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Best things to do in Juneau Alaska from cruise ship - Mendenhall Glacier

4 Fun Family Activities in Juneau, Alaska

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If you’re planning an Alaskan cruise, chances are good that you’ll stop in the state capital of Juneau. With lists of fun activities to choose from, it’s hard to narrow it down to find what your group will most enjoy and what will give you an authentic experience for this location. Here are a few of the things my family has experienced and enjoyed firsthand in Juneau.

Best Things to do in Juneau, Alaska from a Cruise Ship

Fishing and Whale Watching

Many people are under the incorrect assumption that you can go whale watching at any of your ports in Alaska, but whale sightings are much more likely in Juneau than many of the other popular port stops. Of course, salmon fishing is also a quintessential Alaskan activity, and Juneau is the perfect place to get on the water and combine both.

A private boat charter will accommodate up to six people and allow your group flexibility to go where the fish are biting or where the whales are spotted. You also won’t be competing with dozens of other people for a good viewing area on the deck. There are many options to book this type of adventure, but my family has used Rum Runner Charters on two separate visits and been pleased both times.

Canoe to Mendenhall Glacier

On our most recent visit, our family had the opportunity to canoe across Mendenhall Lake and approach the face of the majestic Mendenhall Glacier with Alaska Travel Adventures. The traditional Tlingit-style canoe is rowed by the 10 guests, so you’ll want to make sure the majority of your group are up to the physical task. We were treated to stunning views of Nugget Falls and the surrounding area. The guide gave us interesting information about the formation of the lake and the recession of the glacier.

When we completed the canoe trip, we were happy to find salmon dip and crackers along with apple cider to refuel our tired bodies. On the included shuttle back to the cruise dock, I talked to some teenagers who felt the trip was worth it for the views but acknowledged that it was hard work to paddle across the lake!

Mount Roberts Tramway

The Mount Roberts Tramway takes you on a journey 1,800 feet above Juneau where views of the rain forest, town, and waterway are second to none. Plan to spend an hour or two at the top where you can hike, shop, eat, visit the bald eagle display, and watch Seeing Daylight, an 18-minute film about the native Tlingit people.

Best things to do in Juneau Alaska from cruise ship - Mt. Roberts Tramway

Enjoy great views from Mt. Roberts Tramway, one of the best things to do in Juneau, Alaska from a cruise ship.

Local Alaskan Food

As soon as we disembarked our ship, we headed to the end of the pier and just around the corner to Alaska Fish & Chips Company for lunch. I had been following them on Instagram and couldn’t wait to try the food I had been drooling over for months. From reindeer corn dogs to fried halibut, this food was as mouth-watering good as I had imagined. The views of the cruise ships and town were nice, too!

Have you been to Juneau on a cruise or land vacation? What are your favorite things to do in Juneau from a cruise ship?

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The Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau provided tickets for Robyn’s family for the canoe trip across Mendenhall Lake and Mt. Roberts Tramway at no cost so she could share her experiences. All opinions are her own.

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Robyn fell in love with travel before kids and has found it even more wonderful since her kids have joined the family. She is married to an amazing…

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