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 Juneau

Juneau Port Reviews
Juneau From the Top of Mt. Roberts Tramway

Juneau Information
By Tom Ogg

Language and Currency
What is Juneau Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss" Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?

Juneau Reviews

Language and Currency

English is the language spoken in Alaska and the U.S. dollar is the currency.

What is Juneau Like?


Downtown Juneau

Juneau is Alaska’s State Capital and a very cosmopolitan city. With a population of over 30,000 residents, Juneau offers a wealth of shopping opportunities and wonderful sightseeing choices, which makes it a very popular cruise port with visitors. Juneau is located on an island in the Inside passage and is located in a rain forest. With over 220 days of rain per year and over 50 inches of rain, you should be prepared for wet weather by bringing rain gear (if you don’t it is sold in many Juneau stores if needed) The city of Juneau is located at the base of mountains that soar straight up almost 4,000 feet. Early in the season visitors are presented with snow capped peaks and fabulous waterfalls. As summer progresses the snow recedes and the waterfalls become trickles. Founded during the gold rush days, Juneau has many historical buildings and lots of color.

What is the ‘Weather Like?

Juneau, being in a rain forest can be overcast and rainy. In fact, there are only 1 to 3 sunny days per week during April, May and June (also Juneau’s driest months) The wettest months are September and October (6.73 and 7.84 inches respectively) You may be lucky and get a dry day in Juneau but you are better off prepared for rain.

Where Does the Ship Dock?


Cruise Ships Docked in Juneau

The port of Juneau offers berths right adjacent to the downtown area. You can literally walk off the ship into a shop, restaurant or bar.


Tendering into Juneau

Only when there are too many ships for the port to handle are tenders used to transport people into the town.

Where is the Shopping?

Juneau offers excellent shopping directly adjacent to the ships. South Franklin Street parallels the ships and offers abundant shops, restaurants and bars. By following S. Franklin Street into the downtown area several streets offering more shopping become available. Many of the International shops found in the Caribbean are also located in Juneau. There are quite a few stores offering goods particular to Alaska (gold jewelry, furs, clothing, carved ivory and so on) as well as the more standard fare.

What is There to Buy?

There are quite a few stores offering goods particular to Alaska (gold jewelry, furs, clothing, carved ivory and so on) as well as the more standard fare. Somewhat unique for charm bracelet collectors are the pure gold nugget charms that sell for around the value of the raw gold in them.

What is There To Do?

Juneau has lots to see and do. The fabulous Mendenhall glacier is only about 12 miles from town and offers several opportunities to visit it. Helicopter tours to Mendenhall are awesome. The local bus will take you within ½ mile of the entrance to the national park and the glacier for under $1.00 and there are several trails in and around Mendenhall Glacier, Lake and River that are very interesting. I especially enjoyed hiking up to Nugget Falls (you can see them on the right side of Mendenhall Glacier) along the beach from the visitor’s center. On another trip I took the rafting trip down Mendenhall River, which was excellent as well.


Mendenhall Glacier

For those that want to get a glimpse of Alaska’s vast forests and mountainous terrain, try taking the Mount Roberts tramway right from the port to the top of Mount Roberts for a forever view of Juneau and surrounding mountains. On top of the mountain there are several short trails exploring the forest surrounding the visitor center.

Juneau’s salmon season is in concert with the cruise season and there is every opportunity to charter a fishing boat for some salmon or other fishing in the Juneau area. Also, there are several float planes that will take you back to some of the interior lodges for a day’s fishing expedition or exploration. There is lots to see and do in Juneau.

Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss" Quality?

Yes. In my opinion, take the helicopter tour up to Mendenhall Glacier for a hard landing on the glacier itself. This is most memorable and quite exciting. While I haven’t done the trip that included dog sledding on the glacier, those that have say this is an element that isn’t worth the extra money to include it.

Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?


Juneau's Red Dog Saloon

Yes, the Red Dog Saloon is one of the most interesting bars I have been in. It caters to the cruise passenger trade, and while it is a tourist trap, it is also tremendous fun!


Phineas Poon and Nancy Norris at the Red Dog Saloon

There is a guy named Phineas Poon that plays the piano and sings in the afternoon that is one of the funniest guys I have ever seen. While you are there be sure to enjoy some Alaskan Amber and DON'T FORGET TO TIP PHINEAS! Also, check out Wyatt Earp's pistol behind the bar.


The Hanger on the Wharf Pub and Grill Restaurant

The Hanger on the Wharf Pub and Grill Restaurant in the little shopping center on the wharf just north of the shopping area is an excellent place to eat. The restaurant is overlooked by most tourists, but is a favorite with locals. If your cruise is in port during the evening be sure to enjoy some Alaskan King Crab legs during happy hour.

Juneau Vacations

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