If you have an idea to visit Juneau, the capital of Alaska we’ll tell you the most attractive places in Juneau, Alaska, as well as the most interesting things you can do in there. There is no road to Juneau and the only way to reach there is by sea or air. Tourists often visit Juneau for its wide range of natural and cultural attractions.
There are dozens of places you can visit in Juneau. Juneau is a wonderful starting point for seeing the Tongass National Forest’s wilderness, other natural attractions of the Panhandle, and glacier-draped fjords like Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay National Park in Juneau. Then, let’s start our tour of Juneau.
1. Mendenhall Glacier
The Mendenhall Glacier is located 12 miles from downtown Juneau. The thirteen miles long Glacier is fed by the much larger Juneau Icefield. More than 1,500 square miles of the area, extending into British Columbia, are covered by the Juneau Icefield. You can start your tour from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center on the lakeshore. You can capture the 180-degree view over the glacier from there. The area’s hiking trails, which go to Nugget Falls and climb on either side of the glacier, provide some of the best views. The cold lake is also the setting for kayaking and rafting adventures.
Booking a private tour with round-trip transportation is the best way to explore the Glacier. We recommend you tour the Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier expedition. It includes a two-hour cruise along the coast and a ride to the glacier. The tour spends about 45 minutes at Mendenhall and you have time to explore the area on your own.
- Visit: 12 miles northwest of Juneau
- Official website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/tongass/
2. Tracy Arm Fjord
This glacial fjord, which is covered in ice and is located southeast of Juneau, is surrounded by stunning scenery, including waterfalls that flow down sheer rock walls and glaciers that calve off chunks of ice to form tiny bergs. You can see wild animals like black bears, moose, brown bears, and deer. Not only that, you have a chance to see whales and seals in the water and see bald eagles, arctic terns, and pigeon guillemots over the ocean. If you take a guided cruise, you can learn about glaciers, wildlife, and the natural history of Tracy Arm. Several companies in Juneau like Allen Marine Tours offer day trips.
3. Glacier Gardens Rainforest
The Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure is located northwest of downtown. It is partly landscaped into the rainforest environment named the Tongass National Forest and the botanical center. You can start the tour with a guided walk through the lower landscaped gardens. After that, you can visit Thunder Mountain, an area of forest left in its natural state. You can get a better understanding of the the wooded environment, through the guided tours. They will explain the various species and workings of the gardens. You can overlook the Gastineau Channel, Chilkat Mountains, Juneau, and Mendenhall Valley from the viewpoints.
- Visit: 7600 Glacier Highway, Juneau, Alaska
- Official website: http://www.glaciergardens.com/
4. Glacier Bay Park
Glacier Bay National Park is one of the most attractive places in Juneau. It covers more than three million acres. There are many natural attractions and rewarding things in this area. The land and water environments offer amazing scenery with temperate rainforests, immense glaciers, a rugged coastline, and secluded fjords. You can visit Bartlett Cove, which is the only area with designated campgrounds, and developed hiking trails. You can rent sea kayaks also.
This area is a feeding ground for orca whales humpbacks, and minke. Therefore many visitors tour here to catch a glimpse of these underwater mammals. Besides them, there are many more animals to see such as moose, bears, wolves, sea birds, and mountain goats. You can take a day trip, flightseeing excursions, and longer cruises to the bay.
- Official website: http://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm
5. Mount Roberts Tramway
You can go to an elevation of 1,800 feet by Mount Roberts Tramway. There is a nature center, restaurant, theater, and gift shop also. You can walk the nature trails to take in the views over the Gastineau Channel after the six-minute vertical ride. There is a Mountain House at the top and they offer a collection of tree carvings, Alaskan art for sale, and a live eagle display.
- Visit: 490 South Franklin Street, Juneau, Alaska
- Official website: http://mountrobertstramway.com/
6. Whale Watch
If you like to see a whale in the water, Juneau is the best place to get that amazing experience. This is one of the main reasons Juneau becomes popular among tourists. Juneau is the best place to watch these massive mammals, specifically, the best place to watch humpback whales. During the season of late spring and summer, Humpback and other whales migrate back there. If you have an idea to visit Juneau and if you like to see whales, we recommend a visit during the peak summer months.
Getting a boat is the best way to see whales. Also, that is the only guaranteed way to see them. Because many local charter companies offer full refunds if you wouldn’t able to see a single whale. We recommend you join the “Juneau Wildlife Whale Watching”. They offer a 3.5-hour journey on a boat with a heated cabin and outdoor decks.
7. Macaulay Salmon Hatchery
The Macaulay Salmon Hatchery is located northwest of town and it offers a look underwater with tide-pool touch tanks and saltwater aquariums. If you visit there you can see sockeye salmon, chum, chinook, and coho. You have the opportunity to learn a variety of stages in the life cycle of Pacific salmon through the guided tour. Not only that, there are many other things that the Hatchery offers such as education exhibits, an outdoor viewing window, and a bear and eagle display. If you visit there from June to early October, you have a chance to see salmon swimming upstream.
- Visit: 2697 Channel Drive, Juneau, Alaska
- Official website: http://www.dipac.net/
8. State Museum
If you like to learn about Alaska’s entire multicultural heritage, we recommend visiting the state museum. The museum is home to more than 25,000 historical objects. You can see various tools, weapons, documents, Gold Rush, and mining memorabilia that represent American history throughout the region. Also, you can see an extensive Eskimo-carved ivory collection, ancient artifacts, contemporary art by native Alaskans, and some fine art mediums. This institution oversees the Sheldon Jackson Museum also.
- Visit: 395 Whittier Street, Juneau, Alaska
- Official website: http://museums.alaska.gov/
9. Mining Museum
Last Chance Mining Museum was built in 1912. It is one of the world’s largest air compressors. This mining site is operated by the Alaska Juneau Gold Mining Company from 1912 until 1944. If you visit there, you will see some rusting buildings, rusting buildings, and old equipment. The mining museum is operated by the Gastineau Channel Historical Society. It is included in the the list of National Register of Historic Places. This area is closed during the winter season.
- Visit: 1001 Basin Road, Juneau, Alaska
- Official website: https://juneaudouglashistory.weebly.com/last-chance-mining-museum.html
10. State Capitol Building
In 1959, Alaska became a state. After that this federal and territorial building became the state capitol building. It is another popular place among the most attractive places in Juneau. If you visit there, you can see artworks, historical photographs, and rooms. The furnishings of the interior lobby and the Art Deco design are the most attractive things in this building. Many visitors like to take photos near the replica Liberty Bell outside the building. If you want to learn more about them, it’s s a better idea to have a guided tour. You can also visit the Governor’s Mansion, with this tour. Go along Fourth Street and then Calhoun Avenue, and you will see the Governor’s Mansion in front of your eyes.
- Visit: Fourth and Main Streets, Juneau, Alaska
11. Juneau-Douglas Museum
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum is located near the State Capitol building. It offers exhibits that represent the history of Juneau island, and the early gold-mining days of Tlingit culture. In summer, the museum hosts guided walking tours from Tuesday to Thursday. There are a few old wooden heritage homes and lush gardens near this building. You can also see the pretty blue-and-white St. Nicholas Orthodox Church. It has a long history since 1894.
- Visit: 114 West Fourth Street, Juneau, Alaska
- Official website: https://beta.juneau.org/library/museum
12. Eaglecrest Ski Area
Eaglecrest Ski Area is located on Douglas Island. Even though Douglas Island is a separate island from the Juneau mainland, it is owned and operated by the city of Juneau. You can reach there within 20 minutes from downtown. In summer, this area is a great downhill mountain biking and hiking destination. The typical season at Eaglecrest runs is from December to April.
- Visit: 3000 Fish Creek Road, Juneau, Alaska
- Official website: https://skijuneau.com/
Those are the most attractive places in Juneau, Alaska. If you plan to tour Juneau, don’t forget to visit these places. You will be able to get an amazing experience in Juneau.
Hotels to Stay in Juneau
If you visit Juneau, you can stay in the below highly rated hotels. They are close to the most attractive places in Juneau and the cruise port.
- Best Western Grandma’s Feather Bed: Made-to-order breakfast, historic charm, mid-range pricing, feather beds, hot tub, shuttle service
- Four Points by Sheraton Juneau: 3-star hotel, near cruise port, water views, fitness center
- Silverbow Inn: Boutique hotel, downtown location, complimentary breakfast, well-appointed rooms, hot tub
- Super 8 Juneau: budget hotel, modern decor, convenient location, free breakfast
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the fame of Juneau, Alaska?
Mendenhall Glacier and the Juneau Gold Rush of 1880 are Juneau’s most well-known landmarks. It is presently regarded as the state’s capital and one of Alaska’s busiest cruise ports.
Does Juneau belong to the USA or Canada?
The Gastineau Channel is where Juneau, the capital and second-largest city in Alaska, is located. The distance to the US-Canadian border is less than 100 miles. The borough and city are the second largest in terms of size in the United States and have a population of about 31,000.
Why do roads not exist to Juneau, Alaska?
With an icefield the size of Rhode Island separating Juneau from Atlin, British Columbia, a road heading due east wouldn’t work out so well. Similar to this, continuously moving glaciers block the path up the Taku River.
Does living in Juneau need a vehicle?
There are 3,254 square miles in Juneau. Even though you might desire a car to get about and see everything Juneau has to offer, you won’t need one in the downtown area of the city because it is quite walkable. You might have a 1- to 2-mile walk to some sightseeing downtown, depending on where you stay in Juneau.
Is it a smart idea to live in Juneau?
If you’re not scared of the cold or long periods of darkness, head north to Juneau, Alaska. The state capital is home to a unique and lively culture of little under 32,000 people, and it boasts the second-highest quality of living rating (a near-perfect 995 out of 1,000).