Ketchikan Alaska Souvenirs, Gifts, Curios, Collectables and Native ArtMisty Ketchikan, the rainiest town in southeast Alaska, is known as the "Salmon Capital of the World." The town offers the perfect blend of activities: spend the morning kayaking in Misty Fiords or hiking up Deer Mountain, then spend the afternoon poking in and out of fantastic galleries and shops.
You're bound to visit Creek Street, a row of wooden buildings perched over the water on pilings. Today's brightly painted boutiques once catered to gentlemen seeking the company of "sporting women." The museum at Dolly's House gives you a glimpse into the bawdy ways of frontier life, though Ketchikan's red-light district wasn't shut down until 1953.
Legends of a different sort are recorded on totem poles. Boasting the world's largest collection of Northwest totems, Ketchikan has plenty of places to see these fascinating works of art.
Best Souvenir in Ketchikan:
A hand-carved totem poleOutside of Ketchikan, two must-sees are Totem Bight State Park (10 miles north), and Saxman Native Village (2 miles south), where you can watch Native carvers at work. Both offer gift shops with authentic hand-carved totem pole souvenirs.
Shopping in downtown Ketchikan:The most interesting area both for historic value and good shopping is Creek Street. Not a street at all, this boardwalk winds along Ketchikan Creek and was once the locale for all the area's brothels. Now it's home to artsy galleries like Soho Coho (5 Creek Street), which sells a variety of higher-end crafts, from gorgeous velvet scarves to watercolors to soaps; adjacent is the Alaska Eagle Art Gallery where Pendleton blankets with Indian themes are a standout, as are silver pendants and bronze sculptures. Upstairs is Parnassus, an interesting book store with a great selection of Alaska-oriented tomes. Try Sam McGee's A Taste of Alaska (18 Creek Street) for regionally made foodstuffs, from honey to barbecue sauce to soaps, lotions and ulu knives.
Another interesting "shopping" area is a line of galleries along Stedman Street such as Blue Heron (123 Stedman Street), which has Alaskan crafts, including locally carved totem poles, and Golden Eagle Gifts (123 Stedman Street) for state-made coffees and teas.
Right in the heart of downtown, the Eagle Spirit Gallery (310 Mission Street) and Scanlon Gallery (318 Mission Street) have interesting native Indian arts, from ivory carvings to cedar bark baskets and masks.