Juneau - a capital place to visit
Hotels | Camping
Juneau is built
on a thin strip of land flanked by mountains on one side
and Gastineau Channel on the other. Originally a gold
camp, the city became the state capital in 1906. Many hold that Juneau is the most beautiful capital
city in the U.S. It's hard to argue when you're in this
world of rugged beauty, visited each year by more than
200,000 tourists, most of them arriving on cruise ships.
The city was named for Joe Juneau, a prospector who
arrived here in October 1880.
Glacier Bay National Park is a short flight
from Juneau. Admiralty Island National Monument is
nearby. The Mendenhall Glacier is Juneau's
drive-up glacier, located 15 miles (24 km) northwest of
town on the Glacier Highway. The glacier is 1.5 miles
wide at its base and has been receding for the past 250
years. It is now several miles shorter than it was when
Russian explorers came to the area.
The Alaska State Museum is valuable to
first-time visitors, (907) 465-2901. Open daily, it has
an excellent collection of Native artifacts, including
fascinating exhibits of Yupik Eskimo masks and Siberian
and Alaskan kayaks. A large upstairs area is devoted to
the early Russian period. There is also an art gallery in
the museum, featuring the works of contemporary Alaskan
artists. Other places to visit include the House of
Wickersham, a state historical site (907-586-9001), St. Nicholas Orthodox Church at 5th and Gold
streets, and the State Office Building on
Willoughby Ave. Go to the eighth floor, which has a
panoramic view of the area, a 19th century totem pole,
and a restored 1926 Kimball pipe organ. There's a walking
tour map available from hotels and from the info kiosk at Marine Park. The tour leads you around downtown
Juneau to all of the principal buildings and sights.
Oh, and don't expect to see Governor Sarah Palin in Juneau too often, She lives most of the time in her Wasilla home and commutes to a second office in Anchorage.
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Log cabins seem to be the de rigeur structure for
visitor centers in Alaska, and Juneau is no exception.
The Davis Log Cabin is found at 134 3rd Street,
down town. This is your best source for walking tour
maps, and other information on the area. To contact the
cabin, call (907) 586-2284. A visitor kiosk is open
sometimes, when cruise ships are in town, at Marine Park
next to the cruise ship dock. Voicemail is a wonderful
thing. There's also a local events hot line with hot tips
on upcoming and current activity, at (907) 586-5800. The
Juneau-area Weather Line is at 907) 586-3997, and the
local Fishing Line is at (907) 465-4116.
The U.S. Forest Service is located at 101 Egan
Drive, with exhibits and audio-visual programs on
Southeast Alaska forests and wildlife. Reservations for
forest cabins are made here. Information is available by
telephone, at (907) 586-8751.
The Alaska Marine Highway's Auke Bay Terminal is on Glacier Highway, with ferry service to Prince
Rupert, Bellingham, Ketchikan, Sitka, and other Southeast
Alaska towns. For schedule information, call (907)
465-3941 or 800-642-0066.
The new M/V Fairweather, the fastest ferry in
the Alaskan ferry fleet, has a 73-meter catamaran-style
hull. The vessel holds about 250 passengers and 35
vehicles, and serves the cities of Haines, Skagway,
Juneau and Sitka. The vessel, the first high speed
passenger and vehicle ferry in the Marine Highway's
fleet, is cutting current travel times between these
ports by almost half. For more information about the M/V Fairweather and the
Alaska Marine Highway, visit the web: www.FerryAlaska.com or call
907-465-3941/800-642-0066 toll free.
Capital Transit, (907) 789-6901, services
Juneau, Douglas, and Auke Bay. For busses to the airport
and ferry terminal phone Mendenhall Glacier Transport at
Several Alaskan cities, including Fairbanks, Skagway,
and Juneau, offer atmospheric entertainment places, where
you may behave just as what you might imagine a
prospector from the 1800s would. This is all good fun and
adds greatly to a visit to the more remote areas of North
America. The Red Dog Saloon, on South Franklin
Street, is an authentic Alaskan saloon, with sawdust on
the floor and Chinook (an Alaskan micro brew) on draft.
The joint jumps when cruise ships are in town. Music is
featured nightly, (907) 463-3777.
The Lady Lou Revue is performed in the Elks
Hall, on Franklin Street (907) 586-3686. This is a lusty
musical revival of the early gold rush days in Juneau.
For something different, take in Marine Park Music, heard
on Friday evenings at Marine Park, near the cruise ship
terminal. This series of free music concerts is presented
every week during the summer months.
Juneau R/V Park
This park has 44 sites, with partial & full hookups.
It's centrally-located, close to the to ferry. Facilities
include showers, laundry, and dump station.
Spruce Meadow R.V. Park
64 full service sites nestled on 12.5 acres of beautiful
Alaska wetlands. All spaces have full hookups. The
campground is equipped with restrooms, showers and a new
Where to Stay
Westmark Baranoff Juneau
The Baranoff Hotel is a historic lodging place, with 196 rooms and suites. the nine-story hotel has art deco public areas and the nine-story "Jewel of Juneau" offers guests elegant, art-deco public areas and fine dining in the Gold Room Restaurant. You can relax in the Bubble Room lounge. It's owned by Holland America Lines.
435 Willoughby Avenue
Juneau, Alaska 99801
Located in the downtown area, this is a fairly modern two-story motel, with a restaurant, deli and liquor store next door. Rental bicycles are available, and the lodge arranges tour and fishing packages, and free transportation from the airport and ferry terminal.
Frontier Suites Airport Hotel
9400 Glacier Hwy. Juneau, AK 99801
One of the newest hotels in the area, Frontier Suites is 15 miles from downtown Juneau, in the Mendenhall Valley. All suites have baths and full kitchens, fitness facility, hiking trails, and a playground. Standard rooms are also available. The hotel dining room and lounge are decorated in a high-class rusticity, with a moosehead over the bar. Wine is available by the glass and bottle, and the bar has a good supply of draught microbrews.
Other hotels are listed in our reservation service.