Whether you have an afternoon cruise stop or an entire vacation to spend in Sitka, there are plenty of things to do. From shore excursions to whale watching trips, there is something for everyone in Sitka. Bring your camera or your binoculars and be prepared to take in the beautiful views, the rich culture, and the interesting stories of this small town by the sea. Here are some of the great things you can do to get-a-way in Sitka.
Sitka Shore Excursions
If you are only visiting for a short time, one of the many guided tours available from local companies may be just right for you. For example, Sitka Wildlife Tours offers a 2 hour trip that will take you through the Totem Park at the Sitka National Historic Park, into Silver Bay, out onto Japonski Island, and to the Fortress of the Bear. This guided tour offers guests an introduction to the rich cultural history of Sitka. Two other companies we recommend are Sitka Tours and Sitka Tribal Tours.
Even if you only have a few hours, you can also take your own self-guided walking tour of some of Sitka’s most popular sites. For example, the Crescent Harbor to Raptor Center trail takes you to the Russian Bishop’s house, St. Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church, the Sheldon Jackson Museum, and through the National Historic Park to the Raptor Center. While in the park, you can take some extra time to explore Totem Park as well. The trail is about 1.5 miles long and should be easy for most visitors to do on their own in an afternoon.
If you want to see native wildlife and take in the nature beauty of the Alaskan scenery, a marine tour may be just what you want. These types of tours provide more opportunities to see a wide range of wildlife and to capture the incredible scenic views surrounding Sitka. For example, the Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest from Allen Marine Tours provides guests with the opportunity to see whales, sea otters, sea lions, porpoise, harbor seals, deer, bears, and even bald eagles. From the comfort of a warm enclosed cabin, you will get a glimpse of the natural ecosystem and the variety of wildlife that call Sitka home.
If your primary interest is to see the whales, you might be better off taking a whale watching tour like the one offered by Sitka Wildlife Tours provides guests with an opportunity to see both humpback and gray whales. In addition, you may see other wildlife like sea otters, seals, and hundreds of different kinds of birds. This two hour tour takes place aboard a 26 ft Catamaran specifically designed to provide a smooth ride even in the roughest seas. You can observe the wildlife from the comfort of the warm indoor cabin or from the open air upper deck.
No matter what kind of tour you choose or how long you are able to stay, a visit to Sitka means unbelievably beautiful scenery, breathtaking views of wildlife in their natural habitat, and an experience you will never forget.