The Pacific Coast town of Sitka sits on Baranof Island in Alaska’s Inside Passage and is only accessible by air and sea. Its combination of Russian settlement history, native Tlingit culture and breathtaking natural landscapes makes it one of the Inside Passage’s greatest hits.
Shore excursions like sea kayaking cater to outdoor enthusiasts, while culture and history buffs will enjoy a walking tour of town.
How to get to Sitka
Most cruise ships anchor in the bay and tender passengers to the harbor in the downtown area, which can be explored on foot.
One Day in Sitka
Start your walking tour of town at Castle Hill on Lincoln Street, near the tender drop-off point by O’Connell Bridge. Snap some photos of Sitka and the waterfront at the lookout spot, where the Russian flag was lowered and the American flag raised when Alaska was transferred to the US in 1867. Then continue along Lincoln Street, the town’s main drag.
Pass by St Michael’s Cathedral and the Russian Bishop’s House, both of which date back to the 1840s, as you make your way to Sitka National Historic Park. Check out the Russian and indigenous exhibits before taking a walk on the park trail that winds its way past several traditional totem poles.
For more town scenery, make your way to Katlian Street, which will take you along the Sitka Channel, full of fishing boats. Before getting back on your ship, don’t miss a performance by the New Archangel Dancers if you didn’t catch them when you disembarked.
The language is English, and the currency is the
US dollar. There are ATMs in town. Rain is frequent, so don’t forget
your raincoat and waterproof shoes.