Last updated: 09:27 AM ET, Sat July 10 2021
Mendenhall Glacier Viewpoint with Fireweed in bloom. Juneau, Alaska


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Pod of humpback whales off the coast of Juneau, Alaska
PHOTO: Pod of humpback whales off the coast of Juneau, Alaska. (photo via Lynn_Bystrom/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Juneau has been the capital city of Alaska since 1906. In 1970 the municipality unified merging Juneau with the city of Douglas and the surrounding borough to form the current municipality. Juneau is a large city located across the channel from Douglas Island and sits at the base of Mount Juneau.

Alaska’s capital is the third largest city in Alaska. It’s a sophisticated cosmopolitan city surrounded by the Tongass National Forest. There are several museums boasting the city’s culture and history. If you like being outside you can hike through miles of scenic trails in the rainforest, on tidal beaches or up mountains that are capped by alpine meadows. To really take in all of Juneau’s beauty it is recommended that you do it by air or sea.

There are several helicopters available that take visitors up to the Juneau Icefield. On sea, marine vessels wait, ready to take visitors on sea adventures where guests will experience personal encounters with some of Southeast Alaska’s aquatic wildlife. Other interesting places to visit are the Mendenhall Glacier; this is Alaska’s top attraction and the U.S. Forest Service Observatory which provides guests with rare insight to information on glacial movements.

Juneau is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, giving access to Glacier Bay National Park, the Tracy Arm Fjord, Taku River, Admiralty Island and Pack Creek Bear Preserve and much more. There are several secluded wilderness resorts throughout Juneau as well.