Travel savvy Pacific Northwesterners have known for years that Alaska is a destination easily within reach. Closest of all is Ketchikan, situated just north of the Canadian border along the magnificent Inside Passage. At an easy 90-minute flight time from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, convenient connections throughout the Northwest make it a destination that is accessible from all major airports within the region.
Whether you choose a hotel in the heart of town, a quaint inn or one of dozens of unique vacation rentals – many with outstanding views, beach access or convenient locations – choices range from romantic to big enough for family. Be sure to make a stop at the visitor information center early in your stay for helpful information and guides to Ketchikan’s historic walking tour, hiking trails, restaurants and shopping. Staff can provide recommendations for tours, arts events and other activities taking place during your visit.
Armed with information, you will be ready to set out and explore. Ketchikan’s downtown area stretches from the waterfront docks to the wooden boardwalk of world-famous Creek Street, which follows along Ketchikan Creek, truly the heart of town. Vast runs of salmon have been returning to the creek for centuries, so much so that the Tlingit people chose the creek as the spot for a summer fish camp, catching and preserving salmon for winter foods. Public art, most notably in the form of tall totem poles can be found throughout the community. Ketchikan has been recognized as one of the top small arts communities in the U.S. due to the number of practicing artists who live here and are inspired by the natural beauty and cultural traditions.
Situated within the Tongass National Forest, the nation’s largest, outdoor adventure is minutes away¾hiking trails, kayaking, fishing, and boating, camping, biking and many more options await.
Ketchikan is known as the “Salmon Capital of the World” and is proud of its fishing heritage. Salmon, halibut, shellfish and other wild seafood are abundant and provide delicious menu options.
Alaska Airlines offers daily year-around service to Ketchikan. Delta provides seasonal service during the busier summer months. The state-run Alaska Marine Highway System ferries depart from Bellingham, Washington, and take 36 hours to travel to Ketchikan. Several small ship cruise companies are visiting Ketchikan this summer including Alaska Dream Cruises, American Cruise Lines, Lindblad Expeditions and UnCruise Adventures.