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How to Spend 3 Days in Juneau

How to Spend 3 Days in Juneau

With three days to spend in the Alaskan capital, you’ll be able to tour its famous glacier, spot some local wildlife, get a feel for the local pioneer heritage of this gold-mining town, and venture farther afield into the Alaskan wilderness. Read on for how to plan the ultimate three-day trip to Juneau. 

Day 1: Glacier Adventures

The Mendenhall Glacier, one of Alaska’s most popular attractions, lies just outside of Juneau. To get a sense for the true size of the Juneau Ice Field that feeds the glacier, start your day with a helicopter flight over the ice. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view while learning about its geology and environmental importance. Some helicopter tours include a glacier landing for a chance to walk across the ice. The Mendenhall Glacier is also one of the most accessible in Alaska. Now that you’ve seen it from above, see it from the visitor center observation deck, or get a closer look by booking a kayaking tour on Mendenhall Lake or a guided trek across the surface of the ice. After a day of icy exploration, warm up next to an open fire during a traditional Alaskan salmon bake (though the salmon is actually grilled).

Day 2: On the Water

Juneau is famous for its spectacular scenery and wildlife-viewing opportunities. If you’ve ever wanted to see humpback whales in the wild, this is one of the best places to do so. This morning, hop aboard a boat and head out into the waters of the Inside Passage to spot some of the 600 humpbacks who spend their summers here; sightings are practically guaranteed from April to November, and you might also spot orcas, seals, eagles, and bears as well. If you have time to spare in the afternoon, head into downtown Juneau to explore its historic streets, or go just outside of downtown for a peaceful walk through the manicured Glacier Gardens. In the evening, grab a pint at the Alaska Brewing Company’s taproom.

Day 3: Get Wild

Now that you’ve experienced Juneau’s star attractions, take a day to get out and explore the wilder side of Alaska. Take a day trip to the remote Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area, home to the highest concentration of brown bears in the world, or grab a paddle for a day of kayaking along the wild coastline of the Inside Passage. You could also use today to partake in an Alaskan pastime—experience the thrill of dogsledding at a remote glacier camp, or venture to the waters around Prince of Wales for some of the best fishing in the state (you might even bring home some fresh salmon for dinner). Take this last evening to soak up the historic pioneering atmosphere of downtown Juneau with dinner at a local restaurant.

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6 Tours and Activities

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Mendenhall Glacier Ice Adventure Tour
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Mendenhall Glacier Ice Adventure Tour

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468
Explore Mendenhall Glacier on this exclusive adventure tour into the Alaskan Wilderness. Your expert guides will lead you on a journey across Mendenhall Lake where you will paddle together with a small group past icebergs, giant waterfalls, and wildlife. On your way to the ice, you will be surrounded by breathtaking scenery of mountain peaks nestled in the Tongass National Forest. Upon landing the canoe at a remote beach site, your guides will safely lead you on an interpretive hike around the rocky surfaces located directly in front of the glacier. Here you will discover the magnificent ice features up close. Views of specific glacial features like Ice Caves and Moulins cannot be guaranteed due to the nature of the constantly moving ice. Every tour is unique and space is limited, making this Juneau’s most exciting and sought-after adventure tour.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$329.70
From
$329.70

Round-Trip Mendenhall Glacier Shuttle Service

Round-Trip Mendenhall Glacier Shuttle Service

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Make your round-trip transfer between Juneau and Mendenhall Glacier hassle-free with this shuttle service. Discover the beauty of the glacier and its trails at a leisurely pace, and when you’re ready, simply hop back on a shuttle back to port in downtown Juneau. Shuttles leave every 30 minutes during operating hours, giving you plenty of flexibility with your schedule. Plus, during the drive each way, pick up historical fun facts and restaurant recommendations from the driver.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$47.25
From
$47.25

Premier Juneau Whale Watching Expedition
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Premier Juneau Whale Watching Expedition

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Spend 2 hours out on the Auke Bay Harbor's waters searching for humpback whales during this boat tour from Juneau. Listen to commentary from your guide and keep a lookout for other marine animals such as orca, bald eagles, and sea lions. Snacks, refreshments, and round-trip transportation from the Mt. Roberts Tramway in Juneau provided.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$139.00
From
$139.00

Juneau Shore Excursion: Helicopter Tour and Guided Icefield Walk
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Juneau Shore Excursion: Helicopter Tour and Guided Icefield Walk

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When your ship anchors in Juneau port, get ready for a shore excursion pumped with adventure and incredible views. First, soar by helicopter over Juneau Icefield, and then land on Herbert Glacier to explore the remote landscape by foot. Learn about the surrounding Alaskan wilderness and capture memorable shots during your icefield walk. Cruise ship passengers please note that the shuttle will pick up one hour before listed flight time.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$329.00
From
$329.00

Mendenhall Glacier Canoe Paddle and Trek
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Mendenhall Glacier Canoe Paddle and Trek

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Experience Mendenhall Glacier by land and water on this 6.5-hour combo-adventure tour from Juneau. First, hop into a canoe at Mendenhall Lake and paddle around luminescent blue icebergs and past cliffs and waterfalls toward Mendenhall Glacier. Step onto the glacier and explore the area with trekking poles. No matter what level of paddling or glacial-trekking experience you have, a guide is there to prepare you for each step of the journey. Look for wildlife sightings and expect personalized attention on this small-group tour limited to 14 people.
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  • 6 hours
From
$343.55
From
$343.55

Exclusive Pack Creek Bear Viewing from Juneau

Exclusive Pack Creek Bear Viewing from Juneau

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10
Go deep into the Alaskan wilderness to a protected wildlife site with the highest concentration of brown bears in the world. This bucket-list day trip to Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area includes a floatplane flight over Tongass National Forest and a kayak paddle through Windfall Harbor. An informative guide takes your small group of no more than 10 people into the woods to observe brown bears romping in the meadows and catching salmon in rivers. The Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area issues a limited number of visitation permits, exclusively to tour operators. Avoid disappointment by booking this tour well in advance.
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  • 8 hours
From
$1,083.47
From
$1,083.47