It was great to see Sitka be recognized as one of the top small towns in America by Smithsonian Magazine this month. And while this may be a surprise to some, this is something we have known for years. Sitka indeed is the small town in Alaska to visit – with its rich history, wildness wonder and tourist attractions, there is an adventure waiting for everyone who visits. The article points out some great suggestions of spots to check out and reasons to visit, here’s a couple more local spots/things we enjoy in Sitka.
A brilliantly developed hiking system in Sitka allows visitors to explore and find great lookouts within the endless sea of Sitka spruce trees and snow-capped mountain backdrops. One of my favorite hikes is up to Beaver Lake. This trail begins at the Blue Lake campground by Sawmill Creek. The first section of the hike is the most difficult. It begins with a fairly steep climb of about 200 feet to the beginning of the boardwalk that takes you across the bog. The boardwalk is in great shape and guides you right to Beaver Lake. Once you get to the lake, you can walk the loop; paddle the lake in a rowboat or fish for the only species in the lake, Arctic Grayling. On a clear day, Beaver Lake also offers some great views of neighboring mountains. Total time: 1 hour. Level of difficulty: moderately easy.
Of the twenty something restaurants in Sitka, one stands out for me. When I’m not in Sitka, I can’t find sushi as good as what they make at Little Tokyo. Whether it’s the freshness, generous portions or the way its prepared, it all comes together and creates the best sushi rolls I’ve ever had. If you dine at Little Tokyo, make sure you sit at the bar. The regular sushi chef will make sure you get plenty of samples and has been known to make custom rolls upon request.
When our crew gets together for an evening, our go-to park is Halibut Point Park. Less than a mile from our lodge, HBP is great for hosting our large group. We bring food and drinks, bunker down in one of the many pavilions and let the games begin. With a sand volleyball court and several horseshoe pits, we always try to organize some friendly competition for some bragging rights. This place is great because of its proximity to the lodge, its great beach views and since it’s out of town, it’s never busy.
Whether you’re traveling to Sitka for the fishing, hiking or the history, we hope you can try some of our local favorites. Do you have a favorite? Leave it in the comment section below!