In 1867, when the United States purchased Alaska from the Russians, the transfer ceremony was held in Sitka , and Sitka became Alaska’s first capital city. Accessible only by air or sea, Sitka offers incredible scenery, fishing, hiking, abundant wildlife, and Alaska’s most culturally rich history and community.
Although Sitka may not be the first city in Alaska on a travelers’ mind, it is truly a jewel. It offers stunning national parks, an eclectic history, and plenty of activities that will maximize your experience of the stunning landscape and terrain.
Then check out these 18 things to enjoy in Sitka , Alaska. Sitka Cruise Port. Take a Tour of the Town. Visit the Tlingit Clan House. Admire the Icons in St. More Icons and Art at the Russian Bishops House. Sheldon Jackson Museum. Wander About at the National Historic Park. Hike the Harbour Mountain Trail.
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Sitka doesn’t experience entire days of darkness or entire days of sunlight like the more Northern towns in Alaska , Russia, and Norway. The days in Sitka increase in length during the summer and decrease in length during the winter with significant variation. In Sitka , the sun rises at 4:05 am and sets at 9:59 pm.
You do not need a car to enjoy Sitka , though you might find you want one for a day or so because the drives are so gorgeous. The ferry terminal is about 10 miles outside of town, but there is an inexpensive shuttle that will take you to downtown. There are a number of excellent hotels and Bed and Breakfasts in Sitka .
The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Sitka is 1 in 35. Based on FBI crime data, Sitka is not one of the safest communities in America. Relative to Alaska, Sitka has a crime rate that is higher than 55% of the state’s cities and towns of all sizes.
In Sitka , the summers are cool and mostly cloudy; the winters are long, very cold , windy, and overcast; and it is wet year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 33°F to 62°F and is rarely below 22°F or above 68°F.
Sitka averages 44 inches of snow per year.
The long nights of September to April are the best time of year, with peak aurora activity usually occurring around midnight. Check out the Visit Sitka Instagram account (@visitsitka) to see photos of the Northern Lights captured by our local photographers.
Ketchikan On Your Own Take a walking tour of downtown and Creek Street. Do the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour. Catch the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. Take a floatplane ride to Misty Fjords. Learn about the Tongass and Cape Fox Tlingits. Exercise your shopping gene. Take a look into an earlier era at Dolly’s Museum. Enjoy a great meal.