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misguy

Top things to do in Juneau

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This video provides a good overview of the port of Juneau.  

 

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I’m going to clarify and expand on some points.     Alaska made products are mentioned.   However what is not mentioned and an essential point- is to have official verification.   There is a logo to confirm.  
 

I’d also suggest a wander over to the Alaskan Hotel if looking for a bar. On the National Historic Register.  
 

Humpbacks are seen the entire cruise season and on 100% of the boat tours.   All it takes is one loop around Shelter Island.  🤩   Orcas- on average are maybe seen-  on average about 2 out of 10 days.      
 

I have been to Eagle Beach multiple times with no sightings.  🤩.   Instead I suggest- just always looking up.   🤩.   You’ll find some.   Essential-   I always have my binoculars.    

 

Do your homework on bear tours-  I never consider off peak and for cruise passengers I’d also only recommend flying.   
 

on a long port day-  for varied wildlife and spectacular viewing-  Tracy Arm is also a top choice.   
 

At Mendenhall- Photo Point Trail,  is wheelchair accessible and there is both ramp and elevator access to the Visitor Center.   
 

A lot to consider-  with the video nicely done.   

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I appreciate your feedback and help.  My wife took her wheelchair almost all the way to Nugget Falls.  I was careful in the stores I mentioned as they only sell Alaskan made products.  I did miss the Alaskan hotel, and thanks for mentioning it.  

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2 hours ago, misguy said:

I appreciate your feedback and help.  My wife took her wheelchair almost all the way to Nugget Falls.  

That’s a very rough journey that is very unpredictable with trail conditions.    About 2 miles round trip.    Even Photo Point has some challenging uphill areas.   
 

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23 minutes ago, Budget Queen said:

That’s a very rough journey that is very unpredictable with trail conditions.    About 2 miles round trip.    Even Photo Point has some challenging uphill areas.   
 

It was fine the day we went, but she ran into an obstacle that she didn't want to go over, and so she went back up the trail.  I think in a scooter she could have gone over the obstacle with out too much issue.

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Another great option IMHO is to go up Mt. Roberts (there's a tramway across from the dock).  You can see eagles fly by!  And the view is wonderful.

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20 minutes ago, BarbinMich said:

Another great option IMHO is to go up Mt. Roberts (there's a tramway across from the dock).  You can see eagles fly by!  And the view is wonderful.

Great option but do it as walk up and don’t book ahead.      Ticket is also all day.   Very different viewing potentials.  🤩

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52 minutes ago, Budget Queen said:

That’s a very rough journey that is very unpredictable with trail conditions.    About 2 miles round trip.    Even Photo Point has some challenging uphill areas.   
 

Honestly, I dont find it to be that safe. I would rather avoid it. Misguy, the video you have posted is just an overview. I ve been there. Its not that nice of a place  and its very complicated to go around there. If I were you I would choose  some other destination of travel

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I enjoyed the video and for a first time visitor to Alaska's Capital City, it provided a very good overview.

 

I join the gentleman in recommending a visit to the Alaska State Museum.  One could spend quite some time there and the cost is reasonable:  free!  The 5 Glacier and Taku Lodge  flightseeing trip is worth every penny spent; if the bear shows up after the Salmon is grilled, that is a "frosting on the cake" moment!  Agreement that one ought to have lunch ashore for delicious fish/seafood.  I had halibut and chips during my 2019 visit and--honestly--it was the best halibut that I have ever eaten!  Had first considered Tracy's Crab Shack, but the long line out the door and around the side of the restaurant squashed my interested in that venue.    

 

If one is so interested, a visit to the Alaska State Capitol is possible and sometimes a guided tour is available.  I found the tour interesting; it is a uniquely designed Capitol building as compared to others.  The cost was again right:  free.  The Governor's Mansion is very close to the Capitol and tours are once in awhile available, I understand.  (Not available when I visited that area of the city, though.)

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

I enjoyed the video and for a first time visitor to Alaska's Capital City, it provided a very good overview.

 

I join the gentleman in recommending a visit to the Alaska State Museum.  One could spend quite some time there and the cost is reasonable:  free!  The 5 Glacier and Taku Lodge  flightseeing trip is worth every penny spent; if the bear shows up after the Salmon is grilled, that is a "frosting on the cake" moment!  Agreement that one ought to have lunch ashore for delicious fish/seafood.  I had halibut and chips during my 2019 visit and--honestly--it was the best halibut that I have ever eaten!  Had first considered Tracy's Crab Shack, but the long line out the door and around the side of the restaurant squashed my interested in that venue.    

 

If one is so interested, a visit to the Alaska State Capitol is possible and sometimes a guided tour is available.  I found the tour interesting; it is a uniquely designed Capitol building as compared to others.  The cost was again right:  free.  The Governor's Mansion is very close to the Capitol and tours are once in awhile available, I understand.  (Not available when I visited that area of the city, though.)

There is a self guided leaflet of the Capital that is quite interesting.    If you’re staying just in the “downtown “ area.   Include the Flume trail and Cemetery.    
 

Endless possibilities.   
 

Also don’t overlook great helicopter flights.    

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3 hours ago, misguy said:

It was fine the day we went, but she ran into an obstacle that she didn't want to go over, and so she went back up the trail.  I think in a scooter she could have gone over the obstacle with out too much issue.

However a 2 mile dirt and gravel path-  is not a good overall recommendation for wheelchair users.  I would never recommend it for scooters either.      
 

This trail is subject to too much unpredictability.     

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Not Juneau, but I had the experience of pushing my Mother when she needed to use a wheelchair up/down the pathways of Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C.  All pathways were paved, but it was quite a workout for me.  

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Favorite all-time Juneau excursion was the small boat trip to Tracy Arm.

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1 hour ago, irishgal432 said:

can you hike up the mountain instead of purchasing a tramway ticket?

 

Yes. I forget what the minimum purchase amount is, but you can ride down "for free" if you make a purchase at the top.

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On 6/27/2020 at 12:22 PM, rkacruiser said:

......

 

I join the gentleman in recommending a visit to the Alaska State Museum.  One could spend quite some time there and the cost is reasonable:  free! .....

 

 

While I would also recommend the Alaska State Museum, I do wonder how "rkacruiser" was able to enter for free.  The only time I've had free admission is when I've visited on business (such as attending the annual Alaska Historical Society/Museums Alaska joint annual meetings which rotate through the state).  Wonder if they happened on a special exhibit opening.

 

If you check the ASM website the current admission schedule is general admission for $7, seniors for $6, active military for free and those 18 and under are also given free admission.  In contrast to the Museum of the North (located on the University of AlaskaFairbanks) the Alaska State Museum does not offer an Alaska resident rate.

 

I did a quick "google" check for the ASM 2019 fee schedule, and it appears that in 2019 their fee schedule was general admission for $5, seniors for 4, and, again, no reduced or free admission for Alaska residents.

 

The Juneau-Douglas City Museum's friends organization has in the past periodically underwritten free admission for certain months.  I don't know how frequently they have offered free admission, but they have done so.

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11 hours ago, irishgal432 said:

can you hike up the mountain instead of purchasing a tramway ticket?

Yes,   but,  the trailhead is not at the tram.   Simply enter from Basin.    Do note the previous weather however.   There are some steep areas-  and with the dampness   combined with rain-  it can be mud slicks.   🙂    You really can't just make a judgement when your're there.        It can take days to dry out.    

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On 6/30/2020 at 8:36 PM, Northern Aurora said:

While I would also recommend the Alaska State Museum, I do wonder how "rkacruiser" was able to enter for free.

 

I remember that it cost me nothing.  If it did, whatever I paid, was worth every penny and would encourage a visitor to spend more time in the Museum than I had allowed myself.

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Has anyone done the Paddling / Glacier Trek tour? It looks to be pretty long - about 3 hours in the canoe and an hour or two on the glacier. Our 14 year old son REALLY wants to see an ice cave, and it looks like thats about the only excursion where there's a chance of that. Still 5 hours between bathrooms doesn't seem ideal to this 48 year old man...

As an alternative, has anyone done any of the helicopter tours? Any chance we would see ice caves if we land on the glacier? Happy to book outside of the cruise line if there is another tour company someone might recommend.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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I was thinking about the obvious ones - whale watching and Mendenhall glacier.... and BF wants to stuff his face with as much crab as humanly possible.  We will be in port for 12 hours.  But these are some really neat ideas.  Thanks for sharing them.  

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34 minutes ago, LadyMac72 said:

I was thinking about the obvious ones - whale watching and Mendenhall glacier.... and BF wants to stuff his face with as much crab as humanly possible.  We will be in port for 12 hours.  But these are some really neat ideas.  Thanks for sharing them.  

For crab-  perhaps a better opportunity would be at the George Inlet Lodge in Ketchikan.   Although different type of crab-  if you're thinking Tracy's  kings?   Or do both.  🙂    

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19 hours ago, furloughedagain said:

Has anyone done the Paddling / Glacier Trek tour? It looks to be pretty long - about 3 hours in the canoe and an hour or two on the glacier. Our 14 year old son REALLY wants to see an ice cave, and it looks like thats about the only excursion where there's a chance of that. Still 5 hours between bathrooms doesn't seem ideal to this 48 year old man...

As an alternative, has anyone done any of the helicopter tours? Any chance we would see ice caves if we land on the glacier? Happy to book outside of the cruise line if there is another tour company someone might recommend.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

I have rented a kayak on Mendenhall Lake.   I don't recall any permits for land access last season however?    You can see the ice caves.   There aren't any with helicopter landings.   

 

I do suggest-  being certain to have a good pair of binoculars at least 10 power,  because you can see caves at glaciers from the cruise ship.   

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1 hour ago, Budget Queen said:

For crab-  perhaps a better opportunity would be at the George Inlet Lodge in Ketchikan.   Although different type of crab-  if you're thinking Tracy's  kings?   Or do both.  🙂    

 

I'm thinking both.  We only have a half day in Ketchikan so I figure that may be a foot day (walking around Creek Street/Saxman Village) with George Inlet Lodge for a late breakfast.  I *really* want to find some small totems for gifts for family - not the mass produced variety.  Ketchikan seems like it may be my best option for that.  

 

I am out of my depth at an all you can eat, so I may drop him off and pick him up (roll him out?)

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2 hours ago, LadyMac72 said:

 

I'm thinking both.  We only have a half day in Ketchikan so I figure that may be a foot day (walking around Creek Street/Saxman Village) with George Inlet Lodge for a late breakfast.  I *really* want to find some small totems for gifts for family - not the mass produced variety.  Ketchikan seems like it may be my best option for that.  

 

Fish Creek Company is a great place to shop for authentic Alaska totems.  It is on Creek Street.

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