Home Port List Blog Create a Review Contact Search

Ketchikan On Your Own

US Flag

Basics   History   Maps   Excursions   On Your Own   Videos

Totem Pole

The 10 Top Things to do in Ketchikan

Ketchikan is a great place to visit, and there are lots of things to do during your day in town. Don't limit yourself to the following top 10 choices.

  1. Take a walking tour of downtown and Creek Street. It's a good way to get a feel for the town.

  2. Do the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour. You've seen Most Dangerous Catch on TV; now it's your turn to live it yourself.

  3. Catch the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. It's iconic, it's corny, and it's a lot of fun.

  4. Take a floatplane ride to Misty Fjords. You've seen Alaska from the sea, now it's your time to see the awesome beauty of Misty Fjords from the air.

  5. Learn about the Tongass and Cape Fox Tlingits. The local museums feature exquisite totem poles that help you learn about the native culture.

  6. Exercise your shopping gene. There's lots to shop for in Ketchikan, including native artworks, souvenirs, and jewelry, jewelry, and jewelry!

  7. Take a look into an earlier era at Dolly's Museum. Dolly's Museum provides a look into the life of a prostitute in the early part of the 20th century.

  8. Enjoy a great meal. Dine on some of the freshest halibut and salmon to be found anywhere.

  9. Spend a great day fishing. There's nothing like catching a wild salmon or an enormous halibut in the "salmon capital of the world."

  10. Enjoy the serenity of a kayak trip. The scenery's so beautiful, you'll have to keep pinching yourself to prove it's real.

What You Need to Bring Ashore


Your ship will be moored at the Ketchikan Cruise Ship docks, which are adjacent to downtown Ketchikan. Thus, it's fairly easy to return to your ship if you've forgotten something. Here's a list of the essential items you'll want to bring ashore:

  • Room Key Card. You'll need it to re-board your ship.

  • Sunscreen and sunglasses. The reflection off the glaciers can wear you out unless you're wearing sunglasses.

  • Mosquito repellent. The peak season for mosquitos is June and July. Deet-based products work the best.

  • Hat with a brim. It helps whether you're in the rain or shine.

  • Money. Virtually all of the shops in Ketchikan accept Credit Cards, as do all of the restaurants. Bring Cash if you plan on taking a taxi, riding the bus, shopping for incidentals or tipping your server in a bar. It's also a good idea to bring your ATM card so you can get cash on the go.

  • Tablet and/or Smartphone. There are several places in Ketchikan where the Wi-Fi is free, so you can spend a little time re-connecting with the real world for a lot less than the cost of the internet on board your ship.

  • Camera. Memorialize your time in Ketchikan. Make sure that your batteries are charged, as you don't want to miss that "great shot" because your camera or smartphone is out of juice. Amazon sells a great feature packed Nikon 13 MP point-and-shoot camera that's waterproof, shockproof and family friendly for less than $100.

What to Wear

Casual clothing is the order of the day in Alaska. Ketchikan's summer temps range from the mid-50s to the mid-60s F (13° to 20° C). However, recent summers have been abnormally warm. Accordingly, you want to wear layers of clothing: a shirt, a fleece, and a waterproof and breathable shell. Take along a small backpack or medium-sized tote bag to store the layers of clothing you're not wearing, along with any rain gear. Wearing comfortable walking shoes with good traction is a good rule; athletic shoes with good support are your best overall bet.

Pirate Airworks

Getting Around in Ketchikan



Your ship will make port at one of the four cruise ship berths that are located in downtown Ketchikan. If there are more than four ships visiting Ketchikan at the same time, the additional ships will anchor in the Ketchikan Creek and passengers will take a short tender trip to the town's downtown pier. In downtown Ketchikan, tour and shuttle buses, taxis and other forms of transportation are readily available for passenger excursions to the area's major tour attractions.

The downtown area is located just across from the Cruise Ship docks. In back of the downtown area is infamous Creek Street, the houses of which sit on poles above Ketchikan Creek. In back of Creek Street is the Park District, home to City Park.

To the immediate south of downtown is the Stedman-Thomas National Historic District, which was where the Native people and the Japanese, Filipino and Chinese settlers lived in the days of segregation in Ketchikan. Going further south you'll find Saxman Native Village, Saxman Totem Park and even further south, Mountain Point.

As you travel north from the downtown area, you'll pass through Newtown (home to Berth 4), shops and marinas, and further north you'll find Ward Cove, Loggertown, Clover Pass and Knudson Cove.


Downtown Ketchikan
©2009 Notyourbroom under cc-by-sa 3.0 license

Walking is one of the best ways to see Ketchikan. Just put on your best walking shoes, grab an umbrella and go! But the downtown area is going to be crowded, with so many cruise ships visiting the town on any one day.

Municipal Bus Services

Ketchikan's bus service operates 7 days a week throughout the city limits. Bus service to destinations north of the city limits operates Monday through Friday. The bus fare is $1 (cash only) for adults and 50 cents for children and seniors. Buses run every 60 minutes on the following schedule.

Free Downtown Shuttle

Salmon Run Bus

The free downtown Salmon Run Bus shuttle runs May through September, and operates on a 20-minute loop from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm daily serving all of the downtown area, cruise ship berths and several attractions including the Totem Heritage Center. Look for the bus with brightly painted fish. The circuit begins at Berth 4.

Several of the buses have been painted by local artist and entrepreneur Ray Troll and Oliver Martin. Their murals depict the colorful salmon, which are at the heart of Ketchikan's economy and way of life. You can visit Troll's store, Soho Coho, located at #5 Creek Street.

Ride Sharing Services

Neither Uber nor Lyft operate in Ketchikan; it's a regulatory thing.


There's a taxi stand in downtown Ketchikan. The drop charge is $3.70, and then the charge is $3.50 for each mile traveled.

Rental Cars

There are a couple of car rental options in Ketchikan:

  • Alaska Car Rental is located at 2828 Tongass Avenue in Ketchikan. Phone: (907) 225-5000; Toll Free: (800) 662-0007

  • Budget Rent A Car is located a little further afield than Alaska; they're located at 4950 North Tongass Highway, in the Lewis Chevrolet lot in Ketchikan. Phone: (907) 225-8383; Toll Free: (800) 527-0700

Tipping in Ketchikan

General Guidelines

Although it is not mandatory, tipping in the United States is customary, and tips are expected by the person or persons who perform a service for you. In Alaska, during the summer months, you'll find many college kids from the lower 48 who work in the tourism business, and they rely on tips to augment their lower wage jobs.


It is customary to offer your waiter or waitress a tip of 15% of the bill if you feel that you have received good service. If the service is really excellent, don't hesitate to leave a tip of 20%. Even if the service is lousy, leave a 10% tip. Many restaurants will add an automatic 18% service charge to your bill if you're in a group of 8 or more, so check before automatically adding a tip.


An appropriate tip in a bar is 10% to 15% of the total bar tab; however, if you're ordering complicated drinks, a more generous tip is appropriate.

Taxi Cabs

It is customary to provide a tip of between 10% to 18% of your fare to your taxi driver.

Tour Guides

If you are happy with your tour guide, a tip of 10% to 20% of the total cost of the tour is appropriate. Yes, the shore excursions are pricey in Alaska, but you should still tip the guides; if your tour involves several modes of transportation (e.g., a floatplane and a guide), you can divide the tip among the pilot and guide.

Shopping in Ketchikan

Ketchikan is a great place to do some shopping, and there are a lot of unique shops to visit when you're not out exploring the wilderness. Whether you want to buy a one-of-a-kind native Alaskan artwork, visit an art gallery or take in one of the city’s locally-owned stores, shopping in Ketchikan is a must-do.

There are two shopping districts in Ketchikan: downtown and Creek Street. Downtown is where you'll find several stores that specialize in and advertise "Alaskan-made" products that are actually made in China, as well as lots of shops selling souvenirs and curios. Jewelry is really big in Ketchikan--there are 70 jewelers selling their wares here.

Stores on Creek Street shops specialize in more authentic Made in Alaska items, art galleries and specialty stores.

If you plan on buying an Alaskan souvenir or two, you may want to ensure that it is, indeed, made in Alaska. Here's a quick guide:

Genuine "Made in Alaska" Products

How can you tell if the products you're buying were truly Made in Alaska? After all, several Chinese companies make very convincing "Alaskan" goods, and you'll find them in many stores in tourist towns in Alaska. The following Polar bear and cub logo signifies that the product that you're buying was made in Alaska:

And if you're looking for products that were made by Native Alaskans, look for the following logo:

Ketchikan's Shopping Districts

There are three shopping districts in Ketchikan: downtown, Creek Street and in and around the Ketchikan Plaza Mall, aka the Marina area.

Downtown is where you'll find several stores that specialize in and advertise "Alaskan-made" products that are actually made in China, as well as lots of shops selling souvenirs and curios. Jewelry is really big in Ketchikan--there are 70 jewelers selling their wares here.

Stores on Creek Street shops specialize in more authentic Made in Alaska items, art galleries and specialty stores.

The Marina area is where the locals shop; it's about 1½ miles away from downtown. A Safeway anchors the Ketchikan Plaza Mall.

What's Special in Ketchikan

Good souvenirs from Ketchikan include a true Made In Alaska totem pole, Alaskan soaps, bags of Alaskan-roasted coffee, and Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Alaskan art, and other arts and crafts items.

Ketchikan Shopping Map

Map icon

See our Ketchikan Shops map for the locations of the shops and galleries listed below.

Recommended Shops in Downtown Ketchikan

Alaska cap

Tongass Trading Company
A store that you can't miss as you arrive on the Ketchikan docks, Tongass Trading sells the kind of things you'd find in North Dakota's Wall Drug Store. Since Ketchikan is probably your first stop on your Alaskan cruise, Tongass Trading is a good place to pick up some of the items you may have forgotten to buy back home, like rain gear. Here, you can even pick up some "Moose Poop"--chocolate covered pralined peanuts. It's that kind of store.
On the dock in downtown
Phone: (800) 235-5102

Forget-Me-Not Sweater Shoppe
Located by the entrance to Historic Creek Street, the Forget-Me-Not Sweater Shoppe carries several Alaskan-made products, including "Quviut" accessories crafted from the soft under wool of the Musk Ox, hand knitted by Native Alaskans from along the Bering Sea, with each village featuring its own design; "Gypsy Sweater" products, made from hand-spun New Zealand Wool, then hand knitted into sweaters, scarves and felted hats; and "Handwovens by Jean," a local textile artist who uses her hand-woven fabrics to make scarves, accessories and clothing, some lined with hand painted silk.
605 Mission Street
Phone: (907) 617-1447

Crazy Wolf

Crazy Wolf Studio
Specializing in authentic Northwest Coast design Native Art, Crazy Wolf Studio is owned and operated by Ken Decker, a Tsimshian Artist from Ketchikan and his wife Monica. The store features original works created by Ken, as well as several other local Native Haida and Tsimshian artists, including carvings, masks, drums, regalia, hand-woven baskets, T-shirts and hats.
607 Mission Street
Phone: (907) 225-9653; Toll Free: (888) 331-9653

Scanlon Gallery
Since 1972, the Scanlon Gallery has featured the works of Alaskan artists. Here you'll find art at a range of affordable prices, whether your interests are in original paintings, sculpture, fine art prints, posters or fine art books. The shop is located under the Welcome arch in downtown.
318 Mission Street
Phone: (907) 247-4730; Toll Free: (888) 228-4730

Arctic Spirit Gallery
Locally owned and operated by Susan and Michael Peters, Arctic Spirit Gallery specializes in Native Art from the Northwest Coast and throughout Alaska. They've got an excellent selection of artworks, including totem poles, masks, prints, baskets (baleen, seagrass and cedar bark), walrus ivory pieces, scrimshaw and a lot more. The shop is located under the Welcome arch in downtown.
318 Mission Street
Phone: (907) 225-6626

Chinook & Company
Chinook & Company is a store that focuses on salmon, producing a high end, high quality line of sustainably harvested wild salmon products from the pristine waters of Alaska. They sell processed salmon, outdoor clothing and unique salmon-related art.
307 Stedman Street
Phone: (907) 225-4438

Recommended Shops on Creek Street

Parnassus Books
Parnassus Books is Ketchikan's independent bookstore. The store features a vast collection of subjects, including Alaskan and Pacific Northwest Native art and cultures, Alaskana, IndieBound Bestsellers, a wide range of books for children, literary classics, poetry, fine art books, cookbooks, a large assortment of greeting cards, gifts and more.
105 Stedman Street, Upstairs
Phone: (907) 225-7690

Carver at the Creek
Tlingit artist Norman Jackson owns and operates this gallery, which specializes in Northwest Coast Native and Alaskan art and artworks. The gallery features wood carvings, masks, jewelry, ivory items, baskets and silk screen pieces.
#28 Creek Street
Phone: (907) 225-3018

Fish Creek Company
This gallery, owned and operated by Hamilton and Karla Gelhar, features Northwest Coast Native and Alaskan art and artworks. In addition to hand-carved ivory jewelry, Alaskan totem poles, whalebone carvings, masks and scrimshaw and Ulu knives, the gallery features the photography of the owner and other talented Alaskan shooters. Located next to Dolly's House Museum on Historic Ketchikan Creek.
#13 Creek Street
Phone: (907) 617-0867

Alaska Eagle Arts
The Alaska Eagle Arts gallery, under the directorship of Brigette Ellis, showcases the artworks of internationally-renown contemporary artist Marvin Oliver. The gallery sells everything from inexpensive small note cards to large sculptures, including stationery, jewelry, serigraphs, sportswear, glass art pieces and even custom-designed Pendleton blankets. Oliver's artwork is characterized by his native design prints and sculptures featuring bold colors and unusual materials.
#5 Creek Street, Suite 3, in the historic Star Building
Phone: (907) 225-8365; Toll Free: (800) 308-2787

Sam McGee's
If you're looking for genuine Alaskan-made products in Ketchikan, Sam McGee's will fit your bill. They offer the best selection of authentic Alaskan products at the best prices in Ketchikan, including pet products, woodcrafts, antique bottles, Raven Brew Coffees, cooking sauces, chocolates, jams and jellies, syrups, honey, hand-crafted knits, soaps, candles and a lot more.
18 Creek Street
Phone: (907) 225-7267

Soho Coho
Operating under the credo of "Better Living Through Difficult Art," Soho Coho is a contemporary art gallery featuring local artists. It is owned by Michelle Troll and her eclectic fish artist husband, "Ratfish Ray" Troll. Here you can find a wide variety of Troll's items, including everything from T-shirts and sweatshirts to serigraphs and tote bags. Located in the historic Star Building.
#5 Creek Street
Phone: (907) 225-5954; Toll Free: (800) 888-4070


The food in Ketchikan revolves around fish and seafood, which one would expect given its location. There's some mighty good eating to be found here, as well as other fare. The prices are higher than you'd find in the lower 48, but that's the way it is in Alaska. If you're up for a less-expensive informal meal, you can enjoy some surprisingly good food in the take-out spots we recommend below.

Ketchikan Restaurant Map

Map icon

To see the locations of the restaurants listed below, see our Ketchikan Restaurant map.

Recommended restaurants in Ketchikan

Restaurants with Table Service:


Alaska Fish House
Located at the end of Main Street, just three minutes from the cruise ship docks, the Alaska Fish House features gourmet seafood dining overlooking the most historic fishing fleet in Ketchikan. Here you order at the counter, and they'll deliver your meal to your table. Order the super-fresh fish and chips; the fish is halibut in a Panko coating that's moist, mild and cooked to perfection.
3 Salmon Landing
Phone: (907) 225-4055

Anabelle's Famous Keg & Chowder House
Seafood & Chowder
Anabelle's is a popular Ketchikan restaurant for lunch and dinner located in the Gilmore Hotel. Linen napkins and water goblets, along with friendly servers in white shirts and black vests, give this moderately-priced eatery an heir of sophistication. Try the fresh Alaskan seafood, clam chowder and sinfully delicious desserts; if you've had your fill of seafood, but still have a healthy appetite, grab a yummy cheeseburger. Full bar, accepts credit cards, casual attire.
326 Front Street
Phone: (907) 225-6009

Pioneer Cafe
Comfort Food
With a retro 1950's ambience, the Pioneer Cafe is the kind of place that makes you smile with their 3-egg omelets, blueberry pancakes and reindeer sausages. If it's lunchtime, try their 10-ounce Alaska Burger that'll hit the spot.
619 Mission Street
Phone: (907) 225-3337

Ocean View Restaurante
Italian and Mexican
The family-friendly Ocean View Restaurante is perhaps Ketchikan's most popular eatery, with tasty food and a welcoming atmosphere. Serving mostly Mexican food, they have a large menu that also features Italian dishes. They've also got vegetarian dishes, a relative rarity for restaurants in Ketchikan.
1831 Tongass Avenue
Phone: (907) 225-7566

Sweet Mermaids
Bakery & Coffee Shop
Sweet Mermaids is a small and engaging bakery that serves breakfast, lunch, coffee, and baked goods. They feature delicious soups change daily, and they serve up daily specials for lunch along with their deli sandwich menu and yummy pastries. Casual attire. Open daily from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.
340 Front Street
Phone: (907) 225-3287

Heen Kahidi Restaurant at the Cape Fox Lodge
Seafood and Alaskan Favorites
With a great view overlooking the town and the water, the Heen Kahidi Restaurant serves excellent meals in a very pleasant atmosphere. Like many voyages, half the fun is getting there; in order to get to the Cape Fox Lodge via the funicular from Creek Street. The Heen Kahidi Restaurant is a favorite dining place for Ketchikan locals and tourists alike. Chef Craig Royball has added his own signature dishes to round out a spectacular menu that says "Alaska." The menu features a wide variety of Alaskan seafood, including Alaska King Crab, halibut and salmon. Unique menu items such as Reindeer sausage and Bison burgers add variety. Serves a nice selection of wine and beer, accepts credit cards. Casual attire. Open daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.
800 Venetia Way
Phone: (907) 790-6435

Ketchikan Fish Market's Crab Cracker Seafood Bar
Located inside the Ketchikan Fish Market at the Salmon Landing Market, the Crab Cracker Seafood Bar features fresh Alaskan king crab, Dungeness crab, local oysters, salmon, halibut, shrimp, fish and chips, crab cakes and excellent chowder.
Salmon Landing Market
Phone: (907) 247-2866

Take Out Restaurants

Fish and chips
©2012 Mw12310 under cc-by-sa 3.0 license

Alaskan Surf Fish and Chips
This small green and yellow shack at Salmon Landing cranks out excellent fish (rockfish or halibut) and chips--and you get lots of them. The menu also features an excellent clam chowder that's worth ordering along with your fish and chips, plus fried shrimp, hot dogs and a smattering of other take-out items.
Berth 4, 55 Shoembar Court, inside Bar Harbor Restaurant
Phone: (907) 225-2813

Burger Queen
Sandwiches & Seafood
People rhapsodize about this place--whether they're travel writers or crew members on the cruise ships. I once ate at a "Burger Queen" in Taipei, but it was a cheesy McDonald's knockoff that was nothing like this place. Here they make a delicious halibut fish and chips, cooked to perfection; ditto for a halibut sandwich. Even the burgers are good!
518 Water Street
Phone: (907) 225-6060

Activities & Attractions in Ketchikan

Visitor Center

Creek Street

Ketchikan Visitors Bureau
When you arrive, stop at either of the visitor information centers listed below. The friendly, knowledgeable staff are happy to answer any of the questions that you may have. Here you can also pick up a walking tour map of the downtown area, and browse the brochures of local attractions, services and tours.
Main Office at Berth 2, with a summer satellite office at Berth 3
Phone: (800) 770-3300

Ketchikan Tour Center
If you haven't booked a tour through your cruise line, but are considering getting out of the city, check out the Tour Center, located at Berth 2. Here you'll find a number of agents and tour operators who can help you book a wide variety of tours.

Tour Operators


Ketchikan Shore Tours is a local tour operator that offers a variety of active, adventure, sightseeing, cultural and historical and flightseeing tours. These tours run the gamut from kayaking, ziplining, flightseeing, whale watching and cultural explorations to city tours. Their prices are typically lower than those offered by the cruise lines, and when you book a tour through Ketchikan Shore Tours, you're ensuring that the money you spend in Ketchikan stays to benefit the Ketchikan community. Plus they give 5% of the tour prices to charities, including the Alaska Conservation Foundation and the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
Phone: (855) 983-0163

Wild Wolf Tours
Locally owned and operated Wild Wolf Tours offers two fun eco walking tours: a 2-hour and a 3-hour Rainforest Trail Nature Walk & Totem Park tour. These tours feature an off the beaten path escape into the Tongass National Forest that very few visitors get to see. All tours are very personalized, with 10 or less guests per trip. The tours are led by a local Native guide, during which you'll hear personal stories about their rich Native heritage. You'll also visit a Totem Park, where you will learn about the magnificent Totem Poles and visit a Clan House and learn about the native culture of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Alaska Indians. Plus, you'll sample unique Alaska Snacks, including Seaweed or Smoked Salmon Dip. Transportation to and from the Cruise Ship docks is included. Wild Wolf also offers customized tours of up to 4 hours, enabling you to personalize a tour that includes venues of greatest interest to you. Aside from visiting one or more of the many Native attractions of Ketchikan, including Saxman Village, Potlatch Park, Totem Bight State Park, Totem Heritage Center and the South East Alaska Discovery Center, you can also arrange for a trailside scavenger hunt (great for kids!), unique hiking trails, geocaching, visiting scenic outlooks or the seeing the sights of Ketchikan, including Creek Street.
Phone: (907) 617-2621

Wild Wolf Tours

Sourdough Tours
Sourdough Tours is an independent tour operator that offers several tours of the area, including a Wildlife, City & Saxman Native Village tour, Wildlife and Trolley tours, a Saxman Native Village tour, a Ketchikan Highlights & Totems tour, a Misty Fjords Flightseeing tour, a Bear Viewing Flightseeing tour and charter boat fishing tours. They're located just inside the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau, at booth No. 14.
Phone: (907) 225-4081; Toll Free: (888) 801-7596

Alaska Seaplane Tours
Taking a flightseeing tour of the Ketchikan area is a great introduction to Alaska. For the 2017 season, they offer a 90-minute Misty Fjords tour, with remote landing, for $229 adult/$189 kids 12 and under; a 2-hour Bear Viewing tour for $289 adult/$239 for kids; as well as Glacier Viewing tours, fly-out fishing tours and lake trips. All tours include pick-up and drop-off at the Ketchikan Visitors Information Center.
420 Front Street in downtown Ketchikan.
Phone: (907) 225-1974 or Toll Free: (866) 858-2327


Totem Pole

Southeast Alaska Discovery Center
The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, run by the U.S. Forest Service, enables you to explore the coastal temperate rainforest and the ecosystems of southeast Alaska. In the summer, Forest Service interpreters present films in the theatre on a variety of subjects and give interpretive programs on Alaska public lands and a variety of cultural and natural history subjects. Open daily from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, and kids 15 and under are free.
50 Main Street, next to the pink Federal Building
Phone: (907) 228-6220

getting there

The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center is located just a block from the cruise ship docks, Berths 1 and 2. If you're on the town's free shuttle bus, it's stop E.

Totem Heritage Center
Operated by the city of Ketchikan, the Totem Heritage Center houses the world's largest collection of nineteenth century totem poles, and serves as a cultural center for the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian Native peoples. Open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, and kids 12 and under are free.
601 Deermount Street
Phone: (907) 225-5901

getting there

The Totem Heritage Center is located in the Park District above Creek Street. If you're walking there, it'll be a hoof, but pleasant. If you're on the town's free shuttle bus, it's stop I. Also located adjacent to the Totem Heritage Center is the Fish Hatchery and the Eagle Sanctuary.

Tongass Historical Museum

Tongass Historical Museum
Established and run by the city of Ketchikan, the Tongass Historical Museum showcases the city's history, art and culture. Here you can explore Ketchikan's bawdy past through the museum's photographs, art and artifacts. The museum is open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, from May through September. Admission is $3 for adults, and kids 12 and under are free.
629 Dock Street
Phone: (907) 225-5900

getting there

The Tongass Historical Museum is located in downtown Ketchikan on Dock Street. It's an easy walk from the Cruise Ship dock. If you're on the town's free shuttle bus, it's stop K.

Potlatch Park
Potlatch Park was built on the old fishing grounds of the Tlingit Natives of Southeast Alaska, just 10 miles north of Ketchikan. Hearken back to the 19th century to explore a fully recreated Native Alaskan village, including 5 tribal homes and beautifully carved totems, one of which is 42 feet high. On your visit to Potlatch Park you'll also discover a carving center, where Tlingit carvers create new totem poles, an Antique Car Museum, which includes, among other vehicles, a 1934 Ford Coupe and 1924 Stanley Steamer, the Alaska Totem Trading Shop, and a display of extremely rare antique firearms. Open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
9809 Totem Bight
Phone: (907) 225-4445

getting there

Potlatch Park is located just a short walk from Totem Bight State Park. To get here, you can hail a taxi, or take the Blue Bus to the end of the line, at the Totem Bight State Park stop. The bus operates on weekdays. The bus fare is $1 (cash only) for adults and 50 cents for children and seniors. Buses run every 60 minutes on the following schedule.


Dolly's House Museum
Dolly's House Museum is a true anomaly, but perhaps one of the more appropriate historical attractions of Ketchikan. This is not a tour offered by the cruise ships. Dolly Arthur was perhaps Ketchikan's most celebrated hooker; she lived in Ketchikan from 1919 until her death in 1975. The small two-story house is well preserved, with period wallpaper and furniture. The excellent tour guides present Dolly's story in a matter-of-fact yet oddly upbeat manner. The tour is short, and the entrance fee is $10. Open daily, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
#24 Creek Street
Phone: (907) 225-2279

getting there

To get to Dolly's House Museum, just head to Creek Street. It's an easy walk to the museum. Located at #24 Creek Street, the museum is closer to the Steadman Street entrance than the Mission Street entrance of Creek Street.

Attractions in Ketchikan

King Crab

Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour
One of the most popular attractions in Ketchikan, the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour takes you out to sea on a hunt for Alaskan King Crab. Just as you've seen on the Discovery Channel series, Deadliest Catch, the Aleutian Ballad will "Tie Loose" and head out to the pristine fishing grounds of southeast Alaska. The crew will bring in their crab pots, and you'll have a chance to get "hand's on" with the sea creatures that are brought on board. The Aleutian Ballad departs from 2 to 4 times daily.
Phone: (888) 239-3816

Duck tour

Ketchikan Duck Tour
Their amphibious World War II-type vehicles will show you Ketchikan on wheels while you drive by the salmon ladder on Ketchikan Creek, picturesque Whale Park and Creek Street, where you will learn about Ketchikan's colorful past and salty beginnings. Then splash into Tongass Narrows for a party on wheels that floats. The 90-minute tours depart daily every half hour from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.
5191 Borch Ave
Phone: (907) 225-9899, or Toll Free: (866) 341-DUCK (3825)

Log rolling

Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
One of the most popular attractions in Ketchikan, The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show introduces you to the world's best lumberjacks, who go head to head in more than a dozen exciting events, vying for the title of "Bull of the Woods."

This show operates come rain or shine; the grandstands are heated and covered for your comfort. Videotaping of the show is not permitted, but still photography is welcome. Open daily from 9:00 am to midnight.
5191 Borch Street
Phone: (888) 320-9049

getting there

The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show is easy to get to, as it's a 2 or 3 minute walk from the Cruise Ship docks.

Zodiac Boats

Ketchikan Outdoors
Ketchikan Outdoors offers two great tours: their Back Country Zodiac Expedition/Alaska Coastal Expedition, and their Rainforest Family Adventure tour. On the 2½ hour Back Country Zodiac Expedition, you'll board a 14-foot Zodiac boat and follow a guide boat into the Southeast Alaska Inside Passage. You'll search inlets and estuaries for bears, and head out into deeper waters in search of whales, seals, sea lions and other wildlife. On the Rainforest Family Adventure tour, you'll board an electric buggy and make your way to a wilderness camp. Here you'll sit around a campfire, roast a marshmallow or two, eat some pancakes and drink some hot chocolate while you learn about the vibrant community of Saxman Native Village and it’s rich culture. The captain will pick you up at a pre-arranged time.
726 Water Street
Phone: (907) 617-1820



Southeast Exposure Outdoor Adventure Center
The Southeast Exposure Outdoor Adventure Center rents bicycles in downtown Ketchikan for full or half-day self-guided adventures. They also do a guided Town and Shoreline Bike Tour that will take you from downtown Ketchikan to Herring Cove.
37 Potter Road
Phone: (907) 225-8829

Ketchikan Kayak Company
Operating out of the Knudson Cove marina, Ketchikan Kayak Company offers daily tours with transportation from the cruise ship docks. They are not affiliated with any cruise lines and are completely independent; you'll feel the difference in every aspect of your experience. Small groups (limited to 8 participants), local guides, and unique tours set them apart. Ketchikan Kayak Company's tours run at a slower pace, and with smaller groups than other tours, so they can take the time to show you the details. They offer a 4-hour E-Bike & Hike Tour, which runs $129 per person; it begins with an electric-assist bicycle ride, then continues with a guided hike on a trail through dense rainforest with streams and waterfalls.
Phone: (907) 225-1272


Pirate Airworks plane
Pirate Airworks logo

Pirate Airworks. For over 40 years, Pirate Airworks has been flying the skies of Southeastern Alaska. As Ketchikan's premier flightseeing operator, Pirate Airworks takes pride in offering the best tours in the area flown by the best pilots in Ketchikan. And awesome custom-designed tours are Pirate’s specialty.

Whether it's your first or fortieth time to Ketchikan, taking a flightseeing trip is one of the "must dos" on your visit.

If you're looking to experience Ketchikan flightseeing on a budget, you can take their 30-minute City Tour by Air, a trip that takes you over the city and the surrounding area for great aerial views of Ketchikan.

Their most popular excursion, the Misty Fjords Flightseeing Tour, is a magical 1½-hour journey to spectacular Misty Fjords. Here you'll soar over sheer granite cliffs with shimmering waterfalls that cascade thousands of feet to the sea, and above crystal clear Alpine lakes carved by ancient glaciers. The highlight of the flight is landing on a calm bay, allowing you to take in the magnificence of the setting and lose yourself in the silence of this vast wilderness.

For those who are looking for even more adventure, Pirate offers their Misty Fjords Flightseeing and Bears tour. This 2¼-hour trip combines the above tour of Misty Fjords with bear watching--a fantastic opportunity to photograph these mighty animals from the drifting floatplane. This trip includes additional flight time and time on the water.

Custom-designed tours are Pirate Airworks' specialty. Whether you want to take a fly-out fishing tour, see the whales from a unique perspective, enjoy a hot spring expedition, or for the ultimate trip, take the Misty Fjords flightseeing trip combined with a lunch at the Yes Bay Lodge, Pirate Airworks will make your day in Ketchikan one you'll remember for the rest of your life.

Pirate Airworks operates a fleet of six DeHavilland Beaver aircraft. These 6-seater planes are the workhorses of Alaska, and Pirate's fleet is the cleanest you'll find in Alaska. They are rigorously maintained to assure the safety of the passengers and crew. Every passenger gets a window seat, and all flights include headsets, so you can speak to the pilot during the flight.

Every Pirate Airworks flight is captained by one of the most experienced pilots in Ketchikan. Pirate's pilots work year-round, so their flight time is unrivaled.

Complimentary ground transportation is included with every flight; they'll meet you at your ship. A true dock-to-dock experience.

Contact Pirate Airworks at (888) 817-4321, and design a fantastic day in Ketchikan.

Alaska Seaplane Tours
Taking a flightseeing tour of the Ketchikan area is a great introduction to Alaska. For the 2017 season, they offer a 90-minute Misty Fjords tour, with remote landing, for $229 adult/$189 kids 12 and under; a 2-hour Bear Viewing tour for $289 adult/$239 for kids; as well as Glacier Viewing tours, fly-out fishing tours and lake trips. All tours include pick-up and drop-off at the Ketchikan Visitors Information Center.
420 Front Street in downtown Ketchikan.
Phone: (907) 225-1974 or Toll Free: (866) 858-2327

Carlin Air
Jeff Carlin, pilot and owner of Carlin Air, has been flying the skies of Southeast Alaska for over 30 years. He offers a variety of tours, including a 90-minute Misty Fjords Tour for $239 per person, two bear watching flights and fly-out fly fishing trips. He also offers a 75-minute Misty Fjords on a Budget tour, that includes a remote landing, where you'll step out of the airplane onto the floats; the tour runs $189 per person.
1249 Tongass Avenue
Phone: (907) 225-3036; Toll Free: (888) 594-3036

Family Air Tours
Dave Rocke, pilot and owner, has more than a decade of experience flying in Southeast Alaska, and uses his experience, knowledge and unique sense of humor to enliven each flight. Dave will take you in his Cessna 185 floatplane on a variety of tours of the area, including Misty Fjords, Glacier Fjords, 2- and 4-hour Fishing Trips, a Bear Watching Tour and a Whale Tour. They'll pick you up at the Cruise Ship docks in front of the Liquid Sunshine Gauge (also called the Rain Gauge).
1249 Tongass Avenue
Phone: (907) 247-1305

Island Wings Air Service
Michelle Masden, pilot and owner of Island Wings, has resided in Ketchikan for 30 years. She has worked as both a commercial fisherwoman and a commercial pilot, logging over 17,000 flight hours. Michelle can take you on a variety of tours that include a Misty Fjords Flightseeing trip, a combination Misty Fjords Flightseeing and hiking trip, two bear watching trips and a whale watching trip. Transportation to and from the cruise ship dock and the Island Wings floatplane facility is included in all tour prices.
Phone: (907) 225-2444; Toll Free: (888) 854-2444

Seawind Aviation
Steve Kamm, pilot and owner, along with his wife Lesley, have more than 25 years of Southeast Alaska commercial piloting experience. He will take you on any one of a number of tours on offer, including the Misty Fjords tours, Glacier tours, Ketchikan Alaska bear viewing and Ketchikan flightseeing tours. You'll be flying in a 6 passenger DeHavilland Beaver floatplane, the quintessential Alaska bush plane, or a 6 passenger Cessna-185.
1809 Tongass Avenue
Phone: (907) 225-1206; Toll Free: (877) 225-1203

Southeast Aviation
Southeast Aviation is ready to provide you with a unique look at Alaska. Their pilots are among the most experienced in the state. Southeast offers a large number of tours, including flights to Misty Fjords, Glacier tours, Fly-out freshwater fishing trips, bear watching trips and many more. They'll pick you up at the Cruise Ship docks.
1249 Tongass Avenue
Phone: (907) 225-2900; Toll Free: (888) FLY-MISTY

Canopy/Zipline Tours

Ropes Challenge

Alaska Canopy Tours
Locally owned and operated, Alaska Canopy Adventures' courses are the largest in Alaska, providing you with the longest ziplines, the most breathtaking sky bridges, 4 x 4 climbs up the mountains and high speed jet boats. In Ketchikan they offer two courses: the Rainforest Canopy & Zipline Expedition, and the Bear Creek Zipline Adventure.
4085 Tongass Ave St. 201
Phone: (907) 225-5503

Southeast Exposure Outdoor Adventure Center
Also locally owned and operated, the Southeast Exposure Outdoor Adventure Center operates the Rainforest Canopy Ropes & Zipline Tour, a zipline tour at its facility in Knudson Cove.
37 Potter Road
Phone: (907) 225-8829

Fishing Charters

Fly fishing

Avid Angler
Avid Angler Charters in Ketchikan offers you affordable Alaska fishing and sightseeing adventures of a lifetime. Experience the thrill of fishing the pristine waters surrounding Ketchikan. Avid Angler can accommodate cruise ship passengers schedules, and will be happy to discuss an itinerary to fit your arrival and departure times that will also allow you time to enjoy other sights and tours in Ketchikan.
1116 Park Avenue, #7
Phone: (907) 225-2625; Toll Free: (888) 625-2843

Experience One Charters
Experience One Charters has been providing 5-Star Alaskan fishing charters in Ketchikan since 1990. They'll meet cruise ship passengers at the dock, and their boat is wheelchair friendly. Their 36-foot boat, the M/V Experience One, offers a warm galley, comfortable indoor seating, a private head and a spacious deck area with all the latest electronic equipment onboard.
3857 Fairview
Phone: (907) 225-2343

Ketchikan Charter Boats
Ketchikan Charter Boats has a fleet of boats that range in size from 24' to 40' and are licensed to carry a maximum of 6 passengers. They can provide fishing for 1 or 2 passengers or a group of up to 60 passengers. They boast over 160 years combined skipper experience in charter fishing, and have taken over 60,000 people fishing or sightseeing. You can't beat that kind of experience!
Phone: (907) 225-7291; Toll Free: (800) 272-7291



Southeast Sea Kayaks
Southeast Sea Kayaks offers exceptional sea kayaking trips in Ketchikan and the Misty Fjords National Monument. They are a small, locally-owned business specializing in sea kayaking trips for independently spirited travelers. For cruise ship visitors and travelers with a short time in Ketchikan, their 4 hour Orcas Cove Sea Kayaking or their 2¾ hour Ketchikan Kayaking Adventure are a small group alternative to the large shore excursions offered by the cruise lines.
1621 Tongass Ave., Suite 101 B
Phone: (907) 225-1258; Toll free: (800) 287-1607

Ketchikan Kayak Company
Operating out of the Knudson Cove marina, Ketchikan Kayak Company offers daily tours with transportation from the cruise ship docks. They are not affiliated with any cruise lines and are completely independent; you'll feel the difference in every aspect of your experience. Small groups (limited to 8 participants), local guides, and unique tours set them apart. Ketchikan Kayak Company's tours run at a slower pace, and with smaller groups than other tours, so they can take the time to show you the details. They offer a variety of kayaking options, including a 4-hour Guided Kayaking Eco Tour, which runs $129 per person.
Phone: (907) 225-1272

Southeast Exposure Outdoor Adventure Center
Locally owned and operated, the Southeast Exposure Outdoor Adventure Center operates the Eagle Island Kayaking Tour, which departs daily from its facility in Knudson Cove.
37 Potter Road
Phone: (907) 225-8829

Misty Fjords National Monument

Misty Fjords

Misty Fiords National Monument is a protected area administered by the U. S. Forest Service in southeastern Alaska. The Monument covers 2.3 million acres of Tongass National Forest. All but 152,000 acres is designated wilderness; Congress reserved the non-wilderness area for the Quartz Hill molybdenum deposit, possibly the largest such mineral deposit in the world.

The area is called "The Yosemite of the North" for its similar geology. Light-colored granite has been sculpted by glaciers that gouged deep U-shaped troughs throughout the monument. Many of the glacial valleys are filled with sea water and are called "canals," but they are not man-made in any way. The walls of these valleys are near-vertical and often rise 2,000 to 3,000 feet above sea level, and drop 1,000 feet below it.

Western Hemlock, Sitka Spruce and Western Red cedar dominate the prolific rainforest vegetation; the abundant wildlife includes both Grizzly and Black Bears, many species of salmon, whales, mountain goats and deer.

The region was first visited by Europeans in 1793, when George Vancouver sailed through Behm Canal. Vancouver discovered New Eddystone Rock, a 237 foot tall column of basalt in the middle of Behm Canal. It was formed within the past 5 million years by volcanic activity, evidence for which is scattered sparsely through the monument, including a lava flow high above Punchbowl Cove, and at Blue River in the far northern part of the monument near the Canadian border.

The national monument was originally proclaimed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 as Misty Fiords National Monument, under the authorization of the Antiquities Act.

getting there

There are two ways to access Misty Fjords: by boat, and by floatplane. Boat trips take you up the Behm Canal and back, while floatplanes fly over the area. You can book a floatplane trip to Misty Fjords from any of the companies mentioned in our Flightseeing section above.

Tlingit Native Village

Saxman Native Village

Saxman Native Village
Located approximately 3 miles south of Ketchikan, Saxman Native Village is a showplace of the resident Tlingit Native Americans that allows you to experience the rich living culture of southeast Alaska's Native Americans.

The facility includes a theater, where you can watch a short video program that introduces you to the culture and history of Saxman. At the Beaver Clan House, Tribal members perform traditional dances and tell stories about the tribe, its customs and heritage. Visitors are encouraged to don Tlingit regalia and experience the thrill of joining the Cape Fox Dancers for the show's finale.

The Saxman Totem Park is one of the largest gatherings of totem poles in the world. Guides are available to help you understand the mysteries of these majestic carvings. At the Village Carving Center, elder craftsmen pass on their skills to eager apprentices. Applying skills passed down for centuries, these craftsmen create some of the most sought-after Native art in the world.

The facility's Village Store is where you can purchase fine Alaskan Native art or a small memento of your Native American experience.

The admission fee is $5 per person, which allows you to explore the park on your own. It's important to know that the Beaver Clan House Tour and Native Dancing Show is typically offered only on tours sold through the Cruise Lines, and tours offered by independent tour operators and walk-in visitors do not normally have access to these areas. Be sure to verify exactly what your tour includes, and ask inside the Gift Shop if you can join the Native Dancing Shows.

getting there

To get to Saxman Native Village, you can take one of the organized tours, have a taxi take you there, or you can ride the Red Line bus to the facility. The bus fare is $1 for adults, and 50 cents for kids.

Pirate Skyscraper

Other Resources for Visiting Ketchikan

Cruise Critic

Ketchikan Visitors Bureau




  About Us Newsletter  
  eBooks Contact Us  
  Advertising Press Room  
  © 2008-2018 CruisePortInsider.com Terms of service Privacy Policy
Facebook  instagram  pinterest