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Accessible only by sea or air, Alaska's 'Gateway to the Glaciers' is the state's scenic capital, situated among spectacular mountains on the shores of the Gastineau Channel. The holiday destination of Juneau is, however, not as wild as one might expect of such a remote destination. It affords all the pleasures of a large city, while also offering an abundance of activities and natural escapes for outdoor enthusiasts in its backyard. Although the city is not without appeal and is a popular travel hub and port of call for cruises, it is undoubtedly the natural setting that attracts tourists rather than the urban sightseeing opportunities.
In 1880 the city swarmed with gold prospectors, but today it is the cruise ship passengers who pack the streets every summer, enjoying the shopping, dining and picturesque surroundings. Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska's most visited glacier due to its easy access and proximity to the city, is a highly worthwhile attraction. Glacier Bay National Park is one of the country's more dramatic regions and is also accessible from Juneau, by boat or plane. Helicopter rides, fishing, whale-watching, hiking and kayaking are popular activities through which to fully appreciate the vast wilderness surrounding Juneau.
Juneau has a subarctic maritime climate, which is milder than many people expect. Winters are long, dark and wet but not very cold by Alaskan standards, with an average low temperature of 23°F (-5°C) in January. Spring, autumn and summer are mild, with high temperatures averaging about 65°F (18°C) in July, the hottest month. Rain is common throughout the year, but April and May tend to be the driest months. Snowfall can be heavy between November and March. Late-spring and summer are the best times to visit Juneau.
You can only get into Juneau by air or sea, although it is possible to take your car across by ferry. Once in the city, however, it is easy to get around on land. There is a public bus system popular with locals and tourists, and taxis and rental cars are also available. Many of the tourist attractions in Juneau are conveniently clumped around the waterfront area, making walking a good option for cruise passengers. Visitors may also enjoy hiring a kayak to paddle along the coast, or taking a helicopter ride over some of the area's natural attractions.
No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination
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