USA’s Last Frontier | Visiting Juneau Alaska
June 10, 2019
by Sam Mitchell
Visit USA’s last frontier, Alaska, a state mostly untouched by humans and discover why so many people fall in love with the beauty and magnificence the state represents. Juneau, Alaska is the capital city and a place you can only reach by boat, ship, ferry, or airplane. Juneau’s only roads lead to the south and north ends of the city and Douglas Island. Locals joke you can go to the end of the road or the other end of the road. Juneau and Douglas Island have everything you could want on a visit to the last frontier, including a sandy beach, skiing, hiking, wildlife tours, and quality cuisine.
Arriving in Juneau
Choosing a cruise through the inside passage from Washington, through British Columbia and up to Anchorage is one way you can see more of Alaska than the capital city. Anchorage is an hour from Denali National Park, where you can take a train ride through Central Alaska, enjoying landscape views untouched by huge cities.
Planes travel from all over the world usually stopping in Seattle, Washington, or Anchorage before arriving in Juneau.
Alaska also has the ferry system with runs from Bellingham and outside of Anchorage to bring visitors throughout the many islands and shoreline that makes up the state of Alaska.
Tours in Juneau
If your sights are set on Juneau, make sure you plan a week at least to see all the wonders the capital city has to offer.
Mendenhall Glacier Tours: you can decide to book a tour or drive to Mendenhall Glacier with your rental car. The glacier is the only one accessible by a short walk in Juneau. Other glaciers like Tracy Arm Fjord requires an hour’s boat trip from Juneau through the Inside Passage. Walking tours provide a visitor’s centre, a journey around three-quarters of Mendenhall Lake, and a hike up toward the waterfall to the top of the nearby mountain. Helicopter tours will fly you over the glacier, as well as find a safe location to stop and walk on the top of the glacier.
Juneau Whale Watching Tours: taking a boat out of Auke Bay is the best way to see humpback whales and potentially orcas. Orcas are known to come into the Inside Passage during the summer months, but not as frequently as the humpback whales that arrive from Hawaii during the summer. On a tour expect water breaches, feeding behaviour, and plenty of flukes.
Sandy Beach: Sandy Beach is on Douglas Island to the south. The beach is the best for campfires, viewing downtown Juneau, and sandcastle fun. From Sandy Beach, you can hike the easy paths around the old Treadwell Mine. The old gold mine shafts are shut, but the buildings and glory hole remain and make a nice step into history.
Dining in Juneau
Downtown is the best place to find hamburgers, nachos, pizza, and fresh fish. Hanger on the Wharf is known for their fresh catches. Based on the season, you can find salmon, halibut, king crab, and shrimp on the menu.
The USA’s last frontier, Alaska, is worth a visit; Juneau is even better as a temperate rainforest, with bears, whales, and bald eagles.