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“Something for a relatively small town to be really proud of”

Southeast Alaska Discovery Center
Ranked #4 of 34 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, discover how people earn a living from the forest, enjoy Junior Ranger activities with your kids and experience Alaska's rainforest from the comfort of our theatre through a variety of award-winning films. Wi-fi access is included with admission, and kids can play the Agents of Discovery augmented-reality game in the museum to sleuth out the truth about the Tongass
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Reviewed 15 June 2018

This centre is a real education about the Tongass National Park, one of the most significant in North America. It focuses particularly on human interactions with nature and how indigenous Americans lived in harmony with their environment.

Whoever conceived of the displays in the centre has done an outstanding job of executing on their vision. I’ve seen many much less sophisticated and integrated efforts in much bigger towns.

For the many people who visit Ketchikan on cruises, this centre is a great way to gain real insights into the town and its heritage.

1  Thank BrooksieG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Travis M, Assistant Director at Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, responded to this reviewResponded 25 June 2018

Thanks for sharing your well-spoken thoughts about the Discovery Center, and we're glad you left understanding more about Southeast Alaska's incredible landscapes and vibrant cultures.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (238)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
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All reviews
"forest service"
in 17 reviews
"senior pass"
in 8 reviews
"parks pass"
in 7 reviews
"tongass national forest"
in 15 reviews
"nice exhibits"
in 6 reviews
"the national park service"
in 6 reviews
"scavenger hunt"
in 9 reviews
"excellent film"
in 3 reviews
"admission fee"
in 5 reviews
"short film"
in 4 reviews
"great overview"
in 3 reviews
"natural history"
in 3 reviews
"gold rush"
in 5 reviews
"native peoples"
in 4 reviews
"cruise ship docks"
in 6 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 5 reviews
"wealth of information"
in 3 reviews

28 - 32 of 238 reviews

Reviewed 14 June 2018 via mobile

A beautiful center focused on the Tongas National Forest. Very interesting displays, excellent and friendly staff. They honor your park senior pass which saves you about $10. A worthwhile place to spend a few hours if you are not into a lumberjack show.

Thank BoboTravlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2018 via mobile

This stop was very informative for learning about the surrounding forest and ancient history of the Ketchikan area. Enjoyed learning about how the early people lived and survived this harsh climate. The movies that played continuously were interesting and informative on a variety of topics.

Thank Scarlkj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2018

While the lumberjack show near the cruise ships is fun, this wonderful National Park service visitor center is overall the best place to spend some time, plus if you have the America the beautiful senior pass, it's free. (otherwise, I think it might cost $5, well worth the price.). You can begin by seeing three or four films in the theater, then wander the exhibits, which do am amazing job of explaining so much about SE Alaska. Very well done!

1  Thank mothership1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 4 June 2018

A good stop for learning more about the area. The video was worthwhile as were the exhibits. A nice thing to do while in town, instead of shopping. Doesn’t take a lot of time. Free admission with national park pass.

1  Thank mrobinsontravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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