Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Juneau, Alaska. #Top Attractions

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Planning a trip to Juneau, Alaska? For the best travel experience in Juneau, Alaska, check out our curated list of things to do in Juneau, Alaska, and the best places to visit in Juneau, Alaska, below. Wondrous Drifter is a Web 3.0 startup in the tourism industry that aims to disrupt the industry as a whole by utilizing Web 3.0 technologies.

Admiralty Island

Admiralty Island Juneau Alaska
Admiralty Island, Juneau, Alaska / David Stanley / Flickr

Sick of stuffed teddy bears? Admiralty Island is a great place to see the real thing.

With its impressive 1.1 million acres of old-growth rainforest, alpine tundra, and rocky shoreline, Juneau’s Admiralty Island National Monument is a short 15-mile drive away.

The brown bear population in this ancestral homeland of the Tlingit people is one of the highest in North America.

Admiralty Island’s Tlingit name is “Kootznoowoo,” which translates as “Fortress of the Bear.”

With an estimated 1,600 brown bears living on Admiralty Island, it’s no wonder the island is so popular with nature lovers.

But Admiralty Island isn’t just home to bears.

In addition, the area is home to the world’s largest number of bald eagle nests, with more than 5,000 of these majestic birds nesting there.

Visit Admiralty Island’s Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary, situated on the island’s northeastern corner.

You may see as many as 25 bears gather to eat delicious pink and chum salmon together during the summer months.

Take a one-mile trek through the ancient rainforest and climb to the Observation Tower to get the best view of Pack Creek’s waterfalls.

Address: 8510 Mendenhall Loop Road, Juneau, AK 99801, USA

Channel Islands

Channel Islands Juneau Alaska
Channel Islands, Juneau, Alaska / Andrew Milligan sumo / Flickr

Did you know that whales spend 90% of their time submerged in the water? You can catch a glimpse of them in the Channel Islands!

Admire majestic whales breaching the water’s surface as you cruise or kayak through the beautiful surroundings.

Kayaking in Alaska’s beautiful waters, surrounded by wildlife like humpback whales, harbor seals, Sitka black-tail deer, Steller sea lions, porpoises, orcas, bald eagles, and river and sea otters.

Moreover, you can also see numerous other birds while having an exciting feeling for any paddler, amateur or professional.

In the Channel Islands—the whales’ annual feeding ground—your guides will take note of the most recent whale sightings in order to help you plan your trip accordingly. 

On an island beach, you’ll be given safety and paddling instructions by your experienced guides.

Furthermore, wilderness first-aid is certified and undergoes advanced training every year.

Also, there are three state cabins, including several primitive camping sites, are available.

Don’t miss the chance to kayak alongside the whales found in Juneau!

Address: 2767 Sherwood Ln. Juneau, AK 99801

Douglas Island

Douglas Island Juneau Alaska
Douglas Island, Juneau, Alaska / Joseph / Flickr

Zipline? Beach? And Picnic? Douglas Island is the place for you!

Just across the Gastineau Channel, Douglas Island is a stunning summer destination.

Sandy Beach, the island’s most popular attraction, is great to have a picnic, play beach volleyball, or go beach walking with your friends and family.

When strolling along the beach with your dog, don’t be afraid to start a conversation with the locals; they’re known for being friendly.

North Douglas Island, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

It is a precious hidden gem with alpine meadows, calm ocean waves, and majestic Alaskan mountain ranges.

Moreover, it is impossible to drive across the island except for one road in the middle.

Also, you can ski in winter and go zip-lining during the summer with Alaska Zipline Adventures.

It has seven lines, 10 platforms, and a suspension bridge between Alaska pine trees.

Indeed, you’ll be completely immersed in nature for the duration of your experience.

Overall, safety is their top priority, and the staff ensures you are properly outfitted before beginning the tour.

See and experience yourself what Douglas Island has to offer.

Address: Juneau, AK 99801, USA

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East Glacier Trail

East Glacier Trail, Juneanu, Alaska
East Glacier Trail is one of the best places to go in Juneau, Alaska

The East Glacier Trail is one of the best things to do in Alaska.

If you’re looking for the most challenging trail on this part of Juneau, look no further. If you’re planning a trip to Juneau, don’t miss out on this incredible hike!

Mendenhall Lake is the starting point for the East Glacier Loop Trail, a 3.1-mile trek.

Moreover, the trail has a total elevation gain of about 650 feet, and some sections are pretty steep.

The park has recently added steps and wire handrails to sections of the trail.

In addition to stunning views of Mendenhall Glacier and Lake, this hike offers a chance to see old mining equipment and waterfalls.

The Trail of Time, which begins at the visitor center on the lake’s south shore, splits off to form the East Glacier Trail.

Additionally, the loop trail has a boardwalk, bridges, and stairwells, and it’s easy to follow, but it’s steep at times and slippery and wet.

Birdwatchers and wildlife watchers alike will enjoy the area, but bears are present, so keep an eye out.

Address: Juneau, AK 99801, USA

Glacier Gardens Rainforest

Glacier Gardens Rainforest Juneau Alaska
Glacier Gardens Rainforest, Juneau, Alaska / mark byzewski / Flickr

Enjoy the beautiful garden situated in the largest national forest in the United States!

The Tongass National Forest is home to an Alaskan botanical garden unlike any other in the world.

Beautifully designed landscapes and 15-foot-tall upside-down tree “Flower Towers” complement the rainforest’s natural beauty.

During a guided tour in a covered vehicle, you’ll visit these unique gardens and travel through 50 acres of temperate rainforest.

You won’t find a tour that makes getting to the Tongass, the United States’ largest national forest easier. 

Indeed, this tour is an excellent option for those who want to get a bird’s-eye view of Juneau and the surrounding rainforest.

Thunder Mountain’s 580-foot elevation provides breathtaking views of Juneau and the Mendenhall Valley.

Furthermore, the Visitor Center atrium features stunning hanging gardens and floral displays.

It provides a unique vantage point for viewing an active nest of Alaskan Bald Eagles.

The Garden Café and Gift Shop can be found in the atrium for your convenience.

Address: 7600 Glacier Hwy, Juneau, AK, USA 

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Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Juneau, Alaska
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is one of the best places to go in Juneau, Alaska

The Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is one of the top attractions in Alaska.

Glacier Bay National Park is considered one of the most beautiful national parks in the United States.

It has been a national monument since 1925 and became a national park and preserve in 1980.

The park was also part of the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992.

Moreover, Glacier Bay National Park covers an area of 5,129 square miles (13,287 square kilometers), including Glacier Bay and Mount Fairweather’s northern, southern, and western slopes.

Almost 95% of park visitors arrive via cruise ship.

They typically spend an entire day taking in the park’s breathtaking scenery and diverse wildlife, including a stop at a tidewater glacier to observe calving.

During cruise ship visits to national parks, park rangers are on-site to provide presentations and respond to questions.

Gustavus and Bartlett Cove, the park’s headquarters, are accessible to lone travelers.

The park’s most popular water activities include kayaking, whale watching, glacier gazing, fishing, river rafting, and boat trips.

Full-day boat cruises leave at Bartlett Cove and sail about 120 miles into the park to observe animals and tidewater glaciers.

Visit the park and enjoy the activities available for you and your family!

Address: 1 Park Road Gustavus, AK 99826

Gold Creek

Gold Creek, Juneau, Alaska
Gold Creek is one of the best places to go in Juneau, Alaska

709 West 9th Street, 131, Juneau, Alaska, 99801

Juneau’s gold mining history can be experienced at Gold Creek, where visitors may pan for gold!

Gold Creek was the site of a gold discovery in 1880. There were placer mines that used high-pressure water jets to wash gravel to separate the gold from the rest of the material.

A prospector will lead you through a historic area. You’ll follow in the footsteps of Joe Juneau and Richard Harris, who went on a gold-hunting expedition more than a century ago.

You can pan in the creek or the demonstration basin, which is about waist-high.

Gold-panning is accessible to everyone, even those with limited movement, and anybody may learn the art of the industry.

The gold is there for the taking. All the gold you may find is yours to retain, as well.

Even today, you can still see the ruins of the Alaska-Juneau Mining Company’s original structures, which were the world’s largest of their kind during their time. 

With this tour, you’ll learn more about Alaska’s gold rush history and the mining techniques utilized to extract the gold.

Jensen-Olson Arboretum

Jensen-Olson Arboretum, Juneau, Alaska
Jensen-Olson Arboretum is one of the best places to go in Juneau, Alaska

There’s nothing better than having a picnic with your family surrounded by a beautiful garden!

The city and Borough of Juneau received Caroline Jensen’s donation of the historic arboretum property along the 23-mile Glacier Highway.

Since its public opening in 2007, the Arboretum has grown into a garden tourist attraction and a living laboratory with over 1200 native and fostered species.

The Jensen Olson Arboretum is situated on the beachfront site of one of Juneau’s historic homestead families.

Juneau’s public garden is dedicated to preserving the city’s natural beauty while educating the public about horticulture, natural sciences, and landscaping.

Because of this, the Arboretum has been designated as an Official Holder of the Nationally Accredited Primula Collection.

During the blooming season, you’ll see over a hundred different kinds. 

In the Arboretum, you’ll be able to enjoy nature in its purest form. There are no indoor facilities, so be prepared for the weather.

This is a beautiful location for a picnic if you want to avoid crowds. The Arboretum is best accessed by car rather than public transportation.

Address: 23035 Glacier Hwy, Juneau, AK 99801, United States

Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Juneau Douglas City Museum Juneau Alaska
Juneau Douglas City Museum, Juneau, Alaska / Bernt Rostad / Flickr

Curious about what it’s like to live in Juneau for a year? Visit Juneau-Douglas City Museum as they highlight the city’s culture!

This museum, which sits next door to the State Capitol, features exhibits on Tlingit culture, early gold mining, and the history of the Juneau-Douglas region.

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, built in 1894, is one of the oldest buildings in the area and is surrounded by old wooden homes and beautiful gardens.

This small but historically significant museum was the site of Alaska’s Statehood Ceremonies on July 4, 1959, when the 49-star flag was raised for the first time and continues to fly today.

The City Museum has served as a repository for historical artifacts in the area since its inception in 1976.

Veterans Memorial Building, which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2006, is where the Juneau Museum is currently housed.

Certainly, it is a great place to learn more about the city’s rich history.

In addition, the City Museum’s reach does not stop at the structure’s perimeter.

A 90-minute walking tour of historic downtown Juneau, led by community volunteers with a passion for their city’s history, is also available from May to September.

Finally, the tour concludes with tea and cookies at the historic Capital Inn.

Explore and learn about Juneau’s culture inside the museum.

Address: 114 W. 4th Street Juneau, AK 99801

Juneau Whale Watch

Juneau Whale Watch Juneau Alaska
Juneau Whale Watch, Juneau, Alaska / Bernard Spragg. NZ / Flickr

What if? Whale watching may be a hobby of yours!

It is impossible to have a truly memorable vacation in Juneau without spotting a whale while cruising through the Inside Passage. 

This city is one of the best places to see these massive mammals, specifically humpback whales. 

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are also found in the area’s waters, but they tend to be more challenging to track down.

During the late spring and summer, humpback and other whales return to the waters off Alaska.

If you’re hoping to see whales in Juneau, you’ll want to go during the height of the summer.

If you want to see a fluke (tail) or multiple humpbacks circling their prey before “bubble feeding” together, you should visit Juneau.

Getting on a boat is the only way to be sure that you’ll see whales.

With that, charter companies are so confident in their whale sighting that they often offer full refunds if a single whale fails to surface at all.

This six-hour excursion is a must-try as it includes a scenic cruise and kayaking through breathtaking scenery.

Address: 492 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801, United States

Macaulay Salmon Hatchery

Macaulay Salmon Hatchery Juneau Alaska
Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, Juneau, Alaska / Richard Martin / Flickr

Ever wondered how salmons reproduce? In Macaulay Salmon hatchery, you can see how their hatchery system works!

Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc. (DIPAC) owns and operates Macaulay Salmon Hatchery.

The Macaulay Salmon Hatchery visitor center at DIPAC is a one-of-a-kind Alaskan adventure.

See how salmon spawn while learning about our outdoor hatchery’s fascinating processes.

With saltwater aquariums and tide pools to touch, the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery is great for getting up close to marine life.

Moreover, visitors can see the external operational processes of an active hatchery.

In contrast, the hatchery raises around 130 million chum, king, and coho salmon each year.

You’ll discover what it requires to raise salmon, the significance of Alaska’s hatchery system, and the near-shore aquatic ecosystems that salmon share with other marine life.

You can see adult salmon swimming up a 450-foot fish ladder and congregating in holding ponds until they are ready to reproduce from the middle of June through the end of October.

Address: 2697 Channel Drive, Juneau, Alaska

Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier Juneau Alaska
Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska / pdx3525 / Flickr

You will not believe your “ice” when you visit the Mendenhall Glacier, the most visited attraction in Juneau. This may be the closest you’ll ever come to a glacier’s surface.

Flowing from the Juneau Icefield, Mendenhall Glacier is one of the largest glaciers in the area, is around 1500 square miles in size.

This place is situated within the Mendenhall Valley.

It is located in southeast Alaska, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Juneau.

As long as you have the time, there are numerous ways to get close to this spectacular glacier.

A reasonably straightforward and well-marked walk leads to Nugget Falls, a famous waterfall in the area.

You’ll find a spectacular 377-foot waterfall flowing into an iceberg lake with a breathtaking glacier in the background on Mendenhall Lake, the closest trail to the glacier.

Black bears eating spawning salmon are easy to spot from the parking area’s observation platforms in the late summer and early fall.

You can take the Trail of Time through the forest or the East Glacier Loop to go from the parking lot to the visitor center.

It is a three-miler for those who prefer a longer hike.

Come and enjoy the view and activities that the Mendenhall glacier offers!

Address: Juneau, AK 99801, United States

Mount Roberts

Mount Roberts is one of the best places to visit in Alaska.

Get a chance to see downtown Juneau with a bird’s eye view. Mount Roberts is a must-see!

An easy way to get a birds-eye view of downtown Juneau and its surrounding mountains is to ride Mount Robert’s Tram.

It takes you 1,800 feet above the ground and into a park that offers cultural heritage education, dynamic crafts, and breathtaking views.

It’s one of Juneau’s most stunning views!

Once you’ve reached the summit, you’ll find a few trails on and around the treetops if you feel like taking a quick walk.

It’s a beautiful and easy-to-follow trail through the lush, green rainforest.

There is a gradual ascent to the summit, so be prepared for some leg-burning, but the views from the top will be well worth it.

Furthermore, you’ll also see short films about Alaska Native culture and the history of Juneau available at the visitor center at the summit of Mount Roberts.

There are a lot of souvenirs that feature Alaskan designs. 

You can even get up close and personal with an actual bald eagle, one of the most sacred birds in Alaskan Native culture.

Address: 490 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801, United States 

Nugget Falls

Nugget Falls Juneau Alaska
Nugget Falls, Juneau, Alaska / BriYYZ / Flickr

Admire this impressive waterfall located south of the Mendenhall Glacier!

This impressive waterfall is located about three-quarters of a mile south of the active face of Mendenhall Glacier.

It is one of the most fascinating natural features near Juneau, cascading 377 feet down the rugged mountainside into Mendenhall Lake.

The cataract drops at 99 feet to 278 feet into the icy, aquamarine water powered by meltwater runoff from the hanging Nugget Glacier.

The falls were said to have splattered onto the glacier before it receded in recent decades.

According to some reports, water accumulated on the glacier’s surface would spread out.

Aside from the waterfalls, there are other highlights of the Mendenhall recreation area.

This includes the retreating Mendenhall Glacier and a lake teeming with icebergs the color of royal blue.

The visitor center has many museum-quality exhibits.

Additionally, there are many hiking trails and access to the beach, such as the stroll through the mossy rain forest to the foot of Nugget Falls that can be found outside.

A sandy-and-gravel flat near the falls’ base is an excellent place to take in the beauty of the water.

Thanks to a newly constructed, low-grade trail, an easy one-mile walk from the visitor center to the falls is now possible.

Even before you see the falls, you will be able to hear it! 

Address: Juneau, AK 99801, United States

State Capitol Building

State Capitol Building Juneau Alaska
State Capitol Building, Juneau, Alaska / Bernt Rostad / Flickr

Take a look around the capital and admire different historical collections!

The state capital of Alaska, completed in 1931, began life as a territorial and federal structure. 

When Alaska became a state in 1959, the structure was given to the state to serve as the state capitol.

A replica of the Liberty Bell and historical photos and works of art decorate the capitol, which does not have a traditional dome. 

Also, visitors can take self-guided tours from Monday through Friday, all year long.

Shore excursions and city tours frequently pass by the capital, allowing visitors to glimpse it from a distance.

Furthermore, the interior lobby’s Art Deco design and furnishings are particularly eye-catching at the State Capitol. 

Certainly, the scale model Liberty Bell outside is an excellent location for a photoshoot.

After the tour, walk down Fourth Street and then down Calhoun Avenue to see the outside of the Governor’s Mansion.

Address: Fourth and Main Streets, Juneau, Alaska

Tracy Arm Fjord

Tracy Arm Fjord Juneau Alaska
Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Alaska / Hilmil1 / Flickr

Waterfalls, icebergs, and 4,000-foot-high cliffs are some of the natural wonders found in this glacial valley!

Due to its small size (only 32 miles long and an average width of a mile) and variety of unique features, Tracy Arm’s natural beauty is striking.

Located southeast of Juneau, this ice-covered glacial fjord offers breathtaking views of waterfalls cascading down rock faces and glaciers, calving off chunks of ice to form small blocks.

At the head of the fjord are the impressive Sawyer Glaciers, which are known for their beautiful blue ice.

Tracy Arm Fjord’s enormous walls rise almost vertically from the water, with trees pointed out at odd angles.

The Tongass National Forest can be seen as a fjord that extends for miles to the mainland.

The Sawyer and South Sawyer Glaciers can be seen from the ships’ vantage points traveling along the entire arm.

Suppose Tracy Arm may not be passable due to weather conditions.

In that case, Endicott Arm, carved by the Dawes Glacier, may be an alternative.

Cruising around these waters surrounded by ice will surely be one for the books.

Address: Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, AK 99801, United States

Tracy’s King Crab Shack

Tracys King Crab Shack juneau Alaska
Tracys King Crab Shack, juneau, Alaska / The Alaska Landmine / Flickr

In Tracy’s King Crab Shack, be prepared to get your hands dirty as you crack open crab legs!

Located just steps from the pier in downtown Juneau, a line snakes around a nearby building as people pose for photos and enjoy the upbeat 80s music blasting in the background.

In fact, Tracy’s Crab Shack is a popular destination for tourists.

Tracy’s is Juneau’s most talked about seafood restaurant for its locally sourced crab legs, bisque, and crab cakes.

Orders are taken at the end of the long line at a walk-up shack.

You’ll have to wait a few minutes to order and pay, but your food will arrive about 10 minutes later.

In the adjacent bar shack, you can relax with a drink before getting your place in line.

The crab is, of course, the centerpiece of the menu. Tracy’s King Crab Bisque is a must-have starter. 

All in all, only fresh ingredients and Alaskan King Crab flavor this homemade cream bisque, which is perfect for the cool temperatures of the state.

Sit down and chow down on the famous crab legs in Alaska.

Address: 432 South Franklin st. Juneau, AK 99801

The Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum

The Alaska State Library Archives and Museum Juneau Alaska
The Alaska State Library Archives and Museum, Juneau, Alaska / James Brooks / Flickr

395 Whittier St, Juneau, AK 99801, United States

Fond of relics and different historical collections? The Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum display artifacts that portray its history.

Families of all ages can enjoy the hands-on displays and convenient downtown locations of the Juneau City Museum and Alaska State Museum.

In addition to books, diaries, documents, video and audio files, pictures, and newspaper and magazine collections, the State Library and Archives of Alaska house many other types of Alaska-related materials.

The Museum’s displays of Alaskan history, art, and culture are among the best in the world.

Moreover, there are numerous relics from the Russian occupation and Alaska Native culture that will be on exhibit in the Museum’s collection.

Juneau’s City Museum offers walk tours of the city’s historic downtown.

Alaska Juneau Gold Mining’s Last Chance Mining Museum is housed in one of the few remaining historic buildings.

You can also see some of the antique tools and learn about Juneau’s hard rock mining history here.

Even though it’s a bit out of the way and involves a bit of a climb, the antique mining railway wagons behind this Museum are well worth the effort.

Immerse yourself with Alaskan history and culture in the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum!

West Glacier Trail

West Glacier Trail Juneau Alaska
West Glacier Trail, Juneau, Alaska / dancingnomad3 / Flickr

Has hiking become one of your favorite pastimes? This trail will take you through the temperate rainforest of Alaska.

A 3.5-mile (one-way) trek leads to a rocky outcrop with a breathtaking view of the Mendenhall Glacier on the west side of the lake.

If you’re up for the challenge, you can climb the 4,228-foot Mt. McGinnis or explore a route that reaches the edge of the Mendenhall Glacier.

From the overlook, visitors can see what appears to be an endless sea of ice.

The trail has long stretches with little elevation change; on the other, it has short bursts of steep ascent that include some long stone stairways.

Finally, you must cross a few small creeks, but nothing more than your ankles deep will stand in your way.

You should be prepared for slick rocks, muddy patches, and areas where the path isn’t immediately apparent.

Explore the rainforests of Alaska and strike it off your bucket list!

Address: Juneau, AK 99801, USA

Traveling and having fun in the USA? You have to check out this page – the best states to visit in USA for the most fun and unusual travel ideas.

Do you need any more convincing that Juneau, Alaska is worth a visit? Click here for all the reasons to visit Juneau, Alaska, at least once in your lifetime here.

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