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beeandkmon

An hour in each port..

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We are going to Alaska for the first time this summer and have most of our "big" plans booked. We will end up a little bit of extra time in each port (Seward, Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Skagway) to explore on your own after our day. We tend to want to fill every minute in port and board at the last minute so I need a little advice. My question is: if you had an hour or two at each of these ports what would you make sure to see that is walkable from the ship? Which stores would you prioritize going into? Any restaurants that we should head into? 

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Sounds like you already have excursions planned so to answer your question in terms of how to spend the time before or after your excursion in each town I would suggest the following:

 

Ketchikan - explore the Creek Street boardwalk area, take the Funicular uphill to Cape Fox Lodge to see the totems there and then walk back down via Married Man's Trail. Take a tour of Dolly's House for a little historic flavor of what used to be the Red Light District.

Juneau - Walk the main tourism area on Franklin Street and explore the shops there - my favorite is House of Russia but there are lots of interesting stores. If you have time stop into Red Dog Saloon.

Skagway - Again, like Juneau lots of cute shops up and down the main shopping street there. The Days of 98 show is fun and gives an interesting historical perspective if you have time and the Red Onion Saloon there has an interesting tour. There area also a couple of small museums there that can be done in a short amount of time as well. 

Icy Strait Point - The cannery center at the dock offers a nice place to spend an hour to shop, eat and learn about the area. There is a Native House there that offers some heritage information and shows as well as a pretty beach right next door to explore.

 

Seward - still on the bucket list!

 

Hope that gives you some ideas!

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All of the above, plus:

 

I like to grab some fresh Alaskan oysters and beer at Skagway Fish Company right near the dock - easy to kill an hour there.

 

If you're into it, Alex and Ani have their stuff with Alaskan themes in local stores in those ports.

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With only an hour agree that wandering around the main shopping area in each of these ports makes the most sense.

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Thanks for the tips! And don't worry we don't cut it that close... it is more like we are out adventuring and want to make it back to town with plenty of time to spare...but then end up having a bit of extra time in town.

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If you are in town before 5pm, there is a video shown at the NPS at second and Broadway is that is a good overview of what happened to create this place out of a gold rush, which left behind the new town of Skagway in its wake!

the video plays at the top ,of each hour and lasts for 27 minutes.

it is free and is well worth the time to learn the history of this place.

nice auditorium and a place to relax after whatever  you have done with your day here in port?

DD

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I'd just add that if you can get in on one of the NPS free walking tours in Skagway, they really bring history to life.  Stop by the Klondike Gold Rush National Park visitor center (right downtown by the train depot) before your excursion and try to book a time for when you get back.  You can also take a nice short hike to Yakutania Point.  

 

In Kethickan, if the salmon are running, make sure to go far enough along Creek Street to get to the fish ladder and watch the fish seemingly failing to get up the rapids.  THEN walk across the street and find the pools in the creek above.  You might be in for a surprise.  Salmon in Ketchikan:  https://www.melindabrasher.com/2017/02/salmon-in-ketchikan-alaska.html

 

In Juneau, I think the Taku Smokeries is a fun place to visit for a few minutes, since it gives museum-like details about processing salmon, and you might get to watch parts of the process.  

 

Icy Strait Point--walk the nature trails, beachcomb, and watch for whales and other wildlife out in the strait.  

 

 

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