Sitka hosts one active post-secondary institution, the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus, located on Japonski Island in an old World War II hangar. Sheldon Jackson College, a small Presbyterian-affiliated private college suspended operations in June, 2007, after several years of financial stress.
Sitka is served by the Daily Sitka Sentinel, one of the remaining few independently-owned daily newspapers in the state. Sitka also receives circulation of the Capital City Weekly a weekly regional newspaper based out of Juneau.
Alaska's first newspaper following the Alaska purchase, the Sitka Times, was published by Barney O. Ragan on September 19, 1868. Only four issues were published that year, as Ragan cited a lack of resources available at the time. The paper resumed publishing the following year as the Alaska Times. In 1870, it moved to Seattle, where the year following it was renamed the Seattle Times (not to be confused with the modern-day newspaper of the same name).
There are two hospitals in Sitka.
Sitka Community Hospital is in the downtown area and offers a full range of health care services including general medical care, surgery, 24/7 emergency room, laboratory, radiology, rehabilitative services, outpatient clinic, home health, infusion therapy, visiting specialists and long term care.
Edgecumbe Hospital is across Sitka Harbor on Japonski Island about half a mile from Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport. The facility is part of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or SEARHC, a non-profit tribal health consortium of 18 Native communities. The hospital serves as a regional referral center for people throughout Southeast Alaska, and also provides primary outpatient care. Numerous specialty clinics are offered at the hospital that are not available in the smaller communities such as: neurology, orthopedic, dermatology, ophthalmology and denture clinic.
Sitka's attractions include:
Alaska Raptor Center
Baranof Castle Hill
Sheet'k Kwan Naa Kahdi
Russian Bishop's House
Saint Lazaria National Wildlife Refuge
St. Michael's Cathedral
Sheldon Jackson Museum
Sitka Fine Arts Camp
Sitka Historical Museum
Sitka Jazz Festival
Sitka Lutheran Church
Sitka National Historical Park
Sitka Pioneer Home
Sitka Summer Music Festival
Tongass National Forest
The flora and fauna of Sitka and its surrounding area are popular. Day cruises and guided day trips (hiking) are large enterprises in Sitka. Floatplane "flightseeing" excursions are a way to view the area's sights from above.
Sitka's position between the Pacific Ocean and the most mountainous island in the Alexander Archipelago creates a variety of outdoor opportunities:
The Baranof Cross-Island Trail, which leads to the small community of Baranof Warm Springs on the eastern side of the island, is a popular summer backpacking trip. Only serious and experienced backpackers, or those with an experienced guide, should undertake such a trip due to volatile weather conditions in the mountains and the required crossings of icefields with crevasses.
The dormant volcano Mount Edgecumbe is also a popular mountain to summit and features a seven-mile (11 km) trail up to the top. Guided day-trips are available, but the trip does not require much knowledge to undertake.
The officially unnamed, but informally named Peak 5390 (the name is derived from its height in feet) is the highest point on Baranof Island and a demanding climb. Few people undertake this peak; those interested should consult with one who has summited previously.
Kayaking is a popular activity and small guided day excursions are offered locally.
There are a number of maintained trails in the Sitka area, many of which are accessible from Sitka's road system.