Mendenhall Glacier Rating:
The compact port area is picturesque, though dominated by the big cruise lines and tourist-oriented shops, restaurants, etc., some quite good. The surrounding mountains come down to within yards of the main drag. It was fun to stroll.
The nearby Alaska State Museum is a highlight, well worth a couple of hours at least. It capably features regional native American artifacts and culture, exhibits on natural history, and a few interesting quirks. There are other interesting attractions we didn't have time to visit.
A short bus ride out of town, Mendenhall Glacier is a great introduction to the natural forces that formed the region, with an excellent visitors' center and easy walking paths to spectacular views. We saw spawning salmon running upstream, a napping porcupine in a tree, and a perching bald eagle, virtually in the suburbs of Juneau.