Photo Credit: Julie Lawson

Getting There

Juneau Cruise Ship, Ferry, or Boat 9.5 Plane 1

Transportation Options

How Long to Spend

1 night

Trip Ideas

Juneau & Sitka

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Sitka at sunset with Mt. Edgecombe in the background

Sitka is perhaps the most beautiful of the Southeast Alaska communities. Nestled on the west side of Baranof Island, midway between Ketchikan and Skagway, it’s flanked on the east by majestic snow-capped mountains and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.

This area also has a dense, unique history with the blending of Russian and Alaska Native Cultures. From architecture to dance, the two prongs of this area’s history meld into one rich historic pot.

Things to Do in Sitka

  • St. Michael's Cathedral: With its magnificent copper domes, St. Michael's Cathedral is the town’s focal point. The church is a fitting symbol for the town: finished in 1848, it was the first Russian church built in America.
  • Flightsee: Witness the dramatic volcanic coastline of the North Pacific on a flightseeing tour.
  • Wildlife: The Alaska Raptor Center and the Sitka Sound Science Center both offer opportunities to see some of Alaska's incredible wildlife up close. Whale enthusiasts love the annual WhaleFest that takes place each fall.
  • Get on the Water: If you're in town for just the day, join the Wilderness Sea Kayak Adventure where you'll paddle in stunning Bird’s Nest Bay, a secluded spot featuring calm water and great opportunities to see wildlife. Day cruises are also a great way to relax and enjoy the water. If you have more than a day, use Sitka as a launching point for a multi-day sailing adventure.
  • Sitka National Historic Park: Walk the trails and learn about the battles between the Tlingit and the Russians. you can also view a collection of amazingly detailed totem poles, collected from all over Southeast Alaska.
  • The Sheldon Jackson Museum: This museum houses one of the best Alaska Native collections anywhere.
  • Hiking. Sitka has an incredible system of hiking trails for all ability levels. Opt for a customized private hike.
  • Visiting on an Alaska Cruise? These are our recommended shore excursions while you're in port to check out.
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View from Harbor Mountain

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St. Michael’s Cathedral dominates downtown Sitka. Rebuilt in 1976, it’s an exact replica of the historic cathedral built in the 1840s.


The area was first home to rich, sophisticated Tlingits, who put up quite a fight after the Russian Alexander Baranof established a headquarters here in 1799 to grow even wealthier in the trading of sea otter fur. After several conflicts, the Russians named it New Archangel It became the capital of Russian America. Even after the Russians sold Alaska to America in 1867—another event that happened here—the Russian influence lives on. Today Sitka has a population of about 8,500 with many residents working in the visitor or seafood industries.

How to Get To Sitka

Fly: Jet service is available from Seattle on Alaska Airlines, and travel time is just under 2.5 hours. Or, connect from other Alaskan cities like Anchorage, Juneau, Ketchikan, or Fairbanks.

Cruise: A popular stop on Alaska Cruises

Ferry: Sitka is also easily reached by the Alaska Marine Highway ferries.

Things to Do in Sitka


Where to Stay View All