Sitka is one of my favorite places on Earth. I hadn't spent much time there until my grandparents moved over from Juneau last year, but now I'm subtly trying to convince Dan that we need to move there. I've always loved Southeast Alaska and spent quite a bit of time in Juneau with my grandparents, who lived there for 60 years. Sitka, though, has a home-y quality that Juneau always lacked for me. Juneau's just a bit too large and, despite being a small-ish town, lacks the small town vibe that's made me fall in love with Sitka. My aunt and uncle have made Sitka their home for decades and I remember visiting them about 20 years ago, boating around the islands speckling the waters surrounding the town, and harvesting rhubarb from their front yard to make rhubarb pies.
Flying into Sitka on a sunny day is truly a treat. Flying over the southeast in general is pretty fantastic, but coming in low with the mountains of Baranof Island on one side and the Pacific ocean on the other, while gliding over clusters of tiny islands is breathtaking. Whenever I fly to Alaska I do my best to get a window seat, but especially when flying to the southeast. I've never been on an Alaska cruise, but I suspect floating into Sitka is also magnificent.
If you're in Sitka, I definitely recommend checking out Baranof Island Brewing's taproom. It's a fun little spot to grab some great brews, but quite a few places around town also have Baranof on tap too. I've also loved taking in a show at the Bayview Pub, or grabbing lunch there during the day. You can sit by the windows and look out on the bay, hence "Bayview." They've got a pretty good selection of beers on tap and decent bar food. My aunt invited us to a show at the Bayview one night and it was really fun to see local musicians, hang out, and dance.
The only place I've ever gotten coffee in Sitka is the Backdoor Cafe, but I love it. It's, surprise, found at the backdoor behind Old Harbor Books. It's right next door to the Pioneer Home so we go there before heading over to spend time with my grandparents. They didn't have internet last time I was there, but they just got new ownership so they might now. If not, Highliner Cafe has internet, though I've never been there. I've heard great things though!