Valerie & Valise


Book a Taxi Tour to Explore Beyond Town

“There’s more to explore in Sitka beyond the city center, though most people never have the chance as you need a car to explore along the rest of the 14 miles of road from one end to another. (There is a car rental agency at the airport if you decide to rent a car for yourself, but it’s not necessary!)

That’s where Sitka Checkered Tours comes in; local Jeff Budd will pick you up from your hotel in his 1973 Checker Marathon and take you on a custom tour. During our two-hour drive, he covered it all: we went all the way from Old Sitka State Historic Park (where Russians first settled on Baranof Island in 1799) to Fortress of the Bear (more on that in a second) before ending downtown where Jeff dropped us off at a local restaurant and pointed out a famous local author – John Straley – who was participating in a jam band session with fellow musicians.

Along the way, everyone – or at least every local – waved and smiled at Jeff as he showed off the sights in town. If you want to feel like everyone in Sitka is welcoming, hopping in Jeff’s Checker Marathon does the trick!”

Jeff Budd Lecturing on the Maasdam in 2019!


Photo by Sherry Laskin of CruiseMaven

Jeff Budd‘s private tours featured on NATJA AWARD-WINNING travel blog by Juliana Dever!

“Tour guide and probably unofficial Mayor of Sitka, Jeff Budd is a friendly guy with a deep love of the area he’s called home for over 30 years now. A certified SE Alaska Naturalist who describes trees by comparing their bark to food (“that one’s potato chips, and this one’s a bacon tree…”), above all, you will be endlessly entertained all while learning about the landscape, history, and traditions of Sitka, Alaska.

Jeff can tailor a tour to your preferences. You can either ride in his checkered cab and get familiar with the entirety of the 15 paved miles of Sitka proper. You can also head out along the coast and walk Mosquito Cove trail where he’ll teach you more about nature and snack foods.

Pro Tip: You can also have Jeff give you a tour that swings by the Fortress of the Bear and ends at the Brewery if you don’t have a car.”

– Juliana Dever, Best Independent Travel Blog of the Year, 2018

 #1 on the ’21 Best Things To Do in Sitka’


“Jeff Budd has lived in S.E. Alaska for over three decades and has been involved in Alaska tourism for over two decades.  You can arrange a private tour with Jeff and he’ll meet you at the cruise terminal.  Then you’re off to see as many Sitka highlights as possible, with Jeff behind the wheel.”



“The best way to experience any destination is always with a local. In Sitka, we spent a morning with Jeff Budd of Sitka Checkered Tours and loved every minute. Not only were we cruising in style, but Jeff is a long time resident of Southeast Alaska and is a wonderful source of knowledge. Be sure to look him up when you.”   #VisitSitka