Drive through the historic downtown business district with its goldrush era buildings, then along the route of the wagon road to Juneau's historic mines, and see the thousand foot waterfall on the face of Mount Juneau and the creek where gold was discovered in 1880. The tour will take you past the Governor's Mansion and other historic homes, the Alaska State Capitol, and the world famous Red Dog Saloon.
Then make your way north to the Mendenhall Glacier. Once you arrive at the Recreation Area (admission $7 for adults 12 or over, $2 for children), where you will have 45 to 60 minutes for a walk to the photo viewpoint with a panoramic view of the lake and/or to visit the boardwalks above Steep Creek, where spawning sockeye salmon attract black bears and their cubs from mid-July to mid-September.
The Visitor's Center hosts exhibits as well as a short film about the Juneau Ice Fields. Be sure to watch a brief film on the 37 glaciers of the 1,500-square mile Juneau icefield while at the visitor's center. Various interactive displays on glaciation and the icefield can also be found here.
Travel through the ancient Aak Kwaan Tlingit village site and along scenic Lynn Canal, then walk across a short causeway to the National Shrine of St. Therese, a Catholic retreat with a stone chapel nestled in the spruce forest on a small island. This hidden gem of Juneau is great for history buffs and nature lovers. Awesome views of the Lynn Canal and some wildlife can often be seen from the shore.
Wednesday through Sunday, the restored homestead gardens at the Jensen-Olsen Arboretum are a short distance away.
While returning, stop briefly at Chapel By The Lake, a log church with a view of Auke Lake and Mendenhall Glacier through the window.
Finally, take a tour of the Macaulay Hatchery, where you can see salmon spawning from July through September. Learn all about the fascinating reproductive cycles of Pacific salmon through museum-quality exhibits that illustrate the hatchery's production of over 150 million salmon per year. The aquariums and touch tanks display most Alaskan fish and marine invertebrates.
Visit the gold medal award winning Alaskan Brewery for a beer tasting.
Just added as an optional stop to our Best Of Juneau itinerary, our new Amalga Distillery can be a stop or the final drop-off in downtown Juneau on your tour! Sample their amazing Juneauper Gin with spruce tips, their vodka, and their (not yet aged) Alaskan single malt whisky. Shown here: a scoop of local artisan spruce tip sorbet with a splash of Amalga's gin.