Oh my goodness, Juneau, Alaska – what a hidden gem! This city, nestled in the breathtaking beauty of Southeast Alaska, has this magnetic pull for all kinds of people, especially those cruising through. Picture this: being surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains and glaciers – Juneau’s got this enchanting atmosphere that just grabs hold of you. And it’s not just about the stunning views; the place is alive with fascinating stories and vibrant traditions, making it a hit for absolutely everyone.
When we explored Juneau, we were completely blown away, there was an abundance of things to see and do. And you won’t believe it – we had plenty of time to dive into not just one, but a couple of incredible Juneau shore excursions. It turned into a personal expedition, full of unexpected surprises and that undeniable Alaskan charm.
Helpful Tips for Visiting Juneau on a Cruise
When you’ve got just one day on a cruise in Juneau, it’s crucial to think about what really matters to you and pick the sights and activities you’re most excited about. Our strong suggestion? Get those Juneau shore excursions and activities booked ahead of time, especially when it’s busy during the peak season. Trust us, it’s worth the prep!
Dress in Layers
Weather in Juneau can be all over the place, even in the summer. So, here’s a tip from us: throw on a few layers, and you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way. From our own experience, having a waterproof windbreaker and some sturdy hiking pants was a game-changer. They weren’t just perfect for wandering around town; they came in super handy when we were out on the water too.
Oh, and here’s a heads-up: make sure you’ve got comfy, waterproof shoes on your feet no matter which of the Juneau shore excursions you pick. Since you end up doing quite a bit of walking in Juneau, it’s a must to have shoes that can handle all kinds of terrain and weather. Your feet will thank you!
Popular Activities and Attractions in Juneau
There are a ton of great ways to experience Mendenhall Glacier – the superstar of Juneau! This glacier is like the headliner, stretching an impressive 13 miles and just a quick 12 miles outside the heart of the city.
Now, if you’re up for it, there are some seriously cool ways to experience the magic of Mendenhall. First off you can strap on those hiking boots and trek your way right up to the face of the glacier or the area surrounding the glacier. There a a few different hikes to do at all levels and distances. Exploring the glacier is like stepping into another world.
But hey, if hiking isn’t your thing, no worries! You can jump on a boat tour and get up close and personal with this icy giant. Imagine cruising along, surrounded by the stunning scenery – it’s a whole different perspective.
And wait for it – there’s even the option to grab a kayak and paddle your way around the pristine lake near the glacier. Talk about a unique adventure! You’re gliding on the water, with the glacier right there, doing its majestic thing.
For the ultimate Alaskan adventure, explore Mendenhall Glacier in a helicopter and then go dog sledding. Not only do you soar over the stunning glacier but then get in on some dog sledding action with the fluffiest sled team you’ve ever seen. Trust me, it’s not just an excursion; it’s a wild ride that’ll leave you with stories to tell for years.
So, whether you’re the hiking enthusiast, a boat tour aficionado, or the adventurous kayaker, or want the ultimate helicopter experience, Mendenhall Glacier’s got something for everyone. Whatever one of the Juneau shore excursions to Mendenhall Glacier that you pick, you will be diving headfirst into the wonders of Alaska – and trust me, you’ll be talking about this experience for ages!
Take a Ride on the Tramway
You absolutely can’t miss out on the Mount Roberts Tramway – it’s like a magical ride to the top of the world! Picture this cable car taking you up to the peak of Mount Roberts, where you get these jaw-dropping views of Juneau and the surrounding mountains and glaciers. It’s a real feast for the eyes!
And once you’re up there, the options are golden. You can treat yourself to a delicious meal at the restaurant or find some treasures in the gift shop or taking in the stunning surrounding views.
If you’re wanting to explore more of the surrounding area, there are these awesome hiking trails marked out, letting you soak in all that natural beauty. And something for the adventurous – you can ride the tram up and hike back down to the city, or for the real trailblazers, why not tackle the hike both ways?
It’s not just a ride or a hike; it’s a full-blown adventure waiting for you up there. Mount Roberts Tramway is like a one-stop-shop for stunning views, good eats, and a bit of a leg workout if you’re up for it!
What’s really cool about this Juneau shore excursion is that once you’re in, you’ve got all-day access to the tram. So, if the morning’s a bit gloomy, no worries! You can give it another shot later when those clouds decide to take a hike. It’s all about being flexible and not missing out on those jaw-dropping views. You’ve got the whole day to soak it in!
Alaska State Museum and City Tour
This Juneau shore excursion combines the Alaska State Museum and a city tour. It’s like a backstage pass to the heart of the town.
First up is the Alaska State Museum – this place is a goldmine of experiences. Here you can dive into Alaska’s soul, with exhibits that will teach you all about Alaska’s history. From artifacts of Alaska’s Native peoples that tell rich stories to displays unfolding the region’s natural history, it’s a journey through time and nature that’s totally captivating. It also has some incredible showcases featuring items from the gold rush era. It’s like stepping back into the wild times when folks were chasing dreams and gold.
Taking a city tour and museum tour will give you a great scope of the history and culture of this capitol city.
Next up is a city tour, where a local tour guide will be like having a local friend show you around. You will explore the city’s famous and coolest spots. It’s not just about landmarks; it’s about the real Juneau. Funky shops, cozy cafes, and all those hidden gems – this tour explores the heart of Juneau.
This tour gives you adventures around the city that are focused on diving deep into the culture and history of Juneau. So, whether you’re geeking out on Alaska’s history at the museum or exploring the city like a local, get ready for a ride filled with culture, stories, and maybe a hint of local gossip. Juneau’s ready to show you a good time, so buckle up for a great adventure!
To really get up close and personal with nature, dive into the excitement of a whale watching tour. Juneau is the place to be for some seriously epic whale watching, and there are loads of companies ready to take you on a journey. Picture yourself surrounded by the grandeur of humpback whales, orcas (killer whales), and minke whales, gliding gracefully through the waters. It’s an experience that’ll stick with you, no doubt!
I can’t recommend this Juneau shore excursion enough – it was hands down the highlight of our trip. We lucked out and went with Jayleen’s Alaska for a smaller, more intimate tour. Let me tell you, every penny was totally worth it. Choosing a smaller boat meant we didn’t have to elbow our way to a good view – everyone on board had a clear shot.
And let me tell you about the magic we witnessed: a baby humpback putting on a show of discontent when its mom headed off to grab a bite. That little one treated us to an amazing 20-minute display of tail slapping. It was a real jaw-dropper, and the best part? We got to soak it all in with our small, close-knit group. Unforgettable doesn’t even begin to cover it!
Go Shopping in Town
Downtown Juneau is a shopping haven waiting to be explored! Wander through the lively streets, and you’ll find a mix of shops, from spots selling quirky Alaska souvenirs to places with fancy high-end clothing. And hey, if you’re into art or books, you’re in luck – there are galleries and bookstores scattered all around downtown. It’s not just shopping; it’s a chance to soak in some culture and art. Dive in and treat yourself!
When we were in downtown Juneau, Tracy’s Crab Shack was calling our names – a very popular spot for tourists. The vibes were great, no doubt, but looking back, I’d say go all-in for the crab legs. They were really good, but the same can’t be said for the crab cakes. They were overcooked and loaded with filler, not leaving much room for the good stuff – the crab.
And let’s talk chowder – the celery was overpowering and it had a weird grainy texture. So, here’s my two cents: treat yourself to those heavenly crab legs and give the other stuff a pass. Your taste buds will thank you!
What to do if Visiting Beyond a Cruise
Juneau’s got it all – from captivating attractions to a mix of experiences that’ll make your visit unforgettable. There’s something here for everyone, guaranteeing a good time no matter what kind of Juneau shore excursions you’re after!
If you’re not rolling in on a cruise and find yourself with some extra time, there’s a whole bunch more to check out in Juneau. You’ve got Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, the scenic Tracy Arm Fjord, and the massive Juneau Icefield – all up for grabs. And hey, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, why not hop on a day trip to one of the nearby towns like Sitka or Skagway? Plenty to explore beyond the cruise scene!
No matter what you get up to in Juneau, you’re bound to make memories that stick. This city’s got a ton of chances for you to soak in its natural beauty and charm. Go ahead and create those unforgettable moments!
Let us know in the comments if we missed your favorite Juneau shore excursions. Do you want help planning your own Alaskan adventures? Contact me and I can help!
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