Ketchikan is the fourth largest city in Alaska and one of the most popular ports of call for cruise ships sailing the Inside Passage. It is also one of the rainiest cities in the USA, with over 162 inches each year!
Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island, and fishing, timber, and mining were once the most prevalent occupations. Today, tourism is king. Many of the buildings still have a turn-of-the-century look, and Ketchikan has plenty of interesting shops and shore excursions. Creek Street is Ketchikan's most famous shopping and entertainment area, and its stilted houses are very picturesque. Like most Inside Passage communities, Ketchikan is not accessible via car, and even its international airport is only accessible via a small ferry or water taxi.
Cruise ships dock right in downtown near the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau. Passengers can easily pick up a map at the Visitors Bureau and spend the day shopping, or taking a walking tour of the historic downtown and/or West End districts. In addition, the Ketchikan area has many interesting things to see such as totems, nearby Misty Fjords National Monument, and Saxman village. Those looking for more active pursuits can go fishing, hiking, kayaking, or zip-lining.
Thomas Basin Harbor in Ketchikan
View of the Thomas Basin Harbor and Deer Mountain from the window of our loft at the New York Hotel, which was located in a renovated building on the dock.
Thomas Basin in Ketchikan, Alaska - Ketchikan's Boat Harbor
Every Alaskan town has a boat harbor filled with watercraft of all sizes and uses.
Bridge Over Ketchikan Creek
The Cape Fox Lodge is on a hill overlooking Creek Street in Ketchikan.
The Cape Fox Lodge is used by many small ship cruise lines as a meeting point and for its pre- and post-cruise passengers. It can be seen at the top of the photo on the left. The views from the lodge are wonderful, and a funicular takes visitors straight down (and up) to Creek Street.
Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska
When strolling along Creek Street, you might want to take the funicular ride up to the Westmark Hotel. The view of Ketchikan from above is spectacular!
Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska
Creek Street was once the home of bars and bordellos. Today there are still a few bars, but the bordellos have been converted into shops and restaurants.
Dolly's House Museum on Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska
Dolly's House Museum (on the right) is a restored bordello, with many mementos from the days of the "sporting women".
Ketchikan's tunnel can be driven through, around, or over. It was completed in 1954.
Eagle Park in Ketchikan
The highlight of Eagle Park is this large carved eagle, which is titled "Thundering Wings". The Tlingit master carver/artist was Nathan Jackson.
Tongass Historical Museum in Ketchikan
The Tongass Historical Museum is located in the same building as the public library. It features artifacts, photos, and documents that tell the history of Ketchikan.
Fish Ladder up Ketchikan Creek in Ketchikan, Alaska
This creek was filled with salmon when we were in Ketchikan during August.
Outside of Loft Suite at the New York Hotel in Ketchikan
The exterior of the loft suites at the New York Hotel doesn't look like much, but it's quite nice and very comfortable on the inside.
Potlatch Bar and Loft Suites of New York Hotel in Ketchikan, Alaska
The loft suites of the New York Hotel in Ketchikan are found above the dock of the harbor at Thomas Basin next to the Potlatch Bar.
The window of our loft suite at the New York Hotel in Ketchikan is above the laundry next to the Potlatch Bar. Great views of the Thomas Basin harbor.
Inside Suite at the New York Hotel in Ketchikan
The suites at the New York Hotel are very spacious, comfortable, and clean. This one had two bedrooms, 1 bath, a full kitchen, living room, and separate den.
New York Hotel Lobby in Ketchikan
The New York Hotel is a small, historic hotel located right next to famous Creek Street.
Holland America Oosterdam Docked Next to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
Most cruise ships cruising the Inside Passage stopover in Ketchikan. They can dock right downtown within easy walking distance of the shops and Creek Street.
You can't see the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown, but she is docked inside of the Holland America Oosterdam. This photo of the two ships is a great comparison of the size!
Ketchikan Creek in Ketchikan, Alaska
This quiet creek is just outside of Ketchikan. It's a great place to watch the salmon, and there is a salmon hatchery along the creek.
Totem Pole in Ketchikan, Alaska
Ketchikan has a large Native American population and also many interesting totem poles.
Horse Trolley in Ketchikan, Alaska
A narrated horse trolley tour is a good way to see Ketchikan if you don't wish to walk.