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Located in southeastern Alaska, the Ketchikan Destination spans both islands and the land that borders British Columbia, Canada. The most prominent city within the region is the namesake of the destination, Ketchikan. The city is known for having the world's largest collection of standing totem poles, located throughout the city, especially in four main areas: Totem Bight State Park, Potlatch Park, Saxman Totem Park, and the Totem Heritage Center. The city is also known for being the first city on the Inside Passage, as it connects the Puget Sound to the Gulf of Alaska and is the main passageway for Alaskan cruise ships.[2] The Tongass National Forest is also found in the region, which is the United State's largest national forest. Covering 500 miles, the forest contains coastal areas, fjords, and woodland areas.[1] The best reported time to visit the destination based on weather is from March to June or August to December. This is when the weather is reported to be most temperate for outdoor activities that are characteristic of the region. [5]

What Ketchikan is known for

The Ketchikan Destination is located on the southernmost end of Alaska, including the islands and a thin strip of land near the Canadian border. The borders of the region are the Kupreanof Island to the north and the British Columbia, Canada on the south and east. The islands included in the destination are Kupreanof Island, Prince of Wales Island, Revillagigedo Island, Etolin Island, and Wrangel Island, as well as a thin strip of land on the coast near Canada and other relatively small islands. Within the area, the most notable attraction is Tongass National Forest. The forest is the country’s largest national forest and covers 500 miles of terrain. Within the national forest are multiple hiking trails, as well as the opportunity for tourists to slide down glaciers, kayak, and take tours of the area.[1] Ketchikan itself is known for having the world's largest collection of standing totem poles, which are on display throughout the city in four main areas: Saxman Totem Park, Totem Bight State Park, Totem Heritage Center, and Potlatch Park. The city is located at the southern edge of the Inside Passage, which connects the Gulf of Alaska to the Puget Sound. [2]

The area that encompasses the Ketchikan Destination has multiple outdoor attractions that are characteristic of the Alaskan region. One of these activities includes visiting the Misty Fjords National Monument. A fjord is a deep inlet from the sea that is surrounded by high cliffs generally. The Misty Fjords National Monument can be accessed by plane tours or by boat. There are lakes, waterfalls, and rainforest valleys that can be seen by plane or boat. Kayaking is also a popular tourist activity in the destination. There are multiple kayaking tour companies that leave from the docks in the city of Ketchikan that allow tourists to see marine life and the surrounding islands near Ketchikan.[4]

The first time that the city of Ketchikan appeared on the United States Census was in 1890 as an unincorporated town called Kitchikan with 40 residents. In 1900, the town was incorporated and the name became Ketchikan. Per the 2010 census, the city has grown since its small beginnings to a current population of 8,050 people. The racial demographics are 60.7% White, with the second-largest population of people being Native American with 16.7% of the population. Since 1980, the population has continued to grow each year.[2]

The reported best time to visit the destination, according to weather, is either from mid-March through the beginning of June or from the end of August through the beginning of December. About half of the year there is a “fair chance” of rain, with the hottest months being January, February, and December respectively. Due to the multitude of outdoor activities possible in the area, many who come to the area tend to come during the driest months of the year which are June, July, and March. July has the highest chance of snow, with the average snowfall for the month being around 7 inches.[5]

Ketchikan is the first stop for almost all cruise ships sailing through Alaska and Canada from the south. The island that the city is on is part of the “Inside Passage” which is the primary coastal waterway for boats, especially cruise ships, that travel through southeastern Alaska. The Alaska Ferry, also called the Alaskan Marine Highway, originates and has headquarters in the city of Ketchikan as well.[6]


The destination of Ketchikan is pear-shaped and located on the islands of southeastern Alaska. The Tongass National Forest is located in the area and has been described as a “temperate rainforest,” and is the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world.[1] Cities included in the region are Port Protection, Petersburg, Ketchikan, and Metlakatla. The destination shares an eastern border with Canada’s British Columbia Province, and the west area is on the Alexander Archipelago.

Generally, the best times to visit Ketchikan are reported to be March to June or August to December. July annually sees the most snowfall out of any other month of the year. The driest months of the year tend to be June and March. Tourism is reportedly at its highest during the months of January, February, and October. Although it is predicted to be generally the driest month of the year, tourism is reportedly lowest during the month of June. The percentage of humidity in the area fluctuates throughout the year from approximately 53% to 72%. [5]

The geography of the area is unique in the sense that its location near the rainforest creates a habitat for a relatively diverse array of plants and animals. There is a variety of sea creatures that visitors can see such as starfish, sea slugs, and jellyfish. Additionally, the American black bear can be found across the region as well as the American mink and orcas. The white-bogged orchid can be found in the Tongass National Forest, and so can cypress trees and snakeskin liverwort.[7]

A notable geographic feature of the region is the Tongass National Forest, which is located on Kupreanof Island, as well as on the mainland of the state and smaller adjacent islands. It received its name from the Tongass Clan of the Tlingit Native people. The national forest spans 500 miles of the Inside Passage, and it includes coastal areas, fjords, islands, mountains, salmon springs, and bays. Those visiting the area can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities in the forest. Tours led by boat and by plane are conducted in the region as well.[1]

Near the city of Ketchikan is Rotary Beach, which can be a good family outdoor activity in the area. Nicknamed “Bugge Beach” after Martin Bugge who owned the beach for mining purposes, the beach overlooks Nichols’ Passage and has multiple areas where tidepools are created with the changing tides. From the tidepools, visitors can see eels, snails, small octopuses, sea urchins, and sea anemones. There is a cement causeway on the water that allows water to come into the beach in a “more protected pond.” The water surrounding the beach usually averages temperatures of 56 degrees Fahrenheit; however, in the area surrounded by the cement causeway, the water tends to be warmer.[8]


The area that is now known as the Ketchikan Destination was originally used as a fishing settlement by various native groups such as the Tongass and Cape Fox Tlingit people. They named the area Kitschk-hin, which means “Thundering Wings of an Eagle.”[3] In 1885, a man named Mike Martin was sent to the area by an Oregon canning company to assess whether the land could be useful. He established a saltery and a general store in the area during his time there. Eventually, Ketchikan was incorporated and became known as “Alaska’s first city” due to its position as the first city that boats reach when traveling northward through the Inside Passage.[2]

Today, the leading industries of Ketchikan include fishing (specifically salmon, trout, halibut, cod, and snapper), timber, and fish processing. Due to its location on the Inside Passage, tourism is also important to the area as many cruise ships and air transports stop in the city. More than a sixth of the total population of Ketchikan is Alaskan Native or Native American, and the city has multiple places where tourists can go to learn more about the native peoples' history in the area.[3]

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Anchor Inn by the Sea

Ketchikan, Alaska

Anchor Inn by the Sea

Anchor Inn by the Sea is a lodging establishment located on one of the southernmost tips of Revillagigedo Island in southeastern Alaska. The property consists of two houses that are close to one another, with one home containing three suites and the other with two. The total number of units at Anchor Inn by the Sea is five, with the addition of one non-suite unit called Captain Morgan's Beach House. The business is run by Mary, who is the original owner and the one who converted the homes into a vacation rental service in 1998. One of the things which the property is most known for is the series of views that are visible from the premises, overlooking the ocean and offering the possibility of seeing whales at all times of the year.

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