What the Hell Does One Do in Juneau?

Comments

1
I went zipling in Juneau and it was so much fun! Also, definitely go to Mendenhall Glacier. And maybe take the tramway to the top of the mountain. My favorite thing was to go to Tracy Arm Fjord. You have to take a boat there (all-day trip) but it is 100% worth it.
2
Chase porcupines!
3
Watch Bar Rescue and Law & Order.
4
YOU GET DRUNK WITH ME!
5
All those cruise ships originate in Seattle, ironically.
6
In all seriousness-lots of Slog fans in Juneau-we should be able to hook you up.

Next time a little advanced notice would help. Based on your picture you are staying in the Mendenhall Apartments...

Great hikes are right outside your door. Take a left, head up gold all the way to the top, take a right on 8th, and a left on Basin road and just keep walking. At the end of Basin is a Mining Museum and Perseverance Trail which gets to the Mt Juneau and Granite Creek Basin Trails. I heartily recommend Granite Creek, but it will be RAINY. A short ways (about a mile and a half) up the very easy Perseverance Trail is Ebner Falls-really purty and insanely huge with all of our recent rain.

The Rookery Cafe on Seward (take a right head over one block and take a left) has AMAZING food. Also on Seward, Salt has the cocktails covered. Rainbow Foods at 4th and Franklin-right next door-has a pretty good selection for the organic set. The lunch buffet is expensive and good. Tracey's Crab Shack crab bisque is worth it.

Ditto #1 above and especially the Tracey Arm cruise-it is really a great deal.

The City Museum on 4th and Main is cute, too bad the State Museum is closed. The Sealaska Building-the "big" white one at the base of Main Street-has some very good Tlingit art in the lobby.

And fyi, the lot across from the Mendenhall Apartments is where the Bird Man of Alcatraz killed his first man!
7
Do you like the enamel pins that Elliott Bay sells?

The artist has a shop in Juneau: https://wmspear.com/

Very nice to see so many all at once.

Also, agreement with Mendenhall Glacier and tram to top of the mountain. But nobody has suggested Wm. Spear Designs, so I thought to toss that in.
8
Agree with @1, ziplining was really fun there. We also hired a small whale watching boat just for our family. The humpback whales are amazing. Mendenhall is cool, but very busy.
9
I took one of those cruises up there and did a bunch of hiking in the rainforest. It was amazing!
10
Alaska Brewing has a tour and tasting room.

Go get breakfast at Southeast Waffle Co. at Auke Bay

I haven't had a chance to visit it but I've heard good things about the State Historical Museum if that appeals to you.
11
You could always get drunk and play a game of "hot lava" at the twin lakes playground?
12
@10 The State Museum is closed until May 2016.
13
Grant,
By all means, see the state Capitol! I'm on a quest to see all 50 and Juneau may be the most remote. I liked it although the façade resembles a bank. One could walk right by it and not know it is the Capitol building.

I checked out the Mendenhall all right. Quite breathtaking.
14
Can't believe nobody said: "…if you're Sarah Palin, as little as possible/quit your job."
15
Drink.
Talk about the weather.
Drink.
16
Definitely go to the top of Mount Roberts, either by tram or the punishing 22-switchback hike up the back. A shame about the State Museum, since it is really stellar and has the Abraham Lincoln totem pole Sarah Vowell mentions in Assassination Vacation. (Also an infographic titled Circumpolar Kayak Distribution, which ought to be an indie band, like, yesterday.) Helicopter rides out to the glacier's surface are touristy as hell but worth every penny.
17
@6 has some great advice. The glacier is my favorite thing, for sure. I spent a week in Juneau, helping my cousin with her new baby, and stopped by the glacier daily.

Silverbow bakery is tasty and has a fun PacNW vibe. The salmon lox bagel sandwich is delicious!!

The Shrine of St. Therese is really lovely, as well. You can wander around the grounds, just be respectful of any group who has rented the cabins. But you can walk out to the little "island" with the church. Often you can see otters nearby or whales further out. http://www.shrineofsainttherese.org/
18
There are some great music events at Rockwell featuring Sammy Burrous and Devils Club this Wednesday and at Rendezvous Thursday and Friday. Harrison B, the Shiver Teins and the Wool Pullers this Saturday at Rockwell Ballroom. Well worth checking out!
19
There are some great live music opportunities to view this week. Sammy Burrous and Devils Club Wednesday at Rockwell and at the Rendezvous Thursday and Friday. Friday will be a full seven piece band! Saturday we have Harrison B's Summer Shakedown featuring the Wool Pullers and the Shiver Twins at Rockwell Ballroom. Worth checking out as these are some of Alaska's finest musicians.
20
Alaskan Brewery Company tour is fun. Plus, on the way there you can see the wizard of oz figures on a building on Glacier Highway (https://www.google.com/maps/@58.354858,-…).
Unless they moved the Abraham Lincoln totem pole in the last few years, it's in a park/reserve just south of town, not inside a museum.
21
Stop by Coppa for some rhubarb sherbet or other homemade ice cream!
22
I was surprised to see that the glacier had been retreating for several hundred years. Not to imply that human caused global climate change is not impacting the glacier now, but I realized that I couldn't say that the retreat of the glacier was proof that the world was getting warmer.

From Wikipedia: The glacier has also receded 1.75 miles since 1958, ..., and over 2.5 miles since 1500.

That first fact would be sure ammunition for use against the deniers, but I can't account for the retreat over the last 500 years...
23
Thanks for the suggestions, all! Obvs, we're kicking it with AKRob tonight.
24
The Alaskan pub downtown is good for a pint, and there's a couple cute hippie coffee shops / bagel joints (Silverbow? The Rookery? I forget which one is which). The main drag gets swamped with tourists whenever the cruise ships are in - it's weird, they bring in like 5000 people for a 4-hour burst.

Go to Mendenhall glacier, because it's a freakin' glacier and won't be there for all that long.

Go hike around the beach, and then into the forest after the Treadwell Mine ruins in Douglas - it's a nice tree-covered stroll through some sweet wreckage.

Giggle at the fact that "glory hole" used to be a mining term and not something you find at Pony, and so there are a few things with the phrase still inexplicably in their name (e.g., the soup kitchen downtown)
25
The Mt. Roberts hike isn't punishing. If I can do it, anyone can.

OK, so I haven't done it in 30 years. But my dad can do it, so I'm sure I can. Figure 2 hours up, one down. Or, if you're short on time or you're a wuss, take the tram up and hike down.
26
Check the coffee shops for concert notices and indie films at the Gold Town. Most every night and weekend there is tons of music and film. For a small town, it punches above its weight in local entertainment.

Get out of fakey cruise-ship-land -- that's not actually Juneau, it's only occupied as many days as there are cruise ships here. In the heart of downtown ask five locals what to do and they will happily show you the fun stuff. Tip: it's far as hell from what the cruise ship companies will try to sell you. The people here are what's awesome. Talk to the people.

Recommendations: Gold Town Theater, City Museum, food at the Rookery and Sandpiper, Alaska Robotics Gallery, the Doll Museum (hard to find and weird and one of a kind), Alaskan Brewing, hike up to the tram and take it back down (way better than the tram alone), go look at the apocalyptic Treadwell Mine ruins on Douglass.
27
Get on the next cruise ship that leaves for either Ketchikan, Skagway, or Sitka at the 4pm sailing. BTW, there's great pie in Sitka.
28
Start a hip weekly.
29
I'll bet the locals breathe a sigh of relief when the season ends and all the stupid fucking tourists don't come anymore. I'm sure they bring in a lot of money but what a hassle to put up with the idiots.
30
Drive to the End of the Road. Eat fish and chips at the Sand Bar, a true white trashy Alaskan bar. Smoke a lot for weed and take a tour of Glacier Gardens. Definitely eat dinner at the Rookery. Grab something sweet at Pie in the Sky bakery. Walk Treadwell Trail to the Glory Hole. No, really. Open mic at the Alaskan, round it out with gold fish racing at the Imperial. Find any of us taking the time to write you and we will show you a good time. I didn't move back here after living in many cool cities in the past decade for nothing.
31
Czar Dumplings. Ok, there's one in Fremont now too, but they started up there.

Most of what you can do up there is hike and see nature. Most everything else is a distraction. I'd say that Native American culture is also a strong feature, but I'm not sure how you tap into that in Juneau. Sitka is better for that.

More than anything, make sure you get a window seat on the left side of the plane on the way home, and make sure your flight is during the day. The glacier fields are beautiful.

And next time go up during their folk festival. It's a great cultural event.
32
Call me...I've lived here my whole life so I'm certain I can show you some history. Do a walk out Treadwell for mining history, stop at the Douglas cafe for lunch, grab a cocktail and the local gossip at Louies, an institution since the 30s. Get a local to take you fishing, catch some dungeness or buy king crab and eat it on a beach, smoke your own salmon. Call Ward Air and go flightseeing. Drive out the road, walk the beaches and see some eagles. . Have a shake at the Hot Bite or buy ice cream at Deharts. Go see the salmon spawning at the Glacier.
33
come to jazz divas at SALT 7pm Saturday 8/16. hear some great local singers!
34
Go to nickelodeon art house...independent movies plus the best popcorn in Juneau. The jacc has a good cross section of local art, plus food truck Fridays plus a listing of art exhibits around town. Annie kaills or juneau artist gallery are venues to see local art. see a play at perseverance theater or there is always music or a dance somewhere. Just grab a local on the street and ask.