Ketchikan is the first stop for most cruise ships headed north along Alaska’s famed Inside Passage or the last Alaskan port for ships bound south, and thus is known as “The Gateway to Alaska.” Ketchikan has the world’s largest collection of totem poles and has been named in the ‘Top 100 Small Arts Communities’ in the United States. The city’s International Airport is located on Gravina Island, which requires a five minute ferry ride to town. Ketchikan has been known as the ‘Salmon Capital of the World’ and offers superb sport fishing! The community of Metlakatla, located on Annette Island near Ketchikan is the only Indian reservation in the state of Alaska.
Legend tells us the word Ketchikan originated from a Tlingit Indian word which means, “where the eagles’ wings are.’ Ketchikan is the fourth largest city in Alaska. Perched on the shores of Ketchikan Creek and the Tongass Narrows, Ketchikan lies on the West Coast of Revillagigedo Island, and is 90 miles north of Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
Ketchikan has the atmosphere of an old Frontier town: boasting 47 establishments serving alcohol. You’ll find excellent fishing, museums such as the Tongass Historical Museum or Dolly’s House in the Creek Street “red light district.” There are parks and cultural centers like Saxman or Totem Heritage Center. Ketchikan is deeply rooted in native culture and boasts the largest totem collection in the world, Indian dance and craft demonstrations and artifact exhibits.
Truly nestled in a beautiful setting, Ketchikan offers a mild climate and is rich with history. Ketchikan is surrounded by rainforests, fjords, glaciers and numerous waterfalls. Temperatures are never very cold or very hot: in January, the average temperature is 35ºF and in July it is 58ºF. One thing you will definitely want to bring along on your trip to Ketchikan: your umbrella. Annual rainfall measures is over 13 feet! Look for the Rain Gauge at the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau along the waterfront.
Ketchikan is best known for its Alaskan Indian culture and great salmon fishing. As the ‘Salmon Capital of the World’ Ketchikan is Alaska’s Sport Fishing Capital. It is a hub of visitor activity along Alaska’s fabled Inside Passage: from here you can access the wonders of Prince of Wales, third largest island under the U.S. flag, the majestic Misty Fjords National Monument, or fascinating remote communities with some of the state’s most magnificent scenery. Start your visit to Ketchikan with a tour of town and the Saxman Village by bus, motorcoach, trolley, or double-decker bus! More adventure is possible with a guided kayak trip along the waterfront or ride aboard a power boat or catamaran. Visitors agree Ketchikan is undoubtedly one of the most interesting communities in Southeast Alaska.
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