10 Places to Visit in Sitka, Alaska
Sitka, Alaska, is a small but vibrant city located on Baranof Island. With its stunning natural beauty, fascinating cultural history, and myriad attractions, Sitka is one of the most exciting places to visit in Alaska. From whale watching to shopping, here are 10 places to check out when visiting Sitka.
1. Sitka National Historical Park
Sitka National Historical Park is a beautiful place to explore the history of the Tlingit people who have lived in the area for centuries. The park is filled with trails that lead to majestic views, and visitors can also explore the Totem Park and the Russian Bishop’s House.
2. Fortress of the Bear
The Fortress of the Bear is a unique wildlife sanctuary where visitors can observe brown bears in a natural environment. The sanctuary also has educational programs and offers visitors the chance to see a variety of other animals, including bald eagles and sea lions.
3. Shee Atika Totem Square
Shee Atika Totem Square is home to several totem poles that were carved by the Tlingit people. The square is also a popular spot to enjoy traditional Native American music and dance performances.
4. Sitka Sound Science Center
The Sitka Sound Science Center is a great place to learn about the local marine life. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits, go on guided tours, and even take part in hands-on activities like netting and tagging fish.
5. Sitka Fine Arts Camp
The Sitka Fine Arts Camp offers visitors the opportunity to explore their creative side. From painting classes to creative writing workshops, there’s something for everyone at this vibrant art camp.
6. St. Michael’s Cathedral
St. Michael’s Cathedral is a beautiful Russian Orthodox church that was built in 1848. Visitors can explore the church’s ornate interior and learn more about the religious history of the area.
7. Sitka Historical Museum
The Sitka Historical Museum offers visitors a chance to explore the city’s rich history. The museum features artifacts from the area’s past, as well as interactive exhibits and educational programs.
8. Sitka Summer Music Festival
The Sitka Summer Music Festival is a popular event that takes place every summer. The festival features performances from world-renowned musicians, as well as theater, dance, and visual arts performances.
9. Alaska Raptor Center
The Alaska Raptor Center is a rehabilitation center for injured birds. Visitors to the center can learn about the importance of raptor conservation and even get up close and personal with some of the birds.
10. Sitka Harbor Tours
Sitka Harbor Tours offers visitors the chance to explore the city’s stunning harbor and coastline. The tour includes a narrated history of the area and views of the local wildlife.
5 Places to Avoid in Sitka, Alaska
Although Sitka is an exciting place to visit, there are some areas that should be avoided due to safety concerns. Here are five places to avoid when visiting Sitka.
1. Port Alexander
Port Alexander is a small town on the southern tip of Baranof Island. Although it is a beautiful place to visit, the area is known for its high crime rate and should be avoided.
2. Old Sitka
Old Sitka is a former Russian settlement located near the city of Sitka. Although the area is now abandoned, it still has a reputation for drug and alcohol abuse and should be avoided.
3. Redoubt Bay
Redoubt Bay is a popular fishing spot located on Chichagof Island. Despite its popularity, the area is known for dangerous currents and should be avoided unless you are an experienced fisherman.
4. Starrigavan Recreation Area
Starrigavan Recreation Area is a popular destination for hikers and campers. However, the area is also known for its large population of bears, so it should be avoided unless you are an experienced outdoorsman.
5. Chatham Strait
Chatham Strait is a popular spot for boaters and kayakers. However, the waters can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable, so it should be avoided unless you are an experienced mariner.