Skip to Content

Top Attractions, Practical Tips and Unique Shopping in Juneau: Don’t Miss These Things!

If you’re embarking on a cruise journey to Alaska’s wonderful landscapes, you will likely visit Juneau. I was there a couple of weeks ago, and it was FABULOUS.

This post was created in collaboration with Melissa from CruiseShopSave. She worked in Alaska for many years while working for cruise lines, and she’s taught me a LOT about Alaska.

Juneau sits between fjords and huge mountains. The arrival into Juneau by cruise ship is spectacular. You will see glaciers, trees, forests, and many waterfalls.

Normally I wouldn’t book a balcony cabin when I cruise, but with these stunning landscapes all day, every day, it would be a shame not to if you can afford it.

Juneau sail in by cruise ship

We docked at the furthest cruise terminal, AJ, but were still able to walk into the town with no problem. The cruise line also put on a shuttle bus for us.

Top Attractions for Cruise Visitors

  • Mendenhall Glacier
    • Mendenhall Glacier truly is a marvel of nature. You can visit it with a guided tour or opt for a scenic hike along the trails for amazing panoramic view.
    • You can also get a shuttle bus from the downtown area directly to the Glacier so there is no need to book a tour.
  • Mount Roberts Tramway
    • Mount Roberts Tramway will take you high above the city to an elevation of 1,800 feet.
    • You will get wonderful views of the Gastineau Channel and distant mountains.
    • You can pre-book your tickets and avoid the queues/lines on the day.
  • Alaska State Museum
    • Learn more about Alaskan history and culture at the Alaska State Museum.
    • You will see indigenous artefacts, wildlife displays, and interactive exhibits.
    • Listen to the stories of Alaska’s past, from the ancient traditions of native peoples to the Gold Rush pioneers.
  • Whale-Watching Excursions
    • Take a whale-watching excursion and get a glimpse of the whales that call the waters of Juneau home.
    • You may see Humpback whales or pods of Orcas gliding through the waves.
    • Seeing these amazing creatures in their natural habitat is unforgettable.
Orcas from my balcony
I saw Orca’s from my balcony cabin.

Make the most of your time ashore by planning your activities in advance and keeping an eye on the time so that you don’t miss the ship.

Mendenhall Glacier in 2005
I visited the Mendenhall Glacier as a child, in 2005.
  • Dog Sleds

I visited the AlaskaX musher camp on a cruise line excursion and met many adorable dogs. We had a little ride on one of the sleds and I’d highly recommend it.

juneau alaska dog sled

The excursion can be booked directly here:

Emma cruises and a Huskie

What To Wear in Juneau

Juneau’s weather can be quite unpredictable. Even if you visit in the summer, temperatures can range widely and rain is always possible.

Make sure to wear lots of layers – think waterproof jackets, trousers/pants and comfortable walking shoes. The weather can change quickly, so it’s better to be prepared for anything!

I took my trusty “Pac a Mac” along when I visited Alaska. This small, waterproof jacket that folds down into a bag or pouch. Whilst it might not protect you from the heaviest rain storms, It was everything I needed on my trip.

I would always advise packing two pairs of comfortable shoes, in case one pair gets wet.

juneau alaska

Suggested Gift Shops/Stores To Visit In Juneau

It is great to support the local Alaskan businesses when you visit and it’s really easy to walk around the shops in the town.

The below map and recommendations come from Melissa at CruiseShopSave.

  • Milano Diamond Gallery
    • Here you will find unusual jewellery, artisans have crafted stunning designs inspired by Alaska’s natural beauty.
    • You can buy a timeless keepsake or a memento of your trip. Milano Diamond Gallery sells stunning jewellery made with fine craftsmanship and attention to detail.
  • Del Sol:
    • Add some colour to your wardrobe with a visit to Del Sol. Innovative clothing and accessories change colour in the sunlight.
    • Watch as ordinary garments transform into works of art, reflecting the magic of Alaska’s ever-changing landscape.
del sol
  • Cariloha
    • Embrace the essence of island living at Cariloha, where they sell luxurious bamboo clothing, bedding, and bath essentials.
    • Cariloha’s eco-friendly products are soft and sustainably sourced.
  • Boheme
    • This boutique sells eclectic fashion, accessories, and home decor. There is a range of silks and intricate textiles.
juneau alaska

Food and Drink

  • Caribou Crossings
    • Caribou Crossings sell locally made goods. From handcrafted artwork to gourmet treats, this shop sells a diverse range of goods and has a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Harbour Tea & Spice
    • Enjoy the flavours of Alaska at Harbour Tea & Spice. They sell fragrant teas, aromatic spices, and artisanal blends. Try a cup of freshly brewed tea, or you can make your own custom spice
  • Deckhand Dave’s
    • Deckhand Dave’s is a collection of eateries and bars – including an Oyster & Champagne Bar, The Crepe Escape, a Liquor Bar, an Ice Cream Truck, selling Alaska Glacier Smoothies. It even sells Handmade Alaskan Soap using Glacier silt!
  • Red Dog Saloon
    • Iconic Red Dog Saloon is where history, hospitality, and good food meet with a lively atmosphere.
    • The walls have eclectic memorabilia, and the saloon has a great atmosphere.
juneau emma cruises

Before You Go

Find out what else you should plan and pack for on your cruise below:

Planning And Packing For Your Cruise – Things To Do In Advance!

Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide

Ever wondered how the mainstream cruise lines compare? Cruise lines won’t tell you this, but I will.

This FREE guide shows you everything you need to know to find your perfect cruise line.