Sitka, an Alaskan Treasure

Sitka, an Alaskan Treasure

The gorgeous city of Sitka, Alaska couldn't be more perfectly placed.  With towering mountains to one side and island-dotted waters to the other, Sitka is a vacationer's paradise.  This seaside town is located on Baranof Island, between the outer waters of the Inside Passage and seemingly-endless mainland pine and spruce forests.  With a lively history, Tlingit culture, Russian-influenced architecture, and a strong spirit of independence, Sitka is 100% Alaska.

Sitka is set in Alaska's southern-most region, the narrow piece of land that runs between Canada's Yukon Territory and the Pacific Ocean.  As a result, Sitka enjoys mild temperatures and tons of wildlife.  Fishing is a popular sport and business here, and many visitors come to watch the humpback whales feeding offshore in the late fall and early spring.  Don't miss the sea otters, sea lions, whales, tufted puffins, and other amazing sea birds!

The Kiksadi Clan, a group of Tlingit Indians, have lived in the Sitka area for centuries--and had even before the first Russian or American set foot in Alaska.  The Kiksadi called their settlement Shee Atika, which means "people on the outside of Shee," (Shee being their name for the island).  Sitka is a contraction of Shee Atika.  In 1799 the first Russian settlers arrived and built a fort a few miles north of Sitka.  Today, you can learn about the area's unique history at a number of local museums and historic sites.

Alaska is all about the great outdoors, and Sitka is no exception.  When you visit, you'll find world-class salmon and halibut fishing, amazing sea kayaking routes, fishing and boating charters, and many miles of scenic hiking trails.  You can plan a day trip to Kruzof Island and climb up Mt Edgecumbe, the only volcano in southeast Alaska, or head out on an ocean tour of whales, otters, and seabird rookeries.  

For more exotic adventures, take an ATV tour of Kruzoff island, plan a flight over the dramatic Baranof Island ice fields, or experience the underwater world with a trip in a glass-bottomed kayak or semi-submersible boat.

Sitka is known for its seaside parks, all of which are great places to enjoy a walk or a picnic lunch.  You can take a scenic ride aboard the Southeast Alaska Marine Highway ferry, tour the 107-acre Sitka National Historic Park, or visit the world-famous Alaska Raptor Center, a state-of-the-art facility that rehabilitates and cares for injured birds of prey.  Visitors are welcome to tour the new flight barn and the newly expanded facility.

Visitors to Sitka will enjoy a number of great nearby attractions.  You can take day trips to Juneau, Alaska's capital, or to the gorgeous Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.  To the south of Sitka lies Tongass National Forest, miles of coastline and islands to explore, and Ketchican.  No matter what you're here to do, you're going to love Sitka.  With its stunning scenery and easy access to the great outdoors, this Alaskan town truly has everything!