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Alaska’s capital city of Juneau seamlessly combines stunning natural surroundings with a thriving cultural centre. Whether you’d prefer to explore by sea, land or air, you’ll find it all on a Juneau cruise. One of the city’s highlights is the Mendenhall Glacier – just 13 miles outside the downtown area. Get a unique vantage point of its sprawling, icy landscape by taking a spectacular helicopter ride over the top. Wildlife-lovers can take advantage of Juneau’s position in the pristine waters of the Inside Passage – during the summer months, it’s possible to spot humpback whales and orcas. If it’s bears you’d like to see, you’re in luck – there’s one for every square mile in the Kootznoowoo Wilderness Area (which means “Fortress of the Bears” in Tinglit). Next on your Juneau cruise, discover the city’s thriving downtown. The South Franklin thoroughfare is the most well-trodden, with its resorted senate building, and there are plenty of shops and boutiques to pick up some locally crafted souvenirs. Learn about the city’s gold rush past with a tour through the A-J Mine, or you can even try your luck at gold panning yourself (Joe Juneau and Richard Harris discovered gold at “Last Chance Basin” back in 1880). Afterwards, make sure to grab some fresh Alaskan seafood. Get the best views of the city and surrounding glaciers by taking the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tram. You’ll ascend 1,800-ft in just a few minutes, and you can then take in sweeping vistas of the Gastineau Channel. If you’re feeling energetic, there are plenty of hiking trails to choose from – 250 miles’ worth, in fact. Trails vary from flat and easy-going to steep and energetic, and you’ll likely come across peaceful meadows, mysterious forests and ruins of old mines. On the East Glacier Loop Trail, you’ll discover the east side of the scenic Mendenhall Lake. There are some stunning ice caves along the west side, and we’d recommend going with a guide to find them and stay safe while you’re there.
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