21 Best Things to Do in Juneau, AK

Juneau, AK

Embarking on a quest to uncover the best things to do in Juneau, Alaska?

In this comprehensive guide, we've melded insights from locals and travelers to present you with a mosaic of experiences that define this remarkable place. While we've highlighted some must-visit spots, it's imperative to understand that these recommendations are shaped by personal opinions and experiences.

There are countless other wonderful places awaiting your discovery. Our goal isn't just to point you to the well-trodden paths, but to inspire you to explore and truly immerse yourself in the city's essence.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Esther Hanson, Luke Patterson, Kimberly Carstens, Carlos Foster, Neil Seibel, Latisha Theobald and Libby Burch.

Take a Dip at Nugget Falls

Scenic view of Nugget Falls
aarbois / Shutterstock.com

Growing up in the shadow of the stunning Nugget Falls, it's easy to take its majesty for granted.

Nestled among the rugged Alaskan wilderness, the falls has always been a constant companion, its thunderous roar a comforting backdrop to my daily life.

I've spent countless afternoons taking in the breathtaking vista, watching the powerful cascade of water tumbling down from the heights of the glacier.

The falls are not just a sight to behold but a humbling testimony to the forces of nature.

The walk from the visitor center to the falls is short and easy, making it an ideal trek for visitors of all ages.

But for a more adventurous alternative, take the left path at the fork.

Tourists enjoying the spectacular view of the Nugget Falls
Ramblin Rod / Shutterstock.com

You'll be rewarded with picturesque creek crossings and lake-side views that will take your breath away.

Rain or shine, a trip to Nugget Falls never disappoints. Even during a downpour, when you're drenched to the bone, the scenery remains magical.

If you're up for a bit more of a challenge, try the 2-mile hike out and back along the flat trail to the falls.

Hiking trails at Nugget Falls
Bernard yuen / Shutterstock.com

Take in the Sights of Mendenhall Glacier

View of Mendenhall Glacier
Wildnerdpix / Shutterstock.com

Living within the vicinity of one of nature's marvels, the Mendenhall Glacier, has always been a source of pride and joy.

Each day, I get to witness a 13-mile-long glacier in all its grandeur, nestled within the heart of the national forest.

The glacier has become more than just a stunning backdrop to my everyday life; it's a place where I find solace and reconnect with nature.

I often start my visit at the visitor center, a hub bursting with insightful information about the glacier's history and significance.

From there, I leisurely stride along the hiking trails, absorbing the freshness of the surrounding flora.

With each step, the view of the glacier becomes more spectacular, its icy facade shimmering in the sunlight.

Overlooking the glacier, I often find myself at a spot where the busses pull into the parking lot.

This vantage point offers a breathtaking panorama that is perfect for capturing incredible pictures.

The glacier's majestic beauty is complemented by Nugget Falls, a magnificent waterfall nearby.

The roar of the water cascading down is a soundtrack that I have come to associate with the tranquility of the glacier.

Ice cave at Mendenhall Glacier
Taylor McKnight / Shutterstock.com

While the glacier's beauty is captivating from afar, nothing compares to the thrill of walking right up to it.

Feeling the chill radiating from the ice, hearing the faint crackling sound - it's a sensory experience that never gets old.

One of my favorite features of the visitor center is the telescopic lenses they provide.

These enable visitors to zoom in and see the stunning details of the glacier up close.

Whether it's the intricate patterns etched into the ice or spotting wildlife from afar, it's a perk I always encourage visitors to take advantage of.

For those who prefer to stay active, the beach and the lake near Mendenhall Glacier are ideal for a quick swim or a picnic.

I often find myself unwinding here, with the glacier serving as an awe-inspiring backdrop.

View of Mendenhall Glacier
Sean Lema / Shutterstock.com

Have a Tranquil Escape to Taku Glacier Lodge

The grounds of Taku Glacier Lodge
Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock.com

My heart always leaps a little when the floatplane skims over the Juneau Icefields on the way to Taku Lodge.

It's not just the breathtaking beauty of the glittering ice and towering mountains that does it.

It's the anticipation of a day spent in one of the most magical places on earth.

The plane lands in a quiet river, and stepping out onto the dock is like stepping into another world.

One filled with the majestic sights, sounds, and smells of untouched nature.

The grounds of Taku Lodge are a delight to explore. A peaceful amble along the forest path is a must, the trees whispering secrets of their long lives as you pass by.

Then there's the small waterfall path, where the water's ceaseless song fills the air and soothes the soul.

And let's not forget the salmon bake. The aroma of fresh salmon grilling over an open fire fills the air, making your mouth water in anticipation.

Exterior of Taku Glacier Lodge
Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock.com

The taste, when you finally get to sink your teeth into a piece, is nothing short of heavenly.

It's a truly wild Alaskan feast, with the fish caught fresh from the icy waters nearby.

But it's not only about the stunning surroundings and delicious food. Taku Lodge is rich in history, being a national historic landmark.

Listening to the stories of the lodge and the adventurous people who have called it home is just as much a part of the experience as the walk in the woods and the salmon bake.

They even have a complete gift shop with mementos that can help you remember and share this unforgettable experience.

It may be a bit "touristy," but it's one of those rare tourist experiences that even we locals cherish.

And whether you're lucky enough to spot a bear or not, one thing is certain.

A visit to Taku Lodge is a dream experience, one that's worth every penny and every minute of your time.

Scenic views from Taku Glacier Lodge
Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock.com

Hike the West Glacier Trailhead: An Alaskan Adventure

When you live in Alaska, you're surrounded by unspoiled wilderness and majestic glaciers, one of which is the West Glacier Trailhead.

I love venturing out into the wild and taking on the challenges that nature presents, and this trail is one of my favorites.

The beginning of the trail is a breeze, with a paved path extending for about two miles.

It's a lovely, peaceful walk, but the real adventure starts when you reach the sign that marks the split.

If you're aiming for the glacier, you need to turn right towards the overlook.

From here, the trail becomes quite demanding.

There are steep sections and muddy parts that resemble a swamp.

This is the point where some of your hiking companions may decide to call it a day, but I promise you, persisting is worth it.

Once you navigate the swampy section, the dense tree cover opens up, and you are greeted by a steep, open landscape for the last mile or so.

This part of the trail is challenging, even requiring at times to boulder straight up the side of a cliff, but the views and the feeling of accomplishment are simply breathtaking. I must admit, it's not a trail for everyone.

Small kids, elderly people, or those not in great physical shape might find it too strenuous.

Out of my group of friends, only half of us managed to reach the glacier, and we are all reasonably fit 30-year-olds.

One of us, an avid hiker, described the hike as moderate, while the rest of us, who don't hike as often, found it more challenging.

It took us around 4.5 to 5 hours to complete the trail.

But trust me, once you lay eyes on the glacier, every drop of sweat, every slip in the mud, every steep scramble is worth it.

The views from West Glacier Trailhead are simply stunning.

Plus, in August, you can even touch the glacier in some spots.

Practice Your Skiing Skills at Eaglecrest Ski Area

Aerial view of Eaglecrest Ski Area
Jsayre64, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every winter, I eagerly anticipate the first snowfall because that means it's time to strap on my skis and head to Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Nestled in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness, this ski area is a hidden gem that offers a unique skiing experience that I've never found anywhere else.

The moment you step foot on the mountain, you can't help but marvel at its breathtaking beauty.

On clear, sunny days, the panoramic vistas are absolutely breathtaking.

The East Bowl and West Bowl runs are my personal favorites with their long, challenging descents.

But even on powder days, every run on the mountain offers its own adventure.

I remember the first time I went skiing here.

It was a wet day, but that didn't dampen the fun.

My instructor made it a point to keep things light and fun, and I found myself laughing more times than I could count.

The food at the lodge is a treat too.

After a long day of skiing, there's nothing like a juicy burger to refuel.

If you're a beginner, don't worry, Eaglecrest Ski Area has got you covered.

They offer lessons that cater to all levels of experience.

I've taken a few snowboarding lessons and had such a blast that I'm contemplating swapping my skis for a board permanently!

One great perk about living in SE Alaska and skiing at Eaglecrest is the amazing deals on lift tickets.

There's a fantastic offer where if you fly into Juneau on Alaskan Airlines and show your boarding pass, you're rewarded with a free day pass.

It's these little things that make the skiing experience at Eaglecrest so special.

Have a Moment of Reflection at the National Shrine of St. Thérèse

Facade of Saint Therese Shrine
Jef Wodniack / Shutterstock.com

It's hard to describe the first time I saw the National Shrine of St. Thérèse.

The majestic beauty of the place was simply overwhelming.

The careful attention to the maintenance of the grounds, the endless expanse of water shimmering in the most captivating shades of blue, and the towering trees all combine to create a serene haven that seems to belong to another world.

One of the things I enjoy the most about the National Shrine of St. Thérèse, located just a few miles outside Juneau, is the leisurely walk to the chapel.

It's a short walk, but one that allows you to soak in the incredible views around.

Once you reach the chapel, you can step inside, sign the visitor log, and take a moment to connect spiritually.

I often find myself lingering there, savoring the serene silence.

The chapel itself never ceases to amaze me.

The craftsmanship is simply marvelous, yet there's a humble simplicity about the place that instills a sense of reverence.

View of Saint Therese Shrine
Alex Alferez / Shutterstock.com

The tranquility and closeness to God you feel here is something that needs to be experienced. It's truly a place where you can pause, reflect and recharge.

Another attraction is the stations of the cross situated in the garden around the chapel.

It's always worth the time to meander to each one, appreciating the beautiful art.

Plus, the breathtaking backdrop of impressive mountains enhances the magical charm of the place.

If you ever get the chance, I strongly recommend visiting the St. Therese Catholic Church on the grounds.

Go Fishing at Mendenhall Lake

The waters of Mendenhall Lake
cdrin / Shutterstock.com

Morning hikes at Mendenhall Lake have become a ritual.

The feeling of the fresh morning air filling my lungs, the sight of the sun rising over the mountains is just invigorating.

As I walk along the quiet, scenic trails, I find myself marveling at the breathtaking view of the floating icebergs.

Mendenhall Lake is not for the faint-hearted, though, especially during the colder months.

But if you're an adventure junkie like me, you would love the opportunity to go boating amidst the icebergs or even fishing.

And on the warmer days, there's nothing more refreshing than a quick swim in the lake itself.

The highlight of every visit, of course, is the Mendenhall Glacier.

Receding it may be, but it's still an awe-inspiring sight to behold.

The blues of the glacier on a cloudy day are nothing short of spectacular.

In winter, you can walk out on the frozen lake to get closer to the glacier.

The contrast between the blue skies and white snow is truly indescribable.

The wildlife around the lake is another treat. I often spot porcupines climbing trees, and if you're lucky, you might even see bears!

Discover Juneau's Mining History at AJ Mine Gastineau Mill Tours

You're never too old to learn, that's what I've always believed.

And living in Juneau, you'd think I'd know everything about this place.

But it wasn't until a few days ago, when I decided to take a tour of AJ Mine Gastineau Mill Tours, that I truly appreciated our city's deep roots and rich history.

Now, I've got a confession to make — I had been holding off on this tour, skeptical of a touristy experience.

But boy, was I wrong!

Every corner of the property held a bit of history, each structure a silent witness to the past.

It all made me see Juneau in a new light, and appreciate the tough, resilient spirit of our forefathers who worked the mines.

But let me tell you, those flies don't hold back, so be sure to bring some bug spray.

The best part of Gastineau Mill Tours, though, was trying my hand at gold panning.

The thrill of finding tiny flakes of gold and knowing that I could keep any I found was absolutely surreal!

Discover the State's History at the Alaska State Museum

Exterior view of Alaska State Museum
Dcornwall, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can't really claim to know Alaska until you've spent an afternoon wandering through the exhibits at the Alaska State Museum.

It's a place where the past and present coexist harmoniously on every floor.

I've been fortunate enough to visit many times since its establishment in 2016, and each time I find something new to marvel at.

As you walk through the museum, you're taken on a journey through the rich tapestry of Alaskan history.

The exhibits are a tribute to native culture, bustling with artistic artifacts, authentic tools, and clothing.

They've even got taxidermy animals on display! It's not just a walk through the past - it's also a lesson in natural science.

The museum is beautifully laid out in an easy-to-follow fashion, so even my young nieces and nephews love it.

They have a dedicated kids' section with a play area that keeps them entertained while the adults lose themselves in the labyrinth of history.

Display at Alaska State Museum
Wmpearl, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

What I truly appreciate about this museum is its commitment to accessibility.

They've even got a free underground parking garage, a feature which I've found to be incredibly convenient on my frequent visits.

Yet, it's not just the exhibits that make the Alaska State Museum a treasure trove.

The staff here are friendly and helpful, always willing to answer questions or offer insights.

And when you need a break, the museum's lobby is a serene space to relax, complete with a modern coffee shop.

The Alaska State Museum is more than just a museum. It's a gateway to understanding the heart of Alaska, a realm where every object has a story to tell.

Be it a rainy day or a sunny afternoon, this museum is always worth a visit.

It's one of those places that makes you proud to be part of the Alaskan community.

Conquer the Skies with Wings Airways & Taku Glacier Lodge

Three planes of Wings Airways
photos with me / Shutterstock.com

Living in Juneau, Alaska, one never really runs out of beautiful sights to awe over.

Yet, there's something uniquely special about a seaplane ride with Wings Airways & Taku Glacier Lodge.

This experience, which I have had the pleasure of indulging in more than once, is nothing short of breathtaking.

As soon as the seaplane lifts off the water, the view of Juneau fades into the background to be replaced by some of the most stunning sights this side of Alaska.

The planes might be older, but they are well-maintained and the take-off and landing are smoother than most commercial flights I've experienced.

Upon landing, the Taku Glacier Lodge awaits, nestled in the wilderness and offering a view that is an absolute treat for the senses.

At the lodge, you can go on a short hike and pick blueberries, a fun activity I never miss.

Another perk of the trip is the delightful food served at the lodge.

The salmon - a local favorite that even my picky eater friends have praised - is an absolute must-try.

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a hearty meal in the company of Hans, the resident bear.

If you ever find yourself in Juneau, don’t miss out on the extraordinary adventure with Wings Airways & Taku Glacier Lodge.

Spot Birds of Prey at Eagle Beach

An eagle siting on a drift wood at Eagle Beach
aarbois / Shutterstock.com

If you've ever wondered where your weary soul can find solace while also witnessing nature in its most spectacular form, you wouldn't want to miss a single sunrise or sunset at Eagle Beach.

Trust me, it's a sight that can make even the most mundane day feel extraordinary.

Eagle Beach truly is a gem of Alaska. I've had countless strolls along the shore, each time awestruck by the breathtaking views it offers.

There's something magical about hearing the gentle lapping of waves while witnessing the kaleidoscopic array of colors painted across the sky.

What makes this place even more special is the abundance of wildlife.

On any given day, you wouldn't miss spotting at least a few eagles soaring high above or perched quietly on the trees nearby - an entrancing sight that stays with you long after you've left the beach.

Sunrise at Eagle Beach
Athena Images / Shutterstock.com

But that's not all - the beach also offers a vast open area perfect for picnics.

Whether it's a quick sandwich or a carefully prepared basket of goodies, there's nothing quite like enjoying your meal with the lovely Alaskan landscape as your backdrop.

For me, it's always a joy to slow down and soak in the beauty surrounding me.

So, whether it's for a brisk walk, an impromptu picnic, or simply to admire the exquisite view, Eagle Beach never fails to impress.

It's not just a place, it's an experience - one that belies description and promises pure, unadulterated wonder every single time.

Closeup of an eagle at Eagle Beach
aarbois / Shutterstock.com

Take Snaps with The Whale Project

I've been living in this neck of the woods for years now, and I'm always told how lucky I am to reside amidst such natural beauty.

And yes, the snow-capped mountains and sprawling forests are wonderful, but there's one spot that carries a special place in my heart - The Whale Project.

The Whale Project is not just another sculpture, it's an embodiment of Alaska's wilderness, a symbol of conservation efforts, and a magnificent piece of art.

The site is inviting and peaceful, with plenty of spots to settle down for a spell.

Whether I'm resting on a bench or sitting by the water, I find myself losing track of time as I gaze at the whale.

The whale sculpture itself is a sight to behold. It's a marvel of realism, especially when it spouts water from its blowhole.

The fountain looks beautiful at any time of day, but there’s something special about twilight when the setting sun casts a warm glow on the water droplets, making them sparkle like diamonds.

The sculpture can be seen from Douglas Bridge, but trust me, it's much better to see it up close.

You can't truly appreciate the intricate details or the sheer scale of the piece unless you're standing right next to it.

But be warned, parking can be a bit of a hassle due to limited spaces.

Yet, it's a small inconvenience for such an awe-inspiring experience.

Don't just take my word for it, though, come and see this magnificent piece of art for yourself.

Get Glimpse of the Eldred Rock Lighthouse

Far view of the Eldred Rock Lighthouse
Jef Wodniack / Shutterstock.com

Growing up in the breathtaking region of Lynn Canal, the Eldred Rock Lighthouse has always been a source of fascination for me.

A beacon of light standing tall amidst the vast expanse of water, this historic, early 20th-century lighthouse has always captivated me with its charm and grandeur.

Perched on a rocky outpost, it has been a silent spectator to the changing times.

Over the years, I've seen this lighthouse withstand the test of time.

Despite being closed since 1973 and enduring fifty years of neglect, the Eldred Rock Lighthouse has managed to maintain its stature as the last of the octagonal Alaskan lighthouses.

I've witnessed the efforts of the preservation society from Haines and Juneau, tirelessly working towards its restoration.

They are undertaking a careful and painstaking process to deal with pervasive issues like lead paint and asbestos filler.

The lighthouse is a symbol of our local heritage, and once the restoration is complete, it will be a shining jewel in the region.

Close view of the Eldred Rock Lighthouse
Arthur Chapman from Australia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I can't wait for the day when it regains its former glory and becomes an amazing historical resource for the area.

On a clear day, I often take my boat out into the canal. As I glide past the lighthouse, I am filled with a sense of pride and nostalgia.

I remember taking a photograph of it on July 1st, 2022.

It was a perfect day, the lighthouse was working perfectly, and the picture turned out to be so beautiful that it looked like a poster.

Constructed in 1905 and automated in 1973, Eldred Rock Lighthouse is the oldest remaining lighthouse in Alaska.

It's a part of our history, a part of our identity, and a testament to our resilience.

Immerse Yourself in Nature at Glacier Gardens Rainforest

Benches at Glacier Gardens Rainforest
Linda Harms / Shutterstock.com

One thing about living in Juneau is that you're never too far away from experiencing something truly unique and beautiful.

One of my favorite spots to visit is Glacier Gardens, a rainforest adventure set right against the backdrop of the forest landscape.

It's more than just a garden. It's like stepping into another world where you can marvel at the creativity of Mother Nature and the human mind combined.

The upside-down trees have always intrigued me, a distinctive feature that truly sets this place apart.

And the guided tour, although conducted in a rather loud tractor, is indeed informative and gives you a unique perspective of the forest.

The variety of plants may not be as wide as a botanical garden, but the sight of lush greenery against the magnificent panoramic view of Juneau is breathtaking.

You can spend about an hour there, and trust me, it's an hour well spent immersed in nature.

One thing to note is the tram ride up and down the mountain.

Trees at Glacier Gardens Rainforest
Linda Harms / Shutterstock.com

It's not for the faint-hearted with its open sides, but for nature lovers like me, it's part of the thrill of this adventure.

Seeing what Steve, the owner, has achieved over the years by planting and paving the road up the mountain gives an amazing sense of awe.

I've been to many places, but Glacier Gardens is one I keep coming back to.

I've seen it in all seasons, and each time it presents a new face, a new charm, and a new adventure.

It's a must-visit spot for every Juneau resident and visitor.

You haven't really experienced Juneau till you've paid a visit to this enchanting place.

Flora at Glacier Gardens Rainforest
Linda Harms / Shutterstock.com

Experience the Alaskan Wilderness at Skaters Cabin

Step into my shoes for a moment and imagine the crisp, cold air on your face as you glide through a winter wonderland.

That's pretty much every day for me here at Skaters Cabin.

With its top-notch Nordic skiing, I remember just the other day breaking in fresh new trails beside dog-walking enthusiasts and fellow skiers.

As the day retires, we often gather around a crackling fire, a common sight around here.

It's a cozy corner of the wilderness that now even has outdoor bathrooms - but don't expect running water, we're still embracing the rustic charm of nature!

Situated right on Mendenhall Lake, the panoramic scenery here never fails to take my breath away.

The beauty of the lake and the wilderness around it is eye candy for nature lovers, and with the recently installed picnic tables and hiking trails, Skater's Cabin has become something more than just a skiing spot.

It's not uncommon to see families enjoying their lunch while taking in the view or avid hikers setting off for the trails.

If you're like me and love the outdoors, Skaters Cabin is a place worth checking out.

It's not just a cabin, it's become a community hangout for those who appreciate the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.

The rugged charm of Skaters Cabin is a must-see and an experience that's hard to forget.

Discover the City's History at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Juneau – Douglas City Museum
Gillfoto, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of my favorite spots in Juneau, Alaska, has to be the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.

Tucked away right across the street from the State Capital Building, it's the perfect place to immerse oneself in the rich history of Alaska.

The museum may be smaller in size, but it is overflowing with fascinating information and artifacts about Alaska's past.

The exhibits range from native culture to pioneer relics, providing a comprehensive understanding of our state's heritage.

There's also a quaint little gift shop where you can pick up a keepsake or two.

One thing I absolutely love about Juneau-Douglas City Museum is their daily walking tour.

Priced at $31.50 per person, which includes the museum admission, it's about 1.5 hours of captivating storytelling.

And the best part?

The money goes straight to the museum, helping preserve and promote our local history.

An interesting fact about the museum is that it is one of the rarest places in Juneau with public restrooms.

It may sound trivial, but it's a godsend when you're spending a day out exploring the city!

Explore Juneau's Gold Rush History at the Last Chance Mining Museum

The Last Chance Mining Museum
Gillfoto from Juneau, Alaska, United States, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There's something special about stepping into the past. I felt that magic when I visited the Last Chance Mining Museum—a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Juneau, right inside an authentic, historical gold mining facility.

With a small entry fee of just $5 for adults, the museum offers an opportunity to absorb Juneau's gold rush history from an informative and enthusiastic docent.

Plus, kids seem to be free.

It's easy to soak up the museum's history in about a quarter of an hour.

The engaging exhibits house old mining equipment, photographs, and other artifacts that tell fascinating tales of miners' lives during the gold rush era.

The highlight of my visit was, undoubtedly, buying a plastic gold pan kit for $8 and trying my hand at panning in the river below the museum.

The thrill of finding tiny gold flakes in my pan was absolutely exhilarating—a memory that will last a lifetime!

Additionally, the museum's location amidst the natural beauty of Juneau offers an added bonus.

Abandoned rusted train at Last Chance Mining Museum
Gillfoto from Juneau, Alaska, United States, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I typically take a taxi or ride share up to the mine and then enjoy a leisurely 30-minute walk back into the city.

The picturesque views along the way are simply breathtaking.

There's also a lovely trail nearby—the Perseverance Trail.

One time, after a satisfying hike on this trail, I decided to stop by Last Chance Mining Museum.

It was an amazing opportunity to tie in the area's natural beauty with its rich history.

The knowledgeable and friendly volunteer at the museum left me with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the gold mining history of Juneau.

Indeed, the Last Chance Mining Museum is more than just a museum—it's a snapshot of Juneau's past, preserved for future generations to discover.

Landscape of Last Chance Mining Museum
Gillfoto from Juneau, Alaska, United States, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn the Salmon's Life Cycle at DIPAC Macaulay Salmon Hatchery

You wouldn't believe what you can do for five bucks these days. I spent an amazing afternoon at the DIPAC Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, and it was worth every penny.

It's not just a visit, it's an educational journey that takes you through the fascinating life cycle of salmon.

The place is simple, but its cleanliness adds to its charm.

When you enter, you are welcomed by a short video explaining their process of breeding and rearing salmon.

It’s not every day that you get to see things so closely and gain such deep insights.

The hatchery also has two smaller tanks where you can actually touch things, I mean, how often do you get to say that you touched a live salmon?

The real spectacles, however, are the multiple huge tanks and holding areas.

Here, you get to see the salmon in various stages of their life cycle.

It's quite intriguing to see them live right in front of you.

The hatchery is a testament to the wonders of nature and the tenacity of these little fish who are so vital to our ecosystem.

I have to say, the most interesting part for me was learning how they bring the salmon back to the area each year.

Trust me, it's not all about luring them with food. It's a complex process that involves a lot of dedication and hard work.

When you visit DIPAC Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, don’t forget to support the hatchery in any way possible.

They play such an important role in sustaining fish in our ecosystem.

Their contribution is immense and the least we can do is appreciate and support their efforts.

Stroll around Cope Park

A creek at Cope Park
Lorissa Cross / Shutterstock.com

Living in Juneau, one of my favorite pastimes is taking a leisurely stroll down to Cope Park.

It's always buzzing with neighborhood families, children chasing each other around the playground, and friends enjoying a casual game on the tennis courts.

I’ve even noticed what might once have been a baseball or soccer field - a silent reminiscence of past sports glory.

Cope Park holds a surprise for everyone - a staircase of plenty of steps leading you down into the heart of it.

Walking down these steps, you can feel the energy of the park rising to meet you.

As a nature enthusiast, the trail along Gold Creek is the park’s crowning glory for me.

It offers a beautiful and easy hike, perfect for those days when you just need to clear your head.

The sight of Gold Creek gently flowing by is a balm for the senses.

If you pay attention, you might be lucky enough to spot some local residents harvesting berries from the bushes nearby.

I often find myself tempted to taste these wild fruits, but I usually resist the urge.

And then there's the river.

It's not grand or imposing - it's just cute.

It’s the kind of river that somehow feels like an old friend you could sit down with and share stories.

See the City in a Different Perspective at Mount Roberts Tramway

View of Mount Roberts Tramway ride
Jing Zhong / Shutterstock.com

What better way to spend an afternoon than embarking on a journey up the picturesque Mount Roberts? Trust me, it's not just any other mountain.

The Mount Roberts Tramway takes you on an exciting ride, offering breathtaking water views and leading to fantastic hiking trails.

One of the intriguing parts of the experience is the native performance, which I never miss when I visit.

Accompanied by an informative video, it gives you a glimpse into the rich heritage and history of the area.

The tram ticket is $50 and it allows you to ride back and forth all day long.

At one point, there was a live eagle that added to the charm of the place, but sadly it’s no longer there.

After the tram ride, I often find myself in the restaurant, taking in the stunning outdoor views while sipping on a hot coffee.

If you're lucky and attentive, you may even spot mountain goats from your table, especially if you bring binoculars.

I have spent countless hours just watching them roam around.

Gondola of Mount Roberts Tramway
ackats / Shutterstock.com

The gift shop is another spot that you can't miss. It's huge and packed with a variety of souvenirs– from keychains to t-shirts, there's something for everyone.

I love picking out unique keepsakes for my friends visiting from out of town.

Now, here's a little tip. If you spend a combined amount of $20 per person in the cafe, restaurant, and gift shop, you get a free ride down.

The one-way fee is $20 per person, so it’s a no-brainer! I usually grab some refreshing drinks and a few souvenirs, making the most of this deal.

Although the tramway is located near the cruise dock, it's not affiliated with it, so everyone's welcome.

The ride aboard Mount Roberts Tramway is surprisingly fast, stable, and very much worth the trip.

The bar and restaurant are interesting spots to check out, too.

You can watch a film about the indigenous peoples from the area, which I find quite educational and fascinating.

Station of Mount Roberts Tramway
ackats / Shutterstock.com

Take a Self-Guided Tour of the Alaska State Capitol

Exterior of Alaska State Capitol
Iryna Makukha / Shutterstock.com

There's this understated charm about our State Capitol building.

Sure it may not have the grandeur of the other capitols, but it has a modesty that is very much Alaska.

The exterior may look more like a bank than a capitol, but there's a unique antique feel to the interior that immediately transports you to a different era.

It's true what they say about Alaskans being the nicest people you'll meet, and that's evident in the friendly faces of the employees at the capitol.

There's a certain humility here, a sense of not wasting taxpayer money on grandeur, but focusing on the essentials.

Being inside the Capitol building is a unique experience.

Entrance to Alaska State Capitol
Rob Pauley / Shutterstock.com

You’ll even see one of the employees filling her glass in a nearby sink - a testament to the simplicity and earnestness of our Capitol.

And if you're into history, there are some interesting points to see, including the open meeting rooms that have witnessed important decisions about our great state.

On a sunny day, I recommend taking a self-guided tour around the Alaska State Capitol.

It's easy, quick, and gives you a glimpse into an important part of Alaskan life. Plus, you're in Alaska!

The beautiful scenery and wildlife sightings in Juneau alone make it worth the trip.

Final Thoughts

The city of Juneau never fails to amaze me with its vast array of outdoor activities, historical sites, and cultural attractions.

The serene charm of the National Shrine of St. Thérèse offers a peaceful retreat, while a trip to the Alaska State Museum provides a deep dive into the rich history and vibrant culture of the Last Frontier.

Whenever I feel the need for a bit of adventure, the West Glacier Trail and Mendenhall Lake are just a few minutes away.

Juneau is more than just a city; it's a community where the wonders of nature, history, and culture coalesce.

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