I visited Wrangell and Ketchikan a couple of years ago and very much enjoyed both areas. Wrangell reminded me a lot of the town in the TV series "Northern Exposure" - a town with character and full of characters.
In Wrangell, Petroglyph Beach is a short walk from town and has some good rock carvings in lava boulders right on the beach.
On the other end of town is Chief Shakes Island, which has a traditional Tlingit tribal house and some very nice totem poles. Check in advance to see when the tribal house is open for visitors so you can go inside.
Rainbow Falls is not far away in the Tongass National Forest. The trail passes through beautiful old-growth forest, but might be a bit much for the little ones or grandpa - it involves going up and down 600 stair steps.
If you like to kayak, I went on a 1/2 day trip with Alaska Vistas and recommend them. If you want to do a a jet boat tour up the Stikine River, Alaska Waters is a native-run company and they do a good job.
For evening entertainment, check out the Can Can show at the Totem Bar - local girls put on a costumed show that is a real hoot.
Ketchikan is much more of a real city and the downtown area is totally geared to cruise ship tourism. Rent a car for a day or two and visit Totem Bight State Park and Saxman Park, both with fantastic totem poles and tribal houses.
Southeast Sea Kayaks has a great tour from downtown to a pretty little cover across the inside passage, and a flightseeing tour of Misty Fjords with Island Wings is awesome.
Have a great time!
We are flying in to Wrangell to meet with my parents on their boat, it's a 42 foot trawler. We don't have a set agenda except to be in Ketchikan in 5 days or so.
Looking for wildlife or scenery suggestions, specifically BEARS.
Whales, eagles, otters...any thoughts welcome.
Ideas for side trips welcome, but we'll have my 8yr old son and 65yr old dad - so not too strenuous.
We fly in to Wrangell June 14, out of Ketchikan June 22. We will probably have at least 2 days in Ketchikan to do some exploring.