The Centennial Building houses a small information desk and brochure rack, or drop by the Sitka Convention & Visitors Bureau (upstairs at 303 Lincoln St., 907/747-5940, www.sitka.org , Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.).
One of the finest views of Sitka  is from the walkway along the distinctive cable-stayed girder-span bridge that connects Sitka with Japonski Island. On a clear day you’ll have a hard time deciding which direction to look: The mountains of Baranof Island rise up behind the town, while the perfect volcanic cone of Mt. Edgecumbe  (3,000 feet) on Kruzof Island dominates the opposite vista.
Beside the old post office on Lincoln Street a stairway leads up to Castle Hill, a tiny state park commemorating the spot where the ceremony transferring Alaska to the United States was held on October 18, 1867. The Kiksadi Indians inhabited this hill for many generations before the Russians’ arrival. After defeating the Kiksadi, Alexander Baranov built his castle-like house here, but the building burned down in 1894. The splendid view makes Castle Hill a must.
The most prominent downtown feature is the large yellow Alaska Pioneers Home, built in 1934 and housing elderly Alaskans with 15 or more years’ state residence. The Prospector statue out front was based on William “Skagway Bill” Fonda, an Alaskan pioneer. Across the road is a totem pole bearing the Russian coat of arms, three old English anchors, and a couple of Indian petroglyphs.
Adjacent to the Pioneers Home is Sheet’Ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Community House, based on traditional longhouse designs and offering Native Alaskan dance performances in summer. Two tall house screens dominate the interior.
Atop a small hill just west of the Pioneer Home stands a reconstructed Russian blockhouse from the stockade that kept the Indians restricted to the area along Katlian Street. It’s open Sunday afternoons during the summer. Kogwantan and Katlian Streets, directly below the blockhouse, are a picturesque mixture of docks, fish canneries, shops, and old houses, one with its exterior entirely covered in Tlingit designs.
The main Finnish Lutheran Cemetery, 400 graves dating as far back as 1848, is behind the blockhouse at the end of Princess Street. The grave of the Russian Princess Maksoutoff is here, and nearby are more Russian graves, including that of Iahov Netsvetov, a Russian Orthodox saint. Cemetery buffs might also be interested in the small Sitka National Cemetery, accessible via Jeff Davis Street beside Sheldon Jackson College . It’s the oldest national cemetery west of the Mississippi.