Sitka, which rests on the Pacific Ocean coast of Baranof Island, is a potent combination of history and thoroughly Alaskan activities. The native Tlingit culture is honored at Sitka National Historical Park, while its founding as a Russian settlement in 1799 is illustrated in such places as the Russian Bishop's House and St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Sitka event venues immerse groups in this heady mixture.
Sitka's Rocky Gutierrez International Airport is located about two miles from downtown. Alaska Airlines is the only major airline serving Sitka and nonstop flights are available from Seattle, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Two downtown-area hotels offer free shuttle service for their guests: the Westmark Sitka and the Totem Square Hotel & Marina. For those not staying at these locations, taxis are available. In addition, paid shuttle service from the airport or the Alaska Marine Ferry Terminal can be arranged through Sitka Tours.
Sitka's compact downtown area, close proximity of hotels, restaurants, shopping, and meeting facilities, and the hotel shuttles offered mean there is often little need for a convention delegate to rent a vehicle. Adding to the convenience is a new Sea Walk connecting the Harrigan Centennial Hall Convention Center to the Sitka Sound Science Center and the Sitka National Historical Park.
Chief among meeting venues, Sitka's convention center, Harrigan Centennial Hall, can accommodate a meeting for up to 350 people in its auditorium and seven breakout rooms. The two other facilities often used by meeting groups are the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa kahidi House, which can handle up to 200, and the Sitka Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the-art venue on the campus of Sitka Fine Arts Camp that can handle a group of up to 600. The facility includes multiple buildings with classrooms, the Allen Hall-Odess Theater, breakout rooms, and spaces like dance studios and a fitness center with a rock climbing wall.
Hotel venues in Sitka are the Totem Square Hotel & Marina and the Westmark Sitka, each of which offers about 1,450 square feet of meeting space.
There are several Sitka possibilities for off-site events depending on the size of the function. The Alaska Raptor Center, Sitka Sound Science Center, Sitka Fine Arts Camp, and Sea-Mountain Golf Course can each host a party for up to 50 people. The Theater at the Sitka National Historical Park, Yaw Chapel on the Sitka Fine Arts Camp campus, Sitka Sound Science Center, and Alaska Raptor Center can each handle around 100.
The dining options in Sitka range from upscale restaurants like The Channel Club and Ludvig's Bistro, to The Bayview Pub and the Homeport Eatery, both of which offer great food and drinks at reasonable prices. Highliner Coffee and the Backdoor Cafe both provide for any and all coffee needs, along with a variety of fresh pastries/bagels, and also have limited but excellent lunch menus.
Sitka is home to more than 20 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as the Alaska Raptor Center and the Fortress of the Bear, a rescue center for Brown Bear cubs. Whale and wildlife watching are extremely popular, as are the area's vast outdoor recreation opportunities, such as hiking 40 miles of established trails, sport-fishing either fresh or salt water, kayaking, and, for the truly adventurous, exploring a 3,200-foot volcano.