When the Klondike Gold Rush started, the prospectors would come into town and ask, “Juneau where I can start lookin’ fer dat gold?”
Just kidding. It was named for prospector Joe Juneau. Juneau is Alaska’s state capital, and while Juneau maintains much of its 1890s flavor, the nonstop gambling saloons and houses of pleasure have given way businesses designed to pry money from tourists. Myriad jewelry and fur stores line the main drag as you come off the cruise ships. If that fails, then prepare to run the gauntlet of souvenir shops selling everything from T-shirts with suggestive slogans and pictures to kitschy knickknacks and Alaskan- and frontier-themed coffee cups.
But, hey, at least you can get a good brew. The Alaska Brewing Company makes some pretty good stuff. These are some of the finest commercial ales you’re going to find this side of a pub in London.
Photographically speaking, save your memory card and camera batteries for Mount Roberts, the steamboat ride, a few shots of your ship (and other ships reflected in the pristine waters), the pretty flowers dotting the streets and hanging from the street lamps, and perhaps the state capital building (which I’ve photographed on previous visits, so you won’t see it today).