Best Things To See and Do in Juneau, Alaska

"Mendenhall Glacier"
Nancy D. Brown at the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska.

 I’ll be honest; when I visited Juneau, I had plans to take a flight seeing tour and land on several glaciers. I was very excited, as I had never walked on a glacier before. But, due to poor weather, my flight didn’t happen. Such is the case often in Alaska – the weather can change dramatically and quickly.  But, better safe than sorry when it comes to flying.  There are plenty of things to see and do in Juneau other than flight seeing. Here are some of my favorite tips and locations for visitors to Juneau, Alaska.

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to the Mendenhall Glacier.

When I crave Juneau cuisine, I turn to Tracy’s King Crab Shack for her king crab.

To escape work I drive out to the Shrine of St. Therese for meditation and awesome scenery.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at the beach at the end of False Outer Point trail.


Mt. Roberts Tramway
Ride the Mt. Roberts Tramway in Juneau, Alaska.

If you come to Juneau, get your picture taken at the top of Mount Roberts Tramway.

If you have to order one thing off the menu at Twisted Fish Alaskan Grill, get the coconut salmon appetizer.

Juneau is my one stop shop for glaciers, whale watching and wilderness adventure. I went with Dolphin Jet Boat Tours and had a fine trip. In fact, the company guarantees you’ll see whales or you’ll receive $100 back.

When I want something other than seafood, I go to Chan’s Thai Kitchen.

For a huge splurge, I go to the Gold Room at the Westmark Baranof Hotel.

Photo ops in Juneau include Photo Point at the Mendenhall glacier, the bronze bear on Main Street and the Mt. Roberts Tram.

The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of Main Street or across the Douglas Bridge to the Breeze Inn parking lot.

The most random thing about Juneau is the Alaska Folk Festival.

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Go bear watching in Juneau, Alaska

In Juneau, an active day outdoors involves walking or hiking the East Glacier Trail.

Juneau’s best museum is Alaska State Museum followed closely by the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.

For a night of dancing, go to the Viking Lounge.

McDonald’s is the spot for late night dining.

To find out what’s going on at night or on weekends, read the Juneau Empire.

In the spring you should attend Juneau Jazz and Classics.

In the summer you should attend Gold Rush Days and the July 4th Celebrations.

 In the fall you should go deer hunting.

In the winter you should go to Eaglecrest Ski Area.

A hidden gem in Juneau is Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure.

For a great breakfast treat or espresso, go to the Silverbow Bakery or Heritage Coffee Cafe.

Just outside of Juneau you can visit Taku Glacier and have lunch at the Taku Glacier Lodge.

"Macaulay Salmon Hatchery"
Fish Ladder at the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, Juneau, Alaska

The best way to see Juneau is to walk the historic downtown streets, ride the Mt. Roberts Tram or go flight seeing. (But don’t go in September, as you are more apt to have fog, as was the case for my trip.)

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss Gold Creek Salmon Bake and roasting marshmallows. I also enjoyed visiting the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery and looking at the fish ladder.

What are your favorite things to do in Juneau, Alaska?

Photos by Nancy D. Brown. Thank you to Elizabeth Arnett of the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau. For on the ground support during your visit, follow  Travel Juneau on Twitter.

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10 thoughts on “Best Things To See and Do in Juneau, Alaska”

  1. Gorgeous photos and wonderful travelogue! Felt like I was on the trip with you!Thanks for sharing your journeys with us.KSK

  2. I appreciate this detailed information on how to plan a visit to Juneau. When I was there in September, it rained so hard that I didn’t get to see anything. I’ll be taking this list with me when I return to Juneau.

  3. @DonnaI’m glad you found this post helpful. When I landed in Juneau this September, I was supposed to go up on a flight seeing tour and land on several glaciers. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating and I wasn’t able to fly that day. June, July and August have more dependable weather in Alaska.

  4. Thank you for the information Nancy!

    Would you be so kind to let me know if a helicopter/dog sledding tour would be worthwhile for a visitor? If so, which company would you recommend?

  5. What about Tracy Arm Fjord? Is it a better tour than the Mendenhall Glacier or any other place close to Juneau?

  6. @Bruce
    As I am a travel writer living in San Francisco, I’d recommend you ask this question to the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau. I included a hyper-link to their contact information in my article.

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