"Sitka--One of the MOST beautiful places in the US!" Top 5 Page for this destination Sitka by PA2AKgirl

Sitka Travel Guide: 174 reviews and 278 photos

An Incredible place to visit

I lived in Sitka for the better part of 2003 working as a National Park Ranger. Having never been to Alaska, and moving directly from New York City, I didn't know what to expect, but it was truly amazing. The people are virtuous, friendly and sincere. They believe in what the do and the Tlingits have an amazing culture. They still carve totem poles and other things out of red cedar, they do beading, basketry, weaving, silversmithing...just to name a few things...and it's beautiful.

And an even better one to call home:))

I would like to address some of the questions I get about Sitka and clear up some of the "confusion"

Alaska is a huge state.
Whereas Texas, the largest state in the lower 48 is 261,914 square miles, Alaska is 570,374 square miles. I worked in the southeast, down by British Columbia. Juneau, the state capital, is 87 miles to the north/northeast Therefore, not everything you hear about Alaska applies to the whole state. For example:

Sitka doesn't receive 6 months of daylight, 6 months of darkness. Again, we are talking about someplace way south of the "interior" (Sitka--at 56 degrees north, Fairbanks--64+ degrees) Sitka does get a lot of daylight in the summer...it gets dark at like 11pm and light at 4 or something, but there's never the 6/6

Sitka doesn't get cold. In fact, the winters are MUCH warmer there than they are in Pennsylvania. They get to right around freezing, not much below in the dead of winter. Summers are moderate...average in the mid 60s.(F) Why is this? Because it's right on the ocean and its climate is controlled by the warm ocean currents, the same currents that moderate a lot of coastal towns.

The majority of the native population living in Sitka is "Tlingit". To learn more about the native groups in Alaska, please refer to this site: Alaska Native Heritage Center

And finally, while a lot of people are familiar with the saying "In Alaska, the odds are good, but the goods are odd" it doesn't apply to Sitka. There is pretty much an even ratio of males to females. Sorry, ladies. Are the goods odd? Well, go check them out yourself :-)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful, Clean, amazing wildlife, Decent nightlife, friendly people
  • Cons:Expensive to live there, lots of rain, only accessible by plane or ferry
  • In a nutshell:GO! You will fall in love with this place and be surprised how it's unlike your stereotype of Alaska
  • Last visit to Sitka: Oct 2003
  • Intro Updated Jan 27, 2005
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Reviews (43)

Comments (44)

  • Feb 28, 2012 at 7:29 AM

    This is a great summary! I was born and raised in Alaska, so I can vouch for your accuracy. Sitka is a totally different climate than the interior. Also, I am glad that you specified that the native group in the area is called "Tlingit." Not all Alaska natives are "Eskimos." There are many different groups; for example, the Athabaskan live in the interior and the Inupiaq (or Eskimo) live along the north coast.

  • Jul 14, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    other sandy beaches in sitka include John Brown's beach by the coastguard pavillion, and HPR rec by magic island. Plus you can take a boat to many surrounding islands with gorgeous beaches.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Nice page! Lots of info. here for first timers and return visitors (never heard of banana slugs!!). With the Alaska pipeline, why is gas so high there? We're at about $4/gal. here now.

  • CesVT's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2007 at 4:38 PM

    Hi, Katey! I'm so glad I read your page! I have been dreaming of visiting Sitka ever since I read Michener's "Alaska", and you just almost brought tears to my eyes... Now, I DEFINITELY want to go!! (now, still a lot of planning and saving to do***sigh***)

  • Obak81's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2006 at 4:43 AM

    Very informative Sitka page, must have taken some time to write :)

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Jul 6, 2006 at 9:40 AM

    Nicely done Sitka pages. Birthday greetings from the Aleutians. And welcome back - looks like you guys had a great adventure!

  • Aurora907's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2006 at 4:58 PM

    As far as the "odds are good..." comment there is also an even male to female ratio here in Fairbanks. UAF is now more female students than male, though! Great pages!!!

  • andreavienna's Profile Photo
    Oct 20, 2005 at 9:54 AM

    Wow, what great pictures of Alaska ! Wonderful !!! :-)

  • Shihar's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2005 at 5:55 PM

    Your Alaska travel pages are wonderful. What exciting adventures you had! I enjoy reading your commentaries.

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2005 at 7:14 AM

    We're heading up to Sitka this summer, so this page caught my eye. I'm very impressed that you were a Nat'l Park Ranger - these tips are great!

PA2AKgirl

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