The Local Perspective: 5 Places to Visit in Juneau

This month has been a busy one with family and friends coming to visit. With tourist season in full swing, we’ve been able to take our visitors to some of our favorite Juneau attractions. I thought I’d share our 5 favorites with you.

#1

Mendenhall Glacier is easily viewable from the parking lot and the nice visitor center. For those that enjoy hiking, my favorite trails are the 20 minute walk out to Nugget Falls (see the photo), and the East Glacier trail which is a 3 mile loop. If you come at the right time of year, you just might see bears feeding on salmon in streams just below a raised walkway off the parking lot.

#2

The Jensen-Olson Arboretum is a historic homestead sight that was donated by the family to the city as a free arboretum for the community. It is a beautiful beach side property. The tour buses do not come here, so it is one of the few places often quiet during the summer. It’s a wonderful spot to take a picnic and either sit on the beach or the lawn. After lunch you can explore the vegetable garden and the flowerbeds.

#3
The Douglas Island Pink & Chum Salmon Hatchery is an important part of our local fishing industry and fun to visit. At the front of the building you can watch the old salmon climbing the fish ladder to return home to where their journey began. At the back of the building you can see the new salmon in holding pens where they stay until released into the wild. Inside the building is an aquarium full of Southeast Alaskan sea life and touch tanks for those that want to get up close and personal with some of the smaller aquatic animals.
#4
As long as the cloud cover is high enough, the Mt. Roberts Tramway will provide a great birds eye view of our city. Weather the view is available or not, you can still get eye to eye with an injured eagle at the top. There’s also a restaurant and gift shops to explore, as well as a few mountain top trails.
#5

Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure has a beautiful greenhouse, perfect for small functions, just off the parking lot. I also believe it has the best gift shop in this tourist-oriented town. Your adventure begins behind the greenhouse where you will meet your golf-cart buggy which will take you up to a mountaintop look out. The golf-cart drivers, your guides for your ride both up and down the mountain, will explain the history of the area and provide interesting information about the terrain as you drive by. If you have not gotten out on one of our many hiking trails, the ride up and down is well worth it. If you have managed to get out on the trails, at least stop by the gift shop and greenhouse at the base of the mountain.

*Note: All opinions are my own. I have not partnered with any of these businesses, but have enjoyed my visits to each one.*

Have you visited Juneau/are you local? What’s your favorite Juneau attraction?

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