Because Alaska is such a big state, deciding where to go can be overwhelming. If you’re considering taking an Alaskan Cruise, more than likely you’ll land in Juneau’s Port. Whether you’re in Juneau via cruise ship, or because you’re there for a long layover, take a day or 2 explore what Juneau has to offer.
5am – 10am: If you’re an adventure seeker like myself, opt for taking an 8 mile hike to get to Mendenhall Glacier. I must warn you though. Getting there is not easy. For avid hikers, this should not be too hard. Taking this route only took us about 3.5 hours Round trip with plenty of time to explore the caves and glaciers. So if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to do this as early as possible. As soon as there is enough day light, get your gear and head out. Read about the dangers and preparation necessary in my previous post. The video only highlights the Mendenhall Glacier hike via the West Spur Trail.
11am – 5pm: Take a tour of the Tracy Arms Fjord. This boat ride isn’t cheap, but you do get up close encounters with many wildlife as well as any glaciers along the way. You have the option to pick between a 5 hour tour or an 8 hour tour. If you just finished with the 8 mile hike to Mendenhall Glacier, you’ll want to plan to do the 5 hour tour which includes beverages and snacks. Only do the 8 hour tour if you’ve skipped the hike this morning.
6-10pm: Take the tram to the top of Mount Roberts. The tram gives you the best view of Juneau and Douglas Island. Take a few hikes and grab dinner at Timberline Bar and Grill. If weather is too cloudy, skip the tram all together and instead take a drive down to Douglas Island. Grab dinner at the Twisted Fish Company. Although this place is normally full of tourists, this restaurant overlooks the water, and is a major stop of many cruise ships. This is a great way to people watch, as well as, seeing all the cruise ships dock at the port. Food here is amazing. Prices aren’t too expensive considering the portions you get.
Take a day trip to Glacier Bay. From Juneau you’ll want to either fly out or take a ferry to Gustavus. Glacier Bay is definitely worth the visit if you have the time. Spend a day exploring the area by taking a catamaran tour to see the glaciers. Learn the history. Observe the wildlife. Take in Alaska’s majestic beauty. We suggest spending more than 1 day here, but if you only have a day, there is no better way to spend it than Glacier Bay.