Read about the city

Juneau is the capital of Alaska, but it is like no other of the US state capitals. Juneau has only 30,000 inhabitants and it is so remote that you can only sail and fly to get there. The surroundings consist of Alaska's breathtaking mountain and fjord landscape.

The town of Juneau was established in 1880 as a future gold digger town. Some land was reserved for a camp after a gold find, and Juneau grew in the following years. From the first decades you can still see some of the beautiful buildings in late Victorian style, which constituted shops, homes, etc.

The modern Juneau benefits from tourism, which not least comes with the many cruise ships that frequently dock at the city's berths. From here the experiences start almost immediately, because the historic Juneau is just a few steps from the ships. So do experiences in the beautiful scenery; eg a trip to the top of Mount Roberts.

When in Juneau, you can experience bears, eagles, glaciers, mountains, dog sleds, whales and more. A few things are easily reached, such as the Mendenhall Glacier, while others require more transportation. There is a great selection of offers with boats, seaplanes and helicopters for all the places where you get to almost untouched nature.

Other attractions

Juneau-Douglas Bridge

  • Juneau-Douglas Bridge:  This bridge was opened in 1980. It crosses the strait of Gastineau Channel. The bridge thus connects Juneau to the east with Douglas to the west.
  • Chicken Ridge Historic District: This is a residential neighborhood from the early days of Juneau. Since the beginning of the 1900s, it has been one of the finest areas of the city, and you can see many beautiful and interesting buildings from this period; for example, the House of Wickersham Museum, built in 1899.

Juneau Douglas Museum

  • Juneau Douglas Museum: This is an interesting city museum, where you through films and a number of effects and theme exhibitions get a good impression of the development of Juneau and the neighboring town of Douglas.
  • Alaska Marine Highway: Juneau can not be traveled by road from anywhere in the United States or Canada, which is why the city relies on sea and air transport. The same goes for many other cities in Alaska, and for that purpose, Alaska Marine Highway was established with ships in traffic like on a highway with passengers, cars and freight. More than 30 cities and ports are connected from Bellingham in Washington state in the south to Alaska's Dutch Harbor in the northwest. In Juneau you can see the ships in the harbor.

Alaska State Museum, Juneau

  • Alaska State Museum: The Alaska State Museum is a cultural history museum where you can not least experience the original cultures of the state of Alaska. Thus, there are exhibitions about the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes from the Pacific Northwest and also about eg Inuit from the north and Aleutian peoples like Unangax.
  • University of Alaska Southeast: This is a public university, founded in 1972. The main campus is in Juneau, while there are other campuses in Sitka and Ketchikan.
History overview

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    The Pre-European History
    Off the Juneau lies the Straits Gastineau Channel, and it was used as a fishing area by several local Native American tribes long before the arrival of the Europeans. At our Indian Point today, there was a settlement and a burial ground.

    European trade
    The first European country to formally establish itself in Alaska was Russia, which established a colony here in the period 1784-1867. The Russians traded in great style with local tribes. They traded and colonized much of Alaska, but not the area around Juneau.

    The first European to arrive was Joseph Whidbey of the British Royal Navy. Whidbey was on George Vancouver's expedition 1791-1795. On board HMS Discovery, he saw the ice-filled Gastineau Channel in the summer of 1794, but considered that it could not be sailed.

    Gold ruch
    It took many years before Juneau settled. In the mid-1800s, gold fever broke out in California, and many settlers and knights moved to the American west coast. When the gold finds were ringing in California, many were looking for happiness along the coast to look for other gold deposits.

    In 1880, George Pilz, a Sitka mining director, pledged a reward to any chief who could lead Pilz to new discoveries. It gave way when Chief Kowee came up with some ore which was interesting enough for a closer examination of the site. Twice Joe Juneau and Richard were sent to Gold Creek, and they found gold pieces the size of peas and beans.

    After that it went strong, and on October 18, 1880, two emissaries marked an area of ​​160 acres where an upcoming mine camp was to be established. Already after a year, so many had arrived at the camp that it had become a smaller city, and it was the first city to be established in the region following the US acquisition of Alaska from Russia.

    Initially, the settlement was known as Rockwell, and then it was named Harrisburg after Richard Harris, who had helped to find gold in 1880. On December 14, 72 people at a miner's meeting decided to name the place Juneau after Joe Juneau.

    City Development
    The Russian Orthodox Church had been helping Tlingite people elsewhere in Alaska since the early 1800s, where they had also held worship services and translated scriptures into Native American languages. An Orthodox priest was invited to Juneau, and about 700 people converted to the Orthodox faith, led by Chief Yees Gaanaalx.

    After the Orthodox conversion, the city's Russian Orthodox Church was erected in 1894. It was one of many wooden buildings erected in Juneau in the decades around 1900, with the city's appearance changing from its inception camp to a city with built main streets, residential neighborhoods and so on.

    The Capitol and Alaska
    Alaska were not yet a US state, but the territory was obviously to be administered. In the years 1910-1912 a governor's palace was built in Juneau, where the governor of Alaska was given residence and seat. It was from this building that Warren G. Harding in 1923 as the first American president to speak in Alaska.

    In 1911, the US Congress in Washington granted funds for the construction of a government building in the territory of Alaska. However, this did not happen immediately, partly because the World War I delayed the project and partly proved difficult to acquire the necessary land.

    Some of the city's citizens joined in with donations, and in the late 1920s construction could begin. On February 14, 1931, the building was inaugurated as The Federal and Territorial Building and then used for various government and administrative purposes.

    The 49th State
    President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed The Alaska Statehood Act on July 7, 1958, and with it the territory of Alaska became a United States state with effect from January 3, 1959. The state became the number 49 in the United States.

    Juneau became the capital despite the city being by far the largest in the state. The two largest urban areas in Alaska are Anchorage and Fairbanks, and since 1959 it has been proposed many times to relocate the capital. Most proposals deal with a move to somewhere between Anchorage and Fairbanks so as not to distort the relationship between the two cities. Several times a relocation has been put to the vote, but each time the proposal has been dropped, which is why Juneau remains Alaska's capital.

    Juneau Today
    The population of Juneau increased significantly after the city became the capital. Some state administration came to town, and it provided growth for newcomers. New growth occurred in the late 1970s when the state's oil economy boomed with improved economy and new jobs.

    Growth slowed sharply in the 1980s, with Juneau improving its infrastructure with the new bridge between Juneau and Douglas. Since then, population projections show that Juneau growth will be low for some years.

    Tourism and, in particular, cruise ships have ensured Juneau's development in recent decades. From more than 200,000 cruise guests in 1990, the number of visitors in the city rounded up 1,000,000 from the seaside in 2006. This has given many jobs in the season, which of course are affecting the economy of the city and its citizens.
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Alaska State Capitol, 4th Street, Juneau, Alaska, USA

Top attractions

Juneau Downtown Historic District

  • Juneau Downtown Historic District: This is the term for Juneau's interesting, old downtown. The area runs along South Franklin Street from the cruise terminal in the south to Second Street in the north. In addition, Second and Front Street to Main Street. The area was the center of Juneau's development from the founding of the gold mining in 1880. Here are some fine buildings such as the late Victorian Alaska Steam Laundry from 1901 and the Valentine Building from 1904.

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Juneau

  • St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church: This church with the Russian name Церковь Святого Николая was built in 1894. It was not Russian settlers who constructed it, it was a result of the Orthodox faith of local tingit leaders.
  • Mount Roberts Tramway: Mount Roberts is a 1,164 meter/3,819 feet high mountain located just south of downtown Juneau. You can get to the top with a 6 minute cable car ride, and from here the views of Juneau and the surrounding area are stunning.

Alaska State Capitol

  • Alaska State Capitol:  This is the seat of Alaska's legislative assembly. The building was opened as a federal administration building in 1931, and it became the capitol when Alaska became a US state in 1959.
Trips in the area

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau

  • Mendenhall Glacier: This is a glacier located north of Juneau. The glacier is one of the offshoots of the Juneau Icefield. You can walk in the area and there are magnificent views of the glacier from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.
  • Whale watching: Juneau is a good starting point for a whale watching tour. At the right times of the year, humpback whales and killer whales can be seen in the waters, and they make are unforgettable views.

Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska USA

  • Tracy Arm Fjord: Among the many beautiful places in the nature around Juneau, Tracy Arm Fjord is one of the most popular destinations for i.e cruise ships. The fjord is located south of Juneau. Glaciers calve in the fjord, where in season larger and smaller pieces of ice float between the beautiful, surrounding mountains.
  • Admiralty Island: After a short flight from Juneau - or after a boat trip - you can experience the island of Admiralty Island, which is densely populated with brown bears. The island is good for looking at bears that Alaska is so famous for, and many other animals such as seals, sea lions and eagles.
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  • Historic Merchants Wharf , 2 Marine Way
  • Mendenhall Mall , 9105 Mendenhall Mall Road
  • Nugget Mall , 8745 Glacier Highway
  • Shopping streets: South Franklin Street, Second Street, Main Street
With kids
  • Cable Car:  Mount Roberts Tramway, 490 South Franklin Street,
  • Sled dogs: Dog Sledding Summer Camp
  • Glacier: Mendenhall Glacier, 6000 Glacier Spur Road
Practical info