The State of Alaska has the United State’s most unusual capital, and it was fun to be back in it after a long absence. It’s a city of 33,000 people without an exit. You can only drive 190 miles to see all of it, and that does not include Douglas Island. It’s large in land area but in Juneau you’ re limited to the city itself. You can’t go to another town from it and probably will never will be able to.
Ruth and I have thoroughly explored Juneau during previous visits, so we had no need to rent a vehicle to see more of it. Once you have seen salmon spawn on Douglas Island, been to the Mendenhall Glacier, and climbed this city’s many staircases, you don’t feel the need to see more of Juneau. We limited our time there to the dock area and the closed State Capitol and feel like we have seen enough of it. Our son-in-law, a frequent visitor to Alaska, encouraged us to explores its many trails and go to the top of Mount Roberts. We had time but limited ourselves to town instead. We felt as if we had seen enough of Juneau by the time we had spent several hours exploring the town.
The dock area offers much to do. After walking uptown to see much more of Juneau and having a coffee and sandwich at Heritage, we were content to stay in town and ride the tram up Mount Roberts, Juneau’s biggest attraction, like everyone else.
There are many monuments now on this waterfront, and I really liked the memorial to Patsy Ann. Patsy Ann has a noted sculpture on this waterfront now. She was a bull terrier that was deaf from birth, met ships regularly, and was everyone’s pet. It’s an easy walk from her image to the tram up Mount Roberts, where we spent a lot of time watching a bald eagle survey the area from a tree and greeting a newly married couple who chose this local landmark as the ideal place to merge their fortunes.
What else is there to do in Juneau’s dock area for tourists besides entry to the Goldbelt tram? There is a visitor center, several other sculptures, great views of cruise ships, an easy walk to Juneau’s new and must-see Walter Soboleff Center, and a short stroll to the comprehensive and also relatively new Alaska State Museum on Whittier Street.