Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series. This is your travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best the city has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Juneau?”
To many travelers to Alaska, Juneau is one of many anchorages. A place to disembark their cruising vessel, noodle around the downtown shops or go on a packaged excursion for a couple of hours, snap a few photos and maybe eat some food before getting back on the ship to continue their port crawl of the southeast panhandle. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s hard to fully appreciate Alaska’s capital city in such a short timeframe. There really are few places like it.
It’s the second-largest city in the U.S. by area but only has 30,000 residents. It’s the only capital city you can’t drive to — it’s only possible to get there by water or air. And it’s sandwiched between a waterway that never freezes and an ice field that hasn’t fully melted in millennia.
Juneau has also done a solid job of making itself an altogether cool place to visit. From the classic Alaska outdoors experiences to the drool-inducing seafood to the quirky local hangouts, it’s a place worthy of a few of your days.