Downtown Juneau

June 24, 2014 No Comments

Cruise ships dock at one of four berths in the Port of Juneau, all of which are within walking distance of downtown’s main attractions and shops. A convenient shuttle runs between the farthest dock, AJ Pier, and the downtown area. If it’s an extremely busy day in port, some ships may have to drop anchor and tender guests ashore.

At the buzzing waterfront, look for the sidewalk sundial and the memorial dedicated to fishermen lost at sea. Peer through the spotting scopes and search for mountain goats on Mount Juneau in the distance. For an excellent aerial view of the city, hop aboard a gondola on the Mount Roberts Tramway, which ascends from the cruise pier to an elevation of 1,745 feet where unrivaled scenery, Native art, shops, and restaurants await.

It’s easy to find your way around the downtown area, where blue signposts show the way to various points of interest and provide local historical highlights. Many of the newer buildings feature false wooden fronts, reflecting the characteristic architecture of the Wild West. Some of the city’s oldest buildings are pubs or saloons—remnants of the booming gold-rush days around the turn of the 20th century.

The watering holes still in operation are frequented by an eclectic blend of locals and tourists from all over the globe. The Alaskan Hotel & Bar, located on South Franklin Street, is the oldest operating hotel in the state, built in 1913 by four men in just six months. Sidle up to the bar, order an Alaskan White Ale, and strike up a conversation with an Alaskan: this is the only place to enjoy an Alaskan with an Alaskan at The Alaskan.

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Embark on a helicopter ride high above Juneau’s untamed wilderness before landing on Norris Glacier for an Alaskan dog-sledding adventure.

Set sail from charming harbor town as you join a welcoming crew onboard a waterjet-powered catamaran in search of whales.

Delight in Juneau’s breathtaking natural scenery as you fly high above lush green Tongass National Forest before trekking across a massive glacier on foot.

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