The most important thing you can do when planning a trip to SE Alaska is planning around the weather. You don’t want it to be miserably raining sideways the entire time you are up there. I have gone twice in the late spring which was great timing, but summer is pretty fantastic also. I’m crossing my fingers for great weather this third time! Here’s a little info on the trips I have taken to Juneau that will hopefully inspire one of your own!
Alaska Folk Fest (beginning of April)
My first trip up was during the Alaska Folk fest, the flight set the stage with most everyone flying with a stringed instrument in tow
The festival is a community event, where anyone can get their 15 min of fame up on stage at Centennial Hall. While primarily is a music fest, I did take a fun clogging class. The festival pour out into every hotel and house with jam sessions of fiddles, banjos, guitars, mandolins and any other folksy instrument. People primarily come from all over Alaska & the Pacific Northwest. There’s a headlining band that the festival flies in, but what I think is truly special is the community participation.
Here’s a jam session that happened at the beach while I was there with Lindsay’s friends. This video perfectly captures that weekend.
Its just the best, every bar is filled with live and amazing folk music. I was so happy I brought my violin to play in the fun.
Herring Season=Whales! (end of April/beginning of May)
SE Alaska is on a lot of whale’s migratory path, I planned my next trip around when the herring fish were hatched and running. The whales, sea otters and eagles were all out and about to munch of all the schools of fish. It was the must amazing nature experience. Lindsay and I went out kayaking at Echo Cove while sea otters swam around us, eagles swooped down to catch lunch and humpback whales bubble fed in the distance.
The next day we hiked out to a dry forest service cabin at Camping Cove and a whale just hung out with us the entire time we were there. Swimming back and florth every couple minutes you could hear it blow while it circled the cove. The ladies we went with are from Juneau and had never had such an incredible whale experience, it was incredible to watch this guy feed for hours. I was amazingly lucky to have experienced that.
Lindsay is a great photographer and you can check out all her incredible adventures in AK and around the rest of the world here.
Other Juneau things
The summer is apparently magical time to go on a charted boat tour, fishing trip or helicopter ride and I’ve heard al of these are just the best.
The Mendenhall Glacier is pretty awe inspiring and a big tourist attraction in town.
Flight details, if you are flying into Alaska, you will want to be on the right side of the plane on your way up and the left side on your way down. Its the prettiest plan ride to get to the the British Columbian coast, snow topped mountains and small Alaskan and Canadian islands dotting the ocean
I may have more to update after this trip, but I’ve been so lucky to have so many great trips up there and such a great local guide!