Photo Credit: Sitka Sound Science Center

Sitka Day Tours & Attractions

Explore fun day tours and attractions in Sitka. From day cruises to kayaking adventures, options to get out on the water are endless.

Visit the several notable attractions, including the Raptor Center and Science Center. The Science Center features a salmon hatchery and aquarium, which provide fascinating insights into the lifecycle of salmon and showcase the marine wonders of Sitka’s coastal environment. At the Raptor Center, you can experience close encounters with majestic birds of prey, learn about their rehabilitation, and witness remarkable flying demonstrations.

The city also boasts great wildlife viewing, music festivals, museums, and historic sites, which provide insights into Sitka’s fascinating past.

Wildlife Parks View All

Aquarium • Salmon Hatchery • Raptor Center
Season: Year Round $15

You’ll look eagles in the eye at this rap­tor rehab and edu­ca­tion cen­ter on the edge of Ton­gass Nation­al For­est. You’ll get a close-up look at a snowy owl, Amer­i­can kestrel, pere­grine fal­con, great-horned owl, red-tailed hawk, and even the tiny north­ern saw-whet owl. 

Season: Year Round $7

In the coastal South­east Alaskan town of Sit­ka, marine wildlife typ­i­cal­ly plays out on a big scenic back­drop. At Sitka’s unique Sci­ence Cen­ter, you’ll find a salmon hatch­ery and aquar­i­um. Wildlife fans get an up-close look at the marine crea­tures that make this part of Alas­ka so special.

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Historic Parks & Sites View All

Visit the Russian Block House from the early 1800s and stroll through the Sitka National Historical Park

After four years of wor­ship­ing in the Pres­by­ter­ian Chapel, Epis­co­palians final­ly had their own church in 1899, with the con­struc­tion of St. Peters-by-the-Sea. Com­plete with stained glass win­dows, mod­i­fied fly­ing but­tress­es, and wood­en pews, this small chapel is open to the pub­lic 247. The church and the adja­cent See House (1905) are both on the Nation­al Reg­is­ter of His­tor­i­cal Places, and are large­ly the work of Bish­op Peter Trim­ble Rowe.…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy

Once the admin­is­tra­tive head­quar­ters for an empire stretch­ing from Asia to Cal­i­for­nia and Hawaii, Cas­tle Hill today is lit­tle more than a grassy hill with a few inter­pre­tive signs, a mod­est stonewall, sev­er­al old can­nons, and a few flag­poles. But when you vis­it the top of this hill, you’re stand­ing on rich his­toric grounds.

Over­grown and unmarked, this 200-year-old Russ­ian ceme­tery is still used for Russ­ian Ortho­dox parish­ioners of St. Michael’s. You’ll find stone and wood head­stones, some of which are made from the bal­lasts of old Russ­ian ships.

This stout struc­ture is a re-cre­ation of the guard tow­er that once stood here, part of the fortress enclos­ing the Rus­sians dur­ing their time in Sit­ka, from 1804 to 1867. Fear­ful of the wilder­ness around them, and of Tlin­git Natives, the Rus­sians’ enclosed fort was open to out­siders only in the daytime.

One of only a few struc­tures remain­ing from the orig­i­nal Russ­ian set­tle­ment, the endurance of the Russ­ian Bishop’s House reflects the ded­i­ca­tion brought to the job by the mis­sion­ary Bish­op Inno­cent Veni­aminov, its first occu­pant. Its chapel includes sev­er­al icons Inno­cent import­ed from Russia.

Start at this land­mark, in the cen­ter of town, to grasp the rich­ness and depth of Sitka’s his­to­ry as the cap­i­tal of Russ­ian Amer­i­ca. The archi­tec­ture and trea­sured icons of this land­mark high­light Sitka’s long his­to­ry as a Euro­pean set­tle­ment decades before the Amer­i­can Revolution.

You won’t find any old build­ings here, but there are great inter­pre­tive signs and numer­ous hik­ing trails at this state park. And it’s an impor­tant place — the site of the first Russ­ian set­tle­ment on Bara­nof Island.

Alaska’s old­est Nation­al Park isn’t a big one — only 113 acres — but it’s rich with his­to­ry and there’s plen­ty to do: hik­ing trails, ranger-led inter­pre­tive walks, carv­ing demon­stra­tions, ethno­graph­ic dis­plays, and more. The park’s main attrac­tions are the rough­ly 20 totem poles and the beau­ti­ful coastal rain­for­est, which you can explore on your own or with park rangers.

After Finnish labor­ers com­plet­ed St. Michael’s Russ­ian Ortho­dox Cathe­dral, they asked Russ­ian author­i­ties if they could build a Luther­an church for them­selves. The Rus­sians allowed it, but only if the build­ing didn’t look like a church. That build­ing was torn down in 1888, but you can still see what it looked like: the cur­rent Luther­an church (which looks like a church) has a mod­el and pho­to of the orig­i­nal. The Luther­an Church is right across…  ...more

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile

Arrange a water taxi ride to this man made arch­i­pel­ago extend­ing into Sit­ka Sound, a rel­ic of decay­ing for­ti­fi­ca­tions built to defend Alas­ka from for­eign inva­sion dur­ing World War II. Dur­ing World War II, Sit­ka was the hub of mil­i­tary activ­i­ty in South­east Alas­ka, with a U.S. Naval Air Sta­tion and oth­er installations.

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Fairs & Festivals View All

Sum­mer is not the only time to embrace Sitka’s con­nec­tion to our vast oceans and the inhab­i­tants. November’s annu­al Sit­ka Whale­Fest, host­ed by the Sit­ka Sound Sci­ence Cen­ter, cel­e­brates marine life through a sci­ence sym­po­sium, art, wildlife cruis­es and so much more!

Although it’s a state hol­i­day, Alas­ka Day is owned by Sit­ka, which throws an annu­al, day-long par­ty to observe the anniver­sary of the trans­fer of the Alas­ka Ter­ri­to­ry to the Unit­ed States. There’s a parade led by the pipe and drum reg­i­ment of the Seat­tle Fire Depart­ment; a ball, his­tor­i­cal reen­act­ments, pan­el dis­cus­sions, and more.

This fes­ti­val brings togeth­er some of America’s most tal­ent­ed string musi­cians and has gar­nered nation­al acclaim. Cel­e­brat­ed for over 40 years, the fes­ti­val is the vision of Paul Rosen­thal, a vio­lin­ist from New York who vis­it­ed Alas­ka while on tour in 1972. It’s grown to include fall and win­ter per­for­mances in Anchor­age and oth­er parts of the state. The stringed per­for­mances are tru­ly impres­sive (they’ve been fea­tured in the New York Times…  ...more

It’s a won­der that it took until recent­ly to launch this cel­e­bra­tion in the town long-billed as Sit­ka-by-the-Sea.” Who doesn’t want to be a mer­maid? Held over five days in late August, this cel­e­bra­tion of the sea includes a Mer­maid Parade, seafood tast­ings and a two-day pub­lic market.

Jazz in Alas­ka? In the win­ter? You bet. In fact, this three-day fes­ti­val, which takes place over the first week­end in Feb­ru­ary, has been going on for 17 years. And it con­tin­ues to draw musi­cians from New Orleans, Detroit, San Fran­cis­co, and New York. The festival’s mis­sion is to bring jazz to Sit­ka. Pro­fes­sion­al musi­cians head­line evening per­for­mances, but music stu­dents also per­form at the 650-seat Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter. In fact, near­ly 200…  ...more

This ambi­tious event spot­light­ing over­looked choral and clas­si­cal music and incor­po­rat­ing nat­ur­al ele­ments from Sitka’s sur­round­ings, speaks to the town’s artis­tic lega­cy and its ambi­tions. This annu­al, week-long cham­ber music fes­ti­val pro­motes an inclu­sive, acces­si­ble vision of clas­si­cal music, with free events, work­shops and performances.

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Flightseeing Tours View All

Witness the dramatic volcanic coastline of the North Pacific, or fly to remote hot springs

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Sailing Adventures View All

Multi-day Sailing Adventures • Customize Your Itinerary

Season: May to mid-September 1-2 weeks

Explore Alas­ka by char­ter­ing the 90-foot yacht Alaskan Sto­ry, out of Juneau. It’s the per­fect way to see some of the state’s most stun­ning­ly beau­ti­ful areas, like Glac­i­er Bay Nation­al Park, and enjoy lots of oppor­tu­ni­ties for fish­ing, kayak­ing, hik­ing, and wildlife view­ing along the way.

Season: June - Sept $16,000+ 2+ Nights 4-5 hr & 2+ Nights

Bear Paw Char­ters offers pri­vate, all-inclu­sive day trips and longer tours on its lux­u­ry yacht — per­fect for whale watch­ing, bear view­ing, and expe­ri­enc­ing Alaska’s scenic majesty.

Season: May 1 - September 1 Custom Trips, Call for Quote 3 - 21 Days

Dis­cov­er South­east Alaska’s nat­ur­al won­ders aboard a char­tered sail­boat with Sail­ing Alas­ka. Cus­tomize your pri­vate expe­di­tion with expe­ri­enced cap­tain John Joeright and enjoy all-inclu­sive meals, com­fort­able accom­mo­da­tions, and end­less adven­tures on the 46-foot S/V Sham­rock. Watch whales, hike, fish, vis­it local com­mu­ni­ties, and more — all at your own pace.

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Whale Watching View All

Enjoy a private and family-friendly journey through the pristine waters of Sitka

Season: June 15 – Oct 15 $175+ per person 2-4hrs

Join Sit­ka Expe­di­tions for an inti­mate wildlife cruise. Choose between a 2‑hour trip to Sit­ka Sound or a 4‑hour deep wilder­ness explo­ration for a tru­ly immer­sive Alaskan expe­ri­ence. Spot whales, sea otters, and bears while explor­ing stun­ning Alaskan scenery and active fish­eries. Per­fect for cruise pas­sen­gers and families.

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Museums & Cultural Centers View All

Learn the history of this quiet coastal community that was once the hub as a center for trade

Dr. Shel­don Jack­son, muse­um founder, had the dis­tinc­tion of serv­ing in three pio­neer fields dur­ing the late 1800s, found­ing Protes­tant mis­sions and schools, estab­lish­ing the pub­lic school sys­tem, and intro­duc­ing domes­tic rein­deer. In his trav­els he reached many sec­tions of Alas­ka, as well as the coast of Siberia, gath­er­ing the major­i­ty of the arti­facts now seen in the muse­um. Locat­ed on the cam­pus of Shel­don Jack­son Col­lege, the muse­um was…  ...more

Explore a large, scale mod­el of Sit­ka from 1867, the year the Rus­sians trans­ferred the Ter­ri­to­ry to the Unit­ed States. View exhibits on tra­di­tion­al Tlin­git lifestyles and see a col­lec­tion of tight­ly woven cedar and spruce root bas­kets. Or learn about the town black­outs and a large-scale mil­i­tary buildup in Sit­ka dur­ing World War II. The muse­um is the only place in Sit­ka that includes all three ele­ments of the town’s his­to­ry – Tlin­git, Russian…  ...more

Walk­ing the streets of Sit­ka, you may find it hard to believe that this qui­et coastal com­mu­ni­ty was once the hub of the West Coast: a cen­ter for trade, diplo­ma­cy, and the arts. When San Fran­cis­co had less than 10 res­i­dents, Sit­ka was home to 800 Rus­sians, Euro­peans, Tlin­gits, and Aleuts. The old­est town on the West Coast, it was the cap­i­tal of Russ­ian Amer­i­ca — called New Archangel — and was boom­ing from the ear­ly 1800s through the Unit­ed States’…  ...more

This is a fun lit­tle trea­sure hunt for kids. The mon­ey tree isn’t marked, but it’s near the start of the Totem Trail. Look for a tree stump, about a foot and half tall, that’s filled with coins. Where the branch­es have bro­ken off, there are coins in the lit­tle holes. Peo­ple have been putting coins in this tree for over 50 years; if you can find the tree, join the tradition!

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Plays & Performances View All

Held in a mod­ern tra­di­tion­al Tlin­git clan house, these dances are pow­er­ful per­for­mances that kids love. The boom­ing echo of a drum, the smell of burn­ing cedar, the live­ly chant­i­ng, and the ener­getic dance moves make for a mem­o­rable expe­ri­ence. The 30-minute per­for­mances include a sto­ry and five tra­di­tion­al songs. The dance troupe includes per­form­ers of all ages, dressed in col­or­ful black and red blan­kets or tra­di­tion­al regalia. There are…  ...more

Clap your hands, hoot and holler, and tap your feet — it’s all encour­aged when you attend a show by the New Archangel Dancers. Per­form­ing Russ­ian folk dances in Sit­ka for over 40 years, this all-female group has been ded­i­cat­ed to pre­serv­ing and cel­e­brat­ing the town’s Russ­ian her­itage since 1969. You’ll expe­ri­ence upbeat dances (with their emcee lead­ing a clap­ping audi­ence), as well as beau­ti­ful, serene, slow dances. There are char­ac­ter dances…  ...more

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Day Cruise View All

Experience the best of Sitka’s wildlife and scenery on a small, personalized day cruise.

Season: June 15 – Oct 15 $175+ per person 2-4hrs

Join Sit­ka Expe­di­tions for an inti­mate wildlife cruise. Choose between a 2‑hour trip to Sit­ka Sound or a 4‑hour deep wilder­ness explo­ration for a tru­ly immer­sive Alaskan expe­ri­ence. Spot whales, sea otters, and bears while explor­ing stun­ning Alaskan scenery and active fish­eries. Per­fect for cruise pas­sen­gers and families.

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Visitor Information Centers View All

Alaska’s old­est Nation­al Park isn’t a big one — only 113 acres — but it’s rich with his­to­ry and there’s plen­ty to do: hik­ing trails, ranger-led inter­pre­tive walks, carv­ing demon­stra­tions, ethno­graph­ic dis­plays, and more. The park’s main attrac­tions are the rough­ly 20 totem poles and the beau­ti­ful coastal rain­for­est, which you can explore on your own or with park rangers.

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Guided Hiking View All

Tongass National Forest • Coastal Views • Waterfalls

Season: April to Sept $175+ 2 hrs - 5 Nights

Shim­mer­ing lakes, snow-capped peaks, water­falls, old-growth rain­for­est, and stun­ning views: Ton­gass Nation­al For­est is filled with gor­geous, remote spots that are icon­i­cal­ly Alaskan. And the best way to see them is on foot, dur­ing a pri­vate, per­son­al­ized hike with Ton­gass Treks, on the trails around Sit­ka. It’s an inti­mate, authen­tic expe­ri­ence with lots of amaz­ing pho­to ops! 

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