5 Reasons to Visit Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska
Ketchikan’s natural beauty is absolutely breathtaking. If you’re like us, visiting via cruise ship, you’ll definitely feel that a few hours is not enough to explore this town.
The area near the port is full of fantastic shopping, so if you’ve reached Ketchikan and haven’t bought any Alaskan souvenirs, now is the time to stock up!
Always trying to make the most of our time, we opted to shop, take in a traditional lumberjack show, and visit historic Creek Street.
See Related: The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show: Fun in Ketchikan
In researching Ketchikan, I read that Creek Street used to be quite scandalous, lined with brothels and secretly serving alcohol during prohibition.
I didn’t expect this little area to be so beautiful. Actually a boardwalk, the quaint little buildings sit above the creek, beckoning visitors inside, not for prostitutes (not anymore!), but into local restaurants and shops offering souvenirs and gifts made by local artisans.
5 Reasons to Visit Ketchikan’s Creek Street
1. Numerous Salmon Swim Upstream Here
If you’re in Ketchikan at the right time, you can see thousands of salmon swimming upstream to spawn. Unfortunately, they were not running during our visit in late April of 2016.
Research before your trip to see if the spawn will be running and pay a visit to the salmon ladder.
2. Seals Hang Out Because of the Salmon
Wouldn’t you hang around in a picturesque creek for an easy, delicious meal? That’s exactly what the seals do in Ketchikan Creek, and you can watch them from Creek Street.
At least five seals were playing in the water during our visit, having the best time people-watching.
See Related: 5 Reasons to Cruise to Alaska
3. Shopping is Top Notch with Local Handmade Gems
Shopping locally always makes for the best souvenirs. We were able to pick up a genuine hand-carved totem pole for a reasonable price on Creek Street.
Definitely wander through the shops for unique gift and souvenir ideas.
See Related: The Best Souvenirs from Alaska
4. Visit the Brothel-Turned-Museum known as Dolly’s House
The red light district was outlawed in 1954, but that didn’t completely shut down Dolly’s House. You can visit this former brothel, but not in the same way as the fishermen, loggers, and miners used to!
It’s now a museum where you can learn all about Dolly and her working ladies.
5. Keep Your Eyes Open for Totem Poles
The Raven Stealing the Sun Totem Pole, pictured above, is located near the entrance to Creek Street, next to the Tongass Historical Museum/Library.
Also located near the entrance to Creek Street is the fifty-five foot tall Chief Johnson Totem Pole, entirely carved from one log.
Totem poles tell stories, whether about ancestors, history, or legends. Can you figure out each story?
What are you most excited to see on Creek Street? Have you visited Creek Street before? What did we miss? Did you see the salmon? Let us know in the comments below!
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Jennifer is the founder of Just Chasing Rabbits travel blog. She lives in Mississippi with husband/travel companion, Mark, and three fur babies. After obtaining a BA degree in studio art and working in the field of photography for years, Jenni has combined her love of travel and photography to form this blog. Mark and Jenni share their experiences in hopes of inspiring others to have wonderful adventures and see the world.
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