"Ketchikan is an ancient city that is both fascinating
and enjoyable. Even though there are some American restaurants
and stores, (and it is part of the States, of course), it
is certainly not your typical American town. If Anchorage
is at one end of the Alaskan spectrum, you will definitely
find Ketchikan at the other end. This small city contains
more totem poles than anywhere in the world, and is set
at the base of Deer Mountain.
Back in the 1930's, Ketchikan was fondly known as the salmon-canning
capital of the world. While this may no longer be true,
the salmon fishing remains outstanding.
Just before the beginning of the 20th century, a series
of gold discoveries brought vast numbers of immigrants to
the area. This created two important industries that strengthened
the economy in Ketchikan: commercial fishing and lumber.
The region prospered for a while, but suffered an economic
depression after the gold dried up, and the immigrants were
left with no more than when they came. Many of them left
and went to other parts of Alaska where they could find
The city is quite compact and you can see most of it on
foot. There are numerous stores that offer unique arts and
crafts, jewelry, and other specialty items that are made
by hand in Ketchikan. There are great trails for hiking
and exploring, and a wide array of outdoor sports and activities
is offered as well. A few restaurants will fill you up with
hearty, quality food, but your options are definitely limited.
While the nightlife and eating facilities are not bustling,
it doesn't really matter, because Ketchikan is charming
enough that its visitors don't need to be wined and dined.
Ketchikan's charm is complemented by Mother Nature, who
relies on the intrinsic beauty of the region to captivate
-- from www.AlaskaCruises.com