Traveler's Guide to Ketchikan, Alaska


Ketchikan is a unique Alaskan city that is important because of its heritage, history and commerce.  Located next to a fjord, and surrounded by simply stunning scenery, this independent conurbation is known as the Salmon Capital of the World.  It can be found on Revillagigedo Island, a distance of ninety miles north of Prince Rupert in British Columbia.

The Bridge to Now Where

Alaska State Ferry circa 1961 in the channel between Ketchikan and Gravina Island, by born1945, on Flickr


Ketchikan may be small but is boasts an International Airport that provides vital transportation links for south east Alaska.  The ferries travel here daily, and two services operate routes to this small community.  Getting around the city is fairly easy; a regular bus service runs throughout the day, and there are land and water based taxis to get visitors where they need to go.


Accommodation in Ketchikan can be found in one of the many hotels and motels, as well as a range of Bed and Breakfast homes.  The area is also popular for its resorts, such as the fishing lodges, which offer detached accommodation in chalet style homes.  Private vacation rentals are also abundant.


If fish is something you like to see on the menu, then you’ll have no trouble finding a great restaurant in Ketchikan as most eateries serve the freshly caught salmon or local shellfish.  Restaurants aren’t limited though, and there is a great deal of choice, with pastas, pizzas and steak houses easy to find.

Activities, Cruises and Charters

Boats can be chartered for pleasure cruising or fishing expeditions, and kayaking and other trips onto the water can be arranged.  Other tours include the excitement of taking in the breathtaking scenery by seaplane or on a guided bus tour of this unique city.  Trips to see the Misty Fjords can offer opportunities to do some dolphin and whale spotting.

Events, Festivals and Interesting Extras

Ketchikan has a tradition that is steeped in the local countryside and landscape, and many of the events held here are representative of those trades.  The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show is one such event which draws crowds every year.  It is also the location of the World’s largest collection of Totem Poles which can be seen at the Saxman Native Village and in the National Parks.


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