15 Best Things To Do in Sitka, Alaska

Sitka is an urban borough which is situated within the Chichagof Island and Baranof Island. It is listed in the Alexander Archipelago which is located in the Pacific Ocean. It is recognized as the largest borough of the USA as a terrestrial area of this borough is 4,811.4 square miles.

This heritage city has gradually become one of the main tourist attractions in USA as it is the home of occurrence of many renowned historical events like World War II and Russian establishment. So, let’s explore the tourist attractions of the city.

Let’s have deeper look at Sitka points of interest and 15 best things to do in Sitka:

1. Take Wildlife Tour at Sitka

Sitka is known for its diverse wildlife. Both Alaskan Cruise and Sitka Shore Excursion are organised by Sitka Wildlife Tour from where you can opt for any wildlife tour. The Alaskan Cruise Tour will provide you the scenic beauty of water body with the glimpse of whales and dolphins. On the other side, Sitka Shore Excursion takes you to the Fortress of Bear, a popular animal reserve.   

2. Animal Observation at Fortress of the Bear

Either take a guided tour or a self-guided tour at the Fortress of the Bear to see varied species of Alaskan Bears like Brown Bear, Black Bear, Kodiak and Grizzly. Rather than a zoo, it is a bear rehabilitation centre which preserves these beautiful Alaskan endangered species. If you opt for guided tour then you can gain a lot of information about the mission of this centre. It is a notable tourist attraction in Sitka as here you will know how to take care of the bears.    

3. Watching Performances at Sitka Performing Arts Centre

Watch different types of plays like comedies, tragedies and others at a proscenium theatre like Sitka Performing Arts Centre. The hosted performances of this 608-seated theatre are performed by international performers. This spot has become a notable one due to the adjacent separate place for hosting art exhibitions where you can see fine artworks of famous painters. 

4. Beer tour at Baranof Island Brewing Company

If you opt for Shore Excursion Tour you can get the unexpected opportunity of visiting Baranof Island Brewing Company to taste some artisanal beer. Self-guided tour is also allowed here. 6 different brews are served to the visitors for tasting. Guide will tell you the different elements for processing each of these brews. This place becomes a popular tourist attraction in Sitka for the uniqueness in the taste of the Blonde, the Spruce Tip Beer and the Orange. There is an open place where you can enjoy walking with your pets and kids. 

5. Shopping from Island Artists Gallery

Pick different souvenir items of China and other countries which are available at the Island Artists Gallery. As it is an art gallery, art forms are exhibited here too which popularised this place among the visitors. The most famous among them is the Gyotaku prints. When you enter the gallery, you can gain a lot of information about those art forms by interacting with the artists. 

6. Hiking at Herring Cove Trail

Herring Cove Trail is the famous hiking spot of Sitka which makes hiking one of the prime things to do in Sitka.  Both easy hiking trails and challenging hiking trails are available for all skill levels. While you are hiking you can enjoy the scenery of the beautiful waterfall of this site. Climbing is another activity which is allowed at the spot which is characterised by rocks. Deer is the most common animal which can be noticed at the lush green area of the area. 

7. Explore the History at Sitka National Historic Park/Totem Park

Must see in sitkaImage Source: flickr.com

Know the history of the tribal community like Haida and Tlingit from the several totems which are installed at each of the natural trails of Sitka National Historic Park/Totem Park. The natural trail leads you to the rocky shore where many wooden benches are placed for you to sit and relax. As picnic tables are also available here, picnicking can be another option for you. From the onsite visitor centre, you can know about the skills of making jewellery and garment of the tribal people.  

8. Fishing Opportunity in Sitka

If you are interested in fishing activity, then take the help of Angling Unlimited which organizes tour to some water bodies where fishing is allowed.  If you have your own fishing spear or hook bring them along; otherwise rent them from this tour organiser. Take the help of guide if it is your first attempt at fishing. This spot is a favorite place to visit in Sitka because it allows you to catch different kinds of fishes including kingfish, rockfish and halibut.   

9. Visit Sheldon Jackson Museum

Know the history of the regional people by visiting Sheldon Jackson Museum. This historical building was constructed in 1835 and mainly focuses on the early lifestyle of the Tlingit people. The exhibited items which are found here are weapons, children’s toy, native dresses and others. Smaller items are exhibited at the drawers, so don’t miss to pull out the drawers. The outstanding decoration of kayaks and other crafted items which are hung from the ceiling will amaze you.

10. Engage Yourself in Golf at Sea Mountain Golf Course | Event Venue

Spend some leisure time by engaging yourself in golf at the 9-holes golf course of Sea Mountain Golf Course/ Event Venue. The separate putting green and chipping green of this club for practising facility make this place a point of interest in Sitka among the visitors. This golf club also has a driving range where the golfers can test their skills.  Rent the equipment of golf from the onsite pro-shop which offers full service for practising the game. 

11. Know the Alaskan History from Russian Bishop's House

Must see places in sitkaImage Source: wikipedia.org

Explore the culture of Native America and Alaskan history from the exhibited displays of one of the oldest churches of Sitka namely Russian Bishop's House. The unique architecture of the building of this so-called church will surely leave you stunned. The heating system inside this museum is outstanding in winter months. Though many museums have banned photography, this is an exceptional one!   

12. Read A Book at Kettleson Memorial Library Central Library

Kettleson Memorial Library Central Library is another place which attracts a lot of visitors every year due to the wide array of different books in this library. Along with the collection of 75,000 books, music recordings, audiobooks, reference resources and videos in the form of VHS and DVD can also be found here. This library becomes a key place to visit in Sitka for kids because of the installation of the 100 square-feet mural in the kids’ section. While you are reading books in the reading room, peep through the window to enjoy the view of Eastern Channel. 

13. Camping at Starrigavan Recreation Area

Starrigavan Recreation Area is widely popular for its campgrounds. While camping here, you would be able to enjoy the scenic views of nature both during the day and at night. As it is close to a beach, you can get easy access from there. Being a bird’s paradise, bird watching is another activity which is allowed here. Don’t miss out the chance of having an amazing experience of hiking through muskeg trail and estuary trail which are run through here. 

14. Leisure at Sitka Hotel & Restaurant

While you are in Sitka, take the advantages of impeccable amenities of Sitka Hotel & Restaurant which are provided for your comfort. Each room is equipped with kitchenettes, minifridge, microwave and others. Complimentary TV screen and wi-fi facility are also available in the room for your use. This penthouse is another point of interest in Sitka as here you can enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding area.

15.  Kayaking and Canoeing in Sitka

Sitka is a popular city which has a maze of numerous narrow passages and islands. Most water bodies of this city are lined by kelp woods and poorly-charted reefs which make it ideal for kayaking and canoeing.  These activities can be accompanied here with the exotic view of nature along with Russian architecture, Totem poles and colourful fishing boats. Rent the necessary accessories and equipment from any of the rental shops which are close to the coastal area of the city.

Author: Meghana Agashe
Oscillating between reality and day-dreaming, Meghana is a journalist by education and a travel-blogger by profession. The eternal love for exploring different places and cuisines, the urge to interact with people across cultures and the thirst for a...

Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Sitka, Alaska

Must see places in Sitka ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of Sitka tourist attractions & points of interest.

  1. # 1 of 140 Things To Do in Sitka | Added 40 times in trip plans
    Sea Mountain Golf Course Image
    Timings: 08:00 am - 08:00 pm Details
    Google Reviews
    Edward Phillips

    Great dinner, view and service!

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  2. # 2 of 140 Things To Do in Sitka | Added 259 times in trip plans
    Fortress Of The Bear Image

    Tags: Zoo

    Google Reviews
    Frances M

    Very small venue but a great opportunity to get fairly up close and personal to 4 brown bears and 2 black bears. This is a sanctuary so there are plenty of photo opportunities. It is a place where the...

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  3. # 3 of 140 Things To Do in Sitka | Added 75 times in trip plans
    Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport (SIT) Image

    Address: 605 Airport Dr

    Google Reviews
    James Morowski

    A nice small airport with friendly people. Takes just a few minutes to get through security and on your way. Also has a nice place to catch a bite to eat or grab a drink.

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  4. # 4 of 140 Things To Do in Sitka | Added 38 times in trip plans
    Sitka Sound Science Center Image

    Tags: Aquarium

    Google Reviews
    Con Ward

    Great place to go and learn about the native fish species and observe a productive fishery. Awesome staff.

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  5. # 5 of 140 Things To Do in Sitka | Added 33 times in trip plans
  6. # 6 of 140 Things To Do in Sitka | Added 35 times in trip plans
    Russian Bishop's House Image

    Address: Monastery Street

    Google Reviews
    Daniel Yu

    Quaint museum run by the National Park Service. Provides a glimpse of everyday life in the Russian Bishops House, like the original kitchen used, as well as information on Sitka while under Russian ru...

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  7. # 7 of 140 Things To Do in Sitka | Added 31 times in trip plans
    St. Michael's Cathedral Image

    Tags: Church

    Google Reviews
    Susan Travers

    Beautiful display of three history of the church and interesting information about the Russian influence

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  8. # 8 of 140 Things To Do in Sitka | Added 40 times in trip plans
    Alaska Raptor Center Image

    Tags: Park

    Timings: 08:00 am - 04:00 pm Details
    Google Reviews
    Robert Ayzin

    One of the most amazing experiences you can have, anywhere. This remarkable center rehabilitates injured and traumatized raptors to enable them to return to their natural habitat in the wild, or to li...

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  9. # 9 of 140 Things To Do in Sitka | Added 22 times in trip plans
    Sheldon Jackson Museum Image

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 104 College Dr

    Timings: 06:30 am - 08:00 am Details
    Google Reviews
    Robert Carlson

    Unequaled collection of Alaskan artifacts. Good educational programs. Very helpful staff.

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Activities And Tours

Explore these activities and tours for awesome experiences in Sitka: