The capital of the vast state of Alaska, Juneau is the second-largest city in the United States by total area and also happens to be one of the most scenic. Nestled amongst majestic mountains, mighty rivers, lush forests and epic glaciers, it would be fair to say that the city of Juneau enjoys an enviable location. With such a wealth of natural beauty to explore, the majority of tourist activities are focused on the great outdoors. Humpback and orca whales can often be spotted at play in the area’s calm waters, making the activity of whale watching a particular favourite amongst visitors. For those with a desire to do something a little more energetic, kayaking, rafting and ziplining remain popular.
Undoubtedly the biggest draw for tourists here are the incredibly beautiful and truly immense glaciers which have been in existence for thousands of years. The Juneau Icefield encompasses an area in excess of 1500 square miles and makes for an awe-inspiring sight. Local tour operators offer a number of ways of viewing these incredible natural structures, from bus and shuttle tours to helicopter and fixed-wing plane flights. Back in the city itself, the centre of Juneau has a delightful small-town feel to it and boasts a fine selection of friendly pubs offering all manner of locally brewed ales. The city streets are lined with charming speciality shops, selling everything from locally made fudge and delicious smoked salmon, to jewellery and intricately carved totem poles.
To experience the natural wonders of Juneau, the best months to visit are between April and November. This is the peak period for whale watching and embarking on sightseeing trips to the glaciers. June and July are the warmest months of the year here.
The months of May and September are the cheapest times to visit. In particular, prices during May tend to be cheaper than at any other time of the year.
The centre of the city is fairly compact, making it easy to get around on foot. Regular bus services operate within the city, with some routes offering trips to the Mendenhall Glacier during peak tourist season. The taxis in the city are very reasonably priced, with both metered and charter fares regulated by the local authority.