The capital of Alaska, Juneau is one of Alaska’s most popular cruise ship ports. Every summer, literally hundreds of thousands of cruise ships crowd its harbors.
The 2003 census listed Juneau’s population at about 31,000 people. The city’s history extends back to 1880, when it was first founded as a gold-mining camp. Juneau officially became the capital of Alaska when Alaska was granted statehood in 1959. Popular Juneau attractions include Mount Roberts Tram, the Alaska State Museum, the Capitol, the Mendenhall Glacier, and salmon hatcheries and fishing. The immense and impressive glaciers in and around Juneau attract thousands of visitors every year, especially Mendenhall Glacier, which is only 13 miles from downtown. Juneau is the starting off point for visitors wanting to visit Glacier Bay National Park.
Juneau is a very scenic city which is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Whales, brown bears, eagles, sea otters and harbor seals are just a handful of the wildlife which can be viewed from tours and self-guided hikes and excursions.
Like the rest of the Inside Passage, Juneau tends to be pretty wet year round. In fact, it rains on average between 3 inches (in April) and 7 inches (in September) per month! However, summers are fairly mild with temperatures topping out in the 50s and cooling to the 40s or lower at night. The climate is fairly similar to that of Seattle, making it one of Alaska’s most popular destinations for tourists who want to stay out of the (relative) cold.