It is the only state capital in the United States that is not accessible by road from any other town. How cool is that! Basically your ticket in involves either a flight or a boat ride. It is the largest state capital by territory, the only one that borders another country (Canada) and it might just be the perfect place for you to elope. Juneau offers the adventurous couple an abundance of outdoor activities. You can hike to the top of a mountain or onto a glacier. You can watch bears, whales and eagles for hours.
You could take flight in a float plane trip to a remote lake or oceanside cabin.
Or use it to soar over the massive 1,500 square miles Juneau Icefield, or you could say your vows after setting down gently in a helicopter on one of the only glaciers in the world that is still advancing.
Juneau is also an excellent place to take a boat to view the once endangered humpback whale consume half a million calories in one mouthful as they feed in the waters outside Auke Bay. Or you can sail down a 30 plus mile fjord, while watching for black and brown bears to see a tidewater glacier and massive icebergs the size of a four story building break off into the ocean.
After a long day of adventure probably just as essential that you host of places to eat and drink, both of which Juneau has in spades. With one of the best dining scenes in Alaska, four breweries and lively nightlife scene, Juneau offers just about everything to anyone.
The vast majority of visitors to Juneau come in the three months of summer between June and August. This time of year often brings the best weather, long days with the sun setting slowly around 10 pm and rising again around 4am. If you are worried about Alaska’s lack of darkness during the summer keeping you up at night, Juneau is your best bet of finding actual darkness during the summer.
If you are coming to Juneau no matter the month, you will want to bring a good rain jacket. That said, the month you pick can heavily influence your chances of a sunny day. Juneau’s backdrop are the large Coastal Mountains that rise up to 8,000 feet just about straight out of the ocean. Wet air that blows in off the Gulf of Alaska hits this wall of majestic mountains and then drops most of that moisture on the town. Although most people come to Juneau in the summer months, April and May are Juneau’s driest months and can be a way to beat the crowds. Cruise ship season starts at the end of April. September will offer the visitor cheaper accommodation and travel options but a much higher chance of rain than May. October marks the end of cruise ship season and along with September are Juneau’s wettest months.
Winter can be an excellent time to elope in Juneau. If you are a passionate skier Juneau can, thanks to that same weather pattern that brings all the rain, get some of the largest snowfalls in the country. In 2011-12 the local ski area received over 600 inches of snow. All that powder is probably going to yours since Juneau’s remoteness means there is almost never a lift line. There are also forest service cabins available for rent that can be accessed by backcountry skiing or snowshoeing that allows for a romantic if rustic winter way to get away from it all.
It might be easier to list what not to do in Juneau. There is sea kayaking, glacial kayaking, hiking, dog sledding, ice and rock climbing, every type of aviation you can imagine, wildlife viewing, camping, fishing and more. For couples who love mountain peaks, a hike on your elopement day might be the perfect way to tie the knot. Juneau offers a host of trails of varying levels of difficulty. One of the easiest ways to get into the alpine is to take the Goldbelt Tram 1800 feet above town up Mt Roberts. How far you hike is up to you, however the tram as its called, allows you to skip the long hike up through the forest and have instant views across multiple islands and mountains. If you have the energy and desire for seclusion a hike up to the peak of Mt Roberts will offer the adventurous couple stunning views and an almost guaranteed piece of solitude.
If you are more a fan of water than a land lover, there are several beach locations on offer. False Outer Point rewards visitors with views of the Mendenhall Glacier. Eagle Beach can counter that with stunning views of the rugged Chilkat mountains across Lynn Canal that guard Glacier Bay.
If you want to get real crazy there’s always the option to explore Juneau by boat, helicopter or float planes. Float planes, as their name suggests, can get you anywhere there is water. Forest service cabins on remote beaches or lakes high up in the rugged Coastal Mountains are often only accessed by these planes. In Southeast Alaska they really are a common form of transportation and a must do experience for any visitor. Helicopters give you the option to land on the peak of any mountain your heart has eyes for. Or how about getting married on a glacier? What about your own private island where you can stay in a working lighthouse?
Juneau has one of the best dining scenes in Alaska. World famous Tracy’s Crab Shack offers you the chance to try Alaska’s legendary king crab in all its glory. These royal crustaceans can stretch up to six feet and weigh 30 pounds. They are not the easiest to eat, but you did come to Alaska looking for adventure right? Seafood is Juneau’s speciality, with five species of salmon, crab, shrimp, clams and the like taking a short trip from the boat to your plate. Deckhand Dave’s is a good casual way to dig into some fresh seafood with their rockfish, halibut and salmon tacos. Salt in Juneau brings seafood to a more refined space, with Juneau’s answer for a fine dining experience. If you just can not live without pizza, Bocca al Lupo is Juneau’s answer for your wood fired craving.
If you find yourself thirsty, Juneau offers up several breweries. One of Alaska’s most famous, named after the state itself is based here. Alaska Brewing beers can be found all over town and now the country. The best place to enjoy an Alaskan brew might be on the balcony of the Hangar on the Wharf, where you sip your drink in the shadow of 3000 foot peaks accompanied by the regular symphony float planes taking off in the harbor. But Juneau also offers a variety of micro brews at places like Devils Club or if you have just recovered from a day of fishing and need beers with a view, there’s Forbidden Peak in Auke Bay. The Red Spruce cafe in the same building as Forbidden Peak brings fine dining experience from Michelin star restaurants in Chicago to a more casual setting.
Think you’re ready to elope in Juneau? All of my packages are custom designed to the ideal day you want. So whatever kind of day you’re envisioning, I will build an Alaskan Elopement Package just for you!