an old hillside house in Ketchikan, Alaska
Photo: Courtesy Guy Mickel, RE/MAX Realty
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Ketchikan, Alaska

The Neighborhood:
Located in Southeast Alaska, Ketchikan is more than just a town that was supposed to be the starting point of the "Bridge to Nowhere," the now defunct project meant to link this island fishing village to an airport on the next island over. In fact, Ketchikan is turning into one of the country's most popular tourist destinations and the first stop for many Alaska-bound cruise ships. Ketchikan (pop. 7,400) has many sturdy homes built by men who prospered in the area’s fishing, canning, and logging industries. Once teeming with bordellos and saloons, Ketchikan's historic downtown isn't as rough and tumble as it used to be, with restaurants, boutiques, and galleries catering to visitors and locals alike. Many residents work for the U.S. Coast Guard, which has a base here, or local shipyards.

The Houses:
The best homes are either on Water Street or in Nob Hill, a historic neighborhood perched on a hillside above downtown. Some old mountain and hillside houses—accessible via elaborate multitiered staircases—offer views of the Pacific Ocean. Craftsman and Queen Anne styles prevail. A fixer-upper Craftsman with ocean views recently sold for just $150,000, but some of the town's larger homes sell for $500,000 or more.

Why Buy Now?
If you're an outdoorsy person looking for a place to escape or retire, Ketchikan could be exactly what you're looking for. It's a safe bet that a few of the 900,000 tourists who visited last summer were so smitten that they moved here, so get in while you can.

Best Place for Waterfront, Sportsmen, Cottages and Bungalows, Retirees
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