Ketchikan, Alaska – A Beautiful Town

Category: Travel


204ketchikan_flowerKetchikan, Alaska is “The Salmon Capitol of the World.” It lies five hundred miles north of Seattle at the foot of the Tongass Rainforest. Needless to say it is damp here, with an average precipitation of about 160 inches of what they call “liquid sunshine.” Ketchikan is the fourth largest city in the state, which isn’t saying too much, since the population here is about 8,000 in an area approximately 1,744 square miles. This is a very picturesque town and the people are friendly.


Ketchikan gets a lot of tourism, as it is one of the main stops on a majority of cruise ships, but the main industry is fishing. Lumber used to be strong here, but the pulp mill closed in the late 1990s.


The town is unique. It’s built into hills and propped by wooden pilings. There are boardwalks and wooden staircases, cute wooden buildings, and totem poles throughout the city. Just walking around206ketchikan you’ll definitely want to shoot dozens of photos of this scenic city. It’s adorable. It actually looks like a picture postcard. If you remember the old television show Here Come the Brides, you could picture those characters residing in this place.


A creek runs through a part of the town and at the right time of year you can see the salmon swimming. Ketchikan has a colorful past, but just looking at it today it is colorful in another way. In the past, pirates, bootleggers, prostitutes and various other interesting and colorful people called this their home.


Today’s residents are friendly and enjoy visitors. The town is eagerly searching for others to move to the location. This is the first stop on the “Alaska Marine Highway System,” therefore oftentimes people refer to the town as the “First City.” As with all tourist locations on the cruise circuit, they do have their share of shops. You can find jewelry and other collectibles here, but also stop into the 200ketchikanKetchi-Candy shop for some mouthwatering chocolate.


There is a Totem Heritage Center Museum and a Totem Park and Carving Center where they have contests. And speaking of totems, Ketchikan is the home of the most totem poles in the United States. They’re sprinkled throughout the town. Keep your eyes open.


If you think being in this cold, damp place makes for a boring life, think again. There are plenty of cultural activities and events happening here throughout the year. Yes, this is a real hoppin’ place with plenty of festivals for residents and visitors to enjoy. In February they have the “Festival of the North,” in April is the “Celebration of the Sea,” in June is the “King of Kings Salmon Derby,” and May and June is the “Little League Salmon Derby.” They have a Fourth of July Timber Carnival, and August is the time to go blue with their “Blueberry Arts Festival.” Blueberry pie, anyone? November is the “Winter Arts Fair,” and December the “Festival of Lights.” So you see, this isn’t only a place to visit in the summer. It’s a year-round destination, providing you like wet, cold weather. But hey, this is Alaska. And, it’s beautiful here.


About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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