Plan your Sitka getaway
Brought to you by Visit Sitka
Sitka embodies the total Alaskan experience for visitors. Sitka is located on Baranof Island, on the outer coast of Alaska's Inside Passage. Like most Southeast Alaska communities, Sitka is accessible only by air and by sea. The downtown area is centrally located, and most points of interest are within walking distance of one another. Sitka offers world class-fishing and wildlife encounters, a thriving and active Alaska native culture, centuries of history including Tlight, Russian and American experiences, home to one of Alaska's eight national parks, thousands of acres of wilderness, miles of virgin coastline, vibrant culinary scene, and a passionate artist and makers community. One of Alaska's larger population centers, Sitka maintains the charm and feel of a small town. And all of this amazing experience is closer than you think. Sitka has is serviced by three airlines, with daily direct flights from Seattle and Anchorage, and the Alaska Marine Highway.
Sitka is a community of about 8,500 year-round residents. The Tlingt people have lived here for thousands of years, in the 1700’s Russian fur traders moved into the Sitka area, and in 1867 Sitka was the site of the Alaska transfer from Russia to the United States. We are a community of artists and makers, we share a passion for the outdoors and all that it gives to us. And we are constantly celebrating with each other though community events big and small. And we welcome visitors to become part of our celebrations.
History & Culture
With an abundance of culture there is something for everyone in Sitka. Stroll through the Sitka National Historical Park, this area commemorates the site of 1804 Battle of Sitka between the invading Russian traders and the Tlingit Kiks.adi clan. The beautiful accessible park trails are lined with totem poles and in the summer native artists demonstrate their work for visitors. The Sheldon Jackson Museum founded in 1888, houses an exceptional collection of Alaska Native ethnographic material and the octagon structure was the first concrete building in Alaska, and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972. The Sitka Historical Museum is packed with displays, photographs, and artifacts from Sitka’s Tlingit, Russian, and American history and provides a perspective for almost everything else the traveler will see during his/her stay. St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral is home to Sitka’s active Russian Orthodox congregation and housing an important collection of Russian Orthodox art and rare church treasures. Built in 1844-48, the church was totally destroyed by fire in January of 1966. Many of the precious icons and religious objects were salvaged and are in the rebuilt structure.
Sitka is a town on Baranof Island, and we are the only community is Southeast Alaska that faces the open ocean. We are located in the Tongass National Forest, which is a temperate rainforest, so between the rainforest and the ocean we have a mild climate, similar to Vancouver. With an abundance of marine life one of the best ways to see wildlife is on a boat. Sitka’s experienced tour operators know just the right places for you to experience the local sea otters, sea lions and whales. Don’t miss a chance to visit St. Lazaria Island, where than 500,000 seabirds nest on this 65-acre island that is one of the most productive seabird colonies in the State of Alaska. Don’t miss your chance to visit our two animal rehabilitation centers, The Alaska Raptor Center and the Fortress of the Bear. These two world renowned facilities take in injured and orphaned animals and give them a second chance at life. See the marine world close up and learn about that lives under the water at the Sitka Sound Science Center.
Facing the open ocean and with so many freshwater streams and lakes it’s no surprise that Sitka is known for its world class fishing. We get all five species of salmon here, halibut, and beautiful freshwater trout. Whether you want a guided trip or want to venture out on your own, Sitka will provide a fishing trip of a lifetime. Your fishing options are unlimited, multi-day fully guided trips with luxury accommodations; private day trips with fishing processing and ship-it home options; or drive you own boat with all the equipment you need. If you prefer freshwater fishing, guides are ready to take you to the best spots close to town or by floatplane.
When you are looking for just the right place to lay your head, you have the pick of options to suit your tastes. Sitka has boutique hotels right on the water, hotels with fully equipped suites, and private cabins where you will hear only the sounds of nature. If you want everything taken care of for you, check into one of our all-inclusive resorts with fine dining and award-winning wine offerings. If you are looking for something a little different, try glamping in a retro-style trailer. Or stay on the water in a float house or on a private boat. For the traveler seeking a more rustic accommodation Sitka has a variety of unique options. There are multiple RV/camp sites that can be reserved, the backpacker with an adventurous spirit can find many great locations to camp under the stars, and my personal favorite are the Forest Service Cabins. Many of these cabins are located on islands surrounding Sitka so they do require a bit of extra planning. You’ll need to book these in advance and arrange a water taxi service for transport to and from the cabin.
Visit our website at www.visitsitka.org for more information and to plan your escape to Sitka!