The community is located on Baranof Island, which is nestled between forested mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Sitka takes its name from the Tlingit term, ‘Shee-Atika’, which roughly translates as ‘settlement on the outside of Shee’. Russia established a settlement in 1804 and stayed until the sale of Alaska in 1867. Sitka is a treasure trove of Tlingit, Russian and United States history.
This charming sea-side city is considered by many to be the ‘Jewel of the Inside Passage‘.
Sitka’s mild climate and richly diverse environment make it an excellent place to view wildlife. In the late autumn and early spring, the waters surrounding Sitka are an ideal feeding ground for humpback whales. Sea lions, sea otters and other marine wildlife can also be spotted. Fishing is a popular activity for visitors with Sitka boasting the highest saltwater sport fishing catch rate in the nation. Kayaking, underwater exploration and hiking are popular ways to enjoy the wildlife and nature.
• Alaska Raptor Center (www.alaskaraptor.org)
• Sitka National Historical Park (www.nps.gov/sitk)
• St Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral
• Castle Hill
• Sheldon Jackson Museum (museums.alaska.gov/sheldon_jackson)
Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau
104 Lake Street, Sitka, AK 99835, USA
Tel: +1 907 747 8604.
Unique Alaskan products and crafts include: gold nugget and amber jewellery; items carved from jade, stone and bone; hand-painted clothing and toys; and woven baskets of beach grass, bark and baleen. Native-made carvings, beaded jewellery and miniature hand-carved totem poles are also popular souvenirs.
Salmon, halibut, crab and clam chowder are popular choices. Alaskan delicacies include smoked salmon, wild berry products and reindeer sausage.
When to go:
May through September is the most popular time to visit.
15-20 minutes tender ride, followed by 5-10 minutes walk.