Sunday, December 3, 2023

10 Finest Issues to Do in Juneau Alaska

Pondering of getting a northern journey? Juneau is the capital metropolis of Alaska, and whereas it won’t be the primary place you’d consider visiting, there may be a lot to do right here that you would simply spend a few weeks actually attending to know the realm. 

Juneau is legendary for its wildlife, each on land and at sea. Lots of of species of birds, together with bald eagles, black and brown bears, salmon, and orca whales, are simply among the normally-elusive animals you might be prone to spot.

Numerous the tourism right here relies on getting out into nature, so in case you love climbing, tenting, or something of the kind, then you definately’ll have the time of your life in Juneau. Juneau is Alaska’s capital metropolis, so it could possibly get busy when a number of cruises are in port. Juneau is a cruise ship terminal that’s visited by virtually each Alaskan cruise.

How do I get to the perfect locations in Juneau?

Juneau isn’t accessible by automotive, however you possibly can cowl many of the journey there by taking the Alaska-Canadian Freeway, which runs about 1500 miles. Then, it’s only a quick ferry experience till you attain Juneau. If you’re driving, be sure you e book forward, as automobile slots promote out rapidly and aren’t at all times obtainable on standby.

Regardless of the way you arrive, by airplane or automotive, or cruise ship Juneau is a photogenic metropolis to go to, with astonishing pure magnificence proper in its yard. If you’d like an thought of what to anticipate from a visit to the Alaskan capital, learn on for our listing of the highest 10 Issues to do in Juneau and the perfect place to go to.

When you’ve got learn a few of our different articles, chances are you’ll bear in mind our first journey to Alaska we drove. You possibly can learn extra about driving to Alaska right here. Since we drove, we didn’t go to Juneau. On our final journey, we took an Alaska cruise with Holland America and had each children with us. It was an incredible household trip to Alaska, and cruising was nice for us.

Finest Locations to Go to in Alaska

Mt. Roberts Tramway

1. Mount Roberts Tramway

This isn’t your common tram experience. The Goldbelt Tram is among the greatest methods to see Juneau, so long as you’re not afraid of heights (however even then, it’s solely 5 minutes to the highest). It’s the perfect view you’ll get in Juneau and isn’t to be missed!

The Mt. Roberts tramway begins from the cruise ship pier, ascending 1800 ft up the facet of Mount Roberts. Because the carriage will get increased, the notable sights of downtown Juneau, the Chilkat Mountain vary and surrounding islands seem earlier than you in a panoramic view you gained’t consider. A pair of binoculars, a digicam, and a zoom lens (in case you have one) are a good suggestion so you possibly can benefit from the view.

As soon as on the high, you’ll discover the Mountain Home, a cultural heart run by a local group. They’ve an academic theater, a present store, and the Timberline Restaurant, which is a superb place to pattern native beers with some freshly-caught Alaskan seafood.

If you’re searching for issues to do in Juneau which are tremendous near the port, that is it. I might simply stroll up and purchase tickets the day of. 

Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska

2. Mendenhall Glacier(ice caves)

Positioned simply 12 miles from Juneau’s metropolis heart, the Mendenhall Glacier is a must-see in case you’re visiting this a part of Alaska. The Juneau icefield is most well-known for its enchanting, magical ice caves.

We went on this tour. It was a combo tour that included wildlife& whale watching and visiting the Mendenhall Glacier.  This was an incredible tour as you bought to do two of the perfect issues to do in Juneau with one tour. The one draw back was that we didn’t have sufficient time on the Mendenhall Glacier to hike to Nugget Falls. 

Guests can stand contained in the hole glacier’s caves made completely of ice whereas water runs overhead and underfoot, creating the phantasm of being inside a frozen bubble. Make sure you cease at Mendenhall Lake, as it’s a part of the Mendenhall Valley Glacier Recreation space. Make sure you cease on the Mendenhall Glacier Guests heart to study extra in regards to the previous of this wonderful glacier.

Since glaciers are always evolving in a globally-changing environment, they’ll shift and even collapse. Previous caves collapse or disappear over time, and new ones kind over time, so there’s no assure that any caves might be there to discover in case you go to. However the sheer chance is sufficient for a go to since this is among the most unusual experiences most individuals may have of their lifetime! 

If you’re new to glacier climbing, it’s greatest to rent a tour information whose skilled security data can hold you from any harmful conditions on these climbing trails. Make sure you put on heat and waterproof boots and a jacket since it’s chilly and damp contained in the caves.

Glacier Garden Rainforest Adventure
Picture Credit score: Glacier Backyard Rainforest Journey

3. Glacier Backyard Rainforest Journey

How does a botanical backyard inside a glacial rainforest sound? That’s what you possibly can anticipate in case you go to the Glacier Gardens Rainforest Journey, an engineered and artfully-designed botanical backyard situated inside Alaska’s Tongass Nationwide Forest.

It is a guided tour in a partially-covered van that takes you thru the backyard, as much as fairly a excessive elevation to a viewing space with panoramic views of Juneau, and again down. Cascading ‘flower towers’ spill from fallen bushes, pure swimming pools are surrounded by lush bushes and creeping vines, and brilliant wildflowers bloom from each nook of the designer landscapes.

Click on right here to get present pricing and make reservations. After your tour, cease by the plant nursery and find out about how the workers are seeding new crops to be prepared for switch to the gardens. A part of the nursery additionally sells potted crops and seed packets, particularly these that may survive a chilly local weather like Alaska’s. In case you dwell someplace related and are fascinated about a grow-your-own memento, be sure you go to the nursery to see what’s in season and convey again a few of Alaska’s pure habitat.

Tracy Arm Fjord

4. Tracy Arm Fjord

The well-known Tracy Arm Fjord is about 45 miles south of the state capital of Juneau and is a shining instance of the astounding pure magnificence for which Alaska is legendary. The ice caves are extraordinarily standard (and price seeing), however Tracy Arm is the lesser-known hidden gem, filled with unspoiled magnificence.

Most visits to the fjord are run by tour corporations aboard comfy catamarans, so you possibly can chill out whereas seeing this wonderful marvel of Alaska’s spectacular surroundings. Boats are small to allow them to navigate the ice-ridden waters. Actually, since you’ll be gliding by means of waters with floating ice chunks!

One other wonderful viewpoint for this legendary glacier is to discover it by air from a seaplane tour or helicopter tour. Alaska Seaplanes runs half-hour excursions from Juneau Worldwide Airport (solely quarter-hour from downtown) for $300.

An alternative choice, in case you actually need one thing luxurious, is to rent a non-public chartered tour information. There are lots of choices for this, whether or not you need to go by sea or by air. You’ll see larger-than-life glaciers, cascading waterfalls, and loads of wild animals like humpback whales and seals. Convey your digicam for this unforgettable expertise!

Whale watching in Juneau Alaska

5. Whale Watching

If whale watching is in your bucket listing, then Juneau is the proper place to do it. Alaska is well-known for its marine wildlife, and simply off the coast, there are humpbacks, orcas, and belugas aplenty. We went on this whale watching tour in Juneau and had a good time. 

Though there’s an opportunity of seeing whales year-round, the perfect instances of the 12 months for whale watching in Juneau is April by means of November. Lots of of humpbacks move by means of the channel, and most whale watching excursions assure no less than one sighting, though you’re prone to see a number of in your tour.

Most whale watching excursions in Juneau will run for at least 2-3 hours and have a tendency to start out at round $150-200. Most excursions assure sightings, so that you gained’t need to go away your digicam at residence! However perhaps put money into a water-resistant cowl, simply in case.

Alaskan Brewing Company
Picture Credit score: Alaska Brewing Firm

6. Alaskan Brewing Firm

There’s nothing higher than an ice-cold beer after a day exploring the fjords, forests, and oceans of Alaska. Luckily, we’ve acquired the proper spot to do exactly this: the Alaskan Brewing Firm, in any other case generally known as Alaska’s largest brewery.

They’ve seven year-round beers and launch extra seasonal, specialty, and even limited-edition brews all year long, typically in the summertime months. For anybody alongside for the experience who isn’t into beer, one in every of their arduous seltzers or sodas may be simply the refreshment you want.

They run brewery excursions and tastings of their tasting room in the summertime months, the proper finish to a heat day. In case you like what you’ve tasted, seize a six-pack or fill a growler, and take it residence with you.

The Alaskan Brewing Firm is only a 10-minute drive from downtown Juneau space, however in case you can’t make the drive then their Depot to purchase their beers or seize their summer season shuttle that can take you straight to the principle brewery. Children are allowed in if accompanied by an grownup, but it surely’s in all probability higher suited to a child-free day.

You might even see an Alaskan Brewing Firm proper in downtown, however word they don’t serve or promote any beer right here. They solely promote shirts, glasses, and different merchandise. We all know as a result of we sadly came upon the arduous manner.

Last Chance Brewing Company
Picture Credit score: Final Likelihood Mining

7. Final Likelihood Mining Museum

With Alaska’s historical past and involvement with the gold rush, mining types an enormous a part of its latest cultural id. The Final Likelihood Mining Museum is a testomony to the pure historical past, with a seasonal exhibit situated on the museum’s foremost constructing, which stands on the positioning of a former gold mine only a mile north of downtown Juneau.

The camp, though not in operation anymore, was the positioning of Juneau’s largest gold mine, which produced over $80 million {dollars} value of gold earlier than closing in 1944.

The jewel of the Final Likelihood Mining Museum, and the final surviving piece of the unique mine, is the air compressor constructing. The unique compressor continues to be inside, untouched because the mine’s golden age (actually). There are additionally numerous remnants of the railroad, which had been used to move employees, items, equipment, and instruments to and from the mine.

The museum is open from mid-Might by means of September, Friday by means of Monday. Tickets are $5, and hours will be sporadic, so it’s at all times a good suggestion to name forward and ensure opening hours earlier than arriving.

Salmon Hatchery

8. DIPAC Macaulay Salmon Hatchery

Salmon is one in every of Alaska’s greatest exports, with over a billion {dollars} value of annual export. There are lots of salmon hatcheries all through the state, and in case you’ve ever needed to go to one, you’re in luck as a result of the DIPAC Macaulay Salmon Hatchery is situated a 20-minute drive from downtown Juneau.

Guests get to see the spawning course of firsthand, from the tens of millions of child salmon rising from eggs to the 1000’s of salmon combating to swim upstream. There may be additionally an aquarium with over 150 species of marine life animals, and a contact tank that children will love. 

Along with studying in regards to the strategy of salmon hatching and rearing, guests can discover souvenirs within the reward store, pattern several types of smoked salmon, and even ship some tasty items residence to proceed having fun with after your Alaskan journey ends.

The hatchery is open for walk-in excursions each day from Might by means of September, and by appointment from October by means of April. 

Nugget Falls Waterfall

9. Nugget Falls Path

For out of doors fans, the Nugget Falls Path is your one-stop store. It’s an extension of Mendenhall Glacier and leaves from the customer’s heart. It is a nice exercise you are able to do along with your children because it’s a reasonably relaxed self-guided stroll, and the entire path takes lower than an hour, or you possibly can take your time and make it a leisurely stroll. Leashed canines are welcome on the path too, however be certain to select up after them.

The waterfall itself is a staggering 375 ft tall, and you may get very near it from the shoreline. The Falls additionally fan out on the base, protecting near 100 ft in width. In case you’re fortunate, you would possibly spot some black bears fishing for sockeye salmon and revel in different wildlife viewing. This species of bear tends to maintain their distance from folks, however train acceptable warning in case you do spot any. This path is the proper addition to any day journey close to Mendenhall Glacier and is a spotlight of the within passage.

Except for the spectacular views of the glacier and Nugget Falls, this can be a stunning path for birdwatching, wildflower recognizing, and by extension images. So carry your digicam!

Alaska State Museum
Picture Credit score: Alaska Museum

10. Alaska State Museum

The ultimate factor on our listing of issues to do in Juneau is the Alaska State Museum. Generally known as the APK, this is among the most vital cultural museums for preserving and displaying data and artifacts from the historical past of indigenous peoples from the area.

Many native cultures are represented right here, together with Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian, in addition to smaller bands from the encircling Prince William Sound and Kodiak Island. The museum unifies these cultures and showcases their tales, artwork, and historical past by means of rotating seasonal displays.

In case you’re visiting in the summertime, ask about their guided excursions, the place an skilled will give deeper context on the artifacts. And once you’re finished, be sure you take a look at the arboretum, which homes many bushes and crops native to Alaska.

The museum was renovated in 2016 and given a contemporary, up to date design to raised swimsuit the subject material. Entrance charges assist help the persevering with preservation of native heritage.

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