Skip to main content

Stedman-Thomas Historic District

Ketchikan, Alaska

The Stedman-Thomas Historic District is one of Ketchikan’s oldest neighborhoods—and one of the most significant, serving as a hub for Asian and Pacific Islanders who worked for Alaska’s fishing industry in the first half of the 20th century. Complete with boardwalks and original restored buildings built on wooden pilings from the early 1900s, it’s one of the most visited areas in Ketchikan, especially for cruise ship passengers.

The beginning of Thomas and Stedman streets are less than a mile (1.6 kilometers) away from the Ketchikan Cruise Ship Docks, making it super easy to explore the Stedman-Thomas Historic District independently at your own pace. However, if you’re looking for a more guided experience of the historic area, you can join a Ketchikan history tour, private city tour, cultural tour, or other Ketchikan highlights tour that all make a stop in the Stedman-Thomas Historic District.

  • If you're looking to do some salmon fishing in Ketchikan, try the sidewalk along the Stedman Street Bridge—it’s the spot where the salmon go upstream.

  • Check out the Thomas Basin and Viewing Platform to see a totem pole crafted by Haida artist Warren Peele.

  • Wear good walking shoes—you’ll want to keep exploring on foot when you get there.

  • The area is close to Creek Street—Ketchikan’s old red-light district—which has many other fun stories and historical places worth exploring.

  • Be sure to check out Ohashi’s, one of the town’s oldest operating retailers, originally opened by Japanese immigrant George Ohashi in 1910.

If you’re coming to the Stedman-Thomas Historic District from Downtown Ketchikan or the cruise ship docks, it’s easiest just to walk to the area as it’s very close. (You’ll see most travelers choose to walk the city.) If you’re staying in a different area of Ketchikan, you can grab a taxi, a rideshare service, or the Ketchikan Gateway Borough bus, or even choose to bike.

Most of the cruise ships in Ketchikan dock in the late morning and then head back out again in the late afternoon. To beat some of those daytime tourist crowds in the Stedman-Thomas Historic District, choose an early morning visit before 10am or an evening visit after 5pm.

Don’t leave Ketchikan (known as the Salmon Capital of the World) without trying a fresh-salmon (or other fresh-fish) meal. A great place to do this in the Stedman-Thomas Historic District is at the local-favorite New York Cafe at 211 Stedman Street. The café is open every day except Mondays.


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!