10 Interesting Things To Do In Sitka

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Situated in the heart of Alaska, Sitka provides a singular experience of history, wildlife observation, and cultural immersion. When a cruise ship docks in Sitka, there are many exciting shore excursions to discover.

This guide explores the best shore excursions that will turn your visit to Sitka into a once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan adventure.

Shore excursions in Sitka are ideal for anyone with a variety of interests, including history buffs, wildlife enthusiasts, and those just looking for a beautiful adventure.

With options ranging from thrilling whale-watching tours to educational excursions within Sitka National Historical Park, this article will provide you with the information you need to select the ideal shore excursion to make the most of your time in this alluring Alaskan town.

See Bald Eagles at the Alaska Raptor Center

Raptor centre in sitka
Raptor Center

The Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka provides a rare chance to get up close and personal with the breathtaking beauty of bald eagles. These amazing birds, which stand for strength and freedom, can be seen flying gracefully through the skies in their natural habitat.

The conservation initiatives aimed at preserving these recognizable animals and their habitats are available for visitors to learn about. Seeing these magnificent eagles in action is an engaging and educational experience that makes a lasting impression on everyone who visits the center.

Watch a Bear Up Close at the Fortress of the Bear

Bear Fortress Sitka Alaska
Bear Fortress

Located in Sitka, the Fortress of the Bear offers guests an exciting opportunity to interact with bears in their natural habitat. This sanctuary offers visitors a secure and instructive setting to study these formidable animals up close.

One gets a unique perspective on bear behaviour and habitats by observing them as they roam and play in their natural surroundings. The sanctuary also hopes to spread knowledge about bear conservation and the value of protecting these amazing creatures for the enjoyment of future generations.

Sitka National Historic Park

Sitka National Historic Park
Sitka National Historical Park

Alaska’s Sitka National Historic Park is a veritable gold mine of historical and cultural significance. The park provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about the rich history of the local indigenous peoples using exhibits, traditional artifacts, and totem poles.

Visitors can fully immerse themselves in Sitka’s natural beauty and cultural diversity by strolling along the park’s tranquil trails. The park preserves the legacy of Alaska Native communities for future generations, serving as a testament to their enduring traditions and customs.

Explore the Sheldon Jackson Museum’s Collection


The Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka is home to an intriguing and varied collection of Native American artwork and artifacts.

The exquisite craftsmanship of historical artifacts that provide insights into the region’s cultural heritage, delicate beadwork, and traditional carvings is a sight to behold for tourists.

Every item in the museum’s collection conveys a different tale about the indigenous people of Alaska, their customs, and their way of life. A trip through time is experienced when exploring the museum, which showcases the artistic talent and cultural importance of Native Alaskan peoples.

Look for Wildlife on Chichagof Island

Black Tailed Deer

Chichagof Island is a nature lover’s dream come true because of its pristine wilderness and abundance of wildlife. Bears, eagles, and marine mammals are just a few of the many species that can be seen while exploring the island’s untamed landscape and verdant forests.

The island is a great place to go for wildlife spotting and nature photography because of its unspoiled beauty and isolated location. Hiking through the wilderness or taking a leisurely cruise along the coastline, Chichagof Island’s natural wonders are sure to enthrall visitors.

Hike The Indian River Trail

Indian River Trail
Hiking trail

Nestled in the heart of Alaska’s wilderness, the Indian River Trail in Sitka entices outdoor enthusiasts to set out on a picturesque journey. This lovely trail offers stunning views of the surroundings as it winds through old forests and beside glistening streams.

Hikers can fully enjoy the sights, sounds, and wildlife of the natural world while seeing various bird species and animals.

The trail’s serene atmosphere and stunning natural surroundings make it the ideal location for an easy stroll or a more strenuous outdoor adventure.

See the View from Castle Hill

view from castle hill

Sitka’s Castle Hill offers a broad viewpoint that overlooks the town and its lovely surroundings. Stunning views of the harbour, the coastline, and the distant, majestic mountains are available to visitors to this historic site.

The hill is significant historically as a place of strategic importance and a reminder of Sitka’s past. Discovering Castle Hill is a great way to learn about the town’s history and to take in the breathtaking views of Alaska’s untamed wilderness.

Visit the Russian Bishop’s House

Russian Bishop House Sitka
Russian Bishop’s house

Visit the Russian Bishop’s House in Sitka, a historic site that honours the legacy of Russian influence in Alaska, to travel back in time.

This exquisitely renovated structure displays the architectural and cultural legacy of the Russian colonial era while providing tourists with a window into daily life during that time.

Investigate the galleries, displays, and artifacts that convey the history of Sitka’s Russian past and its enduring influence on the area. Travel back in time and learn about Sitka’s fascinating history at the Russian Bishop’s House, which is a window into a bygone era.

Go Kayaking on Sitka Sound


Sitka Sound entices thrill-seekers to experience the thrilling sport of kayaking as they explore its pristine waters and untamed coastline.

Kayakers can see wildlife in its natural habitat, including sea otters, seals, and seabirds, by paddling through the sound, which provides a unique viewpoint on Sitka’s marine environment.

The serene waters offer an idyllic setting for an unforgettable kayaking adventure, encircled by towering mountains and verdant forests.

Kayaking on Sitka Sound offers life-changing experiences and stunning views of Alaska’s coastal beauty, whether you choose to go on a guided tour or go it alone.

Sitka National Historic Park Totem Poles

Totem Pole

At Sitka National Historic Park, the totem poles serve as enduring reminders of Native Alaskan artistic talent and cultural legacy. These elaborate wooden carvings depict the customs and tales of Alaska’s indigenous peoples.

They are decorated with vivid colors and symbolic patterns. Visitors can gain insight into the spiritual practices and artistic expressions of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian tribes by investigating the park’s totem pole collection.

Every totem pole has a distinct narrative that reflects the diverse cultural heritage of Alaska’s indigenous people and their close ties to the land.


Sitka, Alaska, is a true gem for cruise enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable shore excursion experience. From wildlife encounters and outdoor adventures to cultural immersion and historical exploration, this destination offers a diverse range of activities that cater to every interest.

Whether you’re captivated by the majestic whales breaching the surface, inspired by the region’s rich cultural heritage, or simply seeking to connect with nature in its purest form, Sitka promises to leave a lasting impression.

So, when your cruise ship docks in this enchanting Alaskan town, seize the opportunity to embark on one (or more) of these top-rated shore excursions and create memories that will stay with you long after your voyage ends.


How do I get to Sitka?

Sitka is accessible by air and ferry. Several airlines offer seasonal flights from major Alaskan cities like Anchorage and Juneau. The Alaska Marine Highway ferry system connects Sitka with other coastal towns, allowing for a scenic journey.

What is the best time to visit Sitka?

The best time to visit Sitka depends on your preferences. Summer (June-August) offers warm weather, long daylight hours, and prime conditions for outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking. Spring (May-June) and fall (September-October) offer pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds. Winter (November-April) boasts stunning snowy landscapes and the chance to see the Northern Lights.

What animals can you see in Sitka?

Sitka’s wildlife is incredible! Embark on a whale-watching tour and witness majestic humpbacks and orcas breaching in the Alaskan waters. Spot playful sea otters frolicking in the kelp beds, watch bald eagles soar with majestic wingspans, and encounter a diverse array of marine life in Sitka’s waters.

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