Skip to main content

Southeast Alaska Discovery Center

50 Main St., Ketchikan, Alaska

The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center provides visitors with an introduction to the history and culture of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. Rangers offer interpretation, while a theater screens films on cultural history. Facilities also include a recreated native fishing village and a trail through the temperate rainforest.

The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center is modeled after a classic mountain lodge, complete with a stone fireplace and plenty of seating. There are several exhibits to browse, outlining Alaska’s landscapes, history, and culture, along with films screened in the theater; the Learning Center has installations for kids on the area’s special ecology and wildlife. Visitors to the center can also pick up brochures, purchase maps and books, or ask the staff about trails, cabins, and outdoor activities.

  • The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center makes an excellent first stop for visitors to Ketchikan.

  • Entrance is free for children under 15.

  • No public restrooms are available inside the Discovery Center, so plan accordingly.

The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center is on the corner of Mill and Main Streets in downtown Ketchikan. It’s within easy walking distance of the cruise port and most other notable points of interest.

Opening hours vary throughout the year, with longer opening hours during the summer months. The center is closed during federal holidays. In the summer, the center's offerings include guided ranger walks, lectures, and other special events.

If you’re interested in learning more about Alaska’s public lands, be sure to visit some of the other discovery centers throughout the state. Take a mini tour of Alaska at the center in Anchorage, find trip-planning help at the Fairbanks Alaska Public Lands Information Center, or learn more about Alaska’s vast interior at the Tok Visitor Center.


Travel Like an Expert with AAA and Trip Canvas

Get Ideas from the Pros

As one of the largest travel agencies in North America, we have a wealth of recommendations to share! Browse our articles and videos for inspiration, or dive right in with preplanned AAA Road Trips, cruises and vacation tours.

Build and Research Your Options

Save and organize every aspect of your trip including cruises, hotels, activities, transportation and more. Book hotels confidently using our AAA Diamond Designations and verified reviews.

Book Everything in One Place

From cruises to day tours, buy all parts of your vacation in one transaction, or work with our nationwide network of AAA Travel Agents to secure the trip of your dreams!