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Things to do in

Juneau

Our most recommended things to do in Juneau

Juneau: Whale Watching and Wildlife Cruise with Local Guide

1. Juneau: Whale Watching and Wildlife Cruise with Local Guide

Head out on a wildlife adventure in Juneau on a whale watching cruise. Glide over the ocean in search of these marvellous creatures, taking in the impressive surrounding coastal landscape as you sip on drinks and tuck into snacks onboard. Begin your adventure in downtown Juneau at the central cruise ship terminal. Enjoy a narrated and scenic drive to the small boat harbor, where you meet your captain and crew. Board your state-of-the-art whale watching boat, built specifically for this purpose. After a short safety briefing, embark on a search for whales and other wildlife off the coast of Alaska. As your boat navigates protected ocean waterways and channels, ride in comfort with multiple viewing decks and restrooms onboard. As you search for whales, learn about the area's flora and fauna from your local guide. Once whales are spotted, view the animals from a safe distance with plenty of photo opportunities. Marvel at their majestic beauty as they glide smoothly through the water, hopefully seeing a whale breach out of the ocean or slap its tale on the surface. Keep a lookout for other water wildlife along the way, including seals, sea lions, eagles, and more. Once you've soaked up this natural landscape, return back to the boat harbor where your driver will bring you back to downtown Juneau.

Juneau: Whale Watching Adventure

2. Juneau: Whale Watching Adventure

Depart from downtown Juneau on a bus driven by a local tour guide through a scenic route to Auke Bay, where you board a comfortable jet boat. Be led by a captain and naturalist on an unforgettable search for whales in Favorite Channel, Stephens Passage, Lynn Canal, or Saginaw Channel. Binoculars are provided so you can see the humpbacks, killer whales, Dall’s porpoises, harbor seals, Steller sea lions, bald eagles, black bears, and towering mountains better. With the growing abundance of whales in the area and their comfort with small boats, you are bound to see many. This tour includes transfers between downtown and Auke Bay and two hours on the water. Included in the price of the tour are onboard refreshments including bottled water, coffee, hot chocolate, and a small snack of locally caught Alaskan salmon spread on a fresh bagel.

Juneau: Humpback Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier

3. Juneau: Humpback Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier

Seamlessly combine two of Juneau's favorite activities on this whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier tour. Marvel at majestic humpback whales in the company of a naturalist guide, and select from a range of trails to discover Mendenhall Glacier, the world's only drive-up glacier. Upon check-in, you will either be escorted to one of the shuttles for a narrated 25-minute drive to the glacier, or to the boat harbor for whale watching.  On the glacier section of the tour, choose to hike to Nugget Falls, take the Photo Point Trail, look for wildlife along the Steep Creek trail, or stroll up the easy walk to the Visitor Center. Take your time at the glacier with flexible shuttles back to town every 30 minutes. During your time on the water whale watching, listen to your naturalist guide explain the feeding habits of these magnificent creatures and identify the many other kinds of wildlife that share these waters.  Enjoy an enhanced experience on a custom-built boat with a warm heated cabin with large viewing windows, and two decks to hurry to when the captain slows after spotting the whales. There is a bathroom onboard and snacks are also provided.

Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Adventure Tour

4. Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier Adventure Tour

Meet your guide at the cruise ship docks to start off this adventure. Hop in the van and listen to live commentary while driving through Juneau into the Tongass National Forest, the largest National Forest in the United States.  Once at the lake you'll have a meet and greet with the second guide who helps you put on the gear. You receive a rain jacket, rain pants, and rain boots. Along with everything needed to stay safe, including but not limited to paddling gloves, life jackets, helmets, trekking poles, and dry bags.  Your guides go over safety and paddling instructions before stepping into the canoe. This journey across the lake is a team effort, so it is not necessary to have paddling experience.  Mendenhall Lake is a glacier-fed lake that is surrounded by mountains and the famous Nugget Falls. The wind coming off the Mendenhall Glacier will officially welcome you to the Alaska wilderness.  Once the canoe is docked on the beach, there's time for a quick break before starting the hike to the glacier. During the hike, you can learn about the history of the area and listen to all the information your guides can share. Enjoy quiet moments to soak in the calmness of Alaska.  Once arriving on the rocky shore next to the glacier, follow your guides on an exploration trek around the rocky moraine to view the glacier up close.  The professional guides are in the wild every day and thrive on showing off what nature has to offer. One of the most unique aspects of the trip is that the glacial environment is in a constant state of movement and change, meaning no one tour is the same as the next. After your hike back to the canoes, be sure to soak in your last moments with the Mendenhall Glacier as the group paddles back to the shore.  Once arrived your guides will provide a hot beverage while you take off the gear. After a short drive back to the cruise ships, you will walk away with memories of Alaska that you will never forget.

Juneau: Mendenhall Lake Canoe Tour

5. Juneau: Mendenhall Lake Canoe Tour

Come face to face with the famous Mendenhall Glacier on this once in a lifetime Alaskan adventure. Meet your guide at the Mt.Robert's Tram building near the cruise pier. Your guide will take you on a scenic tour by minivan to the Tongass National Forest where you can gaze upon the stunning Mendenhall Glacier. This small group canoe tour takes you past icebergs, waterfalls, and steep cliffs once carved by ice. Paddle up close to the face of this 3,000-year-old glacier, 13 miles long of ice, half a mile wide and up to 1,800 feet deep. This is Alaska's most visited glacier! The paddle time is around two hours from start to finish, providing plenty of time to take advantage of capturing the memory through scenic photos. You will be equipped with top quality gear including rain pants, rain jackets, waterproof boots, and everything else you will need to ensure your comfort and safety. You'll get a dry bag filled with bottled water and snacks, to be used to store personal belongings while canoeing. Please note this is canoe tour only and does not include hiking on a glacier. Throughout the day you are offered snacks and beverages.

Juneau: City Highlights Tour

6. Juneau: City Highlights Tour

Begin the tour on a comfortable minibus for a scenic ride past the State Capitol Building, the Governor's House, and the Russian Orthodox Church. Make a stop at the Alaska State Museum where you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Alaskan culture and gain an appreciation for its rich and diverse history. Continue to Douglas Island for gorgeous views and photos of the Juneau coastline and Gastineau Channel. From there you will make a stop at the Macaulay Hatchery, commonly referred to as "DIPAC" by the locals. Learn about the salmon industry, observe various marine life, and watch the salmon run up the ladder, depending on the time of the year. Conclude your tour with a stop at the 50-acre Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure in the Tongass National Forest. Walk through this award-winning botanical garden and admire the flower towers as your guide fills you in on this region's varied ecosystem. Your tour will end near "Deckhand Dave's", the latest go-to food option in Juneau. Receive a voucher for a free serving of the signature rock-fish tacos. This new venue only serves locally caught fish in a fantastic creative way.

Juneau: Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Day Trip

7. Juneau: Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Day Trip

Travel to Mendenhall Glacier aboard an air-conditioned bus on this day trip from Juneau and have some free time to explore the area on your own. Cruise along the shore to observe true Alaskan wildlife at its finest. Enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages during your trip. Meet your guide at the centrally-located meeting point in Juneau and be escorted to the spacious bus. Sit back and relax on the scenic drive through downtown Juneu and the countryside. Arrive at Mendenhall glacier and have 45-minutes of free time. Take the time to tour the visitor center, walk towards Nugget Falls, or hike the East Glacier Loop Trail. Snap pictures of Mendenhall Lake and, if you are lucky, you spot black bears fishing for salmon in streams that traverse the area. Get back on the bus and transfer to the boat. Sail along and look for sea lions basking in the sun on Benjamin Island or taking a nap on an ocean buoy. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles soaring peacefully in the air. Ride on a boat that is specifically designed for whale watching. Have your cameras ready to try and capture breathtaking photos of humpback whale flukes, breaches, and rare bubble-net feeding. Search for orca whales which are occasionally sighted traveling in pods. Head back into the dock and make sure to capture a photo of the Mendenhall Glacier in the background. A naturalist is with you the whole time on your Juneau whale watching tour to explain everything that you are seeing and to answer any of your questions. Feel confidently knowing that your captain and deckhands are certified with the United States Coast Guard and highly trained to ensure your safety while onboard the boat. Return to your starting point at the end of the tour.

Juneau: Whale Watching Cruise with Snacks and Beverages

8. Juneau: Whale Watching Cruise with Snacks and Beverages

Explore the Alaskan coast on this sightseeing cruise from Juneau. Admire glaciers and lighthouses as you search for a variety of local wildlife. Keep cozy with the heated cabin and bathroom. Relax with complementary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Board the ship at the meeting point in Juneau and venture off to explore the rugged Alaskan shoreline. Be on the lookout to see a variety of local sea life like humpback whales, killer whales, Dall porpoises, harbor porpoises, harbor seals and Steller sea lions. Listen as your naturalist guide provides a facinating look into the lives of the majestic creatures that you see. Observe the habitats of bald eagles and try to spot their nests. Search for seagulls, surf scoters, oyster catchers, and harlequin ducks. Capture pictures of the Point Retreat Lighthouse and Sentinel Lighthouse. Return to the starting point of your cruise at the end of your tour.

Juneau: Rainforest Photo Safari on a Segway

9. Juneau: Rainforest Photo Safari on a Segway

Meet your guide at the cruise ship docks in Juneau and then head out on a brief, six-mile transfer to the tour starting point. A short training session helps you get acquainted with your Segway, and learn how it responds to your body language. After the briefing you’ll be given safety equipment and your own Segway. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you get the hang of it and how fun it is to ride.  As you set out, you will immediately encounter views of the majestic Mendenhall Glacier. Cruise along the coastline and make several stops for photos while you take in the pristine waters of Lynn Canal, part of the Inside Passage. Because you are on a Segway, you will have the opportunity to intimately interact with nature. Listen for eagle calls in flight, the waves lapping the shoreline, and maybe even spot the occasional humpback whale. As an added adventure, hop off your Segway and walk a seven-minute trail to a secluded beach to enjoy locally sourced snacks. Immerse yourself in the Tongas National Forest, a temperate rainforest and the largest National Forest in the US. Continue on to snap incredible photos while witnessing panoramic views with your fellow travelers. Throughout the journey, your guide will teach you about the diverse native flora and fauna. Don’t miss this extraordinary experience to discover one of Alaska's most exceptional settings.

Juneau: Alpine Wilderness Trail Ride

10. Juneau: Alpine Wilderness Trail Ride

Follow a cross-country Nordic ski trail in the picturesque Fish Creek Valley at Eaglecrest. Get up cloae with nature on a Segway. Listen for eagle calls in flight and smell the fresh air of Alpine meadows studded with ponds of lilies. Get acquainted with your Segway and how it responds to your body language with a short training session. After training, receive your safety equipment and your own Segway. Be blown away by how quickly you get the hang of riding it. The balloon tires of the X2 are perfectly suited for the groomed gravel trail and provide a cushioned ride. Enjoy cruising along through tall stands of Sitka Spruce and Hemlock. Glide through serene alpine meadows studded with ponds of lilies all in the shadow of snow-capped peaks. Learn interesting facts and details about the flora and fauna that are unique to Alaska from your guide. Take several short stops for photos and walks. At the halfway point of the tour, reach the breathtaking Fish Creek and its crystal-clear snow-melt waters. Next, take a 10-minute walk along the Historic Treadwell Ditch for a chance to see the old-growth Tongass Rainforest in all of its pristine beauty. Find out historic facts about Juneau and the gold rush. Share a locally sourced snack with your group and guide.

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What people are saying about Juneau

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 109 reviews

We had a great time on this excursion. The Captain made sure to do his best to find whales for us. We found a couple but they weren’t very active and he could have easily just sat there waiting for them to surface more but he moved areas until we found a lot more whales who were much more active. The Naturalist on board did a great job answering any questions we had and giving us some general info about the whales we saw

Amazing tour! We saw a total of 13 whales(don’t expect to see that many every day, they said that was more then normal), few handfuls of sea lions and a bald eagle. The staff was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. The boat only held about 30 people. We had plenty of space to get up and watch from every angle, inside and out.

It was very well organized tour with a friendly crew and a very knowledgeable guide Olive. There was one thing that really amazed me - Olive knew every whale by name and she could recognize each of them by their tails!! It’s really impressive

We saw lots of humpback wales. The skipper and naturalist on board were wonderful. The bus driver out to the harbor was a character. I believe we picked up COVID somewhere on this day though. That made for a lot of unpleasant times after.

Went right to the whales. Very knowledgeable. Fun times.