things to do in juneau alaska

Unleash Adventure in Juneau, Alaska 🏞️

Juneau, Alaska offers a wealth of unforgettable adventures and activities, making it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty, experience the thrill of whale watching, delve into rich history and culture, or enjoy the excitement of outdoor activities, Juneau has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Juneau, Alaska is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
  • You can explore the majestic Mendenhall Glacier through guided tours, canoe trips, or flightseeing tours.
  • Experience the thrill of whale watching and get up close to humpback whales and orca whales.
  • Uncover the rich history and culture of Juneau through visits to Gold Creek and the Alaska State Museum.
  • Explore the natural beauty of Juneau’s parks and gardens, such as the Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure and the Jenson-Olson Arboretum.
  • Embrace winter activities at Eaglecrest Ski Area, including downhill skiing and Nordic skiing.
  • Discover the delights of downtown Juneau, with its unique shops, restaurants, and historic facades.
  • Make the most of your visit to Juneau with these top things to do and create unforgettable memories.

Experience the Majestic Mendenhall Glacier

Jutting out of the massive Juneau Icefield, the Mendenhall Glacier is one of the city’s biggest attractions, offering a range of activities and experiences for visitors. Whether you’re looking for a guided float trip, a canoe tour, sea kayaking, a flightseeing tour, a glacier trek, or a dogsled ride, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Mendenhall Glacier.

For those seeking a unique adventure, a guided float trip or canoe tour on Mendenhall Lake provides a quieter view of the glacier while allowing you to immerse yourself in the stunning natural surroundings. If you prefer to be on the water, sea kayaking on Auke Bay is another exciting option.

If you want to take in the glacier and icefield from above, a flightseeing tour is the perfect choice. Fly over alpine lakes, moraines, and crevasses, and marvel at the breathtaking beauty of the Mendenhall Glacier from a bird’s-eye view.

For the ultimate experience, consider joining a guided glacier trek or dogsled ride. These exhilarating activities allow you to set foot on the glacier itself and get up close and personal with its majestic icy landscape. You’ll have the opportunity to explore crevasses, witness stunning ice formations, and learn about the geological wonders of the Mendenhall Glacier.

ActivityKeywords
Guided Float Tripguided float trip, Mendenhall Glacier
Canoe Tourcanoe tour, Mendenhall Glacier
Sea Kayakingsea kayaking, Mendenhall Glacier
Flightseeing Tourflightseeing tour, Mendenhall Glacier
Glacier Trekglacier trek, Mendenhall Glacier
Dogsled Ridedogsled ride, Mendenhall Glacier

Encounter Magnificent Whales in Southeast Alaska

Southeast Alaska is one of the main summer feeding grounds for humpback and orca whales, offering thrilling whale watching experiences for visitors. The pristine waters surrounding Juneau provide the perfect habitat for these majestic creatures, and witnessing them in their natural environment is an unforgettable experience.

There are several options for whale watching tours in Juneau, each offering a unique perspective on these magnificent marine animals. Board a boat with a knowledgeable naturalist guide and set off into the waters of Southeast Alaska. As you cruise along, keep your eyes peeled for the iconic fluke (tail) or breach of a humpback whale, as well as the graceful movements of orca whales. Your guide will provide fascinating information about these creatures, their behavior, and their conservation.

One of the highlights of whale watching in Juneau is the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing spectacle of “bubble net feeding” performed by humpback whales. This cooperative feeding technique involves a group of whales working together to corral fish into a tight ball by releasing a curtain of bubbles. Once the fish are trapped, the whales rise up with their mouths wide open, engulfing a massive amount of food in one incredible motion.

Some tours even offer a guarantee of sighting whales during your excursion, ensuring that you won’t leave disappointed. These tours typically have experienced guides who are intimately familiar with the behavior and migration patterns of the whales, increasing your chances of a successful sighting.

Whale Watching Tour Options in Juneau:

Tour CompanyDescription
Alaska Tales Whale Watching JuneauThis tour company offers small boat whale watching tours, providing an intimate and personalized experience. With a maximum capacity of 49 passengers, you’ll have ample space to enjoy the views of humpback and orca whales. Some tours also include a visit to Mendenhall Glacier.
NorthStar Helicopters – Flightseeing & Guided Glacier TreksIf you’re looking for a unique perspective on whale watching, consider a flightseeing tour with NorthStar Helicopters. Fly over the breathtaking landscape of Juneau and the surrounding glaciers, with the opportunity to witness whales from the sky. This tour also offers the option to land on a glacier and embark on a guided glacier trek.
Mendenhall Glacier FloatFor a more immersive experience, embark on a guided float trip on the Mendenhall River. This tour will take you close to the Mendenhall Glacier, allowing you to witness the beauty of the glacier while keeping an eye out for whales in the surrounding waters.

Whether you choose to embark on a boat tour, a flightseeing adventure, or a guided float trip, witnessing the magnificent whales of Southeast Alaska is an unforgettable experience. Prepare to be amazed by their size, grace, and the sheer beauty of their natural habitat.

Uncover Juneau’s Rich History and Culture

Immerse yourself in Juneau’s rich history and culture by visiting Gold Creek for a gold panning experience and exploring the fascinating exhibits at the Alaska State Museum. Gold spurred the founding of Juneau in 1880, with Joe Juneau and other prospectors flocking to Gold Creek in search of fortune. Tours are set within the lush rainforest, where all the action took place in Juneau’s early days. Feel the icy chill of the creek as you perfect gold panning techniques. Be sure to pair the adventure with a satisfying salmon bake – which is likely the type of meal gold miners enjoyed too.

For more than a century, the Alaska State Museum has collected and displayed artifacts that weave a picture of Alaska’s history. Stroll through the cleverly displayed exhibits (redesigned in 2016), which take you through different eras of this history. Learn about the clothing, weapons, tools, and ceremonial objects from distinct Alaska Native populations, as well as icons and other memorabilia from Russian-American days. Other features include the discovery room, with a climb-aboard replica of a sailing ship, fine art gallery, gift shop, and cafΓ©.

Juneau Gold Panning ExperienceAlaska State Museum
Location: Gold CreekLocation: Downtown Juneau
Experience the thrill of gold panning in the historic Gold CreekExplore the fascinating exhibits that showcase Alaska’s rich history
Discover the techniques of gold prospectors and try your luck at finding goldLearn about the clothing, tools, and ceremonial objects of Alaska Native populations
Pair your gold panning adventure with a delicious salmon bakeVisit the discovery room and climb aboard a replica sailing ship

Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Juneau by visiting Gold Creek for a gold panning experience and exploring the exhibits at the Alaska State Museum. Discover the techniques used by gold prospectors and try your luck at finding gold in the historic Gold Creek. Be sure to pair your gold panning adventure with a satisfying salmon bake, reminiscent of the meals enjoyed by gold miners in the past.

The Alaska State Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts that offer a glimpse into the rich history of Alaska. Explore the exhibits that showcase the clothing, weapons, tools, and ceremonial objects of distinct Alaska Native populations. Learn about the icons and memorabilia from the Russian-American days. Don’t miss the discovery room, where you can climb aboard a replica sailing ship, and the fine art gallery. The museum offers a unique opportunity to delve into Alaska’s past and gain a deeper understanding of its cultural heritage.

Explore the Natural Beauty of Juneau’s Parks and Gardens

Discover the lush beauty of Juneau’s parks and gardens, from the Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure to the scenic Old Glacier Highway and the Jenson-Olson Arboretum. Juneau offers a variety of outdoor spaces where visitors can immerse themselves in nature and enjoy the stunning landscapes.

The Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure is a must-visit attraction in Juneau. Located just a mile from the airport, this unique tour takes visitors through a temperate rainforest, showcasing the diverse plant life and offering excellent views of the city. The tour includes guided transportation in covered vehicles, which allows visitors to appreciate the botanical gardens and spot frequent eagle sightings along the way. Don’t miss the stunning flower “towers” that cascade down 15-foot-tall upside-down trees, creating a colorful display.

If you’re looking to explore the natural beauty of Juneau further, take a drive north on the Old Glacier Highway. This 40-mile paved road leads to breathtaking beaches, coves, gardens, and hiking trails. Along the way, make a stop at the tranquil Shrine of St. Therese, located 22 miles north of Juneau. This peaceful retreat offers a chapel, tranquil paths, and rental cabins for those who want to extend their stay. Another must-visit location is the Jenson-Olson Arboretum, a 14-acre garden showcasing a variety of native and non-native plants. From sky blue poppies to over 200 species of primroses, the arboretum offers something to admire year-round.

Eagle Beach, located 28 miles north of Juneau, is another gem along the Old Glacier Highway. This beautiful beach offers stunning views and is a great spot to observe eagles in their natural habitat. At the end of the Old Glacier Road, Echo Cove leads out to Berner’s Bay and can be explored by kayak, providing a unique perspective of the surrounding natural beauty.

AttractionLocationHighlights
Glacier Gardens Rainforest AdventureJust a mile from the airportCovered transportation, diverse plant life, frequent eagle sightings
Old Glacier HighwayNorth of JuneauBreathtaking beaches, coves, gardens, hiking trails
Jenson-Olson Arboretum14-acre gardenSky blue poppies, over 200 species of primroses
Eagle Beach28 miles north of JuneauStunning views, eagle sightings

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Juneau’s parks and gardens, and experience the serenity and wonder of Southeast Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes.

Hit the Slopes and Embrace Winter Activities

Embrace the winter wonderland of Juneau by hitting the slopes at the Eaglecrest Ski Area or enjoying ice skating on frozen lakes. With its stunning natural surroundings and snowy terrain, Juneau offers a variety of winter activities for adventure enthusiasts.

Eaglecrest Ski Area is the perfect place for downhill skiing and snowboarding. With a vertical drop of up to 1620 feet, it caters to both beginners and experienced skiers. The ski area also offers groomed trails for Nordic skiing, allowing visitors to explore 9 kilometers of scenic routes.

If you prefer ice skating, you can enjoy gliding across the frozen lakes in Juneau. With the right weather conditions, several lakes in the area become perfect ice skating rinks. Strap on your skates and glide through the winter wonderland, surrounded by the serene beauty of the Alaskan landscape.

Winter Activities in Juneau

  • Downhill skiing at Eaglecrest Ski Area
  • Snowboarding on the slopes
  • Nordic skiing on groomed trails
  • Ice skating on frozen lakes

Experience the thrill of speeding down the slopes at Eaglecrest Ski Area and feel the rush of cold air against your face. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a beginner, there’s something for everyone at this popular winter destination in Juneau.

With its breathtaking landscapes and abundance of snow, Juneau is the perfect place to embrace winter activities. Whether you choose to hit the slopes or glide across frozen lakes, you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of nature and the exhilaration of outdoor adventure.

ActivityLocationDetails
Downhill SkiingEaglecrest Ski AreaVertical drop up to 1620 feet
SnowboardingEaglecrest Ski AreaVarious difficulty levels
Nordic SkiingEaglecrest Ski Area9 kilometers of groomed trails
Ice SkatingFrozen lakes in JuneauEnjoy the natural beauty while skating

So grab your skis or lace up your skates and get ready for an unforgettable winter adventure in Juneau, Alaska.

Discover the Delights of Downtown Juneau

Take a stroll through the delightful downtown area of Juneau, where you can shop for locally made goods, dine at fantastic restaurants, and admire the historic facades. This charming district is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the local culture and discover unique treasures.

Start your exploration by browsing the numerous shops that line the streets. From boutique clothing stores to art galleries showcasing local artists, there is something for everyone. Look out for signs in the windows indicating locally owned businesses and locally made merchandise. This is your chance to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs and support the local economy.

When it’s time for a bite to eat, downtown Juneau has an array of dining options to satisfy any craving. From seafood restaurants serving freshly caught Alaskan fish to cozy cafes offering delicious baked goods, you’ll find a variety of culinary delights. Don’t miss the opportunity to try some of the local specialties, such as king crab legs or fresh salmon.

As you wander the streets, take a moment to appreciate the historic facades that give downtown Juneau its unique charm. Many of the buildings have been preserved to reflect the city’s Gold Rush heritage, transporting you back in time. Snap photos of the colorful storefronts and decorative details that make this area so picturesque.

Highlights of Downtown JuneauActivities and Attractions
ShoppingBrowse boutiques, art galleries, and locally owned shops.
DiningIndulge in fresh seafood and local specialties at a variety of restaurants.
Historic FacadesAdmire the preserved buildings that reflect Juneau’s Gold Rush history.

Quotes:

“Take a stroll through the delightful downtown area of Juneau, where you can shop for locally made goods, dine at fantastic restaurants, and admire the historic facades.” – [Your Name]

Immerse yourself in the local culture and discover the delights of downtown Juneau. Whether you’re shopping for unique souvenirs, indulging in delicious food, or simply admiring the historic facades, this vibrant district has something for everyone. Enjoy the charm of this bustling area and make the most of your time in Juneau.

Experience Unforgettable Adventures in Juneau, Alaska

Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor activities, delving into the rich history and culture, or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the area, Juneau, Alaska offers a wide range of unforgettable adventures that will leave you with incredible memories.

Start your journey by exploring the majestic Mendenhall Glacier. Take a guided float trip or canoe tour on Mendenhall Lake, go sea kayaking on Auke Bay, or experience a flightseeing tour to see the glacier and icefield from above. For the more adventurous, embark on a guided glacier trek or dogsled ride to get up close and personal with the awe-inspiring glacier.

Encounter magnificent whales in Southeast Alaska with a thrilling whale watching excursion. Juneau is a prime location for humpback and orca whale sightings, and with a naturalist guide on board, you’ll learn all about these incredible creatures and have the opportunity to witness their impressive behaviors.

Uncover Juneau’s rich history and culture by visiting attractions such as Gold Creek and the Alaska State Museum. Take a tour through the lush rainforest and try your hand at gold panning, immersing yourself in the gold mining history of the area. Explore the Alaska State Museum’s exhibits, showcasing artifacts from Alaska’s diverse Native populations and Russian-American days.

Explore the natural beauty of Juneau’s parks and gardens, including the Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure and the Old Glacier Highway. Take a tour through the temperate rainforest, marvel at the diverse plant life, and enjoy stunning views of Juneau. Journey north to the Jenson-Olson Arboretum and Eagle Beach for even more breathtaking scenery.

Hit the slopes and embrace winter activities at the Eaglecrest Ski Area. Whether you’re into downhill skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, or ice skating, Eaglecrest offers a range of winter sports for all skill levels. Revel in the frozen beauty of Juneau’s lakes while ice skating or take a leisurely walk across Mendenhall Lake to enjoy a view of the half-frozen Nugget Falls.

Discover the delights of downtown Juneau by strolling through its charming streets, shopping for unique locally made goods, and dining at delicious restaurants. Immerse yourself in the historic facades and cozy atmosphere of the downtown area, and indulge in the flavors of Alaska.

Experience the wonders of Juneau, Alaska

With its abundance of outdoor activities, rich history and culture, and stunning natural beauty, Juneau, Alaska offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, history buff, nature lover, or simply looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, Juneau will not disappoint. Plan your trip and get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey in this captivating Alaskan destination.

FAQ

Q: What are some of the top things to do in Juneau, Alaska?

A: Some of the top things to do in Juneau include visiting the Mendenhall Glacier, going on a whale watching tour, exploring the downtown area, and experiencing the natural beauty of Juneau’s parks and gardens.

Q: How can I experience the Mendenhall Glacier?

A: There are several ways to experience the Mendenhall Glacier, including taking a guided float trip or canoe tour on Mendenhall Lake, going sea kayaking on Auke Bay, going on a flightseeing tour to see the glacier from above, or even taking a guided glacier trek or dogsled ride on the glacier itself.

Q: What can I expect on a whale watching tour in Juneau?

A: On a whale watching tour in Juneau, you can expect to see humpback and orca whales in their natural habitat. With a naturalist guide on board, you’ll learn all about these amazing cetaceans and have the opportunity to spot them breaching, fluking, or bubble feeding.

Q: What are some historical and cultural attractions in Juneau?

A: Some historical and cultural attractions in Juneau include Gold Creek, where you can try your hand at gold panning like a prospector, and the Alaska State Museum, where you can learn about Alaska’s history and view artifacts from distinct Alaska Native populations and the Russian-American days.

Q: Are there any parks or gardens to explore in Juneau?

A: Yes, there are several parks and gardens to explore in Juneau, including the Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure, where you can learn about the flora of Alaska’s lush Tongass National Forest, and the Jenson-Olson Arboretum, which showcases a variety of native and non-native plants. Eagle Beach is also a great spot to visit for great views and the chance to spot eagles.

Q: What winter activities are available in Juneau?

A: In winter, you can enjoy downhill skiing and snowboarding at the Eaglecrest Ski Area, as well as Nordic skiing on the groomed trails. Locals also enjoy ice skating on lakes or walking/skiing/sledding across Mendenhall Lake to get a view of the half-frozen Nugget Falls.

Q: What can I find in downtown Juneau?

A: In downtown Juneau, you can find a variety of shops, restaurants, and historic facades. Explore the unique shops for locally made goods and souvenirs, and dine at one of the many restaurants offering delicious Alaskan cuisine.

Q: How can I make the most of my time in Juneau, Alaska?

A: To make the most of your time in Juneau, consider taking a combination of tours and exploring on your own. Start by experiencing the must-see attractions like the Mendenhall Glacier and going whale watching. Then, explore downtown Juneau, visit the parks and gardens, and indulge in the local cuisine. Finally, if you’re visiting in winter, take advantage of the winter activities available in Juneau.

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