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1-Day Guide to Ketchikan, Alaska

Leo Chan Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise Creek Street, Guide to Ketchikan


Ketchikan, or the “Gateway to Southeast Alaska,” was our first post of call on our 7-Night Northern Glacier Alaska cruise on the Celebrity Millennium. Previously, the city was primarily a logging and fishing town and it is home to the Tongass National Forest and Misty Fjords National Monument. Ketchikan is one of the rainiest cities in the United States, averaging around 13 feet a year, so make sure you bring an umbrella! We found plenty of things to do in Ketchikan to fill our day on our own. We explored at our own pace and thought it was a great introduction to Alaska. Here is our 1-Day travel guide to Ketchikan!


Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise
Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise


Enjoy the View from Your Ship
If you're visiting the city from a cruise ship like us, be sure to take in the view from the top of your ship before walking down to explore. You'll get a beautiful view, a feel for the city and it's unique vibe, and as a bonus, get a lay of the land before getting off.

Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise
Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise
Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise
Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise Leo Chan Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise
 Alicia Mara Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise
Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise Guide to Ketchikan | Celebrity Millennium Cruise

Explore Creek Street
Ketchikan is a small town and is easily explored on foot. Just a short walk from the cruise ship dock, Creek Street is a historical part of the town, previously known for its abundance of brothels. It’s also extremely beautiful! Different color houses sit on stilts along the creek and you wander along the antique boardwalk! Here you will find plenty of shops, art, and restaurants on your walk through. We walked through plenty of shops and ended up purchasing some salmon jerky.
Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Alicia Mara at Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide Leo Chan at Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
 Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Alicia Mara at Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide Leo Chan at Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Leo Chan at Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Sea Lion at Creek Street in Ketchikan | Travel Guide


Funicular
Inside the Creek Street area you will find the Cape Fox Fill-Creek Street Funicular. It’s a small tram that runs up about 200 feet to the Cape Fox Lodge on top of the hill. We enjoyed taking it up just to appreciate the views, sat for a bit in the lodge before going back down. Tickets were around $2 a person roundtrip for the ride. Alternatively, you can walk back down.

Creek Street Funicular  in Ketchikan | Travel Guide Creek Street Funicular  in Ketchikan | Travel Guide

Lumberjack Show
The Lumberjack Show was recommended to us numerous times and when we got a bit tired from walking around, we decided to catch a show. This competition show reflects on the area’s rich history of logging. The competitors do a number of events with chainsaws, axes, among other things. It was definitely more staged and a tad cheesier than we thought it would be. For about $40 a person, we think it's a good show to catch if you have kids.
Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan | Travel Guide Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan | Travel Guide

Alaska Fish House
The true highlight of our day and one of our favorite meals of the entire trip. The Alaska Fish House in Ketchikan boasts locally caught fish, the standout dish being silver salmon dipped in panko. Our first time trying King Crab and it was life changing! Enjoy your meal outside overlooking the ocean and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife! Out back we saw seals in the water and eagles flying overhead.

Leo Chan and Alicia Mara at the Alaska Fish House in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Ketchikan | Travel Guide Leo Chan in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Leo Chan in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Alicia Mara in Ketchikan | Travel Guide Alicia Mara and Leo Chan in Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Leo Chan in Ketchikan | Travel Guide Leo Chan in Ketchikan | Travel Guide

Explore the Nearby Port Shops
We found Tongass Trading Co. Dock Store to be one of the cheapest souvenirs shops on the trip. We spent around 20 minutes here buying gifts like t-shirts and sweatshirts and it's a perfect last stop since it is right next to the docking port. You will also find many jewelry stores in this area. A cool souvenir we found in Alaska for my mom was Alex and Ani charm bracelets. They sell unique charms for each port city in Alaska that you can't buy anywhere else.
Leo Chan in Ketchikan | Travel Guide Ketchikan | Travel Guide
Ketchikan | Travel Guide


Watch the Sail Away
Rush up to the top of the ship to enjoy the entire sail away. Sailing past mountains and other small towns it's beautiful and shouldn't be missed!

Ketchikan Travel Guide | Celebrity Millennium Cruise Ketchikan Travel Guide | Celebrity Millennium Cruise
Ketchikan Travel Guide | Celebrity Millennium Cruise
Leo Chan on Helipad Celebrity Millennium Cruise | Ketchikan Travel Guide Alicia Mara on Helipad Celebrity Millennium Cruise | Ketchikan Travel Guide
Leo Chan on Helipad Celebrity Millennium Cruise | Ketchikan Travel Guide
Celebrity Millennium Cruise | Ketchikan Travel Guide Celebrity Millennium Cruise | Ketchikan Travel Guide
Leo Chan on Helipad Celebrity Millennium Cruise | Ketchikan Travel Guide
Alicia Mara Celebrity Millennium Cruise | Ketchikan Travel Guide Alicia Mara on Helipad Celebrity Millennium Cruise | Ketchikan Travel Guide

If you have extra time and days:

Misty Fjords National Monument
We were saving our money for excursions and tours in other ports so we forwent seeing this National Monument, but if you want this also came highly recommended. The catch is that it’s still about 20 miles from Ketchikan and is only accessible by seaplane or high-speed boat, making it an all day excursion. Sitting in the center of the Tongass National Forest you’ll be sure to see parts of the lush rainforest, wildlife, and glacial cliffs.

Totem Heritage Center
Learn more about totems and the Tlingit Culture by visiting the Totem Heritage Center near City Park. There are over 30 original totems and you may have the chance to see them being carved.

We thought Ketchikan was such a beautiful first Alaskan city. Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment and pin this for later!

Travel Guide by Alicia Mara

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