Before I review any of the sights in Juneau, if you have any desire for crab legs while in Alaska, DO NOT MISS Tracy's King Crab Shack, right at the port. Yes, there may be a wait - it is so worth it! Most delicious crab leg ever!!! ... Read More
Before I review any of the sights in Juneau, if you have any desire for crab legs while in Alaska, DO NOT MISS Tracy's King Crab Shack, right at the port. Yes, there may be a wait - it is so worth it! Most delicious crab leg ever!!! And, prices are not unreasonable - even for beer!
Also, right at the port is the Mt. Roberts Tramway. If the weather is good, it is worth the trip. TIP: the ticket price is good to ride ALL DAY! So, if your ship is in port until the evening, you could go up once in the morning or afternoon, and again in the evening! I wish I had known this when we were planning our Juneau day! ALSO - they do give a discount for AAA members - I think it's $5 off, so $31 instead of $36. But you have to ask; they don't volunteer that info.
There is also a soap shop here that we missed out on - I assumed the shops stayed open until the ships leave, but the soap shop that I had heard about closed at 6 pm; so we missed out on that...
Also, Juneau is a little tricky to get around on your own. We tried to go to the Mendenhall Glacier "on the cheap" and while it was a bit cheaper, it took a lot longer, and wasn't as cheap as we expected. Just FYI, to go from the Visitor Center to the Glacier is about a 1 mile walk each way, I believe. (Fine for us, but not sure some seniors would be able to make it). It was worth the walk, definitely.
But, how you get to the visitor center is really the issue. They do have buses (and taxis) that go all the way up to the Visitor Center parking lot. We opted to take a city bus from downtown Juneau (about 1/3 mile walk from the cruiseport) out to the Mendenhall Glacier area - not to the visitor center!!! Two points - the bus ride itself is only $2 per person (exact change), but because it is a city bus, it takes over 45 minutes to get out to the Glacier. And, the buses don't run continuously. So, although we got to the bus depot from the ship quickly, we waited about 10 minutes for the bus to pull up. Then, when he did, he was going on break. So, it was about 20 minutes more, or so, before he was ready to load up and leave. So, it was about 30 minutes from the time we arrived at the depot until the bus even pulled out. Then, the route took 45-50 minutes or more. Then, where the city bus drops you off, as many others have pointed out, is a 1.5 mile walk to the parking lot for the visitor center. Yes, there is a sidewalk. But, it is a LONG 1.5 miles....and if it was raining, it would be miserable (fortunately, we had a non-rainy day). The morning we did it, there was only one other (younger) couple and us that got off the bus and made the walk up there. Once we were done at the glacier - which is really interesting - make sure you see the 15 minute movie in the visitor center first - we were not in any shape to walk 1.5 miles back to the bus stop (with the possibility of a sprinkle) and then wait there up to 30 minutes for a returning bus to come by. So, we hung out in the visitor parking lot and were looking for another couple/family that we could possibly share a cab ride with back to the port. Unfortunately, we couldn't find anyone, and several of the families had pre-arranged with the cab drivers to come back and pick them up at a certain time - so many of the cabs had fares already set. We just got lucky with a guy who drove up and was available. So, the fare back to Juneau was about $35 or more plus tip for the two of us (again, it would have worked out better had we found another couple to split the fare with).
So, in the end, perhaps we should have just taken the Glacier Express bus, the blue bus, whatever it's called.
But, we did get in a lot of "steps" that day! Read Less