With its status as the only state capital in the United States inaccessible by road, a Juneau vacation starts by air or sea. Fly or sail in, then get to work exploring this delightful small town, with its welcoming art galleries, boutiques and historical sites. Arguably Alaska’s most beautiful city, Juneau boasts a lively waterfront, views of the vast Juneau Ice Field and access to Mendenhall Glacier. Those with a political ear will want to eavesdrop on liberal-minded discussions at the many café and coffee houses around town, while active travelers will want to head to the great hiking trails in the area, many of which start right downtown. Or to explore the paddling opportunities in Glacier Bay National Park and the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness Area, which is accessible by boat and requires an overnight stay.
WHAT WE REVEAL
After jumpstarting your day with a locally roasted coffee, bone up on Juneau history at the new State Library, Archive and Museum (SLAM). Then, with the proper context for your Juneau vacation, it’s time to take on the region’s limitless outdoor opportunities. Start with a whale-watching excursion in Lynn Canal, where you’ll glimpse humpback whales, Steller sea lions, orcas and more. At Mendenhall Glacier – one of North America’s few accessible glaciers – hike to Nugget Falls, or helicopter up for a more intense trek. Set sail for a day-long trip to Tracy Arm Fjord, a striking mélange of cliff, waterfalls, wildlife and the Sawyer Glaciers. Or, venture into Glacier Bay National Park, where the Grand Pacific and Margerie glaciers calve huge icebergs in thunderous fashion. Fish for salmon and halibut. Zipline through a rain forest. Paddle a kayak along a majestic shoreline, seeking puffins, mountain goats, moose, eagles, bears and more. Speaking of bears, set your sights on Windfall Harbor on Admiralty Island, “Fortress of the Bears,” one of the most reliable places to view bears in the state. Our local bear guides will accompany and educate you with on-board presentations about this iconic Alaskan creature.
> Glacier Bay National Park