What kid, at some point of his or her life, did not fantasize about living in a treehouse? Perhaps you had one in your backyard growing up, or maybe you were lucky enough to know someone in the neighborhood who did. Treehouses represent the spirit of adventure and the craving for a connection to nature, for even if they stand only a few feet above the ground, the environment comes in and surrounds one with the serenity and solitude only the great outdoors can provide.
As grownups, most of us are not so fortunate to be able to live among the birds, squirrels, and raccoons, but occasionally a place like Raven's Reveal Treehouse in Sitka, Alaska comes along and reminds us that we, too, can revisit the desires of childhood in a very adult way.
A tiny, stand-alone vacation rental on the grounds of the already-stunning Raven's Peek Bed and Breakfast located five miles from downtown Sitka, Raven's Reveal is just that, an overnight opportunity to allow the outdoors to reveal itself, inside. At only a few hundred square feet, the treehouse is not actually totally constructed to be an indepedent, in-the-limbs sort of accommodation, but rather partly so, and partly built into the steep bank of owner Mike Wise's property. It doesn't matter to quibble over such small details, however, because once you step across the threshold, you're in the air.
Constructed with an obvious love for nooks and crannies, and artful things, Raven's Reveal is lodging with a definite personal flair for the unique. Wise, a former computer executive-turned chef and coffee roaster, went for intelligent use of space to create the treehouse. Sleeping four, with a full bathroom, private sauna, efficiency kitchen, and cozy outdoor deck, the treehouse is perfect for a small family or couple looking to relax for a few days after the usual frenetic pace of most Alaska visitors.
Boasting snap-fast wireless internet, incredible views of nearby Sitka Sound, a hot breakfast cooked in the main lodge by Wise each morning, and tons of access to all kinds of Southeast Alaska's favorite activities, the treehouse is by far one of the wisest choices for lodging in this historic community.
Wise knew guests would want to share their photos of the hand-hewn railings interesting inlays of the interior part of the treehouse, or stream movies on the in-house entertainment system, so he added multiple layers of wifi. Want to relax after a busy day kayaking, hiking, or exploring Sitka's historic past? Step outside on the deck and share a glass of wine or cocktail with the flocks of birds who stop by and sit on nearby tree branches, or watch carefully during the early morning or evening hours for the occasional brown bear visitor, below. At only five miles from town, the treehouse provides easy access to dining options, too, and is an easy drive from state parks and hiking trails.
Arriving via Alaska Marine Highway ferry? You're in luck; Raven's Reveal is closer to the ferry dock than downtown, and even if your ferry arrives late at night, Wise will make sure to have the porch light on and beds turned down.
GoTip: Do rent a car if you'll be staying at Raven's Reveal Treehouse. Taxis are expensive, and you'll appreciate the independence of your own vehicle for the long list of activities you'll want to try. The property does not offer transportation.
Located on Baranof Island on the outer coast of Alaska's Inside Passage, Sitka is known as the former capital of Alaska, and the site of Alaska's official transfer of ownership from Russia in 1867. Part of Sitka's charm lies in its rich cultural heritage, combining the Russian Orthodox traditions with centuries-old Tlingit Native ties. Don't miss:
- Sitka National Historical Park, within walking distance from downtown. Plan to walk the trails and see the ancient totems throughout the park, and fish spawning in Indian River.
- Russian Bishop's House, downtown near the small boat harbor. This National Park Service-operated house is a historical gem, preserved just as it was in the 1800s.
- Sitka New Archangel Dancers, an all-woman troupe that has performed for dignitaries and their own town for years.
- Sitka Tribal Tours, combining the best of Sitka's Native Alaska traditions for visitors short on time.
- Sheldon Jackson College (former) site, now converted into the Sitka Fine Arts Center and other non-profit entities. The campus is beautiful for a stroll, and the museum is a must-see.
- Starrigavan Recreation Area, near the ferry docks. Take a short hike among native plants and flowers, or visit the Mosquito Cove area for a longer trek. GoTip: Always practice bear-aware tactics, as this area is home to many of Alaska's brown bruins.