Indigenous heritage meets Russian history

In the shadows of the dormant, snow-capped Mount Edgecumbe, sits the quaint city of Sitka. The only community within Alaska’s Inside Passage to skirt the Pacific Ocean, Sitka’s lush green hills and salty ocean air stand in contrast to typical descriptions of the Last Frontier.

Sharing an equally important historical connection for the native Tlingit people and Russian settlers, Sitka is both the ancestral homeland of the Tlingit and the former capital of Russian America. A walk around the city’s downtown brings you closer to its history with views of the Blockhouse, Russian Bishop’s House, St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral, and the storied Castle Hill. Sitka’s many museums, art galleries, and cultural centers all offer a more in-depth view of the city’s past and present. Stop into the Sitka Historical Museum, Sitka Cultural Center, and Shee-tka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Community House to see photographs, artifacts, traditional art, and native dance performances. Nearby, Harrigan Centennial Hall showcases regular performances by the New Archangel Russian folk dancers.

Aside from its eclectic history, Sitka offers a fantastic variety of outdoor adventures for the nature lover. Its narrow passages and broad bays are a haven for an incredible array of marine life that includes humpback whales, sea lions, and of course, salmon. Take a boat cruise around Sitka’s coast, or rent a kayak to experience each rocky nook and cranny. On land, you’ll find plenty of opportunity to bike, hike, and explore the beautiful mountains and tall spruce of the Tongass National Forest. Visit the Fortress of the Bear and the Alaska Raptor Center to get an up-close look at orphaned brown bear cubs, injured bald eagles, and other birds, and learn about both centers’ commitment to serving Alaska’s wildlife. With so much to see and do, the only thing you have to worry about is taking it all in.

Sheldon Jackson Museum

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Sheldon Jackson Museum

Sheldon Jackson Museum

Alaska’s first museum, this facility maintains the vision of its founder and namesake, Reverend Dr. Sheldon Jackson, to preserve Sitka’s cultural artifacts for generations to come. Visitors can see a vast collection of native tools, clothing, and ceremonial items such as masks.

Sitka National Historical Park

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Sitka National Historical Park

Sitka National Historical Park

A historic site commemorating the 1804 Battle of Sitka between the Tlingit people and Russian settlers, Sitka National Historic Park is Alaska’s oldest national park. Learn about Sitka’s tumultuous past, walk the spruce-lined coastal paths, and view a large collection of Tlingit and Haida totem poles.

Sitka Cultural Center

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Sitka Cultural Center

Sitka Cultural Center

Located in the Sitka National Historical Park, this center features a studio that offers you the chance to observe local Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian artists as they work on traditional native art, and learn more about the culture that influences their work.

Sitka, Alaska At a glance

Current Weather:
Cloudy
6°C / 43 °F
Fri
Mixed Rain And Snow
Sat
Showers
Sun
Scattered Thunderstorms
Mon
Showers
11°
Current Time:
1:50:30 pm2017/10/19 13:50:30 pm
AKDT
Thursday, October 19
Offset:
UTC/GMT -08:00
Currency:
US Dollar
Exchange Rates:
  • 1.25
  • 0.76
  • 1.27
  • 0.84
  • 64.99
  • 3.17
  • 18.78
  • 1.42
Local Details:
GPS: 61°13'19.62"N 149°50'44.37"W
Size: 12,460.00 KM2 (4,810.83 MI2)
Population: 8,881
Density: 1 Pop/KM2 (0 Pop/MI2)
Country Code: +1 (local dialing 907)

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