One of the most fun things to do when you are planning a cruise is to look at all of the shore excursions that are available at each of the ports of call. There is something for everyone – adventure, nature, food, fun – all for a PRICE. Some are worth it, some not so much. In this series I will tell you about our shore excursions – some booked through the cruise line and some exploring we did on our own. Our first – A do-it-yourself Ketchikan Shore Excursion.
4 Things To Do In Ketchikan
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Your Ketchikan Shore Excursion
Ketchikan is the southernmost city in Alaska and in the middle of the Tongass National Forest, which is part rainforest. You will likely have a little rain when you visit Ketchikan, so bring an umbrella and rainproof jacket. This is my favorite waterproof windbreaker because it folds up into a little zippered pocket – perfect to carry in your bag without a lot go bulk. When we got off the ship, it was drizzling a bit, but soon cleared off and we had a lovely morning.
We did not book a ship-sponsored shore excursion in Ketchikan. Instead, we did a little exploring on our own. As you get off the ship and make the short walk into town, there is a Visitor’s Centers with clean restrooms (always appreciated) and information on what to do in and around Ketchikan. Everything is this quaint little town is well marked, making it very easy to get around and find where you want to go.
As you walk around town, you will be struck with its natural beauty. The plants and foliage are lush.
If you like to shop, especially for jewelry, there are plenty of shops! We found this at every port in Alaska!
I was interested in experiencing some of the rich Native American history that is part of Ketchikan, which included seeing the Totem Poles. There are replicas of totem poles throughout Ketchikan. If you want to see “real” totem poles that aren’t replicas, visit the Totem Heritage Center that is operated by the City of Ketchikan. It is a short walk from downtown and has the world’s largest collection of unrestored 19th-century totem poles. Cost to get in: $5
[bctt tweet=”See largest collection of 19th Century unrestored totem poles-Totem Heritage Center-Ketchikan.” username=”MySideof50″]
Also a short walk from downtown, this salmon spawning ground is a site to behold.
Beautiful, clear water, green trees and flowers surround the creek and falls.
We arrived before 11:30 for an early lunch and had the most delicious clam chowder and Pub Style Halibut (beer battered & fried) that I have ever tasted. If chowder and seafood aren’t your thing, they have plenty of other choices – burgers, salads, sandwiches and wraps. As we were leaving a little after noon, there was a line out the door to get in. But I told the people in line that it was definitely worth the wait and I don’t say that about many places.
This was recommended by several people. We elected not to go, but our friends who were traveling with us said it was quite entertaining. If you were taking a trip with kids, this would be a must see. If you book this show through the cruise line, it costs a bit more, but this covers your bus ride to the show, which you’ll want to take. So book it through the cruise line.
Ketchikan was our first taste of Alaska. Beautiful town and a lovely introduction to this great state!
Next up: Favorite Shore Excursions from Skagaway.
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