Top Things to do in Juneau Alaska (with or without kids)

Juneau Alaska was the first stop on our week long Alaskan Cruise with our 7 month old son.  It was also the longest stop for us with a total of about 8 hours.  We rented a car which I HIGHLY recommend even if you don’t have young kids with you. There is just so much to see other than just the town and Mendenhall glacier. 

Once off the ship take a taxi to the Juneau airport where you can rent a car for the day.  Its a very small airport and only a 10 minute taxi ride from the cruise port.  We rented from Avis and within 35 minutes of being off the boat, we were in our rental car and ready to explore at our leisure.  We did NOT have a rental car reservation.  However, our trip was in May and I heard it might be a bit harder to get one last minute in June or July.

Don’t forget a rain jacket and umbrella for all of your days ashore…it rains a lot in Alaska.  We actually lucked out with the weather.  Better safe than sorry though. Here are 5 fun things we found to do in Juneau Alaska with a baby.

1. Mendenhall Glacier

Juneau Alaska with a baby
Juneau Alaska with a baby

We walked to the Photo Point (1st pic below) while James was asleep in the stroller. This is just a few minute walk from the parking lot.  Once he woke up we decided to walk the 2 mile round-trip Nugget Falls trail that takes you to the waterfall (3rd and 4th photo below).  We did take the stroller on the trail but the trail was mostly gravel and would have been easier without it.  A good baby carrier may be more suitable for the hike. We used this carrier for our entire trip and it was a life saver! 

James loved the waterfall!  It is massive and a must see up close. So I highly recommend taking the hike.

Juneau Alaska with a baby
Nugget Falls
Juneau Alaska with a baby

2. Shrine of St Therese

Juneau Alaska with a baby
Juneau Alaska with a baby
Juneau Alaska with a baby
Juneau Alaska with a baby
Juneau Alaska with a baby
Juneau Alaska with a baby
Juneau Alaska with a baby

This place was so beautiful!  We happened to be the only people there that day exploring the grounds so it was extremely peaceful.  The best part was while we were walking along the water, a whale passed by.  It was completely silent around us except for the sound of his blowing water through her blow hole….so amazing!

3. Mount Roberts Tramway in Juneau Alaska

We decided to forgo the tram since it was a very foggy/overcast day.   However based on trip advisor reviews and other travel bloggers, I think it would have been a wonderful thing to do with baby J if it had been a nice day.  Supposedly there are some awesome views at the top on a clear day.

Juneua Alaska

4. Douglas Island beach (during low tide)

We drove to the beach area for a quick look. The tide was low and there was a couple people playing on the beach with their dogs.   It also had a pretty view of downtown Juneau Alaska.  If we had had more time, we would have stayed longer.  I just wish I had taken a picture when we were there!

Alaska Cruise Packing List

5. Macaulay Salmon Hatchery

We weren't able to swing this do to time restraints.  But another family on the cruise said they stopped by this and loved it.  A great activity if you're visiting Juneau Alaska with kids.

6. Shop and stroll Downtown Juneau and then drinks/dinner at the Red Dog Saloon

With sawdust all over the floor and bears and moose on the walls, this Alaskan themed restaurant/bar was a nice way to end the day before boarding the ship. Family friendly, great service and lots to look at for a baby!

Juneau Alaska with a baby
Juneau Alaska with a baby

Juneau Alaska was our favorite stop on our Cruise.  Partly due to the fact that we had the most time to explore (8 hours).  Renting the car offered us way more flexibility with a baby in tow.  Simply driving around is a fun activity because the terrain is so unique everywhere you go.

The cruise did offer excursion packages that included the Mendenhall glacier and Robert Tramway for $100 per person.  However renting the car and doing our own thing was much cheaper than most excursions.  The total cost of the rental car was $60 for the day and all the places we explored were free entry. Tip: after picking the rental car up at the airport they will let you drop the car off at their downtown Juneau location, which is about a 7 minute walk from the cruise port.  It's only a drop off location though (not pick up).

I hope these tips help!  You might also check out: Everything you need to know about bringing a Baby on an Alaskan Cruise. 

Have you visited Alaska with kids? Feel free to comment below with your experiences!

Happy and safe travels!

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