Wednesday, August 30, 2017

An afternoon in historic downtown Juneau

It's getting toward the end of the RV travel season in Alaska; however, many visitors still crowd the streets of Juneau's historic district. (RVers end up in Juneau because it is a year-round port-of-call for the Alaska Marine Highway System (1-800-642-0066,

Downtown Juneau from Mt. Roberts Tramway
Juneau has its roots in the Tlingit people, who for centuries hunted and fished along the shores of Gastineau Channel. Gold was discovered in the early 1880s and soon boatloads of prospectors arrived.

Juneau became the state capital in 1959 when Alaska was granted statehood. Today around 32,000 folks call Juneau home.

Along with museums, memorials and heritage centers, two popular attractions we took in one afternoon were the Mount Roberts Tramway and the Red Dog Saloon.
2000' above Gastineau Channel

The aerial tramway lifts riders almost 2,000 feet above the downtown, delivering them into Sitka spruce forests. There are amazing views of the surrounding mountains and waterways. (One of the frequent ferries or cruise ships that dock in Juneau can be spotted on Gastineau Channel.) Tickets run around $33 a person and can be used all day long.

View along Franklin Street
toward the Red Dog Saloon
in historic downtown Juneau
Ask anyone who visits Juneau the 'one place' not to miss and the majority of those over 21 will say: The Red Dog Saloon.

Jimmy Smith in Red Dog Saloon, Juneau
With roots dating to Juneau's gold rush heyday, the Red Dog Saloon is a classic 'raucous' spot that is popular with old geezers and history buffs.

The walls of the saloon are adorned with an elaborate collection of animal heads and memorabilia, including hundreds of $1 bills.

-- Julianne G. Crane

All photos by Julianne G. Crane 

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  1. I am really curious about how you get to Juneau in an RV. The only way I know how to get there is by airplane or ship.

  2. You can take the Alaska Marine Highway with an RV. However, many RVers leave their RVs and just take the ferry. Others like us, take a cruise so that we can visit places and see landscapes that we can not when doing a tradition RV tour of Alaska.