Juneau Travel Guide
No roads lead to Juneau, Alaska. Despite it's distinction as the only U.S. capital that sits on an International border, Juneau is reachable only by air or by sea.
Surrounded by the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the world, Juneau has served at the state capitol of Alaska since 1906 when the seat of Alaskan government was moved north from Sitka. Juneau is visited each year by more than one million cruise goers. In 2007, thirteen cruise lines brought forty of their ships up the narrow finger of water, called the Gastineau Channel, to the capitol city.
Sitting at sea level, Juneau spreads out along the banks of the Channel beneath tall mountains atop which sites the Juneau Icefield, a large mass of ice that feeds more than 30 glaciers. Two glaciers, the Mendenhall glacier and the Lemon Creek Glacier are visible from Juneau and are a short helicopter ride away.
Like many of Alaska's cities, Juneau's origins are rooted in Native American history. Once a rich fishing ground for the Tlingit Indians, the area was also rich in gold-bearing ore. Prospector George Pilz offered a reward to any local Tlingit chief that could lead him to gold-bearing ore. Chief Kowee brought him ore and prospectors Joe Juneau and Richard Harris to Gold Creek to investigate. The men came back empty-handed. But, upon Chief Kowee's insistence, the men were sent back to the Gastineau Channel, to the head of Gold Creek, the Snow Slide Gulch where, it is rumored, they found nuggets "as large as peas and beans."
On October 18, 1880, thirteen years after the US purchased Alaska from Russia, the two prospectors surveyed out a 160 acre plot that quickly became a mining camp and then a town. It was first named Harrisburg, after Richard Harris. The name was changed to Rockwell, at one point. But, in 1881, the miners met and voted to name the town Juneau, after prospector Joe Juneau.
As a port city, Juneau had an official greeter, a faithful soul who welcomed visitors from the steamships of the 1930s. Patsy Ann, a white bull terrier and deaf from birth, had an unerring sense of when cruise ships would arrive. How she knew when each vessel would arrive remains a mystery, but she was never wrong. She was named "Official Greeter of Juneau, Alaska" by Mayor Goldstein in 1934. Between ships, she made the rounds of local businesses for snacks and spent her nights in the Longshoreman's hall, sleeping peacefully among friends. And that's where she died in 1942. She is immortalized in a bronze statue commissioned by New Mexico artist Anna Burke Harris in 1992. Mixed in with the bronze is dog hair from all over the world, uniting the spirit of dogs everywhere.
JUNEAU QUICK STATISTICS
Annual Rainfall: 58.33 inches
Average July Temperature: 64 degrees
JUNEAU VISITOR INFORMATION
Juneau Chamber of Commerce
Address: 3100 Channel Dr. #300 Phone: (907) 463-3488
Juneau Visitors Information Center
Address: 101 Egan Dr. (Centennial Hall) Phone: (907) 586-2201 or (888) 581-2201
READ UP ON JUNEAU
Address: 3100 Channel Dr. Phone: (907) 586-3740
Southeast Alaska's oldest continuously operating church is Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Juneau.
Alaska-Gastineau Mill & Gold Mine Tour
Address: 151 Mill St. Phone: (907) 463-3900
Alaska State Museum
Address: 395 Whittier St. Phone: (907) 465-2901
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum
Address: 114 W. 4th St. Phone: (907) 586-3572
The Last Chance Mining Museum & Historic Park
Address: 1001 Basin Rd. Phone: (907) 586-5338
Mount Roberts Tramway
Address: 490 S. Franklin St. Phone: (907) 463-3412 / (888) 461-8726
Alaska State Capitol
Address: 4th & Main St. Phone: (907) 465-2111
Centennial Hall Visitor Center
Address: 101 Egan Dr. Phone: (907) 586-2201 / (888) 581-2201
Red Dog Saloon
Address: 278 S. Franklin St. Phone: (907) 463-3658
St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
Address: 326 5th St. Phone: (907) 586-1023
Alaskan Brewing Company
Address: 5429 Shaune Dr. Phone: (907) 780-5866
JUNEAU HOTELS AND LODGING
Frontier Suites Airport Hotel
Address: 9400 Glacier Hwy. Phone: (907) 790-6600 / (800) 544-2250
Goldbelt Hotel Juneau
Address: 51 W. Egan Dr. Phone: (907) 586-6900 / (888) 478-6909
Pearson's Pond Luxury Inn & Adventure Spa
Address: 4541 Sawa Cir. Phone: (907) 789-3772 / (888) 658-6328
Alaska's Capital Inn
Address: 113 W. 5th St. Phone: (907) 586-6507 / (888) 588-6507
Address: 127 N. Franklin St. Phone: (907) 586-2660 / (800) 544-0970
Grandma's Feather Bed
Address: 2348 Mendenhall Loop Rd. Phone: (907) 789-5566 / (888) 781-5005
The Prospector Hotel
Address: 375 Whittier St. Phone: (907) 586-3737 / (800) 331-2711
Address: 120 2nd St. Phone: (907) 586-4146 / (800) 586-4146
Address: 435 Willoughby Ave. Phone: (907) 586-4146 / (800) 544-2239
Extended Stay Deluxe
Address: 1800 Shell Simmons Dr. Phone: (907) 790-6435 / (800) EXT-STAY
Sentinel Island Lighthouse
Address: BOX 21264 Phone: (907) 586-5338
JUNEAU FOOD AND DRINK
Address: 2 Marine Way Phone: (907) 463-5020
Gold Creek Salmon Bake / Alaska Adventures
Address: 1061 Salmon Lane Rd. Phone: (907) 789-0052 / (800) 323-5757
Address: 200 Seward St. Phone: (907) 780-2221
Hangar on the Wharf
Address: 2 Marine Way Phone: (907) 586-5018
Address: 550 S. Franklin St. Phone: (907) 463-5033
Address: 916 3rd St., Douglas, AK Phone: (907) 364-3307
The Island Pub
Address: 1102 2nd St., Douglas, AK Phone: (907) 364-1595
Heritage Coffee Company
Address: 174 S. Franklin St. Phone: (907) 586-1087
Address: 224 4th St. Phone: (907) 586-6476
Multiple glaciers and an ice field are only minutes
away by helicopter.
Juneau Public Library
Address: 292 Marine Way Phone: (907) 586-5249
Note: Free Internet access. You can also get free Internet access at the State Library located on the eighth floor of the State Office Building.
The Triangle Club Bar
Address: Located Downtown, 251 Front Street
Note: Free access (limit 20 minutes) for customers.
Heritage Coffee (several locations)
Address: 230 Seward St. Phone: (907) 586-2174
Note: 15 minutes minimum. $0.20 / minute.
Address: 9109 Mendenhall Mall Rd. Phone: (907) 790-3658
Note: $5.25 per hour.
Hertz, Avis, Budget, Alamo, National all at airport
Capital Cab - Phone: (907) 586-2772
Address: 435 Willoughby Ave. Phone: (907) 586-2280 / (800) 544-2239
Juneau International Airport
Address: 1873 Shell Simmons Dr. #200, Juneau, AK. Nine miles out of town on Glacier Highway Phone: (907) 789-7821
FISH & GAME
Fish & Game Department, Juneau Office
Address: 1255 W 8th St. Phone: (907) 465-4100
Tongass National Forest Juneau Ranger District
Address: 8510 Mendenhall Loop Rd., Juneau, AK
Phone: (907) 586-8800
Address: 3260 Hospital Dr. Phone: (907) 796-8900
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