Juneau Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- A kitsch capital For such a small town, Juneau has a tremendous amount of cheap tourist shops clustered where the cruise ships dock. If you are looking for souvenirs, purchase them at stores that are not in the ships' shadows.
- Bring an evening jacket Alaska can be quite chilly, even in summer. Pack a jacket for the brisk evenings and hikes that take you to higher elevations.
- Cruise ships can rip you off Cruise ship excursions are frequently overpriced and booked for the sake of convenience. But if you can do a little leg work and preliminary research, you can save a lot of money.
Juneau is a pit stop for most travelers. Cruise ships pull into harbor, dump their passengers at the dock and allow them to wander aimlessly around town for a few hours. However, the astute journeyman (or woman) will see Alaska's capital city as a gateway to Mother Nature. While the seriously intrepid may venture to Glacier Bay National Park and Admiralty Island National Monument, less-experienced nature lovers will find incredible scenery right in Juneau's backyard at Mendenhall Glacier and Tracy Arm Fjord. This small town (with only about 30,000 residents) is no longer fueled by mining, fur trading and whaling; outdoor enthusiasts are the economic driving forces here. And now, the citizens of Juneau brandish cheap souvenirs rather than hunting equipment. But don't take the bait: The best souvenirs will be the priceless photos you shoot with your own camera. Juneau's majestic setting leaves many in utter awe.