Alaska has breathtaking views of mountains, forests, streams, lakes, and cities. Over the years, the state has made the top of the list as one of the most sought-after places by tourists. This is due to the amazing scenery as well as the most attractive cities and towns in the state including Juneau.
Juneau is Alaska’s capital, and it is not accessible by road! This coastal city is located on the panhandle. It is a narrow swath of land that is divided by fjord-like inlets in the most southern part of Alaska. It is protected from the sea by a ring of small islands. As such, it is only accessible by air or sea.
Regardless of the lack of roads to access it, tourists and curious explorers visit Juneau constantly because of its diverse cultural and natural attractions! Let’s take a closer look.
The Best Sites to Visit in Juneau
- Glacier Gardens Rainforest: The beautiful Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure is part botanical garden and part excursion into the Tongass National Forest’s rainforest environment. It is geographically situated in the northwest of downtown Juneau, near Mendenhall Glacier.
Tours in this area are provided by a knowledgeable guide in the lower landscaped grounds and gardens. This includes the history of the peculiar Flower Tower planters, which were created by a massive landslide in 1984. After the tour of the lower grounds, guests board a shuttle with open sides to enjoy the remainder of Thunder Mountain’s 50-acre land. This area isn’t a garden, but rather a section of thick forest that has been left mostly untouched by mankind.
- Mount Roberts Tramway: The Mount Roberts Tramway, transports you to an elevation 1,800 feet from a base camp near the cruise ship docks. A restaurant, interesting nature center, gift shop and theater are all located on the mountaintop observatory.
Tourists can then enjoy walking through the nature trails after a six-minute vertical ride to enjoy the views of the Gastineau Channel. This includes translatable information that is made accessible to all visitors on the way! A tree carvings collection, a live eagle display, and Alaskan art for sale are also available at the Mountain House at the top for your pleasure and exploration.
- Mendenhall Glacier: Just 12 miles from downtown Juneau, there is a breathtaking view! The Nugget Falls wide outlet churns into a lake dotted with icebergs, and the Mendenhall Glacier’s tongue dips down to the water’s edge. The glacier is about thirteen miles long and fed by the much larger Juneau Icefield, which covers over 1,500 square miles of terrain, stretching into British Columbia!
- The Glacier Bay National Park: Glacier Bay National Park, which encompasses more than three million acres, is a life-long destination for some to see the famous Inside Passage of Alaska. Natural wonders and enjoyable activities can be found both on land and in the sea. Both environments are breathtakingly beautiful, with a rugged coastline, secluded fjords, temperate regions, and massive glaciers to gaze upon.
- Alaska State Museum: The Alaska State Museum, located in downtown Juneau, houses over 25,000 historical artifacts that reach through and identify the entire multicultural history of Alaska. Some of these symbolize the history of America all through the region, including the Gold Rush and mining memorabilia. There are also a variety of weapons, tools, and documents that spotlight Alaska’s Russian colonial era. Additionally, learn the rich history of Tlingit and Haida cultures and how they shaped Southeast Alaska.
- Alaska’s Capital Building: In 1959, when Alaska was officially declared a state, the federal and territorial structure was converted into the state capitol building. Throughout the museum, there are artworks, historical photographs, and several interesting rooms to explore. The best way to explore this is to take one of the free 30-minute guided tours. The furnishings and Art Deco designs of the interior lobby of the State Capitol are particularly appealing, and the duplicate of the Liberty Bell outside is a great place to pose for a picture!
After the tour, walk along Calhoun Avenue and then Fourth Street to see the outside of the Governor’s Mansion.
Visit Us at Above & Beyond Alaska!
When on a vacation or tour in a not-so-familiar place, you need a guide who is not only familiar with the area but also enjoys their career! This will guarantee you a beautiful vacation and tour experience. At Above & Beyond Alaska, we specialize in making sure you enjoy your Alaskan adventure by providing you with quality guides to help you become familiar with the environment in and around Juneau. Contact us today!