The capital city of this fascinating state, Juneau is pretty as a picture. Downtown Juneau is within walking distance of the docks and has many attractions in the vicinity the Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church and the state capital building. The lively South Franklin Street is also right here and is filled with bustling cafes and souvenir shops. Watch the whales doing their breaches and lunges, take helicopter tour over the glaciers to get different perspective, shop for some souvenirs, mingle with the friendly people of the town and visit a frontier style pub and end the evening with some locally brewed beer and a meal of freshly caught salmon. Juneau is as eclectic as they come, and you have to come here to discover this enigmatic city.
Take a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier that is just 13 miles out of town, and if you are lucky you may see a 'calving'.
THINGS TO DO AND SEE
- Take an aerial tour of the Juneau Icefield. Land on a glacier-it's amazing! Glacier viewing is best on an overcast day, by the way.
- Go underwater diving. No, you won't freeze!
- Ride a dog sled
- The area is best explored on foot. Hiking trails sometimes lead to the foot of a glacier or if you are following a trail in the forest, there are public cabins that you can spend the night in
- Take a whale watching tour - you are almost guaranteed a sighting!
- Beer lovers should pay a visit to the Alaskan Brewing Company that has been brewing craft beer forever!
GRAB A BITE
Try some freshly caught salmon, halibut or other seafood at Tracy's King Crab shack. The best sea food in town! Or grab coffee and a bagel at the oldest bakery in town - at the Silverbow. For fine dining head to the Gold Room at the Westmark Baranhof Hotel and you won't be disappointed.
Buy local hand crafted items to take back home. Choose from comfortable moccasins, handcrafted silver souvenirs or authentic Tlinglit art works. The miniature Totem poles make great gifts for your friends.
BEST TIME TO CRUISE
May to September is the best time to be in Alaska
The average temperatures in May and September are around 55F/12C in the daytime and reaching a high of 70F/19C in peak summer months of July and August. The evenings are colder.
The US Dollar is the currency used here. Credit cards are welcome most everywhere too.