Dedicated in July 1995, Whale Park provides an opportunity to view wildlife (from the boardwalk) including humpback whales in the late fall and early spring months. The park is located about 6 miles south of downtown and has a small sheltered picnic area and free viewing scopes. A hydrophone is located in the main shelter area to listen to the “songs” of the humpback whales.
Sitka Sound Science Center
Experience the spectacular diversity of the many amazing creatures that thrive in the waters surrounding Sitka. See an artist’s mural of the Southeast Alaska ecosystem, an 800-gallon Wall of Water exhibit. Feel the spiny skin of a starfish, the soft tentacles of a sea anemone, and the coarse shell of an abalone as your hands roam through the three ocean water touch tanks. View the feeding of four species of salmon in the non-profit hatchery. Hatchery access is through chain link gates on either side of the Sage Building. The Aquarium and Wetlab access is through the front doors. Summer hours: 8am – 5pm on large cruise ship days. Visitors may walk the grounds of the hatchery for a self-guided tour. Located in the historic Indian River District, the center is a fifteen-minute walk from downtown on the way to the Raptor Center, Sheldon Jackson Museum, and the Sitka National Historical Park. Winter hours: 10am – 3pm, Monday – Friday; call to confirm.
Fortress of The Bear
A 501(c)(3) non-profit education and rescue center with an exquisite three-quarter acre habitat for orphaned brown bear cubs complete with covered viewing areas. Alaska brown bear viewing in a natural type setting. A three-quarter acre exhibit replicates the Southeast Alaska brown bear habitat. View brown bears as you would encounter them in the wild! $15 per adult, $5 per child, no charge for children under 7. Hours: 10am – 5pm.
Alaska Raptor Center
A pioneering wildlife project, the Raptor Center has for years proven that dedicated volunteer effort and innovative veterinary medicine can make a life-or-death difference on Alaska’s raptors (birds of prey). The center’s goal is to release into the wild all rehabilitated birds; however, a few never recover flight and remain housed at the center’s outdoor display. One of Sitka’s popular attractions, visitors are welcome at the Raptor Center’s expanded facility and the center’s latest flight barn addition. Summer Hours: mid-May to mid-September: 8am – 4pm daily. Winter Hours: 10am – 3pm daily, closed weekends. Prices: $13 for adults, $6 for children.