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Things to do in Juneau

Things to do in  Juneau

Welcome to Juneau

The Alaskan state capital of Juneau is the second-largest city behind Anchorage, but it’s second to none when it comes to spectacular scenery, adventurous outdoor activities, and world-class whale watching. A coastal city on Alaska’s Inside Passage, Juneau sits at the foot of Mount Roberts, and is surrounded by the rugged wilderness of the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Outdoor enthusiasts can book a glacier tour, and hike the Mendenhall or Taku glaciers. Other options include a Juneau shore excursion for kayaking or canoeing Mendenhall Lake, dogsledding the Juneau icefield, or ziplining Douglas Island. Also known for its abundance of wildlife, the area offers whale-watching cruises to spot the humpback whales that populate Auke Bay. Book early to secure a limited number of spots to see Pack Creek’s brown bears as they frolic and catch salmon. Other thrilling trips include a float-plane ride or a helicopter tour, which each offer a bird’s-eye view of the snow-capped peaks. Not all of Juneau’s attractions are in nature, however. This frontier city’s history and culture get the spotlight at the Last Chance Mining Museum and the Juneau-Douglas City Museum; and the collection of Alaska Native art and archaeology at the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum (SLAM) gives insight into the area’s Native heritage. And lest you think you were leaving thirsty, no visit to Juneau is complete without a brewery tour at the local Alaskan Brewing Co.

Top 10 attractions in Juneau

#1
Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier

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No visit to Juneau is complete without a close-up look at the Mendenhall Glacier, one of Alaska’s most popular attractions. The 13-mile-long (19-kilometer-long) glacier ends at Mendenhall Lake and is easily viewed from the historic Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. The glacier is beautiful on sunny days but arguably even more impressive on cloudy, drizzly afternoons when the ice takes on a deeper shade of blue.More
#2
Mt. Roberts Tramway

Mt. Roberts Tramway

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Rising 1,800 feet (550 meters) above sea level from the Juneau waterfront up Mt. Roberts, the Mt. Roberts Tramway is a favorite for those visiting the Alaska state capital. The ride itself provides views of Chilkat Range, Gastineau Channel, downtown Juneau, and Douglas Island, while the summit area features outdoorsy and cultural things to do.More
#3
Herbert Glacier

Herbert Glacier

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Herbert Glacier’s white-blue ice fields and dramatic walls offer an accessible yet secluded glacier viewing opportunity in the expansive Juneau Icefield. Reachable on helicopter tours and via a scenic hiking trail, the Herbert Glacier is set against the backdrop of majestic peaks, giving visitors a quintessential Alaska glacier experience.More
#4
Glacier Gardens

Glacier Gardens

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Saunter through the temperate rainforest amid colorful blooms at Juneau’s Glacier Gardens. This natural attraction showcases lively botanical gardens and diverse plant life, secluded inside the dense greenery of Tongass National Forest. The interesting Upside-Down Flower Towers charm visitors, while the towering lookouts offer unobstructed views of wild Alaska.Animal lovers will appreciate the garden’s conservation efforts, especially given that Alaskan bald eagles are known to drop by for a visit on occasion. Meander by babbling creeks and waterfalls through thick, misty forests that blanket the garden’s 50 acres and also pop by the gift shop or on-site nursery for mementos and souvenirs.More
#5
Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Juneau-Douglas City Museum

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The city of Juneau shines a spotlight on its rich cultural heritage and history at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.Gold-mining history is particularly highlighted, providing plenty of inspiration to take one of the museum’s guided walking tours of the mines and historic old town.Exhibits are entertaining and hands-on, inviting young visitors to push buttons, slide panels, or wear a miner’s hat.The museum’s fish trap was unearthed on the northwest coast, and a full-scale replica reveals how the basket-style trap worked, more than 700 years ago.Other exhibits include totem poles, historic photographs, audiovisual displays, models, Tlingit artifacts and hands-on history.Photo courtesy of Juneau.org - Cape Fox dancer performing during the public reception for the 4 Story Totem PoleMore
#6
Pack Creek

Pack Creek

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Admiralty Island, known by the native Tlingit people as the Fortress of the Bears, is home to an estimated 1,500 brown bears. Pack Creek flats, where the creek emerges to the sea, ranks among the best places on the island to see them. Visiting wildlife watchers can also spot bald eagles, Sitka black-tailed deer, mink, and otters.More
#7
Last Chance Mining Museum

Last Chance Mining Museum

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Mining cars, railroad lines, train repair sheds – there’s all this and more at Juneau’s Last Chance Mining Museum.The venue for this evocative gold-mining museum is the former compressor building of the Alaska Juneau Gold Mining Company, which operated here from 1916 to 1944.On display are the locomotives and rail cars that transported the goldminers to the mine. Industrial artifacts include one of the world’s largest air compressors, used in the mining of gold to bring air to the miners.Old mining shafts surround the site, and you can get an idea of the mine’s original extent by studying the museum’s model.Photo courtesy of CityProfile.comMore
#8
Alaskan Brewing Company

Alaskan Brewing Company

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There’s many a parched thirst that’s been revived by a chilled glass of Alaskan, pure and crisp as the driven snow. The Alaskan Brewing Company has been brewing craft beers since 1986, and winning plenty of awards along the way.The brewery’s free tours offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the brewing processes, including the company’s original 10-barrel and 100-barrel brewing systems.You’ll come across artifacts from the state’s brewing history, admire an international collection of beer bottles and cans, and meet the people behind the beer.The company produces five regular beers, including Alaskan Amber Ale, Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout and Alaskan IPA. They also produce limited-release seasonal winter or summer ales and specialty beers like smoked porter, so see what’s on tap when you visit.Tours include complimentary tastings of a limited edition or rough draft brew. After wetting your whistle, drop into the Gear Store to browse collectibles, clothing, glassware, barkeep essentials and novelty items.More
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Alaska State Museum

Alaska State Museum

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Artifacts and documents detailing Alaska's history—its original inhabitants, natural history, occupation by Russia and eventual purchase and statehood—have a new home in the striking and lofty Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff building in downtown Juneau. Opened in June 2016, the building combines collections from the former Alaska State Museum and the Alaska State Library Archives with modern glass architectural elements and murals, plus an Alaska map inlaid into the stone floor, to create the new Alaska State Museum.The expansive Alaska Native collections feature art, archaeological finds and common artifacts from all of the region's major cultural groups, including an impressive collection of Eskimo-made baskets. In addition, the coastal state's maritime and gold rush history is interpreted through items such as recovered shipwreck pieces, firearms, whaling harpoons and mining pans. Travelers will find native Alaskan art, as well as natural history collections of gemstones, mounted plants and fossils all on the first floor, while massive floor-to-ceiling windows enclose the library upstairs. The atrium is especially popular, as it houses a life-sized eagle tree replica, complete with a nest, common in some parts of the state.More
#10
Juneau Icefield

Juneau Icefield

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Set 2,000 feet (610 meters) above Downtown Juneau, the 1,500-square-mile (3,885-square-kilometer) Juneau Icefield is the fifth largest in North America and feeds 38 major glaciers, including Mendenhall Glacier. Visitors come from around the world to trek on the 3,000-year-old icefield itself or tour one of its many glaciers.More

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Recent reviews from experiences in Juneau

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If you can go
Cassie_G, Jun 2021
Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure in Juneau
Getting to the higher elevation and being able to see all of Juneau and the eagles flying around was an amazing experience.
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Totally recommend!
Lindsey_R, Jul 2021
Juneau Shore Excursion: Helicopter Tour and Guided Icefield Walk
Worth every penny to see Herbert and Mendenhall Glaciers from above.
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Juneaur Wildlife Whale Wartching & Mendenhall Glacier
CalHipHopHead, Aug 2019
Juneau Wildlife Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier
We were able to see Orcas and humpback whales.
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Absolutely Awesome Adventure!
altamercer, Jul 2019
Premier Juneau Whale Watching Expedition
Captain Brenden knew exactly where to take us to see beautiful humpback whales!
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Amazing food! The people were very...
Michelle N, Jul 2017
Juneau Gold Creek Salmon Bake
There is a beautiful creek with a waterfall, short easy walk.
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When you are ready for contemplative...
jon0959, Sep 2017
Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure in Juneau
A young garden just entering its adolescent phase, I can't wait to see what the fully mature adult garden, with such an inspired designer/artist, becomes.
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7 Whale Surprise!
Nicole_C, Aug 2019
Premier Juneau Whale Watching Expedition
They just popped up everywhere, it was truly great to see all of them spouting and diving at different times throughout.
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Amazing and highly recommended tour!!!
Erik_O, Jun 2019
Premier Whale Watch and Mendenhall Glacier Combo
I so wanted to see Orcas and even though they were honest that they see them in the area but not frequently I was also told that they would try.
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Whale Watching Guaranteed!
alexisclaireT, Sep 2018
Juneau Wildlife Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier
You have the option to view either or both the falls or the glacier.
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We arrived at Juneau on a cruise ship...
Rob and Ellie's travels, Sep 2016
Round-Trip Mendenhall Glacier Shuttle Service
We arrived at Juneau on a cruise ship and found this was a better option than the cruise line's shore excursion to see the glacier.
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My husband and I took a cruise to...
Linda C, Jul 2018
Round-Trip Mendenhall Glacier Shuttle Service
I would definitely recommend using the service if you want to visit Mendenhall.
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We didn't know there were only 4...
Scott O, Aug 2017
Mendenhall Glacier Float Trip
You may be disappointed if your expecting a full on whitewater rafting experience, but it is a very beautiful, interesting, and enjoyable way to see part of Juneau.
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Coastal Helicopters was very well...
cgorman2, Aug 2017
Juneau Helicopter Tour and Guided Icefield Walk
On the glacier, you have 20 minutes to walk around but they will keep an eye on you to make sure you don't wander far and heaven forbid fall into a crevasse.
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We had a great day with Juneau tours...
Sarah B, Sep 2017
Premier Whale Watch and Mendenhall Glacier Combo
There were regular buses to get back into town from the Glacier and good information to make sure we knew what to do and where to go.
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We were fortunate to have a...
Mark B, Jun 2014
Juneau Whale Watching Adventure
It is located next to a fast flowing creek with a beautiful view of a waterfall close by.
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It rains all the time in Juneau, it...
Adrian M, Aug 2017
Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure in Juneau
Note that the cart ride described in my review is the only way to visit you may not walk on your own.
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Captain Dirk and Emily W. were...
Rich S, Jul 2017
Premier Whale Watch and Mendenhall Glacier Combo
The glacier itself and Nugget Falls were also amazing.
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Really a great trip and I highly...
Karl_G, Jun 2018
Premier Whale Watch and Mendenhall Glacier Combo
With Juneau Tours we made our own timetable allowing for time to take the trail to the waterfall an a few other easy trails as well.
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Absolutely excellent. We were on The...
Ian C, Jul 2017
Premier Whale Watch and Mendenhall Glacier Combo
Dropped off at Mendenhall Glacier whereby we walked to the falls - you want to have time to experience the Glacier and falls and by doing this combo you suited yourself which shuttle bus you took to get back into town and your ship.
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We would rank it as a 4. Ours was a...
Franklin F, Aug 2017
Premier Whale Watch and Mendenhall Glacier Combo
It was a 6 hour adventure and we were rewarded with ample whale sightings and a trip to see the Mendenhall Glacier.
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