When people think of places they want to visit, many think of Alaska. After all, the breathtaking expanse of untamed terrain calls to many adventurers. From wanting to snap photos of Alaska’s wildlife to learning more about the locals and their history, the Last Frontier has plenty to offer. Sitka is a quaint port town on the state’s Baranof Island. Learn more about what this beautiful port has to offer people from all walks of life before setting sail to its welcoming shore.
Activities in Sitka
As with any thriving port town, Sitka has a variety of fun things to do for everyone in your traveling group. From engaging multicultural centers to active adventures like ATV tours and more, you’ll find your ideal activity in Sitka.
History & Culture
The three largest groups that call Sitka home are people who descend from either Russian or American settlers, or who come from the original inhabitants, the Tlingit. This unique combination enables the city to recognize the traditions of many cultures. Visit the Alaska Native Brotherhood building, which was built in 1914 and is a National Historic Landmark. This building resides in the center of the Tlingit village, making it an important Alaska Native community center. Another significant building in Sitka is St. Michael’s Orthodox Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox house of worship erected in 1848 when the land was still under Russian control. After a fire consumed the church in 1966, the church was rebuilt and has treasures from the previous church on display.
To take a look into the past, the Sitka Pioneer Home houses a range of information and other cultural treasures for visitors to admire. This is another icon on the National Register of Historical Places. The home’s bronze statue designed by Alonzo Victor Lewis was dedicated in 1949 and depicts William “Skagway Bill” Fonda, a gold prospector whose legacy helped create the Alaska we know today. The gift shop is full of handmade souvenirs created by the home’s residents, who are ready to tell tales of Sitka as they remember, so make sure to take time to chat with them about this historic town.
For visitors who can’t wait to get their adrenaline pumping, Sitka has plenty of opportunity for adventurous activities. This island town is filled with spectacular sights, which isn’t surprising given this beautiful port is graced with mountainous background and forest surroundings. What better way to get out and see them than by taking an ATV or bike tour? Boat and kayak rentals are also available for those who prefer water-based sightseeing. There are also a variety of whale-watching activities available.
The state of Alaska is a true enigma. Its almost 700 million square miles of land encompasses everything from glaciers to volcanoes to rainforest. When you’re in Sitka, be sure to leave time to visit the Tongass National Forest. Visiting this rainforest is one of the best things to do in Sitka, as it comes with plenty of incomparable activities and sights.
This Inside Passage attraction is the largest national forest in the United States and serves as the habitat for many animals, including graceful black-tailed deer and bright-eyed bald eagles. Additionally, as the forest is home to all five species of Pacific salmon it should come as no surprise that many brown bears call the forest home. When you’re out sightseeing in this national treasure, keep an eye out for other flora and fauna, too.
Like many Alaskan hubs, Sitka is full of tasty options for visitors to enjoy. Being right on the coast means it has plenty of Pacific Northwest cuisine, which includes a variety of seafood and other favorites inspired by regional ingredients.
There are plenty of creative spins on these choices, as well. Ashmo’s food truck has staples such as salmon mac and cheese and beer battered halibut, whereas Captain JuJu’s focuses on gourmet seafood tacos and nachos. Head to Sweet Sisters Caramels to satisfy your sweet tooth—their caramels are all small-batch, hand-stirred creations guaranteed to melt in your mouth. Needless to say, there are many ways to indulge in Sitka’s delightful local cuisine.
Ready to Visit?
The town of Sitka, Alaska, appeals to a variety of travelers and adventure-seekers, especially those docking for a day aboard a cruise. Those disembarking from luxury cruises love to explore the tiny port town. Luxury cruise lines like Regent Seven Seas Cruises offer several excursions that feature this Alaskan gem. Take a look at available voyages from Regent to begin planning your next adventure.