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Southeast Alaska Discovery Center

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Address: 50 Main St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
Phone Number: +1 907-228-6220
See all hours
Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center is the gateway to the Tongass...

The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center is the gateway to the Tongass National Forest. Located just one block from the cruise ship docks in downtown Ketchikan, you can explore the amazing ecology of the coastal rainforest, connect with the rich cultures of the region's native peoples, enjoy Junior Ranger activities with your kids and experience Alaska's rainforest from the comfort of our theatre through an 18-minute, high-definition film.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 158 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 88
  • 59
    Very good
  • 6
  • 1
  • 1
nice place

Was surprised by the size of the building, large by Ketchikan standards. Very nice building and very informative. Lots of great photos and artifacts. Easy to walk to from about... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Bob D
Welches, Oregon
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158 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 155: English reviews
Welches, Oregon
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Was surprised by the size of the building, large by Ketchikan standards. Very nice building and very informative. Lots of great photos and artifacts. Easy to walk to from about anywhere in town. There is an entrance fee but if you have a National Parks Pass, just show that and there's no charge. Definitely work the visit.

Thank Bob D
Libby, United States
Level Contributor
32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

You have to go there to experience the historic culture, the first city in Alaska recognized when it became our 49th state in 1959. It was the first stop for gold miners by ship during the "Gold Rush" era from California..

Thank Nora L
Meridian, Idaho
Level Contributor
182 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2016

We had only a short time in Ketchikan and wanted to get as broad an overview as we could. This discovery center provided a concise overview of the area including nice exhibits on geology, ecology, history and economy of the area. We had originally thought there was no need to watch the available films, but, gladly, did sit in on... More 

Thank roadtripsters2015
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2016

Our cruise ship stopped in Ketchikan for only half a day but I am so glad we fit this place in. It's in the old downtown part of Ketchikan where most tourists go. It's an easy walk from the cruise ship docks. We learned a lot about life in Alaska and the wildlife there. All of the Alaska Panhandle is... More 

Thank RobInSanDiego
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
78 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2016 via mobile

Places for kids to be creative, good exhibits, friendly staff, and all FREE. Couldn"t ask for a better quiet, but fun place, to take a family in such a commercial area.

Thank Jo S
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2016

Enjoyed this center a great deal. Good exhibits and very friendly staff. Enjoyed a great film in their theater about The Artists of Ketchikan. The tourism folks should play up the arts in Ketchikan a lot more - enjoyed this aspect of the town a great deal. Also the center is free with your National Park Pass!

1 Thank Diane S
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
138 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2016

You can get in free with a "seniors" National Park card. Then leave a donation in your state's donation box. We enjoyed the film about the float plane history and pilots. there were also interesting exhibits.

1 Thank Avelave
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2016

We walked around here because it was pouring outside (a frequent occurrence in Ketchikan) and because it seemed like a good opportunity to learn about the natural, cultural and historical elements of southeastern Alaska at the beginning of our cruise through that area. We learned a lot and very much enjoyed our visit!

Thank Annie E
Level Contributor
297 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2016

We were on the ship for afew hours and went in to find out more about the area. What a display they had! Two floors and very extensive. Well worth the admission fee ($5). Close to the pier and food. Highly recommended.

Thank Fran F
Dyer, Indiana
Level Contributor
63 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2016

Only reason I know about this place was that I was wanting to buy a senior pass and had looked it up. It really is a gem of a little place and doesn't take long to go through it. It is located not far from the lumbar jack show, and not far from Creek street. So you have several things... More 

Thank parrottdize

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?