One look at lovely Sitka and you'll know why Alexander Baranof, governor of the Russian American Company, decided to build his «castle» here. With views of island-studded waters and stately spruce forests reaching to the water's edge, Sitka is considered Alaska's most beautiful seaside town. Sitka's past is a unique blend of Tlingit culture and Russian history. Our historic and scenic community is situated on Baranof Island, nestled between forested mountains and the great Pacific Ocean, on the outer waters of Alaska's Inside Passage. Sitka offers a combination of Native culture, Russian history, and Alaskan wilderness which will provide a diverse and unequaled experience. Wildlife adds to Sitka's natural beauty. Our mild climate, rich habitat and relatively low human population make Sitka one of the best places to view wildlife. Nearby waters are a popular feeding ground for humpback whales in the late fall and early spring. Summertime provides a wonderful opportunity to view tufted puffins and other sea birds at St. Lazaria National Wildlife Refuge. While out on the ocean, you may also spot sea otters, sea lions and other marine wildlife. Sitka lies at the heart of the largest temperate rain forest in the world, the Tongass National Forest. Enjoy the fresh outdoors on well-marked mountain trails. Take to the water for a picturesque boat trip or kayaking adventure among nearby islands or charter a boat to nearby fishing grounds to fish for world-class salmon and halibut.