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Juneau, Alaska

Local Details

Learn more about Juneau, Alaska using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Juneau, Alaska so great!

Current Temperature

  • 81.6°F
  • 27.6°C

City Guide

Juneau ("JOO-noh") is the capital city of Alaska, located in the state's Southeastern region.


One of the interesting things about Juneau and Alaska is the effect on public life of being such a geographically large state. The state legislature, for instance, takes telephone testimony during its committee hearings. They have a state-wide video conferencing system to facilitate government meetings and deliberations.

Geography and Climate

The climate in Juneau and the southeast panhandle is best described as a "cooler wetter version of Seattle." It is a mid-latitude oceanic climate in the southern sections and a subarctic oceanic climate in the northern parts. On an annual basis, this is both the wettest and warmest part of Alaska with milder temperatures in the winter and high precipitation throughout the year. Juneau averages over 50 inches (1,270 mm) of precipitation a year, while other areas receive over 275 inches (6,990 mm). This is also the only region in Alaska in which the average daytime high temperature is above freezing during the winter months.

Juneau is located at 58°21'5?N, 134°30'42?W (58.351422, -134.511579).GR1

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 8,430.4 km² (3,255.0 mi²). 7,036.1 km² (2,716.7 mi²) of it is land and 1,394.3 km² (538.3 mi²) of it (16.54%) is water.

Average annual rainfall ranges from 55 inches to over 90 inches (1400 to over 2300 mm) depending on location.[1]; annual average snowfall is 101 inches (257 cm).

The average high temperature in July is 65°F (18°C), and the average low temperature in January is 20°F (-4°C)

Get in

Juneau is Alaska's capital, however you can't get there by road. Southeast Alaska is sandwiched between the rugged coastal mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. Constructing roads between many of the towns and cities of SE Alaska is prohibitivily expensive and sometimes impossible. Only three towns (Haines, Skagway, and Hyder) in the SE Panhandle are connected to a roadway to the lower 48 states (often called "down south"). Access to the rest is only by air or by sea. Cruise ships plying the Inside Passage bring thousands of visitors to SE Alaska and Juneau almost every day between May and September.

Most locals and non-cruise ship visitors fly in from Seattle or Anchorage with Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines also has regularly scheduled flights to Ketchikan, Sitka, Wrangell, and Petersburg- with summer service to Gustavus. Smaller airlines that operate regularly scheduled and chartered flights out of Juneau to nearby communities have offices at the airport. The most trusted are Wings of Alaska, Skagway Air, and Haines Air. Many locals avoid LAB Flying Service.

Juneau is also a main port for the Alaska Marine Highway, Alaska's ferry system. The ferry runs regularly throughout Souteast Alaska with regular stops in Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangel, Sitka, Haines, and Skagway. Small communities, such as Angoon, Hoonah, Tenakee Springs, Pelican, and Kake, get occasion AMHS service. The closest port with a road connection is Haines, about a five hour ride away from Juneau by regular ferry and a two hour ride on one of the state's new catamaran ferries. The ferry system is the only way to transport a car to Juneau, short of shipping it up on a barge.

Get around

Most locals travel by personal vehicles or the local bus. Car rentals are available at the airport and are necessary if you wish to explore far on your own. The MGT bus service offers inexpensive ($6) trips from downtown to the Mendenhall Glacier, airport, and AMHS ferry terminal.


  • Alaska State Museum, 395 Whittier Street, ? +1-907-465-2901 (fax: +1-907-465-2976),
  • Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, ? +1-907-586-1023 (fax: +1-907-465-2976). Southeast Alaska's oldest continuously operating church. $ 2.00 entrance fee.
  • Mendenhall Glacier - When in Juneau take a $2 bus ($4 round trip) from the center of town, where the boats dock, to the Mendenhall Glacier park. You can pay the driver in cash or buy two tickets at one of the many kiosks on the dock. Although you can't get right up to the glacier, you get a great view of it and the visitors' center is very informative. For another low fee you can purchase a daypass, which no one seems to ever check (but buy it anyway) and then hike on the trails. If you want a moderate hike through some beautiful forest, try the East Glacier trail which loops around east of the visitors' center. Follow the trail clockwise to avoid having to climb many steps -- you'll come down those steps at the end of your hike and to keep the best views of the glacier ahead of you, instead of over your shoulder. Several businesses offer helicopter rides which will take you from the city to Mendenhall Glacier, giving you a bird's eye view of the surrounding terrain, and some time on the ice itself. They're fairly expensive (about $200 per person and up, depending on the length of the excursion), but a remarkable experience that many consider well worth the price.
  • Mount Roberts - There is a tram that runs from the docks in downtown Juneau up Mount Roberts, one of the peaks overlooking the city, $24 for an all-day pass. At the top is the Mount Roberts Nature Center which features a captive eagle (not as impressive as seeing them from a distance in the wild) and some not-too-difficult scenic hiking trails with interpretive information. The more adventurous hiker can branch off from these trails and continue upward to the summit, where snowfields can be found even in the warmth of summer. It's difficult going in places, but provides some stunning views of the channel and city far below. If you don't want to pay $24 to ride up the tram, you can also hike the whole mountain. The trailhead starts at the end of 6th street and takes about an hour to climb up to the top of the tram. A one way tram ride down the mountain costs $5.


The most popular activities in Juneau for visitors are shopping, flight seeing, charter fishing, visiting the Mendendhall Glacier, and hiking. Be aware the Juneau is very spread-out. It is broken into sections. There is "Downtown", and "The Valley" (where the Mendenhall Glacier, Mendenhall Mall, a skate park, as well as most of the residential is located). The distance between the two is a good 15 minutes.

Of the cruiseship tour options, I belive flight seeing leaves the biggest impression- especially if the weather is clear. Behind Juneau lies the Juneau Icefield. Helicopter and floatplane tours are available. Most of the helicopter tours include a stop landing on the glacier. Alternatively, get a group together and charter an small airplane tour. These will generally be less expensive (you pay by the hour) and allows you to customize your experience. Ward Air is highly regarded, but Wings of Alaska and other carriers offer charter flights.

Be sure to go for a hike while in Juneau. There are over 90 hiking trails in the area (many very steep). A few lead to rental cabins available from the US Forest Service or State of Alaska parks.


Juneau, like many towns dominated by the cruiseship industry, is ripe with jewelery, t-shirt, and trinket shops. On busy cruiseship days you can watch as thousands of cruisers in matching track outfits ply the shopping district to get trickets for their grandchildren and jewelry for themselves.

There are a few locally owned stores that attract local and tourists. Check out William Spear Design (Franklin Street above Hertitage Coffee) for awesome pins.... I know what you are thinking, but they are pretty cool.

The Alaskan Brewery also has good Alaska based products that are popular with locals and tourists alike.

Look for a sign in shop windows that says "This store is owned by an Alaskan family."


Like much of Alaska, restaurant fare in Juneau is not spectacular. Your best bet is probably cooking for yourself.


  • Rainbow Foods (4th and Franklin downtown). Juneau's natural food store. Good produce, awesome weekday deli, and Thursday night dinners. Prices are high (everything comes in by jet or boat).
  • Fred Meyer's Grocery
  • Super Bear (Mendenhall Valley)


  • Silverbow Great fresh bagels; Tuesday is two for one! The Silverbow also has a movie theater where they show the occasional free movie. It is a meeting place for a diverse group of people. Free Wirelesss access. They host wine tastings, an independent film/video makers conference and the occasional LGBT event. A really great place.
  • The Hangar is a great place to sit at the bar and gaze at the view. It also has a good selection of food. The Halibut Taco is good as are the burgers and soups. It hosts a mixture of locals and tourists.
  • The Twisted Fish is also a good bet for food and is widely regarded as Juneau's nicest restaurant but it caters to tourists (closed in the winter). Not cheap but not outrageous either. A bit loud for quiet conversation.
  • The Island Pub on Douglas Island is a good bet. They have good pizzas and sandwiches and it has a good vibe. It also has a stunning view of the channel looking back towards Juneau. Sometimes you can catch a local bluegrass or jazz band there.
  • Seongs Sushi is small and crowded but has good sushi and sashimi.
  • Chan's Thai Kitchen
  • Zen is located in the Goldbelt Hotel across from the downtown waterfront. It's rather pricey but has truly fantastic Asian fusion cuisine. Serene atmosphere, not too touristy.


By far the most popular with locals is The Alaskan Bar (South Franklin Street) to hang out with locals, listen to music (Thursday is open mic night) and drink an Alaskan (beer) with an Alaskan in the Alaskan. A bit rough looking but a great hangout.

  • The Hangar which is also good for food. Sit and watch the float planes takeoff and the cruise ships come and go. During daylight hours in the tourist season, when the floatplanes are constantly arriving and taking off next door, either sit inside or plan to leave with a headache and a hoarse throat. When tourist season is over, sit outside and enjoy the relative solitude.
  • The Triangle Bar. Looks like somewhere you wouldn't want to go, but sometimes it fills the bill, especially during legislative season when the lobbyists, lawyers and aides can be found there.
  • Island Pub in Douglas (see the Eat section above)
  • Squiers Rest out in Auke Bay for a rustic experience.
  • Drop into the Alaskan Brewery to sample the brews.


  • Juneau International Hostel, 614 Harris Street, +1 907 586-9559, Beds priced at $10 per night.
  • Goldbelt Hotel Juneau, 51 Egan Drive, ? 1+907-586-6900 (fax: +1-907-463-5861), $109 +.
  • Westmark Baranof Hotel, 127 North Franklin Street, ? 1+907-586-2660 (fax: +1-907-586-8315), $129 - $250.
  • Prospector Hotel, 375 Whittier Street, ? 1+907-789-5005 (fax: +1-907-789-2818), $109 - $179.
  • Best Western Country Lane Inn, 9300 Glacier Highway, ? 1+907-586-3737 (fax: +1-907-586-1204),
  • Best Western Grandma's Feather Bed, 2358 Mendenhall Loop Road, ? 1+907-789-5566 (fax: +1-907-789-2818),
  • Aspen Hotels Alaska, 1800 Shell Simmons Drive, ? 1+907-790-6435 (fax: +1-907-790-6621),

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