The bustling center of Juneau is compact, easy to travel on foot and a favorite of visitors. Many of Juneau’s main attractions are within walking distance of the cruise ship docks, including the state capitol building, the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas, several museums and the historic South Franklin Street, where the buildings of the early twentieth century are today gift shops, restaurants, and bars. Also nearby there is the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau, with information for tourists, exhibitions, and maps of walking tours of the city.
For many, the best way to enjoy the area is the most accessible: on foot. Juneau also offers access to some of the region’s main attractions, including the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, the Tracy Arm-Ford’s Terror Nature Area and the Admiralty Island National Monument.
Mount Roberts Tram in Juneau
The Mount Roberts tram operates right at the cruise ship dock and transports passengers at 1800 feet along the side of Mount Roberts. If it is a clear day, you will have excellent views of downtown Juneau, Douglas Island, Admiralty Island, and the Chilkat Mountains. If it’s really clear, you could even take a look at Glacier Bay to the northwest.
When you get to the top of the tram, there is an 18-minute short film about the Tlingit culture that is included in the price of the tram ticket, a gift shop, and a snack bar.
Walk outdoors and you will find the bald eagle not releasable at the Juneau Raptor Center. You will also find miles of nature trails and hiking trails.
Juneau Douglas City Museum
This Museum focuses on gold and interesting mining displays. The map of the museum’s seven-foot-long gives visitors a good sense of the rugged terrain that surrounds Alaska’s state capital while local art and displays on Juneau’s maritime history round out the exhibits.
Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
A large relief map of the ice field, an observatory with telescope exhibit in Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. A theater shows the film, “Magnificent Mendenhall” and outside you’ll find black bear and up the glacier’s west side salmon-viewing platforms overlooking Steep Creek, with six hiking trails.
Sea kayaking in Juneau
Around the islands of Auke Bay, enjoyable trips include Mendenhall Lake, where kayakers paddle among the icebergs in this relatively calm body of water. Longer trips range from Taku Inlet for close views of Taku Glacier to the protected waters of Berners Bay, where kayakers can reserve and stay in US Forest Service cabins.
Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier
Whale watching tours are a popular way to see the diverse marine fauna of the area, including Steeler’s sea lions, Dall porpoises, killer whales and humpback whales, who return to the area every summer to feed with krill and herring Juneau has about 60 humpback whales that frequent the area and are seen so frequently that many tour operators offer a guaranteed sighting or return money. Whale watching and the visit to the Mendenhall Glacier are two of the most popular activities in and around Juneau.
Helicopter Tour and Sleigh Experience
Combine a helicopter flight over Juneau glaciers with a dog sled ride for a perfect Alaska experience. After flying over the stunning landscape, you will land in a remote area of the glacier to enjoy a hard-to-forget ride: a sleigh ride pulled by Alaskan huskies through the snow-covered fields and surrounded by high mountains. Listen to stories about the race, about effort and victory, by participants in the Iditarod race, and live the experience of dressing with the original team of the original Iditarod race to take unforgettable photos. Includes a round trip transfer from Juneau.