Attractions

se alaska discovery center

You will not be bored in Ketchikan. With dozens of attractions designed to educate and/or entertain everyone from the history buff and the outdoor enthusiast to the naturalist or Native art lover, there aren’t enough days in a week to take them all in!

Discover the industries that shaped Ketchikan
Ketchikan was built and shaped by the plethora of natural resources in its backyard: salmon and timber, mainly, but also copper, uranium, marble and other minable rocks and minerals. Several attractions highlight the industries that made Ketchikan possible. Visit a restored cannery from the 1930s and see how Ketchikan came to be known as the “Canned Salmon Capital of the World.” Or take in an old-fashioned logging competition between burly lumberjacks.

Learn about our lawless past
Our rich and entertaining history is chronicled in exhibits at the Tongass Historical Museum and at various locations throughout town. For example, along the banks of Ketchikan Creek, you’ll find a former “house of ill repute” that takes you back to the Creek’s days as a red light district where the “ladies of negotiable affection” entertained the miners, fishermen, handloggers, and other frisky frontiersmen.

See the world’s largest collection of totem poles
Ketchikan is home to the largest collection of totem poles in the world, including some of the oldest ones still in existence. The very oldest are in climate-controlled seclusion and some are in private collections, but you can see the majority of them scattered throughout town, at the Totem Heritage Center or at one of our beautiful totem parks.

Immerse yourself in history
Spend a few leisurely hours at the SE Alaska Discovery Center. Along with exhibits that highlight the commercial, cultural and recreational usage of the world’s largest temperate rainforest, the center features a comfortable movie theater that screens short films about Ketchikan and the Tongass National Forest.

There’s a lot to see and do in Ketchikan! Grab a copy of our (free) Historic Walking Tour Map and set out on your own, or let us show you around.