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Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska

Juneau is the capital of Alaska and its most popular (in terms of traffic) cruise ports in Alaska. Annually, it has over one million visitors by cruise ship. It can hold up to 6 ships at a time which amounts to nearly 20,000 passengers! As imagined, Juneau has a limited window for cruise ship visits due to the harsh Alaskan climate. The period between May and September are open to cruise passengers, with those middle months (July & August) proving most popular. Even in its “high season,” you’re still likely to experience some not-so-favorable weather (unless you love rain). The Juneau region experiences roughly 230 rainy days per year. Just make sure to pack a waterproof layer and embrace it. Like other Alaskan port cities, Juneau was shaped by the wild west frontier days. Its influence can still be felt in the architecture and general “feel” you’ll get when exploring the downtown area. But, don’t spend too much time there. Juneau is surrounded by rain forest, rivers, glaciers, and more to explore.

What to do in Juneau, Alaska

The most popular things to do in Juneau involve its magnificent, natural endowments. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll have a difficult time deciding between the many outdoor options.
Glacier Tours

Glacier Tours

The Mendenhall Glacier tour is one of Juneau’s most popular excursion options, with over 400k visitors per year. The 13 mile frozen river is situated just 12 miles from downtown Juneau. You’ll see spectacular views of the glacier, floating icebergs, and likely some wildlife hanging out in the area. Explore on your own or join an organized trip for convenience. If money is no object, consider seeing the glacier by helicopter!

Get Active

Get Active

Enjoy the fabulous scenery while also getting that heart rate up. You’ll have many excursion options to get active while experiencing Juneau’s best. Whether hiking, kayaking, rock-climbing, zip-lining or biking, you’ll earn that cruise ship buffet once you return.

Cuisine

Cuisine

Try this experiment. Order the salmon on your cruise ship the night before you arrive. Then, take part in an Alaskan Salmon Bake excursion to taste the difference. Your tastebuds will freak out when experiencing fish that fresh.

Wildlife Tours

Wildlife Tours

You’ll find few places better than Juneau to view wildlife in its natural environment. Whale-watching tours are very popular as are those viewing bears or bald eagles. Or, visit the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery to learn about this delicious and interesting local treasure.

Shopping in Juneau, Alaska

Shopping in Juneau is recommended for those looking to take home a genuine piece of Alaska. You’ll find unique and authentic artwork for local craftsmen, stamped with the “made in Alaska” insignia. Popular among tourists are Jade pieces (mined locally) and also furs.
Kindred Post

Kindred Post

The primary use of this building is as Juneau’s post office. But, more interestingly it serves as a gift shop and gathering place. It’s the type of place you need to see to fully appreciate. If looking to buy an Alaskan souvenir, put this place on your shopping list.

Franklin and Front Streets

Franklin and Front Streets

Franklin is the main street you’ll see when disembarking. Head north (left) to peruse shops lining this street and to make your way downtown. You’ll eventually get to Front Street where you’ll find additional shopping options. The streets will be lined with retailers selling artwork, crafts, souvenirs, and more. Look for the “Made in Alaska” insignia if authenticity is a priority for you.

Attractions in Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska is the capital city of the U.S. state of Alaska. The city is located in the southeastern part of the state, on the Gastineau Channel. Juneau is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, with many glaciers, forests, and mountains located in the area. The city is also a major hub for fishing and other maritime activities, with many fishing charters and other water-based activities available to visitors. In addition, Juneau is home to a number of historic landmarks and museums, as well as many restaurants, shops, and other attractions. Overall, Juneau is a popular destination for travelers looking for a unique blend of natural beauty, modern amenities, and rich cultural history.
Trolley Tours

Trolley Tours

Explore Downtown Juneau via trolley. The 45-minute narrated tour will introduce you to the port’s highlights, including historic attractions and the best shopping options. It’ll cost roughly $30 for adults, but that price includes access to the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery!

Mount Roberts via Tramway

Mount Roberts via Tramway

For roughly $30 (all day pass), you can take the tram 1,800 feet up into the Alaskan hillside to your stop at Mount Roberts. There you can hike, eat, or shop. Keep your eyes open for a bald eagle while up there. The Tram picks up almost directly in front of your cruise ship terminal on South Franklin Street.

Red Dog Saloon

Red Dog Saloon

Transport yourself in time to the wild west. When visitors came to Juneau looking for gold rather than shore tours. At the Red Dog Saloon, you’ll find swinging bar doors, an old-timey piano player, and sawdust lined floors. A previous owner, Gordie Kanouse, used to meet tour boats pulling up to port with his mule in hand. On that mule a sign that said “follow my ass to the Red Dog Saloon.”

Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Learn about Juneau’s cultural heritage. The Museum’s goal is to draw strength and perspective from the past, inspire learning, and find purpose for the future. On exhibit, you’ll find mining paraphernalia, artwork, native tools, and multi-media showing Juneau’s history and development.

Macaulay Salmon Hatchery

Macaulay Salmon Hatchery

Here you’ll see more salmon than you ever have in your life. The fish is one of Alaska’s natural treasures and contributes greatly to the economy. During your visit, a tour guide will do a much better job explaining how important the salmon is to Juneau and provide more interesting tidbits than you though possible about a fish. Admission is $5 for adults.

Best cruise excursions in Juneau, Alaska

We've analyzed tens of thousands of cruise tours to find your ideal attraction while in port. Based on these reviews, here are the Best Cruise Excursions in Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska cruise port map

If looking at a map of Alaska, think about that “panhandle” piece that extends south and east. Juneau is somewhere in the middle between the two other popular cruise destinations, Skagway (north) and Ketchikan (south).

Juneau is a very peculiar state capital in that there are no roads leading directly into or out of the city. The terrain makes automobile access too difficult so visitors and residents must either fly or boat into the area. How do they get cars there you’re probably asking? Those come by boat too!

Juneau, Alaska Cruise Port Terminals

Most cruise ships will dock within a close walking distance to downtown Juneau. Up to six cruise ships can comfortably dock at one time, with any excess vessels having to tender.

South Franklin Street Terminals

This is Juneau’s largest and most popular terminal for cruise ships. Within this terminal, you’ll be at one of the following docks: South Franklin Street Dock; Intermediate Vessel Float; Cruise Ship Terminal; Alaska Steam Ship Dock. From each, a walk downtown is quick and easy. If you’re taking an organized excursions, it’ll pick you up right here at the terminal. Another option is to hop on the Tramway mentioned above to visit Mount Roberts.

AJ Dock

On highly trafficked days, your cruise ship might end up at AJ Dock. This terminal is further from downtown Juneau and will require a 20-minute walk to access the city. Or, you’ll find shuttles available to get you there quicker.

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