Have you ever arrived somewhere, and it just felt right? This is how Juneau was for me. The 2nd largest city in Alaska, Juneau holds the title of being the capital but the real wonders lie in the setting of the city.
By day you’re having adventures on glaciers, hiking in forests, whale watching, and by night enjoying the proudly owned local restaurants serving classic Alaskan fare. My time in Juneau culminated in several action-packed days of adventure, exploring and eating my way right through the city. That being said, here is my guide on what to do, where to stay, and where to eat in Juneau, Alaska.
When to visit Juneau
Although it doesn’t get as cold in Juneau as the rest of Alaska, the temperature is between the 20s and 40s. I recommend visiting in July or August. The weather is warmer, you may actually see some blue sky and the days last forever! Summer is the rainy season. Oh, the sun sets around 11:00 pm!
What to Do
There are no shortage of things to do in Juneau and I found the adventure options to be not only addicting but the kind of things that reach experience of a lifetime status.
Tram & Hike Mount Roberts
The Tram takes you 1,800 feet from the cruise ship dock in downtown Juneau. While going up, you will get a panoramic view of Juneau and Gastineau Channel. It is so worth the $25 roundtrip Tram ride.
Once at the top, you can take a 30-minute or 3.5-mile trail hike.
Whichever one you select, the hike is stunning with lush, green rainforest and easy-to-navigate trails.
A must-do is Mendenhall Glacier. You can get up and personal by hiking the Glacier and exploring the ice cave. But before that, you must canoe Mendenhall Lake. To know more about this adventure, click on the link.
You cannot leave Juneau without watching the whales, in particular, the humpback whales. The tour was with Alaska Travel Adventure.
After the whale watching, it was time for the salmon bake. I loved the area because there was a waterfall and the landscape was so inviting.
Where to Eat
You have your pick for some great dining experiences in Juneau. These are the places we enjoyed during my stay and suffice to say, I didn’t have a bad meal or drink.
The Hanger on the Wharf
The hang-out place of downtown Juneau is The Hangar on the Wharf. The food is good with amazing views of the waterfront.
Best breakfast in Juneau. It is connected to the Ramada Inn. It is about a mile from downtown but so worth the walk. I recommend making your own omelet.
Tracy’s Crab Shack
The restaurant is located next to the Juneau visitor’s center and the cruise dock area. If you are looking for something quick and tasty, then this is the place. The crab cakes are delicious and make sure to wash them down with Alaskan Brewing ale.
Where to Stay
There are a lot of hotels in the Downtown area. My top twos are:
Baranof, Best Western: I love my bougie hotels and based on my research of Alaska, I wasn’t going to the Ritz 😛.
The top-rated hotel is Baranof and that is where I stayed. The room was nice and spacey. Also, the hotel is in a great location as it is on the main street of Downtown Juneau.
Four Points by Sheraton: If you like the chain experience or have points to spend, the Four Points by Sheraton Juneauis located just opposite the port in a great downtown location. You can expect typical Sheraton quality in the rooms.
Note: The hotels in Juneau don’t have air conditioners.
Even though my time was brief in Juneau, I fell in love dramatic mountain landscape and the city. The locals are friendly which makes you feel welcomed and the adventure is enough to keep things fun for a lifetime. I’ll be back, there is no doubt in my mind.
Thank you so much for reading this blog and joining me in my adventures! Make sure to check out my other blogs. Contact me when you are ready to travel domestically or internationally. I am here to curate a trip for you, your friends, and your family.
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