The movie The Proposal featuring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds may have been the very first time that anyone had heard of this small, lesser-known Alaskan town, but what viewers saw in the movie does exist. In fact, this town exists and is so much more beautiful and quaint than what viewers saw in the movie, with plenty to do around town other than using a coin-operated computer at the local library. Sitka is completely shrouded in history and culture and many would argue that it's one of the most culturally significant places in the state.


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Sitka was once home to a Native American tribe called the Tlingit, where they called the land home for roughly 10,000 years. In 1804, Russian explorers found Sitka and fought with the Tlingit for the land, eventually winning it for themselves. Later on, the U.S. would purchase Sitka during a land-transfer agreement, which is how it has become a beloved travel destination for those who know of its existence. While somewhat remote, this small town is worth the visit and holds a blending of cultures, history, and scenery like no other.

Embrace The Nature That Surrounds You

Sitka also happens to be home to the smallest national park in Alaska which also makes it one of the most immersive. The Sitka National Park, also known as the Totem Park, is home to real totems poles made by the Tlingit tribe depicting their history. Throughout the park, visitors will find a variety of trails that vary from easy to more moderate, with creeks to jump and terrain that differs from one blaze to the next. This is also the best way to see Sitka's wildlife, including jumping salmon if travelers time their trip during the right time of the year.

Other ways to experience Alaska's wilds are by boat during boat tours that show off Sitka's marine life and bird population, or by visiting the Alaska Rapter Center or Fortress of the bear. Alaska Raptor Center is home to a rehabilitation center for eagles, while the Fortress of the Bear is a bear rescue located in the Tongass National Forest.

Go To The Sitka Historical Museum And Stop By The Oldest Russian Orthodox Church

The Sitka Historical Museum was recently renovated which means that visitors will have an all-new experience when they visit. The museum is filled with historical artifacts from Russian history as well as those seeped in Sitka culture, so it's well worth the time to explore all of Sitka's past.

This small town is also home to the oldest Russian Orthodox Church in the U.S., called St. Michael's Cathedral. The building that stands in Sitka right now is a replica of the 1966 church that tragically burnt down, but the new church is filled with artifacts that were able to be saved from the old.

Learn About Sitka's Culture At The Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall

The Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall is a very important, and crucial part, of Sitka. Visitors can learn about the ancient ways of the Tlingit people while hearing stories that have been passed down through generations of the tribe.

Here, visitors can also watch traditional dances and learn about the history of Sitka from the first people to call it their home.

Scope Some Waterviews In A Kayak

There is no shortage of outdoor recreational activities in this part of Alaska! From kayaking to hiking, this town is full of adventure and ways to take in its natural beauty.

Kayaking allows travelers to experience all the beauty in this remote part of Alaska from the water, giving a different perspective than one would have on land.

In town, those visiting Sitka will find many small shops that are the true gems of this lesser-visited destination.

Old Harbor Books is home to a wide variety of genres and also has books on local history and lore, making it quite the place to explore if you have the time. For art, there's no better place to visit than Island Arts Gallery to see local talent and amazing artwork.

Explore The Local Food And Drink Scene

Are you in search for a good cup of coffee? Sitka has a cafe for that. What about a delicious pastry? There's also a bakery for that!

The town might be small but Sitka is full of delicious food options and small-town charm. There's even wine bar and a brewery to visit for those seeking a bit of local flavor, as well as restaurants featuring traditional Alaska cuisine.

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