Explore all that Juneau has to offer on your own by renting a car- It's the best way to ensure that you get to see all that you want to see during your short time in port.
The boat arrived early. We rented a car through Juneau Rental Car.
Nice customer service. Easy to walk to from the dock and had no problems with the car. A little old model year car, but clean and worked fine.
The visitor center had a really nice movie with great photos. Nice presentations and displays of wildlife, glacier facts and you were allowed to touch a 200 year old piece of ice. They 'harvest' it about every other day and display it to touch. There is an admission fee and you are given a wristband. I did notice some people did not pay and were not wearing a band to walk on the paths. Really people?? Shame on you! The paths were well maintained. The path to Nugget Falls turned into sand and seemed to be the more popular hike. The end opens up into a large sandy beach right next to the falls. Some people climbed on the rocks next to the falls, or just lounged in the sand. Great view of the glacier from across the water. The buses started to arrive as we were leaving and it was getting more crowded. Go early because it is a very popular place.
Shrine of St. Therese
The entire area was peaceful and spiritual. The chapel was beautiful. We walked the stations of the cross and each was well appointed in their 'own space'. Around rocks and trees, with great views of the bay. Huge evergreen trees surrounding the area. We walked along the coast as we heard their was whale sightings in the channel. We did not spot any of them.
Drove to Eagle Beach. The tide was low and the shore was really far out ' away from the parking lot. So the birds were a long distance away from the street. With binoculars we saw eagles. Some flew over us to get to the trees on the other side of the highway. It was worth the drive out there. Wish we could have stayed longer or had time to hike the shoreline.
Lunch at Utter Culture. Great homemade old-fashioned chicken noodle soup and Potato Chowder. The chili dogs were huge and loaded with toppings. The ham and swiss cheese sandwiches were very good. You get free refills on fountain drinks. The staff was very friendly. It was kind of hard to find. There is not a sign on top of the building only in the window which you can not see from the road. Look for the library sign. It was busy with a steady stream of customers, mostly locals. Nothing fancy, but good food.
Macauley Salmon Hatchery
This was a very interesting stop on our touring of Juneau. Outside were fish ladders that salmon jump up to be counted, harvested or released, dependent on the type of salmon they are. there were thousands waiting their chance to swim up the ladder. Most are released back into the ocean to return back next year. Inside the hatchery they had a large Alaskan fish aquarium and gift shop with samples. Worth a quick stop.
Drove across the bridge to Douglas Island to take photos of Mendenhall Glacier and Juneau from across the channel.
Water Flume Trail Hike
Wound our way up the streets of Juneau to Bristol Road to the water flume trail hike. Wonderful stands of trees shading an easy, flat, planked trail, except where nature has covered it with rock slides. Peaceful, delicate waterfalls join the stream below with tinkling sounds among the quiet of nature only a couple blocks from downtown Juneau. I am sure it is different in the spring with water running down the steep hillside under the flume. The flume is covered with huge boards that form the trail.
Provider: Independent Operator