Juneau

Juneau, Alaska’s state capital, is the only state capital in the United States that can only be reached by airplane or boat. Some of the key sights in the downtown area are the State Capitol Building, Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, the oldest (built in 1839) original church in the Inside Passage, historic South Franklin Street, which has many bars, gift shops and restaurants in buildings dating back to Juneau’s gold mining days in the 1900s, and the Mount Roberts Tramway, a cable car  which carries visitors to viewpoints high above the city for spectacular views of the Gastineau channel, Mount Juneau, Mount Roberts, and downtown Juneau. Also not to be missed is Tahku, an impressive life-size bronze humpback whale statue that appears to be leaping from an infinity pool near the Juneau-Douglass Bridge.

Just a short drive from Juneau is one of its most iconic sites, the Mendenhall Glacier, a river ice that flows 12 miles from its source, the Juneau Icefield, and has a 1.5-mile-wide face. The Mendenhall Visitor Center has a large relief map of the 1,500 square mile Juneau Ice Field, and maps of various trekking trails along the west side of the glacier that lead to viewpoints where visitors can see icebergs calving, as well as wildlife like salmon and black bears. There are also several helicopter tours departing from Juneau that offer spectacular views of the Juneau Ice Field, as well as glacier landings, glacier treks and glacier dog-sled rides. 

 


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