Smithsonian says Sitka is One of the Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013
What makes a small town big on culture?
For the second year running, Smithosonian.com sought a statistical answer to this question by asking the geographic information company Esri to search its databases for small towns and cities—this time, with populations of less than 15,000—that have exceptional concentrations of museums, art galleries, orchestras, theaters, historic sites and other cultural blessings.
Happily, the top towns also boast heartwarming settings where the air is a little fresher, the grass greener, the pace gentler than in metropolitan America. Generally, they’re devoted to preserving their historic centers, encouraging talent and supporting careful economic growth. There’s usually an institution of higher learning, too.
Sitka is the fifth largest city in Alaska with a population of 8,985 (2011). It is located in the outer coast of Baranof Island, along the great circle air route to Japan, Korea, China, and Southeast Asia, and is a port of call for major cruise lines that travel the Inside Passage in summer.
Sitka's island location in the Alexander Archipelago provides unique opportunities for outdoor recreation and enjoyment of the natural beauty of Baranof Island and the Pacific Ocean. Outdoor recreational opportunities are extensive. Kayak with whales or dive with sea lions. Fish for salmon, halibut and other salt-water species or try fly fishing in one of the nearby lakes or streams. Hike an extensive network of trails that range from rugged alpine splendor to easy boardwalks with interpretive signs. LEARN MORE
The air and water in Sitka is among the cleanest on earth and the community ranks as one of the safest in Alaska (based on FBI crime statistics).
Sitka has an excellent public library, three public auditoriums, a daily newspaper and an award winning public radio station, as well as reliable cable TV and internet connections.VIEW Sitka Community Profile: Demographic and Economic Data for Sitka
VIEW a video about Sitka
NOTE that Sheldon Jackson College closed in 2007
Proposals for use of the campus are welcome.
SITKA, ALASKA'S RUSSIAN & TLINGIT HERITAGE: WATCH THE VIDEO