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“Nice little treasure”

Southeast Alaska Discovery Center
Ranked #21 of 56 things to do in Ketchikan
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Lisbon, New York
Level Contributor
116 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Nice little treasure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2014

The Discovery Center is a place where you need to have a couple of hours to spend. We had a hour before going on another tour and the person at the desk told us it would only take 45 minutes to go through. This may have been true if you didn't try to read about the displays and the area or do any of the numerous activities in the Center. We spent our hour but "ran" through the last half of the displays. Anyway, the displays are filled with interesting information and there are a lot of hands on activities scattered about the displays. It is very well done and I only wish we would have had a longer time there. The admission is $5.00 and well worth it.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank lovestotravel061
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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162 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
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English first
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic Museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2014

This is one of the most inclusive, well done centers of its kind. The detail and oral histories are fantastic and the model animals are realistic. The artifacts and hands on displays really show the history of this area.

Best way to spend an hour in Ketchikan, much better than those touristy shops.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Katie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travis M, Public Relations Manager at Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, responded to this review, July 29, 2014
We're glad you enjoyed your visit to the Discovery Center and thanks for sharing your experience here! Come back and see us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
119 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“You must stop here if visiting SE”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2014 via mobile

This was my second visit to the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. The first time for my wife and grandson. You have to pay $5 per person for entry but you get great value for that. It is right in the heart of downtown, a couple of blocks from Creek street and the cruise ship docks. The interpretative portion of the center is very informative focusing on all aspects; wildlife, ecosystem, native peoples, and the main industries; fishing, logging and mining.

Allow for at least one hour to see everything. Make sure to see the 18 minute movie about the Tongass National Forest. The scenery of this video is stunning.

Visited July 2014
Thank swj1051
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lenexa, Kansas
Level Contributor
42 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Glad we found this gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2014

Within easy 2 block walking distance of the cruise ship dock, right in town.The $5 admission is a bargain. Excellent US Forest Service film and nice dioramas displaying rainforest habitat , Tlingit & Haida cultures and native flora & fauna.

Visited June 2014
Thank Jill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Meridian, Idaho, United States
Level Contributor
81 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Good information pertaining to Alaska”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2014

My 7yr old and I took the self guided tour at the Discovery Center in Ketchikan. Admission for my son was free and I paid a nominal charge. There is no limit as to how long you can stay, and there are many great exhibits to see with an abundance of information. The movie was great and relaxing. The center is not very big, but we were easily there for over an hour.

Visited May 2014
Thank Andrea S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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