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Sitka Town Center

Sitka, AK, USA
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The Beauty of Sitka Sitka Alaska United States
The Russian Connection to Alaska Sitka Alaska United States
The Russian Connection to Alaska Sitka Alaska United States
The Beauty of Sitka Sitka Alaska United States
The Russian Connection to Alaska Sitka Alaska United States
The Russian Connection to Alaska Sitka Alaska United States

The Beauty of Sitka

Fewer places in the world are more remarkable in their beauty, than Sitka, Alaska. The launching point for my Alaskan Dream Cruise, I flew in on a bluebird day, with snow-capped mountains in the distance and canary-colored wildflowers dancing in the early summer breeze. I headed out for an afternoon with Tribal Tours, a locally operated company that was formed by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. All of the guides have a personal connection to Sitka's history and culture; we visited Totem Park, to see and learn about the fascinating history of the totem poles in the Sitka National Historical Park, as well as learned about the culture of the Tlingit people. Our tour also included stops to the Alaska Raptor Center and to the Fortress of the Bear, fascinating wildlife rehabilitation centers where you can have intimate experiences with eagles, grizzly and black bears, and other native wildlife species. On Baranof Island and facing the Gulf of Alaska, Sitka not only provides access into Alaska's Inside Passage, it is a community rich in beauty that radiates a warmth from its people who call Sitka home.

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AFAR Local Expert
almost 3 years ago

The Russian Connection to Alaska

Scattered islands and rugged coastline filled the window upon landing in Sitka on Baranof Island. Tall pines and small cottages were surrounded by crashing waves layered in blues as crisp and clear as any Caribbean sea. Discovering Alaska’s Inside Passage would hold many surprises. Leaving the compact airport in a late morning mist, the air immediately smelled of the pine so familiar from trips to northern Canada. It’s a deep, damp musty scent of the forest: clean, fresh and untouched.
Accessible only by plane, ferry or boat, the town is an interesting mix of historic American culture. The area was central to Russia's hopes of establishing a lucrative colony in America based on the fur of the sea otter. Russian settlers left the architecture of onion shaped domes in this sea trading town.
Sitka National Historic Park is a great spot for a light hike. The Alaska Raptor Center allows for an up close and personal experience with the state bird and others healing from injury. In the quaint town you'll find plenty of shops featuring local artisan crafts and native food products.