Sitka, Alaska, USA, with Alaska Air
*This post was created in collaboration with Alaska Air, but the opinions are my own.
Many of you probably have never heard of Sitka, not because it is a small town, but because it is hidden gem. It is named as one of the top 20 most beautiful towns in America by Conde Nast. When we found out, we could visit Sitka in collaboration with Alaska Air for a weekend, we did not hesitate for a second. To reach Sitka from San Francisco, we flew via Seattle, which was such a scenic route. We could not keep our eyes away from those beautiful mountain peaks poking out of the clouds. The entire flight was very comfortable and pleasant. We love Alaska Air for its extra leg space, the great entertainment system (over hundred of choices for movies, documentaries and TV shows), and friendly and helpful staff. My kids were fascinated by the cockpit and were invited the captain to sit at the captain and co-pilot’s seats. They even announced to the passengers to welcome them onboard. That really made their day!
The only way to visit is either by sea or air. Arriving by air is the best way to appreciate Sitka’s stunning setting. From above, you can really see how this small own is situated between a mountain range (known as the Sisters) and the sea. When the sky is clear, you can see snow-capped peak of Mount Edgecumbe, a dormant volcano that rises almost 1000 meters.
Sitka is rugged and wild, untouched by the modern world. For us, it was the perfect escape from the busy, bustle and tech-packed world. It is also a great place for hikers, hunters, fishermen, runners and climbers. During our three days stay, we visited the oldest national park in Alaska, which was once a fierce battle field between the native Tlingit people and the Russians. We visited Fortress of the Bear, a great initiative from Sitka to rescue orphaned grizzly bear cubs as well as injured bears. We kayaked among the shores of Sitka and kelp forests, where we saw starfish, jelly fish, eagles, and many wild creatures. We heard that a group from a few days ago even encountered whales during their journey (how lucky!!!). We also handpicked wild salmonberries along the hikes. We have never seen or tasted this wild berry before and were totally in love with it. It was so juicy and sweet. And if you are a keen salmon and crab lover, I bet there is no better place to taste these catch in the freshest possible way than Sitka. The people in Sitka were also very friendly, helpful and open. They made an extra effort to make us feel welcome and comfortable. You could also tell there is a strong sense of community in this town.
All in all, it was such a beautiful weekend to visit Sitka and to get a small taste of wild Alaska. Can’t wait to go back and explore more.