Vacation Day 3: Juneau...Whales, Glaciers and Waterfalls


I mean does the description not pull you in enough?  Juneau is AMAZING! It's stunning and beautiful and so vast, all of Alaska is...there is just no way possible to show the vastness of the area and the beauty that surrounds it.  I tried so hard to stay out from behind the camera but I just had to take picture after picture, however no matter how hard I tried the camera could never capture what my eyes were seeing.

Since our time zones were still all messed up we were up around 7 AM, three hours before we hit Juneau, we decided to take advantage of the scenery around us and have breakfast on the balcony...yummmy!!

We arrived in Juneau at around 10 AM on Monday morning, we had all day in port up until about 11 PM which was perfect.  Honestly when we originally booked this trip we had paid for an excursion that included a helicopter tour of Mendenhall Glacier followed by dog sledding on the glacier but unfortunately they forgot to tell us the stop of the season for such excursions was cut off the week prior.  We had planned to just walk around town and enjoy the area but when we got off the ship there was company after company selling discounted excursions, oddly enough a young ginger man from Virginia (no relation to my husband) sold us on a whale watching expedition.  David and I both thought that if we saw a whale it would be miles away...boy were we in for a surprise.

The whales were at times maybe 30 feet away from our boat, it was beautiful and stunning, such huge creatures within what felt like an arms length.  We couldn't have asked for a better experience!  One of the islands we passed by is said to have more black bears on it than people, in fact the bears outnumber the population here 5 to 1...I mean that's pretty nuts, we didn't get to see any bears but those whales more than made up for it!

After our whale adventure we decided to hike over to Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls, both of which are apart of the Mendenhall Glacier National Park Reserve, it was about a 2 mile hike from the entrance of the park to the glacier and falls.  David loves to be outdoors and in the mountains, I'm a little more of a city girl but once again I was so struck by the beauty and everything around us that I couldn't help but fall in love with this place. 

From the enormous glacier to the beautiful trails and soft falling waterfalls all around you it's impossible not to truly appreciate nature and everything it gives to us.  No wonder this place is called the Last Frontier, I've never seen anything so untouched in my life, of course there are man made paths but they are just crushed gravel from the mountains around and that's about it...everything else is Mother Nature at her finest.  Mendenhall Glacier is 2,200 feet deep and spreads of 15,000 square miles, again doesn't that give you a reference to the vastness of the area?

Nugget Falls is actually right next to the Glacier, it's mammoth water flow comes from the Glacier slowly melting during the summer months, the roar it produces can be heard from the beginning of the park.  Thankfully a nice couple that I helped take a picture for offered to do the same for David and I...this is definitely frame worthy!

Famished from our amazing day we took the shuttle back into town to catch a bite at Red Dog Saloon, one of the oldest saloons in America that's still running. It was established in 1898 for the miners in the area.  We enjoyed a tasty round of Duck Farts (Baileys, Kahlua and Crown Royal) and some Avalanche Burgers, also borrowing a pen from our waitress we scribbled our initials on the wall, who knows, maybe in five or ten years we will come back and see if we can find it again! 

As our time came to an end we strolled around the area and got some gifts for family and friends and headed back to the ship...we really enjoyed Juneau, it offered so much more than we ever expected and the memories we have from here will always be treasured, this is definitely a place we will come back to again later in life!

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  1. Anonymous9/21/2013

    I wanna go! I wanna go! I wanna go! It looks beautiful!!!

    1. it really is beautiful there! we would move in a heart beat, just got to find a job for the hubby first!

  2. I love this post! Lately, I've been missing my home away from home so much and this just brought me back. Thank you so much. I'm glad you had such a great time in Alaska. Great post and awesome pictures!

    1. awww...well your home was good to us! next post to go up is Skagway!

  3. Looks beautiful! So glad you guys had such a good time! I'm dying to go on a cruise!!

    1. it was really great...minus the weather at the end but I'd do it again for sure!


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