Juneau, Alaska is a popular cruise destination on the stunning Alaska Inside Passage route. Alaska’s capital city is only accessible by sea or air.
This picturesque port of call waits to be explored. Here are the top things to do in Juneau.
Top things to do in Juneau, Alaska
- Mendenhall Glacier is located in the Tongrass National Forest and is spectacular. You can take a cruise ship shore excursion, use public transportation, book tours available at the pier, hire a taxi or take the Glacier shuttle. The shuttle costs about $45 per person. We hired a taxi for the four of us. Moraine Ecology Trail is most easily accessed from the paved Steep Creek Trail near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. The easy trail is well worth the time and effort. We saw a bear in a tree, large salmon swimming, Sandhill Cranes, herons and other birds. On the trail, there is a ranger on hand to answer questions.
- Nugget Falls is a short walk from the Mendenhall Visitor’s Centre.
- Mount Roberts tramway provides sweeping views of snow-capped mountains, city and Gastineau Channel. The tram takes visitors up Mount Roberts 1,800 feet.
- The Red Dog Saloon is a well-known place to check out. You feel the lively atmosphere as soon as you walk through the swinging doors and onto the sawdust covered floor. Find a table, sit back and enjoy a few old songs played on the upright piano. Take a look around at the decor of furs, guns and antiques. The saloon has a gift store where you can purchase t-shirts and other items stamped with their logo.
- Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure – Tongass National Forest is home to Glacier Gardens rainforest adventure. Learn about the southeastern Alaska’s temperate rainforest while walking through a botanical garden of unique upside down hanging baskets known as “Flower Towers”. The grounds also offer waterfalls, ponds and panoramic views of the surrounding inlets.Steve Bowhay came up with the “Flowers Towers” idea after he turned a landscaping equipment disaster into a beautiful opportunity. Frustrated by the mishap, he picked up a large tree with the equipment and flung it into the air. The tree landed upside down into the soft mud. With the tree’s root ball now suspended in the air, Bowhay imagined the hanging roots looked like hanging vines of a petunia. Every year about 30 blooming “Flower Towers” come to life. Each tower has 75-100 flowering plants growing at the top of the uprooted trees in the root ball bed of moss and soil. The gardens are about 10 minutes from the cruise ship terminal.
- Whale Watching excursions offer a chance to view humpback whales, migrating gray whales and orcas. Some tours offer a combination of land wildlife viewing and an ocean experience.
- Take a walking tour of downtown Juneau. Here is a map.
- Dog sled on a glacier. Check with local guides or look for the tours available with your cruise.
- Drink a local beer made in Alaska.
- Juneau became the capital of Alaska in 1906. Get an official guide planner
- The largest temperate rainforest in North America is on Admiralty Island.
- Mendenhall Glacier is 13 miles long.
- Mendehall Ice Caves melted and no longer exist at the present time. They only live on through the stunning images on the internet.
- The trek to the Mendenhall Glacier can take up to eight hours.
- Southeastern Alaska has the highest concentration of grizzlies in the world. Peak viewing season is July and August.
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