Photo Credit: Sitka Sound Science Center

Sitka Day Tours & Attractions

Plays & Performances View All

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

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


Historic Parks & Sites View All

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

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.

Difficulty: Easy

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


Sailing Adventures View All

Multi-day Sailing Adventures • Customize Your Itinerary

$15,000+ 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: Year Round
Day Trip, $750 per hour whole boat | Multi-Day, $3300 per day (whole boat, up to 6 pax)
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: S/V Arcturus

This South­east Alas­ka-based tour oper­a­tor will leave you with a new def­i­n­i­tion of what it means to have a once-in-a-life­time Alas­ka cruise: You sail on an inti­mate ves­sel — often get­ting to steer your­self, under the super­vi­sion of an expe­ri­enced licensed cap­tain — while explor­ing away from the crowds, and get­ting a won­der­ful­ly up-close view of the wildlife and scenery. Sail­ings from Juneau and Sitka. 


Fairs & Festivals View All

Season: Nov 02 to Nov 05

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!

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.

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

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

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 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.


Visitor Information Centers View All


Flightseeing Tours View All

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


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.


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!