Juneau is the capital Alaska and a major stop on an Alaskan cruise. I share a few things to do in Juneau Alaska.
Mendenhall Glacier, Lake and Ice Caves
Juneau is famous for the 13 mile long Mendenhall Glacier which ends at Mendenhall Lake. The glacier has its very own visitor center and there are a few nature trails and hikes around the area. In addition, there’s also a wooden walkway over the lake which offers stunning views of the glacier. It’s very easy to get to the glacier, there are day trips on sale in downtown Juneau. Alternatively, hire your own set of wheels to explore Juneau. You can also combine a Juneau city tour with a visit to the glacier which is perfect if you visit Juneau on a cruise.
Wildlife at Mendenhall Glacier
On the trails and hikes around Mendenhall glacier you are likely to see amazing flora and fauna as well as the following wildlife;
- Mountain Goats
It’s be nice to see a bear from a distance but not close up as we don’t want to experience a scene from the Revenant. In Mendenhall Lake you’ll see icebergs which have detached from Mendenhall Glacier. What’s more, if you’re lucky you will may see the symbol of America, a bald eagle, sat on a glacier.
Hire a Car to Explore the Things to do in Juneau
For the most adventurous travelers, it’s possible to take an 8 hour hike to the Juneau Ice Fields and Glacier Caves. You’ll be rewarded with incredible , memories, photographs and probably sore legs the next day!
Devils Paw on the Alaska, British Columbia border
British Columbia, Canada is over the border from Juneau, Alaska. Standing on the border is a mountain called Devils Paw.
All visitors to Juneau will sail through the Gastineau Channel as the cruise port is located here. Enjoy the views and keep your eyes open for any sea life.
Alaska State Capitol Building
Alaska State Capitol building is an eye catching Neoclassical building in Juneau. Completed in 1931 it houses the Governors Office.
Alaska Governor’s Mansion (famous for Sara Palin)
Where does the governor of Alaska live? In the historic 1912 Governor’s Mansion. It’s located on a hill overlooking Juneau and there’s a totem pole beside it.
Alaska State Museum
This region of the world is the only place you’ll find authentic totem poles. Alaska State Museum has several on display as well as explanations of their meanings. Additionally, you’ll find collections of other native artifacts on display here. Lastly, other nearby cities which have totem poles on show include Vancouver and Ketchikan.
Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. However, it was not during the Russian period that the Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church of Juneau was built. It was built as a result of a long lasting influence from the Orthodox Church. I was surprised to see this Orthodox church here, in fact it reminded me of Kiev, Ukraine.
Cable Car to Mount Roberts Peak
Mount Roberts Tramway takes passengers from the cruise port to Mount Roberts Peak. Passengers are rewarded with panoramic view of Juneau from the top. It’s a 550 meter, 6 minute ride to the top.
Tracy Arm Fjord
Sawyer Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord is a wonderful day trip by boat from Juneau. Get ready to see snow capped mountains, stunning waterfalls and of course glaciers as well as icebergs. Finally, if you’re lucky you could see black bears, bald eagles, harbor seals and orcas.
Juneau is a fantastic place to take a whale watching tour. For great whale photos you will need a camera with strong zoom and patience. You don’t know where the whale will appear next and when it does you’ll have to react quickly to get the body. However, you do have a little more time to react and get a picture of the tail. If you have never been to see whales in their true habitat, I recommend you do it at least once in your life.
How to Travel from Juneau to Skagway by Cruise Ship
Cruise Ship from Juneau to Skagway
The next destination on my Princess cruise is Skagway which is an overnight cruise. During this overnight cruise there is great entertainment and unlimited food. There is also a gym for those feeling guilty for eating so much. A bench press is a whole new experience on a rocking ship! Enjoy your cruise to Skagway, Alaska.
Skagway to Glacier Bay National Park