Juneau, Alaska

Photograph by Epic Trails and Travel Juneau.

A Class of Its Own
Juneau blends classic outdoors with contemporary cuisine to create a new Alaskan experience

No other town in Alaska can boast the balance of outdoor opportunities with food and drink options that Juneau can. And it’s closer than you think.

Glaciers, Wildflower Meadows, Mountains, and More

Just over two hours in the air is all the time it takes to make it to Juneau. Once there, you won’t have to go far to take in majestic scenery—stepping outside should do it. The mountainous backdrop of the town is visually striking in its own right. But if you’re up for more, a lot of those mountains and ridgelines you’re looking at have paths that can deliver you to spectacular views of the valley below, surrounding peaks, and not-so-distant glaciers.

From downtown, there are a number of trails ranging from easy to difficult. The Perseverance Trail travels an easy three miles to an abandoned mine. For the ambitious, the Mount Juneau Trail rises over 3,500 feet to the summit of the namesake mountain. Plenty of moderate options abound in between, including the hike to Nugget Falls or the East Glacier Loop at the Mendenhall Glacier. And there’s plenty more in town or further afield.

The Culinary Capital of the Last Frontier

The Pacific Northwest is known for being a place where you can take advantage of world-class outdoor opportunities and commensurate level cuisine all in the same place—often in the same day. Juneau is helping to extend that reputation up into southeast Alaska where, despite its diminutive population, the town is home to a cadre of talented chefs, a thriving craft beverage scene, and even food tour offerings. Put it all together and the Alaska state capital is also its culinary king.

After hiking one of the many beautiful trails in the Juneau area, the city’s top-tier food and drink options are sure to satisfy. Photographs by Epic Trails and Travel Juneau.

There are a number of food trucks stationed around town offering solid execution of fish and chips, BBQ, chicken sandwiches, and pizza, among others. V’s Cellar Door provides a unique experience that screams Juneau soul through Mexican fusion. Salt is a cornerstone of the culinary emergence of the town, and at Bocca al Lupo, you can sample the Italian-inspired wares of James Beard Award Semifinalist, Beau Schooler.

Let’s not forget the liquid assets of the town. Sure there’s gourmet coffee from Sentinel and Heritage coffee roasting companies. But when the a.m. passes the baton off to the p.m, outstanding brewery and brewpub options include Alaskan Brewing, Devil’s Club, Barnaby, and Forbidden Peak Brewing Companies. The Amalga Distillery is making award-winning spirits and the Narrows is a craft cocktail bar worthy of its own evening. That being said, you can’t go wrong with a stiff pour at the 20th-century Alaskan Bar and Hotel. Pro tip: If you take an excursion with Juneau Food Tours, you’ll probably hit more than a few of the aforementioned hot spots.

Between proximity, robust cuisine, and next-level outdoor opportunities, Juneau is an Alaskan getaway that resides in a class of its own.