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Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska Profile

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Juneau Alaska

Juneau, Alaska

© Betsy Malloy 2005
Founded as a gold mining town, Juneau, Alaska has a rich history that extends back to the area's original inhabitants, the Auk tribe of the Tlingit Indians. Today, Juneau is one of the top three Alaska cruise stops, its third-largest city and also the state capitol.

Expect rain when you visit Juneau, Alaska, and feel lucky if it never materializes. This place is in a rain forest, averaging 222 days of rain or mist per year. Follow the locals' lead: bring a hooded raincoat and leave the umbrellas at home. They just won't stand up to the winds that sometimes come with the rain.

Juneau, Alaska Points of Interest

  • See It Now: Juneau Photo Tour

  • AJ Gold Mine Tour: Tour the only hard-rock gold mine in southeast Alaska and see what was once the world's largest gold-producing mill. Part of this tour is underground, so dress warmly. (907) 463-3900

  • Dog Sledding Tours: Combine two activities in one. Take a summer dog sledding tour on a glacier.

  • Glacier Gardens Rainforest: Fifty acres of gardens, toured in covered golf carts.

  • Macaulay Salmon Hatchery: A good place to learn about the life cycle of the Pacific salmon, one of the state's most famous products.

  • Mendenhall Glacier: A large glacier just a few miles outside of Juneau, Alaska.

  • Misty Fjords National Monument: Accessible mostly by water, these glacier-carved fjords feature steep, rock walls and deep water.

  • Mount Roberts Tramway: The ride starts near the cruise ship dock and climbs 1,800 feet to the top of Mount Roberts. Once there, you can go for a hike or see a film about Tlingit culture. There's a gift shop and restaurant, too.

  • Perserverance Theatre: A well-regarded theatre company that has premiered more than 50 new plays by Alaska and national playwrights.

  • Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church: The oldest original, continuously-used Church in Southeast Alaska recalls the days of Russian settlers.

  • Salmon Bake: Gold Creek Salmon Bake and Taku Wilderness Lodge offer similar outdoor dining experiences.
Many of the things to do in Juneau, Alaska involve getting out of town. The Juneau Visitors Bureau has a long list of ways to do it: flightseeing, helicopter rides, bus tours, day cruises and more.

Best Time to Visit Juneau, Alaska

Most people visit Juneau, Alaska during summer cruise season. However, its winter climate is similar to Seattle, with milder temperatures than other parts of Alaska. September and October are ther rainiest months. April, May and June are sunniest and June, July and August are warmest. In winter, you can downhill ski, heli-ski, cross-country ski and snowboard.

A tip for independent travelers: almost 900,000 people visited Juneau, Alaska by cruise ship in 2004. To find it less crowded, go between September and May.

Getting to Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska is landlocked and accessible only by air or water. Alaska Airlines offers daily flights.

By water, you can get to Juneau, Alaska via the Alaska Marine Highway. The large cruise ship companies stop here, and some also start their cruises from Juneau, Alaska.

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