We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

Southeast Alaska Discovery Center

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 50 Main St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
Phone Number:
+1 907-228-6220
08:00 - 16:00
Closed now
See all hours
Mon - Fri 08:00 - 16:00
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.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 159 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 88
  • 60
    Very good
  • 6
  • 1
  • 1
Awesome Free Activity!

Fantastic opportunity to learn more about Alaska. The displays are fantastic and informational. You can't go wrong.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 15 November 2016
Michelle O
Ketchikan, Alaska, United States
Add Photo Write a Review

159 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 156: English reviews
Ketchikan, Alaska, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2016

Fantastic opportunity to learn more about Alaska. The displays are fantastic and informational. You can't go wrong.

Thank Michelle O
Welches, Oregon
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2016

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
33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2016

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
275 reviews
132 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 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
50 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 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
83 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 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
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 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
145 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 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 4 August 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
319 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 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

Travellers who viewed Southeast Alaska Discovery Center also viewed


Been to Southeast Alaska Discovery Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Southeast Alaska Discovery Center and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from Southeast Alaska Discovery Center staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
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?