One of the most populous and beautiful cities of the region, Ketchikan is known as Alaska’s first city as its location at the southernmost region of the Inside Passage - a scenic sea route popular with cruise ships - makes it many tourists’ first glimpse of Alaska. A city of many labels, Ketchikan is also referred to as the ‘Yosemite of the North’ for its great natural beauty as well as the Salmon Capital of the world, due to the fact that its economy is largely driven by commercial fishing. A popular port of call for cruise ships beginning their route down the Inside Passsage, Ketchikan often serves as a transit point for tourists who stop by for views of its natural for-mations like glaciers, fjords, and valleys.
The city is also an excellent starting point for sea kayaking day tours due to its strategic location amidst islands and near beautiful inlets like Orca’s Cove, a popular hangout spot for salmon and killer whales flanked by forested land. It is one of precious few places in the world where one can kayak with wild orcas and experience the thrill of being in such close proximity to the majes-tic apex predators of the ocean.
Ketchikan is also one of the region’s rainiest cities - receiving more than 160 inches of precipita-tion annually - so visitors are advised to come prepared with wet weather clothing.
Ketchikan’s bus network boasts 3 lines and buses that begin their service every hour, so getting round by public transport isn’t too difficult. These buses bring visitors to popular areas such as Totem Bight State Park, Totem Heritage Centre, the dock and many other areas. Those planning on exploring the heart of the city may be able to do so on foot, though, as the downtown district is rather small and compact.
Those planning on travelling further out may choose to grab a taxi off the street, or pre-book one from Ketchikan Taxi Cab Tours.
What to see and do
To miss a visit to Misty Fiords National Monument could be one of your life’s greatest regrets - this area of untouched wilderness is heaven for nature lovers with everything from massive wa-terfalls, fjords, lustrous rainforests, snowy mountains, glaciers, icy lakes to dramatic sea cliffs all within 2.3 million acres of postcard-perfect beauty. Take a seaplane over the area for a birds-eye view of USA’s second largest wilderness, or take a boat through the majestic Behm Canal and Rudyerd Bay waterways for a closer look at the area’s abundant wildlife.
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