Ketichikan, Alaska

Known as the salmon capital of the world, Ketchikan is known for their fishing culture and showing our tourists the best seafood on the planet.  Ketchikan is the entrance to the last frontier, commonly called the entrance to the famed inside passage.  The southern entrance to Alaska, Ketchikan is located on a network of water ways that deliver some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, a popular location for cruise ships, and a city with an incredibly abundant Alaska Native culture.

Ketchikan is home to a centuries old commercial fishery, the Misty Fjords National Monument, and near the Tongass National Forest which has rainforests, waterfalls and wildlife.

The Alaskan Native culture is thriving here and there are a lot of museums and totem parks that highlight the history and more contemporary pieces. You can only get to Ketchikan by air or sea.

Where to stay

There are tons of places to stay in Ketchikan as it is a popular tourist town.  A lot of cruise ships come through here and there are land excursions as well as over night options.  If I was to write out every place, this would be a very exhaustive list, you are welcome to search online for an exhaustive list for more choices, but here are some I found for you.

Lodges & Hotels

Waterfall Resort Alaska

320 Dock St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(800) 544-5125

A seculeded fishing resort that hosts a bar, store and restaurant and is located 31 miles from the airport.  The staff is friendly and they have lots of fishing options as well as photography opportunities as the view is unbeatable.

Cape Fox Lodge

800 Venetia Ave, Ketchikan, AK 99901•
(907) 225-8001

Simple rooms, woodsy, water views and beautiful Alaska Native artwork.  This place has a nice restaurant. This resort also offers adventure packages for fishing!

Chinook Shores Lodge

125 Potter Rd, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-6700

An Alaskan Fishing Lodge! Rooms with microwaves, fridges, air conditioning, a boutique store, near the beach and a 6 minute walk to Alaska Discovery Tours

The Landing Hotel

3434 Tongass Ave, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-5166

This hotel hosts two restaurants and two bars with a free shuttle and Wi-Fi.  Customers report clean rooms and great staff.

New York Hotel & Cafe

207 Stedman St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-0246

A building originally built in 1924, the hotel aims to keep the original charm.  They offer rooms with antique furnishings and character to match.  They have rooms with a view of the harbor and state that staying here is like going back in time. 

My Place Hotel

3612 Tongass Ave, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 220-9201

Easy peasey with this hotel.  Has all the basics, near the airport and a minutes’ walk from the ferry terminal, 2 miles from creek street boardwalk and 3 miles from the totem heritage museum.

Gilmore Hotel

326 Front St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-9423

A historic Boutique hotel located in downtown, 3 miles from the airport. Enjoy WIFI and a shuttle to the ferry terminal.  They also have a restaurant, bar and complimentary coffee

Other places to stay – Inns, B&B, Hostels

Black Bear Inn

5528 N Tongass Hwy, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-4343

A luxury Inn that has water views, self-serve breakfast, and a hot tub. 28 minutes from the airport, great location and terrific hosts.

Anchor Inn By The Sea

4672 S Tongass Hwy, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 247-7117

Offers private vacation rentals by the water, conveniently located 4 miles from downtown.  Whale watching and fishing off the shoreline is welcome, wildlife viewing is guaranteed, and close to hiking spots, Mountain point and Herring Cove.

Thomas Street Vacation Rental

158 Thomas St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 247-6997

 Great location, one block away from historic downtown Ketchikan.  Minimum stay is one month.

Hostel-Eagle view

2303 5th Ave, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-5461

No website with this one but it looks likes its in the making but this is a hostel for short accommodations from April – October.  A rustic home setting and a pleasant bargain to stay.

What to See and Do

Because this is such a travel town, most of these things happen during alaskas biggest travel season from May 15- September 15th.  However, some of the things are open year round.  Check into it before you come!

Check out the Ketchikan visitors Bureau – find places to go, stay, eat – everything and anything

Totem Bight State Historical Park

9883 N Tongass Hwy, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 247-8574

Chalk full of history and beautiful Alaskan Native totem poles.  Trails to walk and things to see!

Check out Creek Street  – Touted as a top attraction in Ketchikan, creek street is the main wooden boardwalk best known for the brightly colored houses resting on the pilings built over Ketchikan creek.  The creek was developed almost 15,000 years ago when glaciers melted from the area and became a great breeding ground for salmon.  With the salmon come seals and seagulls adding to the biodiversity of the creek.  The first people in the area were the Tlingit Alaskan natives until the 1800s’s when the area became known as the first us Port to northern Alaska. By the time the 1900’s came around all sorts of people were living in Ketchikan and more indecent acts were happening.  To contain these acts, the famous “red light district was formed housing brothels, alcohol during the prohibition and other sketchy enterprises.  The creek street historic district is a national historic place and one of the most widely visited attractions

Take a historic walking tour – you can follow the map or download the app which will take you to all the places of downtown Ketchikan with information on the history and lots of stores and places to visit.

Visit one of the many Art Galleries in town – this thriving community makes great art! It is integrated into their culture.  Check out some of their places, maybe buy a unique Alaskan piece or two

Take a Misty Fjords Charter
Located 40 miles south is the misty Fjord monument.  You’ll have to take a cruise or a plane to get there but the view is spectacular, and you’ll see wildlife along the way.

Go Fishing! – this is just one of so many options to take a fishing tour.  I would check with your hotel for other options or check out the visiting center.

Go on a photography tour

Flight seeing Tours

Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
420 Spruce Mill Way, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-9050

3- 5 shows, 1 hour long of world champion athletes highlighting Alaska’s logging history. 

Check out a rainforest tour

Or a rainforest tour on an electric bike

Check out some tidepools

What to Eat

Seafood & Burgers

Annabelle’s Famous Keg and Chowder House

Gilmore Hotel, Trademark Collection by Wyndham

326 Front St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-6009

Seafood, steaks and burgers served in the Gilmore Hotel

Burger Queen

518 Water St, Ketchikan, AK 99901

(907) 225-6060

Fish ‘n’ chips, big burgers & old-school milkshakes served up in no-frills spot with just 4 tables.

The Alaska Fish House

3 Salmon Landing, Ketchikan, AK 99901

(907) 247-4055

Casual waterfront eatery serving Dungeness crab & simple seafood plates like tacos & chowder.

Ketchikan Crab & Grille

5 Salmon Landing STE 114, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 247-2866

Seafood Restaurant

American Food

New York Cafe

211 Stedman St, Ketchikan, AK 99901

(907) 247-2326

An array of American comfort food & drinks in a rustic setting with warm interiors & bar seating.

Bar Harbor Ale House

Shops at the Cannery
55 Schoenbar Rd, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-2813

American Restaurant highlighting seafood along with coffee, craft beer & a full bar.

108 Tap House & Burger Bar

108 Main St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-1080

Burgers and beer!


Alaska Crêpe Co

625 Mission St, Ketchikan, AK 99901

(907) 220-9192

Big, Alaskan style crepes. Sweet or savory

Ketchikan’s Gold Pan Pizza

2200 Tongass Ave, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 220-9380

Pizza, good atmosphere, garlic bread

Chico’s Mexican Restaurant

 435 Dock St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
 (907) 225-2833
Authentic Mexican Food

Good Fortune Restaurant

4 Creek St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-1818
Chinese food, good portions

Ocean View Restaurante

1831 Tongass Ave, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-7566
Mexican and Italian food

Sushi Harbor

320 Bawde Street, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-1333
Best Sushi in town!

Meng & Ging’s Kitchen

521 Water St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 247-8646

Filipino restaurant

Where to Camp

Totem Bight State Historical Park – 33 Acres of a state historical park with toilets, trails and a visitors center

Settlers Cove state Recreation Area – 275 Acres of state land with 13 campsites, trails, toilets and water.  

Signal Creek Campground
–   24 camp sites, surrounded by huge trees! Adjacent to ward lake, fishing areas and lots of trails.

There are also many cabins to rent in this area.  Check out the city of Ketchikan’s website that details these cabins

Where to Hike

There are many places to hike in beautiful Ketichikan.  You can see an exhaustive list here
however, I picked a couple of good ones some of the locals like below.

Rainbird Trail
– a short 2.1 mile out and back moderately challenging.

Dude Mountain
– another short 2.4 mile out and back trial.  Great for bird watching, camping and seems to be unfrequented if you’re looking for some solitude

Reflection Lake Trailhead – 5 miles round trip and parallels reflection creek.

Deer Mountain Trail – a harder 6.7 mile out and back trail that is popular for bird watching.  You span different ecosystems but there are wooden bridges, boardwalks and natural rocks.

Perseverance Lake Trail – a 6 mile in and out trail that takes you to a lake.  The trail is well maintained and also butts into the Minerva Mountain Trail

For other trails, You can check out all trails which have more up to date information on the trail and the status of the trails here.

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