There are so many things to do in the capital of Alaska; I am going to have to tell you about everything in more than one go! I was pleasantly surprised by the diverse options that Juneau has to offer.
Probably the best thing we did in Juneau was the Glacier Flightseeing and Taku Lodge tour. Absolutely FANTASTIC! These water planes take 10 people and everyone has a window seat (so don’t worry!). Everyone gets earphones with an audio tour to tell you what you see as the plane passes over. This 3-hour tour starts off with an unBEATABLE sightseeing flight over Juneau, the Gastineau channel, a close-up view of the snow covered mountains, and the grand finale: the glaciers!! Now, I know if you are on this cruise, you will definitely visit Glacier Bay where you will see glaciers up close and personal, but that is only the FACE of the glacier. With this flightseeing tour, you see the glaciers from the top, and only then do you truly realize the magnificence of these mighty beasts of nature. These compressed snow river-like glaciers, carves their way through mountains and forms the beautiful valleys we see today in Alaska. After these breathless views, the plane takes you to Taku Lodge.
At Taku Lodge you are treated to an authentic Alaskan meal – wood-fired salmon, freshly baked breads, steamed apples and berries, chilli beans, coleslaw, and gingerbread cookies – like Grandma makes it – for dessert! While you eat, one of the tour guides tells you all about Taku Lodge and why it’s there and how it started. Though they do Not feed the bears, some black bears have realized that there is something cooking, and they like to come investigate and look for food after the meal has been cooked on the barbeque outside. We were lucky enough to see 2 black bears that day! Of course, everyone kept their distance (about 10m), and one of the guides stood ready to ward them off. But oh, bears look like they feel so sorry for themselves and seem so harmless and cuddly, no wonder they make teddy bears!!
After lunch there is time to walk around and explore more of Taku Lodge. There is also a small souvenir shop. Oh, did I mention you can see a glacier from the lodge?! Amazing!
On the flight back, they take you over the same route, so that you can see everything your neighbour saw on the way there and vice versa. Truly a highly recommended tour, and thus very popular, so make sure you book in advance!