Ketchikan, Alaska Weekend Trip Itinerary

This popular port of call beckons with art, wildlife, and native art and culture.

colorful buildings in Ketchikan, picture
The colorful buildings of Creek Street rest on wooden pilings.
emperorcosar / Shutterstock

Set within the Tongass National Forest, the city of about 8,000 affords some of Alaska’s most varied wildlife viewing and outdoor fun. Native arts and culture, including the world’s largest collection of standing totem poles, also entice.

Things to See and Do in Ketchikan

Blueberry Arts Festival

First weekend in August. Take in art booths and activities, from a blueberry pie–eating contest to a slug race.

Creek Street

The boardwalk over Ketchikan Creek is home to restaurants, galleries, and other attractions. Enjoy a narrated tour of Dolly’s House Museum (24 Creek St.), once one of more than 20 brothels in town.

a totem at the edge of a lake, picture

A totem overlooks the Tongass Narrows at Potlatch Totem Park.

Linda Harms / Shutterstock

Potlatch Totem Park

Step into a re-created Native Alaskan village built on old Tlingit fishing grounds. Explore clan houses and totems or watch a carver in action. Don’t miss its Antique Car Museum or display of rare vintage guns. Craving more Native art? Totem Bight State Historical Park sits next door, with 14 poles and a clan house. 9809 Totem Bight Rd.

Southeast Alaska Discovery Center

Walk through a rain forest, view a movie about the Tongass National Forest, and use a spotting scope to see mountain goats on Deer Mountain.

three-chowder sampler at Annabelle's, picture

Flight of three samples of chowder served on a wooden paddle at Annabelle's Famous Keg & Chowder House.

Felix Alexander Wong

Where to Eat in Ketchikan

Annabelle’s Famous Keg & Chowder House

Attached to the 1927 Gilmore Hotel, Annabelle’s claims its fame with a chowder that comes with a choice of three additions: clams, smoked salmon, or a seafood mix. 

Bar Harbor Restaurant

Though the eatery moved from the harbor to the cruise ship berths, its quality seafood remains unchanged. Opt for halibut fish-and-chips or coconut prawns. 


Signature hand-dipped, chocolate-covered Oreos challenge the waistband, as does house-made fudge. 405 Dock St.

Rainbird Trail in Ketchikan, Alaska, picture

Woodlands of the Rainbird Trail on a sunny autumn day in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Debbie Ann Powell / Shutterstock

Outdoor Activities

Alaska Sea Cycle Tours

Somewhere between kayaks and tandem bikes, sea cycles are the latest mode of transport on Ketchikan’s waters. Tours start in an estuary, travel in search of eagles and otters, and end with a picnic at a Ward Cove float house.

Rainbird Trail

Starting at trailheads on Third Avenue or at the University of Alaska Southeast campus, the path winds 1.3 miles through rain forest and along a bluff with views of Ketchikan and the Tongass National Forest.

Snorkel Alaska

Snorkelers descend into lively tide pools (think starfish, sea urchins, and jellyfish) at Mountain Point and explore underwater rock walls suitable for free diving.


This article was first published in July 2015 and last updated in February 2020.