek Street is a great shopping area with so many interesting little stores selling bric-a-brac. Pick up authentic Alaskan art from the galleries here, or buy some exquisite hand crafted pieces of silver jewelry.
From the Alaska Eagle Art Gallery, do pick up an Indian woven blanket. And how can you leave here without buying a mini totem pole???
Best time to cruise
May to September is the best time to travel to Alaska.
Ketchikan see even temperatures of 56F/13C in early summer and then it rises to a comfortable 65F/18C at the peak of summer in August.
The US Dollar is the currency used here. Credit cards are welcome most everywhere too. ATM machines are easily accessible.