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Why Sitka, Alaska is the Perfect Place to Build a Seaside Cabin

Read on to find out why Sitka, Alaska is the perfect place to build your rugged, seaside cabin along its stunning shoreline.

Written by Madison Dapcevich
Photography by David Dapcevich
Why Sitka, Alaska is the Perfect Place to Build a Seaside Cabin
Photo by David Dapcevich, SitkaPhotos
 
Tucked along the rugged coastline of the Tongass National Forest lies a small Alaskan community with just fourteen miles of roadway. Dubbed the “Pearl of the Pacific,” the cresting waves of the Pacific Ocean and sprouting Spruce trees makes Sitka, Alaska a town like none other. Read on to find out why Sitka is the perfect place to build your rugged cabin along its stunning shoreline.

Get lost in Sitka, Alaska's natural beauty

Made up of a group of more than 1,100 islands, the town of Sitka sits on Baranof Island in the Alaskan Panhandle running alongside the northern half of British Columbia. The city faces west to the open ocean with its back to awe-inducing mountains. The majority of Southeast Alaska is encompassed by the nation’s largest national Forest, the Tongass. Here, it is not uncommon to see eagles grazing inches above the ocean in search of salmon, or grizzly bears poking their noses around fresh streams. In Sitka, it’s nearly impossible to find a view that isn’t breathtaking.
 

Immerse yourself in a mix of culture

Sitka is home to a rich and diverse cultural history since it's the former capital of Russia and current home to two dominant Alaska Native groups. In the same space, visitors can see centuries-old Russian military fortresses beside historical Tlingit and Haida totem poles. Both of these cultures are celebrated today. Every year on October 18, Alaskans from around the state flock to Sitka to celebrate Alaska Day with costume contests, Russian dance performances, and a parade through town.

A walk through Totem Park celebrates Sitka’s rich Tlingit and Haida history while preserving the site of a battle between local tribes and Russian traders during the 19th century. Tlingit communities and traditional practices still flourish today through art, education, and subsistence living.

You will never be bored in Sitka with endless recreational activities

Whether your thing is splashing through waves or hiking to snow-capped peaks, Sitka is a dream for outdoor enthusiasts. Sitka has a vibrant surf community that flourishes year round. If you don’t feel like donning a wetsuit, kayaking between islands in the Alexander Archipelago is another local favorite.

Sitka is also home to hiking trails offering unbelievable vistas at their summits. The tops of Mount Verstovia and Harbor Mountain both show off the small town and nearby islands below. Trails to Beaver Lake and Heart Lake showcase the beauty tucked behind the dramatic mountains and the fishing opportunities Alaska’s freshwater systems have to offer.

Sitka has many opportunities to live off of the land

Because many of Sitka’s food is shipped in, the cost of groceries tends to be higher than average. To combat this, many Sitkans turn to a subsistence-based lifestyle to offset these costs. Sitka is home to world-class fishing and attracts a multitude of visitors each year. Pacific halibut, rockfish, cod, shrimp, crab, and five different kinds of salmon all call the ocean waters surrounding Sitka home.

If you’d like to stick to the shore, hunting is a great opportunity to fill your freezer for the winter. Sitka black-tailed deer are commonly hunted during the fall and winter. Mountain goats on Baranof island are hunted as well.

Not into hunting or fishing? Have no fear. Sitka is home to Alaskan huckleberries, blueberries, salmon berries, and wild rhubarb, among many others! Locals today practice methods used for thousands of years by Alaska’s native populations when it comes to cooking and canning these nutritious berries. Herbs, wild roots and seaweed are also foraged and commonly harvested for food and homeopathic and naturopathic uses year-round.

See also A Pacific Coast Cottage

The community will welcome you as its family

Whether your dreams involve building a homestead or settling down and starting a family—Sitka has it all. The small town of roughly 9,000 people is a tight-knit and supportive community. It’s hard not to run into someone you know—or who knows your entire family— at the grocery store.

Life in Sitka is truly a unique and special one. Your cabin life dreams are made possible by all the advantages this small island community has to offer!