Sitka is abuzz with so many new experiences waiting to be discovered in 2024! As we step into the new year, both newcomers and familiar faces are in for a treat as you explore the dynamic offerings Sitka has up our sleeve. Check out this inclusive guide to discover the latest attractions, business offerings, and hidden gems to make the most of your trip to Sitka.
Luxury Small-Cruise Yachts
Embark on a luxurious and unique maritime journey through the Inside Passage with two new yacht options;
- ABC Coastal Excursions
Climb aboard the M/V Silver Lady with ABC Coastal Excursions for the small Alaskan cruise of a lifetime! The Silver Lady is fully equipped with modern amenities and plenty of adventure. Owners Brian and Jeren Schmidt have a combined experience in hospitality on the water, with Brian a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard and Jeren with a background in the culinary arts. Their most popular cruise is a 5-day Classic Cruise, which weaves between coastlines of nearby Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof Islands (how they got their name!).
- Bear Paw Charters
Ahoy! Join owners Chrystal and Bill on the M/Y Bear Paw- a luxury yacht designed for Alaska. Bear Paw Charters offers 9 unique itineraries cruising through the San Juan Islands and Southeast Alaska. The Bear Paw boasts luxurious king-size staterooms, gourmet culinary experiences every night, and even has it’s own elevator!
Formerly Alaska’s Big Salmon Lodge, new owner Issam recently purchased and has rebranded the lodge as Latitude 57. The 4.5 acre private island includes everything you need for your Alaska fishing trip- chef-cooked meals, wellness experiences, scuba diving, and obviously, fishing galore. With over 20 years of collective local knowledge, Latitude 57 is a fabulous option for anyone looking for an above-and-beyond Alaska fishing experience.
Vonnie’s @ Cast Alaska Charters & Lodge
Formerly “Vonnie’s @ Halibut Point Lodge”, Vonnie’s @ Cast Alaska Charters & Lodge has new owners and a new brand! This all-inclusive fishing lodge boasts three custom-built Allen Marine boats, three chef-prepared meals a day, and a cozy cabin atmosphere. We’re looking forward to exciting new changes at the lodge with the new owners, check out their website for the latest!
Lovingly named the “Cool Bus” (a play on words from their revamped school bus), Sitka Rides emerged in the summer of 2023 as the only hop-on hop-off shuttle in town. Based at the Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal, the Cool Bus is a fan-favorite for cruise ship passengers looking to see the most popular attractions at a low cost.
TAKE A HIKE: GUIDED HIKE OPTIONS
New to the Sitka activities scene are guided hike tour operators. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a new nature enthusiast, our Sitka’s guided hike tour operators will help you experience the lush forests and keep you safe in the wilderness.
Tongass Treks offers a guided hike option for almost every trail in Sitka. If you already have a trail in mind, owner Alaina’s got you covered! Beginning in 2024, Tongass Treks is partnering with Equinox, a custom-built yacht to offer a yacht-supported hiking adventure. This 4 to 5 day expedition includes your yacht lodging, meals, recreation and fishing equipment, and miles of hiking through the rainforest wilderness. This exclusive experience is only available on specific days, so if it sounds up your alley, don’t wait to book.
Alpenglow’s signature experience is an all-inclusive 14-mile guided hike of Mt. Edgecumbe, Sitka’s 3,200 ft volcano. Only accessible by boat, this package includes the transfer to the volcano, meals, and all the gear you need. This hike is only available on select dates, so book your trip early! But maybe hiking the volcano isn’t your jam. Instead, opt for a guided half-day hike through the Tongass National Rainforest for an easier option.
CRUISE AROUND TOWN
With 14 miles of paved roads from end to end, eBikes are a convenient way to cruise the town and explore the sights at your own pace.
Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop
Yellow Jersey is the longest-standing bike shop in the community, offering rentals for regular bikes, mountain bikes, eBikes, and electric scooters. Their easily-accessible shop is located in the heart of downtown, just a few minutes’ walk from all the visitor center and convention hall.
Conveniently based at the Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal, Kings eBikes offers the largest fleet of electric bikes in Sitka, with options for a wide range of different heights. Their reservations sell out frequently so your best bet is to make a reservation online in advance.
Tide Rips Adventures
Tide Rips Adventures newly emerged in Summer 2023, complete with a full fleet of beautiful bright blue bikes. Their pop-up shop is located a few minutes’ walk from downtown in a bustling food truck park. Grab your bites and hit the road!
Leave the strollers at home, Sitka Baby Rentals has everything you need for your Alaska vacation with your little one. Sitka Baby Rentals makes it easy to reserve your essential equipment with online booking, and all kinds of equipment for your kiddos of any age. They even deliver the equipment to you, making your time in Sitka smooth and stress-free.
Enoki Eatery brings bold Asian fusion street food to Sitka, and it doesn’t miss. Pick from a smoked salmon or black cod musubi for a specialty Asian-Alaskan treat, or fill up on delicious popcorn chicken or kimchi fries. Primarily stationed at the food truck park a few minutes from downtown, you can also find Enoki popping up at different businesses and events throughout the year.
The Fresh Fish
The Fresh Fish is a popular street food option specializing in poke bowls featuring either marinated ahi tuna or Sitka sockeye salmon, topped with plenty of delicious accoutrements. Owner Barbara understands that poke isn’t for everyone, so don’t miss out on some of their alternative options like their to-die-for seafood chowder or seared salmon bowl specials. Find The Fresh Fish located behind Ernie’s Saloon, or at their new food truck location at the food truck park near Baranof Lodge, a few minutes’ walk from downtown.
Sitka Nuts brings some fun to the party with fresh-roasted Bavarian-style nuts… and yes, you can smell their brown sugar buttery goodness from a mile away! These are a deliciously sweet and crunchy treat that’s perfect for snacking on-the-go or sharing with friends and family. You can catch owner Ian roasting up a fresh batch at the Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal during the summer, and you can occasionally find bags of pre-made nuts in different stores downtown.
Big Brew Energy
This drive-thru coffee hut is hard to miss with its perfectly pink siding and white trim. Big Brew really does bring the energy, with their exciting branding and even more exciting drinks. Make your morning easier by ordering your drink online in advance, or swing by and ask their friendly staff what their favorite drink is. Choose from delicious monthly specials or customize your own perfect brew. Don’t forget to top it off with one of their many options of for a yummy breakfast or lunch.
Bear Country Coffee & Convenience
Bear Country Coffee & Convenience is just that- convenience! Located in the heart of downtown right next to St. Michael’s cathedral, this quaint convenience and coffee shop has everything you need for a little pick-me-up. We love their countless signature drink options and rows upon rows of different flavors. While you’re there, grab a locally-made chocolate bar or your favorite chips and hit the town.
Fine wines and luxury gourmet dishes have earned Ludvig’s the title of one of the best restaurants in town. Ludvig’s has been a Sitka staple for more than 20 years, but what you might not know is they’ve recently gone through a generational change in ownership. New owner Edith Johnson, owner of the popular catering business Our Town Catering, has taken the torch from former owner Colette Nelson, and is bringing some exciting new changes to the restaurant; not only with new menu items. Ludvig’s is now open year-round for the first time ever! With it’s popularity with locals and visitors alike, reservations are a must, and you’re not going to want to miss out on this. Spoiler alert: watch out for a featured article on the next era of Ludvig’s in our 2024-25 Official Visitor’s Guide, coming very soon!
Sitka Jet Ski Rental
Sitka Jetski Rentals introduces an unparalleled adventure to the scene, promising an experience like never before. Immerse yourself in the thrill by securing your jet ski and embarking on a journey through the stunning Pacific waters. The presence of small outlier islands surrounding Baranof Island acts as a natural shield, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable jet skiing experience- an ideal activity catering to both novices and seasoned adventurers. With a fleet of eight splendid skis, Sitka Jet Ski Rentals is a great option for traveling groups.
Those brave enough to take on the ocean head-on should check out Selkie Snorkels, the first guided snorkeling tour in town. Get up close and personal with crabs, sea anemone, octopi, and so much more in their natural habitat. And of course, Selkie Snorkels has all the gear you need, including wetsuits available in an inclusive size range. Their wetsuits will keep you warm in the cool 50-55 degree Pacific waters- the only part of your body exposed to the water is your lower face, and some studies say the cold plunges are good for your mind and body!
Harbor Air Services
See the Alexander Archipelago like never before with Harbor Air Services, a new floatplane sightseeing company. Choose from the Sitka Tour, exploring the surrounding Sitka area, outer coastline, and Mt. Edgecumbe, or the Baranof Tour, including flightseeing and a lake landing on Baranof Island. Pilot and owner Jackson also provides air taxi charter service, providing access to some favorite remote locations like Lake Eva, Baranof Warm Springs, and Takatz Lake.
NEW WILDLIFE BOAT TOUR/FISHING COMPANIES
Outer Limits Charters
“Forget the idea that fishing in Alaska is just for the old guys”, says owner Riley. Riley, a young up-and-coming fisherman is excited to share his knowledge of the local aquatic life to visitors after launching his business in late 2023. At Outer Limits Charters, there are three styles of fishing you can expect to learn: mooching or trolling for salmon, bottom-fishing for halibut, and jigging/mooching for rockfish and lingcod. Full-day and half-day fishing charters with reasonable rates make them a convenient option for those in town for a shorter time and looking for the classic Alaska fishing experience.
Peril Sky with RJ Miller
Enjoy the fishing experience of a lifetime with owner RJ Miller, a former cast member of National Geographic’s Life Below Zero: Next Generation. RJ looks up to his father, Robert Miller, who was featured on the original Life Below Zero series. RJ’s family-oriented business model follows lessons learned from Robert, and will make you feel like family the moment you book your experience. Their all-inclusive fishing package includes lodging at their cozy Bed & Breakfast, and three days of fishing with top-notch equipment. Outside of their all-inclusive package, RJ also has day-fishing, wildlife boat tour, and guided water-fowl hunting packages.
Sitka Sound Tours
It’s not a secret that wildlife tours are one of visitors’ favorite activities to do in Sitka. How could it not be, with the stunning Pacific Ocean as our front yard? Specializing in eco-friendly and personalized experiences with 2.5-hour tours, new owners Captain Rick and Tour Coordinator Sadie boast extensive knowledge of Sitka wildlife, with Rick having several years of commercial fishing experience. Their 30ft boat includes a warm, heated cabin, a private bathroom, and can hold up to 6 passengers. This tour option is great for families, and those visiting on cruise ships, with their back-to-ship guarantee.
GET CRAFTY: TAKE A PIECE OF SITKA HOME WITH YOU
Forget Me Not Antique Photos, Gifts, & Stained Glass
Discover the art of stained glass in a hands-on workshop located in the heart of downtown. Join skilled artist Tracie Castle for a four-hour session, offered multiple days a week throughout the year. With over three decades of expertise, Tracie guides participants through the creation of their own unique stained glass piece. Book online for an unforgettable art experience, perfect for the family.
The Salty Sitkan
Try something new with The Salty Sitkan, a metal-working class allowing visitors to take home a custom-made piece that’ll stun on your wall. This “fresh take on Alaskan fishing adventures” comes in the form of a 2.5-hour class where guests will create a one-of-a-kind metal salmon or halibut, with the option to have it shipped home afterward. This class is perfect for novice or experienced builders and includes an introduction to safety protocols, demonstrations, and lots of hands-on learning. Owner and teacher Mike Viera, a high-school shop teacher will keep you in good hands. Keep an eye out for new, non-fish design options to come!
SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP!
Simply Salmon Express
Getting out on the water to catch your own fish isn’t for everyone, especially for those visiting for only a day or two. Simply Salmon Express has made it even easier for you to bring home fresh Alaska seafood. Their storefront is located right in the center of downtown, doors away from St. Michael’s Cathedral. Choose from fresh frozen salmon, crab or halibut, or grab some smoked salmon (a local delicacy) for a quick snack. Online shopping is available, plus, they’ll ship anywhere, so it doesn’t have to take up room in your suitcase.
Tip: Sitka has all 5 species of salmon, so do your research before you buy to see what salmon is best for your tastes.
Specializing in hand-crafted teas and tinctures this small shack is located adjacent from St. Michael’s Cathedral, right in the center of downtown. 5 different specialty teas and custom bath soaks and body polish will leave you feeling refreshed after your flight or night on the cruise ship. Stop in for a sample of their tasty teas!
As we draw the curtains on this exploration of Sitka’s exciting new offerings in 2024, the anticipation for what lies ahead is palpable. Sitka is excited to welcome you with open arms, eager to showcase our new and existing world-class offerings and hidden treasures. Our community’s spirit is contagious, and we can’t wait to see you in 2024, ready to embark on your own adventure in this unique community.