Downtown Juneau, Alaska
Photo by: mathplourde, Creative Commons

In 1880, two prospectors by the names of Joe Juneau and Richard Harris went on an expedition to hunt for gold-bearing ore by the Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle. Guided by a local chief from the Tlingit tribe named Chief Kowee, the men were told to seek their gold deposits along the mouth of Gold Creek, Snow Slide Gulch. The men set up camp in a 160-acre site and proceeded with their search. It didn’t take long for them to discover the gold that would spark the first Alaska Gold Rush and begin the illustrious history of Juneau.

As the state’s capital, Juneau is a thriving city with up-to-date modern amenities; however, many of its residents maintain the small-town ambience that has continuously charmed tourists and visitors since the 1900s. Juneau continues to be one of the busiest towns in the state of Alaska, with its combination of unique history and breathtaking scenery of mountains, glaciers, rivers, and forests attracting numerous tourists and visitors every year. Many of the tourists come to town during the summer months due to the cool to mild climate. Contrary to what many may think winter temperatures in Juneau are considerably lower compared to other states.

Juneau has something to offer everybody. Whether you’re the outdoorsy type, a foodie, sportsman, nature lover, art and history buff, a shopaholic, or all of the above, rest assured that Juneau has it. Popular Juneau attractions include the Medenhall Glacier, the largest glacier around and conveniently located near the airport; Perseverance Theatre, the only professional theater in the state; up close and personal tours with some of the wildlife living in Juneau’s forests and seas; the downtown totem poles crafted by the Southeast Native societies that originally inhabited the area; and numerous shops that sell Native artworks.

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