Juneau, Alaska - Southeast Alaska Inside Passage Cruise

Things to Do and See in Juneau, Alaska

TripSavvy / Linda Garrison  

Juneau is the only state capital in the USA that is inaccessible by car. The city of about 30,000 residents is perched on the southeast coast of Alaska on the Inside Passage, and you need a ship or a plane to get to Juneau.

With the Mendenhall Glacier, Douglas Island, and many spectacular mountains and waterways nearby, Juneau offers many excursion opportunities for Alaska cruises. Active visitors can go hiking, zip-lining, fishing, or sea kayaking. They can also go on helicopter or float plane sightseeing tours or ride a tram to the top of Mount Roberts. If the weather is rainy, the town has many excellent shops, or you can tour the Alaskan Brewing Company and sample the beers made from crystal clear Alaska waters.

Most ships on Alaska cruises from Seattle, Vancouver or Anchorage ports visit the city each day during the busy summer cruise season, and a few small ships either embark or disembark in this capital city of Alaska.

Riding the tram up 1800 feet above sea level to the side of Mount Roberts is a terrific activity in Juneau on a clear day.

01 of 59

Hang Glider Parachutist over Juneau

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

Watching hang gliders from one of the Mount Roberts' trails is a fun thing to do on a sunny day in Juneau.

Continue to 2 of 59 below.
02 of 59

Cruise Ship Sailing Down the Gastineau Channel in Juneau

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 3 of 59 below.
03 of 59

Snow on Mount Roberts in Juneau in Early September

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 4 of 59 below.
04 of 59

Father Brown's Cross Overlooks Juneau from Mount Roberts

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

After taking the tram up to Mt. Roberts, many Juneau visitors hike the trail to Father Brown's Cross. It's about a half mile from the Alpine Loop Trail.

Continue to 5 of 59 below.
05 of 59

Mount Juneau in Alaska

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

Hiking is a popular activity in and around Juneau, Alaska. The trail to the top of Mount Juneau is only for the very fit.

The Mount Juneau Trail is very challenging. It begins about 1 mile into the Perseverance trail and then rises more than 3,500 feet in about 2 miles.

Continue to 6 of 59 below.
06 of 59

Bald Eagle in Juneau, Alaska

Although the raptor rehabilitators were able to save this injured eagle's life, he could not be returned to the wild, so lives at the Juneau Raptor Center.

Continue to 7 of 59 below.
07 of 59

Hiking the Rainforest Trail on Douglas Island near Juneau, Alaska

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

The Rainforest Trail is a loop trail of about 1 mile long that passes through amazing rainforest and down to the beach of Douglas Island near Juneau.

Continue to 8 of 59 below.
08 of 59

Beach Section of Rainforest Trail on Douglas Island

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 9 of 59 below.
09 of 59

Beach on Rainforest Trail

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 10 of 59 below.
10 of 59

Fungus on Tree on Rainforest Trail

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

The large fungi growing on this tree almost looks like a turtle.

Continue to 11 of 59 below.
11 of 59

Skunk Cabbage on Rainforest Trail

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

Skunk cabbage loves boggy areas like this one on the Rainforest Trail near Juneau.

Continue to 12 of 59 below.
12 of 59

Mushrooms on Rainforest Trail

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

The very wet rainforest trail is lined with mushrooms (fungi) of all types. Many are beautiful like this one.

Continue to 13 of 59 below.
13 of 59

Alaskan Brewing Co. Headquarters

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 14 of 59 below.
14 of 59

Alaskan Brewing Company Storage Vats

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

These huge stainless steel vats are used to store beer at the Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau.

Continue to 15 of 59 below.
15 of 59

Alaskan Brewing Company - Nine Beers to Taste!

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

Samples of nine different beers are available for tasting at the Alaskan Brewing Company brewery and headquarters in Juneau.

Continue to 16 of 59 below.
16 of 59

Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 17 of 59 below.
17 of 59

Mountains Overlooking Mendenhall Glacier

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 18 of 59 below.
18 of 59

Some First-Timers Start on the Bunny Hill with Alaska Zipline Adventures

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 19 of 59 below.
19 of 59

Preparing to Zip with Alaska Zipline Adventures

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 20 of 59 below.
20 of 59

Proper Zipline Form with Alaska Zipline Adventures

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

Keeping the knees up at the end of the zip is very important to prevent hitting your legs.

Continue to 21 of 59 below.
21 of 59

Ziplining with Alaska Zipline Adventures near Juneau

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 22 of 59 below.
22 of 59

Walking Across the Swinging Bridge at Alaska Zipline Adventures

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

The kids in our group (and some of the adults) loved crossing this swinging bridge, making it sway back and forth and go up and down.

Continue to 23 of 59 below.
23 of 59

Ready for Kayaking!

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

Julie and Linda are all suited up and ready to kayak in Auke Bay on Alaska Travel Adventures' Glacier View Sea Kayaking excursion

Continue to 24 of 59 below.
24 of 59

Kayaking in Auke Bay

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

The views of the Mendenhall Glacier and the Juneau ice fields are fantastic from a sea kayak.

Continue to 25 of 59 below.
25 of 59

Group of Sea Kayaks in Auke Bay

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 26 of 59 below.
26 of 59

Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau

Juneau (c) Linda Garrison

View of the Mendenhall Glacier in the late afternoon sun from Douglas Island.

Continue to 27 of 59 below.
27 of 59

Downtown Juneau, Alaska

Downtown Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 28 of 59 below.
28 of 59

Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison

How many state capitals have float planes parked right downtown?

The three small cruise ships at the dock are the Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown, Cruise West Spirit of Discovery, and the National Geographic Sea Lion (Lindblad).

Continue to 29 of 59 below.
29 of 59

Float Plane Takes Off in Juneau, Alaska

Float Plane Takes Off in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison

While sitting on the balcony of our Regent Seven Seas Mariner cabin, we enjoyed watching the float planes taking off and landing right in front of our view!

Continue to 30 of 59 below.
30 of 59

Seven Seas Mariner at the Dock in Juneau, Alaska

Seven Seas Mariner at the Dock in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 31 of 59 below.
31 of 59

State Capital Building in Juneau, Alaska

State Capital Building in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 32 of 59 below.
32 of 59

Alaska Governor's Mansion in Juneau, Alaska

Alaska Governor's Mansion in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison

We were in Alaska when Governor Sarah Palin was selected to be John McCain's running mate. We weren't the only tourists checking out the mansion.

The Alaska Governor's Mansion was completed in 1913 at a cost of $40,000. It is located about 2 blocks from the State Capital and sits high on a hill overlooking Juneau. The Governor's Mansion has a very small lot, and we were able to walk right up to the home and take a photo. Security may have tightened now.

Continue to 33 of 59 below.
33 of 59

Totem Pole at the Alaska Governor's Mansion in Juneau, Alaska

Totem Pole at the Alaska Governor's Mansion in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 34 of 59 below.
34 of 59

Backyard of the Alaska Governor's Mansion in Juneau

Backyard of the Alaska Governor's Mansion in Juneau
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison

The backyard of the Alaska Governor's mansion was filled with toys for Governor Sarah Palin's children.

Continue to 35 of 59 below.
35 of 59

Stairs Connecting Streets in Juneau, Alaska

Stairs Connecting Streets in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Juneau sits between the Gastineau Channel and the Coast Mountains. The town is very hilly, and stairs are sometimes used to connect the streets.

Continue to 36 of 59 below.
36 of 59

Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau, Alaska

Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison

The Goldbelt Hotel is located across the street from the harbor and within easy walking distance of downtown. It is clean and has great views of the mountains and the harbor. Cruise West uses the Gold Belt, as do other cruise lines, for pre- and post-cruise extensions.

Continue to 37 of 59 below.
37 of 59

Goldbelt Hotel Room in Juneau, Alaska

Goldbelt Hotel Room in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

The rooms at the Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau are spacious, with cable TV and an Internet connection. Cruise West has an information desk in the lobby.

Continue to 38 of 59 below.
38 of 59

View from Room at Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau, Alaska

View from Room at Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison

We had a gorgeous mountain view from our room at the Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau.

Continue to 39 of 59 below.
39 of 59

Patsy Ann Statue in Juneau, Alaska

Patsy Ann Statue in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska Photo (c) Linda Garrison

A statue of a stray dog named Patsy Ann greets cruise ship passengers to Juneau. The "real" Patsy Ann was a fixture on the docks in the 1930s.

Continue to 40 of 59 below.
40 of 59

Alaska State Capital in Juneau, Alaska

Alaska State Capital in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

The State Capital in Juneau has free guided tours during the day on Monday through Friday. It's interesting to see where our largest state is governed.

Continue to 41 of 59 below.
41 of 59

Downtown Juneau, Alaska

Downtown Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

Cruise ships can dock right downtown in Juneau, Alaska. Much of the historic city can be seen on foot.

Continue to 42 of 59 below.
42 of 59

Mount Roberts Tramway in Juneau, Alaska

Mount Roberts Tramway in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

Taking the tram to the top of Mount Roberts is exciting, and the view at the top is beautiful on a clear day. Numerous hiking trails criss-cross the summit.

Continue to 43 of 59 below.
43 of 59

Flowers Along the Cruise Ship Dock in Juneau, Alaska

Flowers Along the Cruise Ship Dock in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

The cooler summer days lead to magnificent flowers in Alaska, like these that adorn the cruise ship pier in Juneau.

Continue to 44 of 59 below.
44 of 59

Gastineau Channel and Douglas Island at Juneau, Alaska

Gastineau Channel and Douglas Island at Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

Some of the first gold mines near Juneau were on nearby Douglas Island. The Treadwell mine produced $66 million in gold in its 35 years of operation.

Continue to 45 of 59 below.
45 of 59

Floatplane Landing in Juneau, Alaska

Floatplane Landing in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

The first few floatplanes we watched landing on the bays and channels of Alaska were amazing. After watching a few dozen, they seemed almost commonplace.

Continue to 46 of 59 below.
46 of 59

Juneau Icefields in Juneau, Alaska

Juneau Icefields in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

We stopped for this gorgeous view of the Juneau icefields on our short drive to the Mendenhall Glacier from Juneau. A visit to the Mendenhall Glacier is one of the highlights of a trip to Juneau. The glacier is very busy during the day, so we visited late in the evening after all the cruise ships had sailed. The days are very long in Juneau in the summer, so you can still get a great look at the Mendenhall Glacier after the cruise ships sail if you are spending the night in Juneau.

Another reason to go to the Mendenhall after the crowds leave is to see the bearswho come out to do a little fishing.

Continue to 47 of 59 below.
47 of 59

Black Bear at Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska

Black Bear at Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

Black bears gather near the Mendenhall Glacier to enjoy the salmon run. It's an easy meal for them!

Continue to 48 of 59 below.
48 of 59

Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier and Walkway

Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier and Walkway
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 49 of 59 below.
49 of 59

Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska

Continue to 50 of 59 below.
50 of 59

View of Auke Lake from the Chapel by the Lake

View of Auke Lake from the Chapel by the Lake at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, AK
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

The views of the Juneau Icefield from the log Chapel by the Lake at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau are spectacular.

Continue to 51 of 59 below.
51 of 59

Log Chapel by the Lake at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, Alaska

Log Chapel by the Lake at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 52 of 59 below.
52 of 59

Ronnie Garrison Fishing in the Gastineau Channel in Juneau, Alaska

Ronnie Garrison Fishing in the Gastineau Channel in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

My husband Ronnie is an outdoor writer and tries to fish every day. He bought a fishing license online and managed a few casts in Alaska whenever possible.

Continue to 53 of 59 below.
53 of 59

Ronnie Garrison and Salmon at Juneau, Alaska

Ronnie Garrison and Salmon at Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

Ronnie loves to fish whenever he can.

Ronnie caught this salmon in the bay near our hotel in Juneau. Its distinctive hook nose and color changes demonstrate that the fish was on its way to spawn (or had already spawned and was waiting to die). Salmon don't normally feed after they undergo this drastic transformation. This one probably hit the lure instinctively.

Continue to 54 of 59 below.
54 of 59

Sorting the Day's Catch in Juneau, Alaska

Sorting the Day's Catch in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

Commercial fishing boats unload their day's catch next to the cruise ship pier. It's fun to see them sort the different species of fish.

Continue to 55 of 59 below.
55 of 59

Spirit of Yorktown at the Dock in Juneau, Alaska

Spirit of Yorktown at the Dock in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison

The Cruise West Spirit of Yorktown docked immediately across the street from the Goldbelt Hotel where we stayed the night before our cruise.

Continue to 56 of 59 below.
56 of 59

Boat Harbor at Douglas Island Near Juneau, Alaska

Boat Harbor at Douglas Island Near Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 57 of 59 below.
57 of 59

Cruise Ships at the Dock in Juneau, Alaska

Cruise Ships at the Dock in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 58 of 59 below.
58 of 59

Cruise Ships in the Harbor at Juneau, Alaska

Cruise Ships in the Harbor at Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison
Continue to 59 of 59 below.
59 of 59

Cruise Ships Line the Gastineau Channel in Juneau, Alaska

Cruise Ships Line the Gastineau Channel in Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska (c) Linda Garrison
Was this page helpful?