The 'salmon capital of the world' started as a summer fish camp on the shores of Ketchikan Creek used by the Tlingit natives, and slowly became a major salmon canning centre. Native Inuit heritage plays a large role in the touristic appeal of Ketchikan, which boasts the largest collection of totem poles in the world in the Ketchikan Totem Bight State Historical Park, Saxman Native Village and the Totem Heritage Center Museum. Ketchikan has more cultural sightseeing opportunities than most cities and towns in Alaska, making it the perfect Alaskan getaway for those keen to experience indigenous culture as well as the stunning natural landscapes of Alaska.
Rustic Creek Street, with its picturesque wooden boardwalks and stilts, was once the town's red light district, and today the houses have been converted into restaurants, shops and galleries. Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island, 235 miles (378km) south of Juneau. If staying in the capital, Ketchikan is a popular excursion from the city; in fact, the quaint old town feels much more authentic and traditional than the larger city. The town is a popular cruise destination and is the starting point for most Inside Passage tours. Excursions into the surrounding wilderness include air or boat trips to nearby Misty Fjords, an area of pristine, spectacular scenery with soaring cliffs, waterfalls, lakes and glaciers.