Juneau only has a population of about 31 thousand residents, but is Alaska's third most populated city (after Anchorage and Fairbanks). Juneau is also the largest state capital, covering 3,255 square miles. Everything in Alaska is big! Finally, it's the only state capital which borders a foreign country. Because of its size and importance as the state capital, Juneau has good shopping and excellent bars and restaurants.
Although many of Juneau's visitors arrive and stay on cruise ships, the city has several very good hotels. I've been to Juneau four times and spent the night in two of Juneau's largest hotels, the Goldbelt Hotel and the Westmark Baranof Hotel. Both were excellent traditional hotels with all the expected amenities. I also stayed two nights at the small boutique hotel the Silverbow Inn, which is much like a bed and breakfast since it includes an outstanding breakfast at the adjoining Silverbow Bakery & Cafe. I loved the ambiance of this old historic building built in 1914--it had antiques in the lobby, but all the amenities found at a traditional hotel in the rooms. The Silverbow Inn staff were very accommodating and helpful and the large table in the lobby was conducive to interacting with our fellow guests or enjoying the coffee and snacks always available.
If you are on a cruise ship, you probably will only have a day in Juneau, so you will have to decide which of the many activities to pursue. Those who are staying longer will have the opportunity to experience more of the many diverse things to do and see in the city. The next 11 pages provide more details of some of the most popular Juneau adventures.
Juneau, Alaska - Things to See and Do
- Overview of Juneau
- Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area
- Mount Roberts Tramway
- Helicopter Glacier Flightseeing and Dog Sledding
- Jeep Tours and Hiking
- Downtown Juneau
- Alaskan Brewing Co.
- Macaulay Salmon Hatchery
- Tracy Arm
In addition to the items listed above and detailed on the following pages, Juneau also offers whale watching, wildlife viewing adventures, salmon bakes, fresh and saltwater fishing, biking, museums, glacier trekking, and all even sorts of winter recreation.