With two days to spend in the Alaskan capital, you’ll have time not only to explore its star attractions and experience a bit of local culture, but also to cross a couple of bucket list experiences off your list. Read on for tips on how to make the most of your 48 hours in Juneau.
Spend your first day in Juneau hitting all the highlights of this Alaskan outpost, starting with the Mendenhall Glacier. This drive-up glacier ranks among the state’s most visited attractions, and there are plenty of ways to experience it. Take in the river of ice from the Mendenhall Visitor Center, or get closer with a kayaking tour of Mendenhall Lake or a guided trek across the ice itself.
If there’s one thing Juneau is as famous for as ice, it’s wildlife. This afternoon, board a boat and head out into the waters of the Inside Passage in search of whales. Orcas and seals are common sightings, but the stars of the show are some 600 humpback whales that spend their summers in these frigid waters. Between April and November, sightings are just about guaranteed.
Finish off your day of essential Alaskan experiences with a local culinary tradition: the salmon bake. This quintessential all-you-can-eat feast features Alaskan salmon grilled over an alder wood fire. In Juneau, most salmon bakes include a bit of mining history as well, giving visitors the chance to learn about the Wagner Mine or even pan for gold in a nearby creek.
It’s hard to get a feel for the immensity of the Juneau Ice Field from ground level. This morning, take to the air for a helicopter flight above this sea of ice. Land on Herbert Glacier to walk across this remote and icy landscape while learning about its unique geology. Alternatively, see several regional glaciers while flightseeing aboard a floatplane.
After the thrill of a helicopter flight, experience the thrill of the wind in your face as you race across snow-covered fields, pulled by a team of Alaskan huskies. Dogsledding holds an important place in Juneau’s cultural heritage; learn about managing a team of dogs and hear stories of Iditarod mushers during an afternoon at a secluded camp.
Unwind after your final day of Alaskan adventure at one of the state’s oldest breweries, Alaska Brewing Company. Learn about how the beer is made while touring the facilities, then sample some of the finished products. If beer’s not your thing, head into downtown Juneau instead for and spend your last evening exploring its historic streets.