Visiting Sitka

Things to see while in Sitka!

There are many amazing things to do, beautiful places to see, and historical locations to admire while visiting Sitka. For many ideas, please visit Sitka’s Travel Page.

Here are some links and information that we think will be helpful in planning cultural, sightseeing, and outdoor excursions around Sitka. Check back from time to time as we will continue to add links.

 

General Interest

Sitka National Historical Park (AKA Totem Park) hosts an impressive array of totem poles, including authentic poles hundreds of years old. Don’t miss the chance to walk the trails to see standing totem poles, walk along the Indian River, and see the site of a battle between invading Russian traders and indigenous Kiksádi Tlingit. The museum has many great poles and a lot of history inside.

 

Sitka Pioneer Home / Totem Square are right in downtown Sitka with well-kept gardens and a rich history.

 

St. Michael Cathedral is an authentic orthodox church and was the seat of power for the Russian Orthodox Church for decades. This beautiful building forms the backdrop for many downtown Sitka photos.

 

The Sheldon Jackson Campus was designed with traditional Bavarian architecture and was a college until 2007.

 

Historical Locations

Baranof Castle Hill is the site of the previous capital of Russian America and is where Alaska was signed over to the United States in 1867. Overlooking downtown Sitka, it has great views of the surrounding water and mountains.

ANB Hall is significant for being the first Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. From these halls, much of the first Alaska Native Rights and some of the first civil rights activists in a Alaska got their start.

Old Sitka (not within walking distance) is the location of the original Russian settlement and where a battle was fought.

 

Wildlife Viewing

Whale Park (not within walking distance) is a great viewpoint for whalewatching and also some good tidepooling!

Starrigavan Recreation Area (not within walking distance) is a beautiful boardwalk with good bird watching.

The Sitka Sound Science Center has amazing touch tanks and lots of information about the amazing marine life all around us.

Surrounded by oceans, there are many great spots for beachcombing and exploring intertidal life. Sandy Beach is 2 miles from downtown, Totem Park has broad intertidal flats, and Magic Island / Halibut Point Rec Area is 4 miles from downtown with great tidalpooling and beaches.

 

Trails

Walking around Downtown

Self-guided Tour through Totem Park

Cross Island Trail – Many access points and a very well maintained trail

Want to climb a mountain? The Verstovia Trail and Gavan Hill (NOT actually a hill) are both great choices, though strenuous