Ketchikan, a town like no other, dates back to the 1880’s when a man named Snow built a salmon saltery here and a fishing village was born.
Set at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s famed Inside Passage—a network of waterways that snake through some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful wilderness in the world—Ketchikan is best known for three things: feisty salmon, idyllic scenery, and an incredibly rich Alaska Native culture.
Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s “first city” due to its location at the southern tip of the Inside Passage – it is the first city we reached on our cruise north from Vancouver, and our first introduction to the beauty and magnificence of Alaska.
Once on land, we had so many activities to choose from including a visit to the Totem Heritage Center, fishing for salmon, exploring the many eclectic mix of stores, and a stroll along the Creek Street boardwalk plus many more. There is a certain charm to Ketchikan, due to its wealth of native culture, colourfully displayed in an amazing collection of totem poles, and its diverse attractions and activities.
We wandered along its famous Creek Street where we discovered its local wildlife including the swarms of salmon that make their way up stream through the summer. This area around Creek Street is now a heritage zone but once it was the town’s infamous red light district.
For 5 months of the year, Ketchikan goes crazy with the many cruise ships docking every day. The number one thing to do in the Salmon capital of the world is fish for Salmon where there are all 5 different types of Pacific Ocean salmon.
We wandered around many of the great local shops which were once wonderful houses in the area. Here I purchased several great Alaskan gifts that were surprisingly very reasonably priced.
It was interesting to read the history of the area and about the characters who lived and worked there. Dolly’s House is particularly interesting as was Dolly. A well maintained house of a prostitute, named “DOLLY” who lived many years ago. It has many interesting tales connected to Dolly who lived their till she was 72 years. This place is on Creek Street. I was intrigued by the diverse history of Creek Street
Totem Heritage Centre
After a very full and fun day which included a bus trip to the Totem Heritage Centre, shopping in many of the interesting stores on the waterfront and a visit to Creek Street, we boarded our ship to continue our cruise north and on to Juneau.