Sunday, January 29, 2023

Where To Stay In Sitka

Check Out The Sitka Rose Gallery

What To Do with One Day in Sitka, Alaska

The Sitka Rose Gallery is one of the best places to visit in Sitka for art lovers!

This locally-owned gallery has been in operation for 28 years and is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sitka Rose Gallery is home to several different types of paintings, sculptures, and works from over 100 different Alaskan artists.

If youre looking for a fabulous Alaska souvenir to take home, the shop has plenty of them from ceramics to jewelry to posters and more. The gallery is located at 419 Lincoln Street in Sitka.

Visit Sitka National Historical Park

One of the most essential things to do in Sitka is to pay a visit to Sitka National Historical Park, a site that preserves remnants from the battle that occurred between the Indigenous Tlingit and invading Russian traders.

The park consists of a scenic coastal trail and totem poles from the Tlingit and Haida. Inside, you will also find the Russian Bishops House which offers an educational history into Russias colonization of North America.

There are two miles of beautiful trails that wind through the parks 113 acres of forest s. The trails are wheelchair-friendly and are a fantastic way to enjoy some nature as you learn about the history of Sitka.

The trails are open from 6am until 10pm and 7am until 8pm .

Learn At Sitka Sound Science Center

On our final morning in Sitka, I wanted to ensure we had time to visit Sitka Sound Science Center, since both Mr. V and I are fascinated by marine science and hit has a working fish hatchery that you can tour. Little did I know it would be one of the highlights of our trip it turns out that my middle school science teacher and her son who I swam with on teams growing up both work at Sitka Sound Science Center! It was one of those lovely reminders about how small Alaska is despite its geography.

In addition to having aquariums and tanks that demonstrate the variety of sea life in the Sitka Sound, we also toured the hatchery to learn about the ways Sitka Sound Science Center supports healthy salmon runs in this part of Alaska, and had a private tour of some of the upper work labs and library.

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Popular Attractions In Sitka

Take A Boat Tour To Goddard Hot Springs


This half day experience to visit these pristine hot spring tubs is well worth the journey! According to Goddard Hot Springs “may have been the earliest Alaska mineral springs known to the Europeans and before their arrival Indians came from many miles away to benefit from the healing waters. In the mid-1800s there were 3 cottages at Goddard that were used to house invalids from Sitka. In the late 1880s, a Sitka company erected frame buildings for the use of people seeking the water’s benefits.” These natural hot springs are now owned and maintained for the city of Sitka and open freely to the public, and the tubs are protected in these cute huts. Getting there takes around 45 minutes to an hour on a boat, and the ride is calm and beautiful – we went with Captain Gary’s Sitka Adventures. While we were here, we met a team of salmon fisherman that had been out for a couple of weeks and were stopping here to rejuvenate. I love hot springs, but I’ve never seen them protected like this, and the entire journey and visit is such a cool, unique experience – I would highly recommend!

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Top Budget Hotels In Sitka City

If you want to spend most of your money traveling and touring in Sitka rather than on the accommodation, you should opt for the budget hotels here. There are many affordable options in the city. They give you the best hospitality services at affordable prices without compromising on their quality and standards.

Super 8 By Wyndam Sitka

35 Rooms. Come and enjoy the rich history and beauty of Sitka Alaska and the great Alaskan hospitality our Sitka Super 8 offers our guests. Convenient downtown location close to attractions and shopping! Quiet, comfortable rooms, free continental breakfast, free high-speed internet and interior corridors. In-room amenities include coffee makers, hair dryers, fridges, microwaves and safes. We also have a 24-hour Laundromat. Children under 17 stay free. Pet friendly with fee. The best value in Sitka awaits your arrival see you soon!!

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Where To Stay In Sitka:

Twin Islands Retreat – We had the pleasure of visiting Twin Islands on our first night in Sitka and not only is the property is truly stunning, but the owners Merri and Larry are some of the nicest and most welcoming people we had met anywhere. Twin Islands is a private island just off of Sitka’s main harbor and a stay here is all inclusive with activities and homemade meals, and can be booked as individual rooms or as the full island for families or retreats. $$

The Sitka Lighthouse – Featured on Netflix’s World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals, The Lighthouse is by far Sitka’s most famous accommodation. The Lighthouse sits on a private island in Sitka Harbor and is only available as a full island rental, sleeping up to 6 people. The lighthouse books up far in advance so make sure to plan your trip early if you want to stay in this incredible spot. $$$

Sitka Hotel – A classic, affordable lodge hotel right in Downtown Sitka, this hotel is great for walkability and having access to everything in town in just a few minute’s walk. $

321 Lincoln – This simple apartment rental is where we stayed and had everything we needed for our trip here! A comfy bed, plenty of room to spread out, a full kitchen, and located right in Sitka’s downtown, we were able to walk to everywhere in town that we wanted to go to. This is a no frills accommodation, with all the essentials you would need. $

A zoom camera lens– You’ll need it for the wildlife!

Go To Fortress Of The Bears

Sitka Alaska Tourism Attractions

I never list animal sites on travel guides on this blog unless they rehabilitate them in a non-exploitative manner and Fortress of the Bear does just that.

The rescue center opened in 2007 and its mission is to take in orphaned bear cubs. While not all bears can be released back into the wild, many have been rehomed to sanctuaries. The goal of the center is to work with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game to eventually release rehabilitated bears back into the wild.

They are a non-profit organization. The bears live on a large habitat set against the Tongass National Forest and they dont have feeding times or anything that would create a routine for them.

The objective for allowing visitors to stop by is to learn about the bears and see them in their natural habitat. They will be allowed to ask questions and learn more about Alaskas famous mammal.

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Enjoy A Warm Coffee In Sitka

Another thing you must do when visiting Sitka is to enjoy a nice cup of coffee at one of the cafes in town or close by. Three of the top acclaimed cafes are Fisheye Organic Cafe , Highliner Coffee Co., and Backdoor Cafe.

At Fisheye Organic Cafe, you will find healthy eats and tasty coffee. They also have a drive-through coffee shop that has been serving up tasty coffee to locals since 2012. Both are a huge hit and worth visiting while traveling to Sitka!

Highliner Coffee Co. is another beloved Sitka coffee shop that has a drive-through and bakery. They serve fresh baked goods daily along with delicious espresso drinks.

Lastly, Sitkas Backdoor Cafe deserves a visit if you enjoy a quality espresso and homemade baked goods. It is located behind Old Harbor Books and is a popular cafe in Sitka!

The True Alaskan Experience

Sitka Hotel

Aspen Suites Hotel Sitka, is located in the former capital of Russian America. This sea-side community is often considered to be the most beautiful of all the southeast Alaskan cities. Sitka is located on the west side of Baranof Island and is is flanked on the east by majestic snow-capped mountains, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.

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Visit The Fortress Of The Bear

Visiting Fortress of The Bear was one of my absolute highlights while in Sitka. This Bear Rescue takes in orphaned or abandoned young bear cubs that will not survive in the wild and rehabilitates them to save their lives – and many are eventually rehomed to ethical zoos and sanctuaries around the world. I had never seen bears this close before and we had an amazing time watching them move and play, and take some of my favorite animal photos we’ve ever shot! While you’re safely separated from the bears, there’s no glass or fencing in between you, making for these unobstructed views The staff here are incredibly knowledgable and friendly, and we spent much longer here than we thought we would because we were just having such a great time!

Meet The Ursus At Fortress Of The Bear

Visitor Info

If your trip to Alaska has not included enough bear experiences, I have the solution: Fortress of the Bear. This incredible facility works to rehabilitate and rescue bear cubs in Alaska, which are often euthanized after their mothers unwittingly cross humans and end up killed too .

At Fortress of the Bear, you can see two of Alaskas three bear species in a very intimate way: there are two brown bear habitats and one for black bears . The bears are cared for, have plenty of space to explore and interact, and given lots of stimulation in both toys and food (like salmon to hunt in their respective ponds and waterways.

In addition to providing a good environment for the eight bears on their property, Fortress of the Bear is working to help place bear cubs in safe living situations across the country. This is one of the places in Sitka where your dollars do more than supporting the local economy they also support the wildlife you traveled all this way to see.

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Top Tips For Finding Sitka Hotel Deals

  • If youre looking for a cheap hotel in Sitka, you should consider visiting during the low season. You’ll find cheaper accommodations in Sitka in December and March.
  • Hotel room prices vary depending on many factors but youll most likely find the best hotel deals in Sitka if you stay on a Wednesday. The opposite is true for, Friday, which is usually the most expensive day.
  • Book at least 48 days before your stay begins to get the best price for your Sitka accommodation.
  • The cheapest 3-star hotel room in Sitka found on KAYAK in the last 2 weeks was $258, while the most expensive was $281.
  • How long should you stay? KAYAK users usually book their accommodation in Sitka for 3 days.

Take A Hike On Sitka Trails

One activity I did not get to enjoy nearly enough in Sitka was hiking Mr. V and I walked a lot, but we never got out on any of the official trails around town. This was especially disappointing as Ive been jonesing for a good hike since our visit to Pinnacles National Park in April 2021, but the weather and our itinerary just didnt work give us the time.

Hiking trails in Sitka are supported by Sitka Trail Works, which helps maintain the dozens of miles of hiking trails. Some hikes that caught my eye and you might want to consider include:

  • Indian River Trail An 8.75-mile out-and-back hike that follows the Indian River and ends at a waterfall.
  • The Sitka Cross Trail A 3.8-mile trail which connects a number of other trails but gets you out away from the city.
  • Heart Lake Trail A 2-mile trail to a lake shaped like a heart, located outside of town.

In all cases, youll need to plan ahead with the right equipment and plenty of time to enjoy the hikes you choose depending on your itinerary.

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Watch The New Archangel Dancers In Sitka

One of the most interesting things to do in Sitka for families, solo travelers, and kids is to check out the New Archangel Dancers. They have been performing for the last 49 years and showcase Alaskas Russian history through song and folk dance.

They have shows throughout the summer and the dancers have performed around the world in Japan, Russia, Mexico, and Canada and they are definitely one of the highlights of Sitka!

The Sitka Alaska Travel Guide

Best Things to Do in Sitka Alaska

South East Alaska’s Sitka is more than just a cruise port stop – this historic town is full of stunning scenery, amazing local seafood, and endless adventures.

I had always pictured Alaska as an arctic tundra of endless snow, dogsled races and igloos, but was blown away by beautiful and lush Sitka is in the summer time and how much there is to do here! Looking for a unique adventure? Sitka is definitely the place.

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Favorite Attractions & Things To Do

St. Michael’s Cathedral: With its magnificent copper domes, this is the towns focal point. The church is a fitting symbol for the town: finished in 1848, it was the first Russian church built in America.

Flightsee: Witness the dramatic volcanic coastline of the North Pacific on a custom flightseeing tour with Alaska Seaplane Adventures.

Sitka National Historic Park: where you can learn about the bloody battles between the Tlingit and the Russians, as well as see a collection of amazingly detailed totem poles, collected from all over Southeast Alaska.

The Sheldon Jackson Museum: Houses one of the best native Alaskan collections anywhere.

Drive A Zodiak Boat Through The Islands

Instead of kayaking around the inlets and islands surrounding Sitka, take a Zodiak tour with Sitka Zodiak Adventures. Drive your own boat as the owner Andy – and often is amazing co-pilot of young son – guide the way and share local insight and history. They company stocks rubber outerwear to protect from rain and cold if the weather is bad, and we had such a fun time out here! Brandon especially loved his James Bond moment as seen above.

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Sitka Was The Final Destination After An 11 Day Inside

Sitka was the final destination after an 11 day Inside Passage Alaska cruise. It is a neat little town with a lot of history and pretty when the sun is shining.The Salmon Hatchery, Raptor Rescue Centre and Bear Fortress were also worth seeing. We enjoyed a visit to the National Parks Centre and the Totem Pole Trail very much. This is an easy hike and highly recommended for anyone visiting Sitka.

The Best 10 Hotels In Sitka Ak

Where to stay in Sitka
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    told me that the hotel was just a few blocks from downtown. NOT TRUE. It is a 30 minute walk more

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    Hotel was a great location. Amy was amazing, picked us up at the airport, checked us in and gave us more

  • Longliner Lodge Restaurant at this location.

    hotel is in a fantastic location. You can walk to your friends boat , McDonalds more

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    The best way to describe the Wild Strawberry is that you feel like your at home with a great view and surrounded by your family.The best placed I’ve stayed more

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    I am a full time traveler and I was very impressed with this hotel for the following more

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    a shuttle later and they said ll the hotels have their number and a notice posted in every lobby more

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    This was my first fishing trip to AK and I can’t imagine it getting any better than this. 6 of us came up together and all of them had been here at least once more

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    Where To Dine & Drink Locally

    For a small town of just 8,600 people, youre going to be pleasantly surprised at your dining options in Sitka. Even visiting at the end of the season and over a Monday when many restaurants were closed, Mr. V and I still ate very well during our Sitka trip. Here are some suggestions:

    You will have no difficulty finding at least one place you love eating in Sitka, no matter how long you have to visit.

    How To Get To Sitka:

    Flights: Alaska Airlines has daily flights into Sitka from Seattle, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Ketchikan – we connected in Seattle from Los Angeles and overall the travel day still feels very short. Delta Airlines offers summer seasonal service into Sitka as well, and there is regional small plane service throughout Southeast Alaska from Harris Air and Alaska Seaplanes.

    Cruise Ship: Sitka is a very popular Alaskan cruise destination, and in the high season ships stop at the port daily. HOWEVER – if you are stopping here on a cruise, I would highly recommend spending a couple of extra days. There is just way too much to see and do in this amazing small town than can be done in a few hours! For a true locals-approved cruise experience, check out Alaska Dream Cruises – these locally run cruise itineraries are highly regarded.

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