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Suggestions for Sitka Vacation

Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:53 am

I've visited 49 states and am planning to visit Alaska next year which will complete my goal to visit all 50. Sitka looks beautiful and I'm wondering if you can suggest to us nice, inexpensive places to stay (for two weeks) and do. It will be in September 2012. What will the temperature be like that time of year? Interesting things to do and see? Thx and I can't wait to see your lovely town.

Re: Suggestions for Sitka Vacation

Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:33 pm

Wow, 37 views and no one wants to reply? OK, never mind.

Re: Suggestions for Sitka Vacation

Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:18 pm

A lot of people that live in Sitka don't necessarily know what great places to stay at are, because we live here. I think a majority of the places to stay may often be based around charter fishing.
Dreaming Bear Suites is a good place with honest owners who rent for short to long term periods, allow pets, and like to help out. I used to work for them, and when they say it is close to down town, they mean it. However downtown sitka is fairly quiet, so the worry of being unable sleep due to city noise shouldn't be a problem. They aren't alligned with fishing groups. You can find them by searching Fairweather Prints Sitka Alaska on google.
Also for places to stay, if you keep watching the classifieds on sitka.com sometimes people need housesitters or inexpensive renters while they are out of town.

September is the end of the summer tourist season- most likely, depending on what time of the month you come and when the last cruise ship is, sitka as a tourist site will be closing up. However, I think the fortress of the bear is open year-round... and that's neat to see, there are live bears. Castle hill is where the purchase of alaska was made... totem park has totem poles. Sitka is fairly small and events come and go, I can't think of anything specific going on in september. It's really more of a scenic, local experience, than it is a town with a bunch of things to do. We have nice mountains to hike, allen marine does wildlife boat tours. A lot of information is availible on sitka.com itself, or the other sitka website/s. It'll be too cold to go to cascade falls and jump off of the waterfall, or to swim in heart lake- rainy-rainy season will probably be starting, although with sitka you never really know what the weather is going to be like. I recomend going kayaking with someone you meet in sitka, and being very forward into asking about things to do and help on how to do them. Sitka is a friendly place, but it can seem lonely if you don't put yourself out there first. You'll be in town just a month shy of when the monthly grind starts up again, but maybe the farmers market will still be going in september- I'm not sure.

Re: Suggestions for Sitka Vacation

Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:16 am

Thank you so much for the suggestions and info! I will definitely check out sitka.com but I've found when I travel that locals know the "inside scoop" about the places, off the map places of interest, etc. Do people really let travelling strangers housesit?!! That seems risky for them but a great idea for travelers to check out. What is the "monthly grid"? Thx again for replying!

Re: Suggestions for Sitka Vacation

Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:09 am

The monthly grind is a monthly event where locals perform a variety of things, each event has a theme- every year there is the maritime grind, the fiddle grind, and then a variety of other grinds for the winter months. I think it starts in October though. You can purchase a ticket and then bake a dessert for the event and get your money back when you present the dessert at the door- then there are free snacks during intermission.
On some occasions people do let strangers housesit, but often they look for someone they know. However I have seen ads on here asking for someone traveling through or looking for a place to stay to come housesit/rent, and I think they prefer to get to know the persion via correspondance, etc ahead of time. It's a small enough town that most people become recognizeable...
If you are able to go out boating I recommend hiking up mt. edgecumbe or checking out goddard hot springs. But that all seems like info that would be found on the sitka website or just by googling sitka. The pioneer bar is usually full of people to chat with... The larkspur cafe often has live music, too.

Re: Suggestions for Sitka Vacation

Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:41 pm

For information on Fortress of the Bear, they are on Facebook, and have a lot of photos there. They also have a website at http://www.fortressofthebear.org/

If you have Facebook, also try out Sitka Bear Reports. It is a good site with photos of local wild bears, it is used by locals to keep each other informed on bear sightings in and around town.

Totem Park is a must see for tourists. As is the Raptor Center http://www.alaskaraptor.org/

We have a wide range of hiking trails as well, some are pretty hard, but well worth the time. Sitka Trailworks is a community organization that builds, maintains and has guided weekend walks on local trails. They are on Facebook, and their website is http://sitkatrailworks.org/

You can also do bike tours and rentals. These are for-profit so won't link to their pages. Sitka Bike and Hike can tell you about both.

Also several outfits rent kayaks in town, just don't know their names off hand.

This time of year it's fun to go to Starrigavan (sp?) Campgrounds. There is a boardwalk down on the wetlands for bird and fish viewing, also off that boardwalk is a bear viewing area as the salmon should be running still hopefully. Also in the campgrounds is a natural artesian well, with some absolutely incredible natural water.

Wherever you go around town, especially by salmon streams, be prepared and educated in how to behave around bears. There are quite a few here.

Just a few thoughts!!

Enjoy our little island!!

Re: Suggestions for Sitka Vacation

Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:08 pm

Sitka Sound Science Center http://www.sitkasoundsciencecenter.org

Re: Suggestions for Sitka Vacation

Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:22 pm

Gallant Adventures gives a great Marine Wildlife Tour to see some of the sites around the area while viewing wildlife such as whales. www.gallantadventures.com
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