In honor of its status as the earliest incorporated city in Alaska and the first port of call for visitors cruising north through the Inside Passage, Ketchikan is being called the “First City of Alaska”. The city is also known as “The Salmon Capital of the World” due to its century-old commercial fishing industry.
A small port city on Revillagigedo Island, Ketchikan receives over 1 million tourists each year, primarily from Alaska Cruise Lines. As Ketchikan is surrounded by the Tongass National Forest, the town's built-up area is long and narrow and along with the waterfront. Moreover, Ketchikan is only accessible by air and sea due to its unique geographical location, making it ideally suited for both water and land activities.
Besides Ketchikan's natural beauty, it also has a rich cultural heritage. There is a historic boardwalk path built on stilts over Ketchikan Creek called Creek Street, which was once a red-light district until 1954, but today it boasts a number of gift shops, art galleries and a museum named after a famous hooker, Dolly Arthur– Dolly’s House Museum.
Additionally, Ketchikan is an important center for Alaska Native Culture, the downtown area has a Totem Heritage Center, preserving 19th century totem poles retrieved from uninhabited Indian Tribes of Tlingit and Haida. Ten miles north of Ketchikan is the Totem Bight State Historical Park, the main attraction is a colorful chieftain's house replica and a collection of totem poles.
Ketchikan's history is heavily influenced by the logging industry as well. Visitors to Ketchikan can witness the strength and agility of Ketchikan's lumberjacks during The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. The show is just one block away from the cruise ship docks, and normally there are 3-5 shows a day.
You'll never feel bored since there are always so many things to do in Ketchikan, those who like adventure can go on an off-road UTV ride, take a bear watching tour, go kayaking, or hike the Deer Mountain trail. Flightseeing is another option, which allows you to soar above the Misty Fjords National Monument and experience the breathtaking scenery. To find peace and serenity, visit an art gallery that showcases contemporary art and crafts, or spend time in a museum that displays traditional Alaskan culture.