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shotclog Juneau - A travel report by Nat
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Juneau,  United States - flag United States -  Alaska
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shotclog's travel reports

Juneau -- At the Edge of the Wilderness

  18 votes
Here, you can walk down a street and just look up the side of a mountain. Everywhere around are heavily forested mountains. And nearby are trails that go off into these woods. It's nature-lover's paradise.

Northeast of downtown
Northeast of downtown
Juneau is just this thin strip of civilization along a coast of densely-wooded mountains, which was originally a tent city of gold miners. Now it's a stop for cruise ships and adventure groups. Armies of college students pour in to go over the mountains and glaciers. Tourists come to immerse themselves in the histories of Native Americans and gold rushes, as well as see whales and bears. Sportsmen come to where the fishing is good. And still others come to get away from it all. It has a bit of something for everybody.

Favourite spots:
Gold Creek
Gold Creek
I found one of these trails at the edge of town. I went uphill to 7th Street, took a walkway into a park, then followed Gold Creek up into Mount Juneau. There are paths that go in all different directions. I spent all day exploring as many as I could.

What's really great:
The women in Alaska are beautiful. At the Alaskan Bar, on the evening of St Patrick's Day, my eyes were constantly a redhead who looks so much like Debra Messing. I wanted to ask her if I could take her photo but never drank enough courage to talk to her. She is in my dreams forever.

University of Alaska
University of Alaska
Aside from Gold Creek and Gastineau Channel, I saw Auke Bay, the University of Alaska, the state museum, and state government buildings. There are planes, boats, and helicopters that will take you on many different tours but they'll cost ya. If you don't want to spend much, you're better off buying a book on local hiking trail, pack a lunch, then take a bus or rental car to them.

The Alaskan Hotel
The Alaskan Hotel
The Alaskan Hotel / 167 S Franklin / Juneau, AK 99801 / (907) 586-1000

South Franklin Street
South Franklin Street
Right next to the Alaska Hotel is the Alaskan Bar. Here is where the locals hang out, mostly of the younger crowd. No food is served here (maybe in Summer they say), but the atomosphere gets lively after 9 pm and you get to see how real Alaskans live. They party hard and can make any occasion enjoyable.

Across the street is the Triangle Club. The only food they serve are hot dogs and bowls of prezels and crackers, but people come for good friends. This is also a watering hole for locals but the older kind. In the back are PCs, which customers can use for free, if you need to check your e-mail or just surf the web.

The Wharf
The Wharf
The Red Dog Saloon is a few blocks down the street. (Ask anyone where it is. It's not hard to find.) Here tourists flock and are entertained by the eccentric decorum. They have pool tables upstairs and a full menu. They're most proud of their ribs.

Doc Waters is at The Wharf. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served. You can sit at the bar to watch sports on the large-screen TV or at the windows and view the Gastineau Channel. Their pasta dishes are huge.

A Heritage Coffeehouse in Mendenhall Valley
A Heritage Coffeehouse in Mendenhall Valley
Fernando's is just up the street from the Hotel (116 N Franklin). If you want a great steak platter, order the carne asada, bistec a la Mexicana, or Fernando's Special carne asada.

Chinook's Restaurant & Lounge is part of the Goldbelt Hotel, near The Wharf. It has a bar and an exotic menu.

Also at The Wharf, the fragrance of Italian food will draw you to Pizzaria Roma. They offer pizza any way you like it, whole or individual slices. They are very proud of their green salads.

There are no Starbucks here but Heritage Coffee will do. One's across from the Hotel, where you can drop in for breakfast, read the morning paper, and cruise the internet.

And in the center of town is our favorite stand-by, McDonald's, for when you need it fast, hot, and cheap 24 hours a day.

Other recommendations:
A souvenier shop
A souvenier shop
If you're the kind that needs to take home a souvenier or a gift for someone, there are gift shops everywhere; especially on South Franklin and Front Streets and the Mendenhall and Nugget Malls.

Published on Monday March 21th, 2005

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Fri, Apr 01 2005 - 08:15 AM rating by hieronyma

Hi, you remind me of days I spent in Juneau, from where i took a flight into Glacier Bay. Even then - years ago - Alaskan Hotel was the secret tip for backpackers.

Fri, Mar 25 2005 - 03:08 PM rating by christianj.

Well, Alaska is a dream. I've not been to Juneau, but the next time I will!!


Thu, Mar 24 2005 - 07:36 PM rating by picasso

Nice report and great images,i always wanted to visit Alaska-some day i will.

Wed, Mar 23 2005 - 06:36 PM rating by magsalex

Great report with some nice pics.

Tue, Mar 22 2005 - 11:49 AM rating by gloriajames

great report! 5*

Tue, Mar 22 2005 - 07:24 AM rating by davidx

This sounds my sort of place - fine report.

Tue, Mar 22 2005 - 12:14 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

excellent and very pleasent report

Mon, Mar 21 2005 - 09:18 PM rating by rangutan

What a beutiful "nature" place as you decribe it. The pictures are amazing too.

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