Port of Call Juneau, Alaska
View from the Aerial Tram of the cruise port at Juneau, Alaska. Everything - cafes, information kiosks, museums, shops, the public library and tour operators - is a short walk from the cruise ships.
Juneau Shore Excursions
The Forest Service visitor center at the Mendenhall Glacier is a short bus ride from Juneau. There's an interesting exhibition at the center, plus the opportunity to get an informative brochure describing the trails to the Glacier. If you do decide to go hiking though, watch out for bears, and remember to stand completely motionless should one charge!
Mount Roberts Tramway
Mount Roberts Tramway takes you right from the port to a 1800 foot high station on Mount Roberts. Here you'll find a cafe, a gift shop, and a visitor center with maps of the hiking trails. If you're fit and wearing walking boots you can take the trail right to the summit of the mountain, or alternatively the path back down to Juneau.
Last Chance Mining Museum
The Last Chance Mining Museum is situated in the compressor building of the long-gone Alaska Juneau Gold Mining Company which shut down in 1944.
You can see the remains of the ore cars, railroad lines, and the world's largest air compressor used for pumping air into the mineshafts. Some of the exhibits are underground, in the old mining shafts. And great fun can be had by both grown-ups and kids, trying your hand at panning for gold in the river.
Red Dog Saloon
The Red Dog Saloon, an old-style gold-rush-era bar, comes complete with swing doors, sawdust floors, plus a whole range of stuffed wildlife mounted on the walls. There's usually a lively pianist entertaining the customers. And don't forget to check out Wyatt Earp's gun hung behind the bar.
Rafting down the Mendenhall River makes a very exciting excursion. The trip starts from Mendenhall Lake, then follows Mendenhall river for around 6 miles downstream, with exhilarating stretches of whitewater. When the boat is floating along calm waters (and you're not gripping on to the boat for dear life), enjoy wonderful views of verdant forests under snow-clad mountain tops. You also may spot black bears, bald eagles, seals, otters and jumping salmon.
Anything you'd like to say about Juneau as a cruise destination?