To enjoy Juneau, it’s best to bring a raincoat, some XtraTuf boots, and a sense of adventure. It’s a place with some serious weather, where the ocean and mountains loom large, air travel is often unreliable, and cruise ships can double the town’s population on any given day all summer long.
For the best experience, you’ll want to turn away from the wharf, which is located in a part of town that only lights up during tourist season, toward the businesses that are open year-round. With a car, you can drive to “the valley,” as it’s called in Juneau, where you’ll find a slower pace, lovely scenery, and places with mostly local clientele.
Juneau’s food scene may be small and casual but if you know where to look, you can find sophisticated cooking you won’t eat anywhere else. Look out for local beer and liquor, well-prepared fresh fish, and lots of Filipino and Pacific Islander influences.
Julia O’Malley, a third-generation Alaskan, is an editor and James Beard Award winning writer based in Anchorage.Read More