Best Things To Do In Sitka, AK
The city of Sitka blends the respective historical traditions of Russia and Tlingit to have a unique appeal. Situated at the outer coast of the Inside Passage in Alaska, Sitka is at the center of the Tongass National Forest.
What’s unique about Sitka is that travelers can only reach there by sea or air, making the journey exciting from the start! What you find upon landing is a breathtaking scene of majestic glaciers and jagged mountains reaching high into the skies and dense forests at their foot, adding a fresh color to the heavenly spread of white snow all around.
There’s a lot to do in Sitka if you’re into hiking, fishing, exploring, and enjoying the wildlife. Let’s make a list of things that you should put on your itinerary.
Sitka National Park
Start your trip by paying tribute to the beautiful nature that designed this place like a divine stage. The first destination for that is the Sitka National Park. This is a nature resort with a rich history. You’ll find native totem poles that speak of historical influences from all parts of Alaska. They’re symbolic of the Russian hunters and the native Tlingit people and the artwork pays homage to the tribes that helped designed these masterpieces.
When you’ve had your fair share of a history lesson, switch gears and climb up a hiking trail. It will be hard to choose one from the many that the park offers. You’ll enjoy a rare sight of salmons jumping out of the streams and diving right back in while the mountains and greenery keep you company.
Fortress of the Bear
Sitka is not like other commercialized vacation spots around the world. The place respects their own as much as the outsiders. That’s why there’s a rescue center for orphaned, injured or rescued bears that’s called the Fortress of the Bear.
It’s not just a sanctuary for abandoned wildlife animals that’s designed to look exactly like their natural habitat but also a place that will educate you about ways to care for them and their lifestyle. You’ll get to spend time with each one of the furry friends and sit and play for hours. Each bear has a distinct personality and you’ll soon make a new friend on your trip to Sitka.
St. Michaels Cathedral
If you’ve saturated your travel palate with nature and adventure, you might want to slow down and admire the architectural beauty Sitka has to offer. The Russian Orthodox Church, St. Michael’s Cathedral is one of the first orthodox cathedrals of the New World.
The historic building suffered a fire breakout in 1966, which damaged most of the architecture and the treasures it contained. However, it was rebuilt with a few structural changes and now has on display some of the oldest paintings, artifacts, and icons. You’ll learn a lot about Sitka’s Russian history just by spending an hour here.
This is not all there is to do in Sitka. There’s the Sound Science Center, Russian Bishops House, and the Baranof Island Brewing Company, which offers beer tasting. You’re in for a treat because they pride themselves on using glacier water to make their gourmet malts and hops. But you know what tastes best with beer? Freshly prepared crabs for dinner!
Lost on Land Found at Sea is a group of sea-lovers who bring Alaskan crabs and tales from their sea adventures to your dinner table. If you’re interested in nautical clothing, fishing apparel or accessories, check out our page for Alaskan fishing gear and more.