Ketchikan lies at the foot of stunning Deer Mountain on an island named Revillagigedo. Only a narrow strait separates it from nearby Gravina Island. The city is nearly 240 miles to the south of Juneau, making it the most southerly of Alaska's cities.
The city has a maritime climate very similar to that experienced in Scotland. In winter, even though it may snow, it's not nearly as cold as one would expect an Alaskan town to be. In fact, winters are often really rainy rather than freezing. Summers tend to be on the mild side, making them perfect for being active in the great outdoors.
Ketchikan's main industries are timber, tourism and fishing. Cruise ships often dock in this beautiful port. What has made the city famous, though, is the salmon that can be caught here. You'll find several species, from red to king salmon.
The waters in the area yield more than just an abundance of salmon. Halibut is common too, as are red snapper and cod. Shrimp and crab can be had too. A charter company can arrange a trip for you out on the ocean but they can also offer an inland wilderness experience. Hike to one of the many lakes or gurgling streams here, pick a few berries as you go along, view the wildlife and try and hook some trout or other species of freshwater fish.
There are many ways to prepare your catch. Grill it and season with just a little lemon juice or skip the heat altogether and use the acidic juice to 'cook' the fish in the style of a South American ceviche. Poach it or roast it slowly and gently in the oven or on the fire. If for some reason there are leftovers, use them to make fish and crab cakes or spreads that will appeal to the kids.
If you haven't had much luck in the fishing waters, don't despair. There are plenty of places in Ketchikan where you can order the freshest seafood. The city also has much more to offer than just fish. Take the kids to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show or marvel at the local totem poles. Soar through the tree canopy on a zip-line or stroll along picturesque Creek Street with its wooden buildings on stilts.
A great accommodation option is to stay at a lodge in the area. Many lodges can even arrange boat or hiking trips for you. You'll also find several companies that offer Ketchikan fishing charters. Bear in mind though that summer is high season in Alaska, so it might be best to pre-book online.
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