Top things to do in Sitka Alaska
My husband and I went on a week long Alaskan Cruise with our 7 month old son in May. We had a fantastic trip aboard the Holland America and were pleased with all of the ports on the trip. In Sitka Alaska, we had about 5 hours. Below are 5 things fun things we found to do in Sitka (all happened to be baby friendly!)
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Tip: On the day of the Sitka port of call, we were actually dropped off about 20 minutes South of downtown Sitka. This, of course, cut into the amount of time we had in Sitka Alaska. The second we were off the boat, we were loaded onto a shuttle bus that took us into the city (about 20 min drive). The bus did have an outside storage bin where they stored our stroller and we just brought the car seat on the bus with little man strapped in. The cruise offered a variety of expensive excursions. But I found we were able to do most of those same excursions on our own via taxi to save money.
1. Sitka National Historic Park
Just a 10 minute walk from the shuttle drop off is the Sitka National Historic Park. It had a hiking trail with Haida & Tlingit totem poles and lovely views. Great activity with or without kids. In order to get there, take the Sitka Sea Walk to your right from the Sitka Public Library and you will run right into the park.
2. Alaska Raptor Rehabilitation Center
The Sitka Alaska Raptor Center is another excursion that was offered by the cruise. Turns out, it was just an 8 minute walk from the National Park (see #1 above) and much cheaper to just go on your own. Its a neat way to see many of Alaska’s wild birds up close. The center focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation and release of birds (of all birds of prey) with special emphasis on the American Bald Eagle. Check with a park ranger at the Sitka National Historic Park for directions on how to walk over to the Raptor Center. Because we did have to cut through the woods due to construction.
3. Fortress of the Bear
Take a 12 minute taxi ride or a shuttle bus to the Fortress of the Bear. We took the taxi route to avoid a fussy baby in the middle of a crowded bus. James loved watching the bears. The fortress was created because of a desire to provide a humane alternative for Alaska’s urbanized bears, reducing the need for their destruction. And it cost $10 per person (babies get in free).
4. Baronof’s Castle Hill in Downtown Sitka Alaska
This was the site of the transfer of Alaska to the United States in 1867 among many other important endeavors. There is a ramp that takes you to the top with beautiful views of Sitka. It is a beautiful place to walk around and explore and learn a little history.
5. Shop and walk the Downtown walking tour (free of charge)
Upon arrival to Sitka Alaska by the shuttle bus, you are immediately bombarded with people offering you free Sitka travel guides. Be sure to grab one! If we hadn’t had little man with us, we might have done one of the more advanced hikes that was described in the guide. But since that wasn’t the case, another option was the downtown Sitka Alaska walking tour. The guide had many other good tips in there. So if you don’t want to roam around aimlessly, grab the guide. We spent the last hour doing the walking tour, met some locals and grabbed a beer at one of the pubs.
Sitka was probably our least favorite port of call on our Alaskan Cruise. However, I think that is mainly due to the limited time we had because of the shuttle. It was still an interesting and fun stop overall.
I hope these tips help! You might also check out: Everything you need to know about bringing a Baby on an Alaskan Cruise.
If you have any questions or feel I missed something, feel free to comment below!
Happy and safe travels!
You might also like: Things to do in Juneau Alaska with a baby!