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Do You Need a Car in Juneau Downtown?


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Juneau spans 3,254 square miles. And while you might want a car to travel and see all that Juneau has to offer, you won’t need a car in Juneau downtown because it is extremely walkable.

Depending on where you stay in downtown Juneau, you might have a 1- to 2-mile walk to get to some sightseeing downtown. But if you get tired, you can take advantage of public transportation and just head to a Capital Transit bus stop to get to a new location downtown. 

You’ll never be far from a great restaurant, coffee shop or exciting landmark. And with so much to see and do in downtown, you could spend your entire trip just exploring the walkable city.

So when might you need a car or other mode of transportation? Here’s what you should know about the distance to major sightseeing locations and the best way to get there if you’re staying at a downtown Juneau hotel.

Things You Don’t Need a Car to See when Staying in Downtown Juneau

Car in Juneau Downtown

Downtown Juneau has so much to offer and is an extremely walkable city. If you’re staying downtown, here are some fun sights to see where you won’t need a car to get there.

Mount Roberts Tramway

Mount Roberts Tramway is less than a half mile from downtown Juneau. It’s worth taking a ride on the tramway, which allows you to experience the beauty of the Gastineau Channel below. 

Alaska State Museum

The museum is located downtown, making it a fun convenient way to spend an afternoon, especially if the weather isn’t great for outdoor adventures. You’ll learn about the state’s rich history and native heritage.

Last Chance Mining Museum

It’s a bit of a hike to get here from downtown, but depending on where you stay, it’s about a 1.5-mile walk from downtown Juneau to the Last Chance Mining Museum. 

Juneau Harbor

Juneau Harbor is located in downtown Juneau making it an easy spot to stop and enjoy a delicious bite to eat while watching the boats come and go. You might spot some wildlife in the harbor as well. You’ll find a great photo opportunity at the cruise pier. 

Alaska State Capitol

You’re within walking distance of the Alaska State Capitol when you stay downtown. The building hosts the Alaska Legislature and the office of the Governor. The building dates back to 1931 and is a beautiful piece of architecture to behold.

Juneau-Douglas City Museum

The museum is located in the former library building. It was the city’s library until the 1980s. Now you can go there to learn about gold mining, skiing, fishing, politics, the history of the city, hydropower and the various outdoor recreation the city offers. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the building dates back to 1950.


Full washers and dryers in every suite.

House of Wickersham

This house is a historic site that memorializes the life of James Wickersham. He was a political leader in the 20th century. Frank Hammond built the house in 1899 making it a neat place to visit when you visit downtown Juneau.

When You Might Want a Car During Your Stay in Juneau

While you won’t need a car to explore downtown Juneau, you should be aware that the stunning outdoor adventures Juneau has to offer are fairly spread out because the area is so vast.

So if you’re planning to see some of the wonders the area offers, you might want to hail a cab or book a rideshare service to get to these locations and points of interest in Juneau.

Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center

Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center is 12 miles from downtown Juneau and the city bus won’t take you all the way there. You can get about 1.5 miles from the visitors center when riding the bus. But if you’re planning to do tons of hiking near Mendenhall, you might want to save your energy and use a car to get to the sightseeing location.

Nugget Falls is a popular landmark within Mendenhall Glacier that you won’t want to miss if you head out that way. Plan ahead to ensure you see all you want to see near Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center to make your transportation worth the cost.

Tracy Arm Fjord

If you’re hoping to see Tracy Arm Fjord, you’ll likely need to book a seaplane adventure or marine tour. There’s no great way of getting there from downtown Juneau by land transportation. But there are few places in the world where you can see a fjord, so it’s worth paying for this experience if you can find a good excursion that includes this.

Douglas Island

Douglas Island is 12 miles from downtown Juneau. You can reach it by car. The city bus does not go to Douglas Island, which means you’ll need to find other means of transportation. But the wildlife on the island is beautiful and worth the trip. Pack a lunch or grab takeout on your way to the island to sit and enjoy nature’s entertainment.

Auke Bay

Auke Bay is another place where you’ll find stunning wildlife. And while you can get there by bus from downtown Juneau, it will take about an hour depending on the time of day. You might consider using a rental car or rideshare service if you plan to visit this location during your stay.

Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure

This fun experience is 7 miles from downtown Juneau. You can get to this location via the city bus with just five minutes of walking, which means you don’t necessarily need a car but you do need ground transportation of some kind. Here, you’ll experience Tongass National Forest. You can take guided walking tours or explore on your own.

Macaulay Salmon Hatchery

You can touch and experience neat underwater wildlife in a touch pool and see how the hatchery operates. Explore the lifecycle of salmon and other fish. It’s about a 30-minute bus ride from downtown to arrive at the hatchery. Or you can book a rideshare or cab service to get there faster. 

Eaglecrest Ski Area

Car in Juneau Downtown

If you want to go skiing, you can do so on Douglas Island at Eaglecrest Ski Area. However, you can’t get there via public transportation, so you’ll need to use a car or other ground transportation to get there.

Booking Downtown Juneau Hotel Accommodations

Staying downtown puts you at the heart of Juneau. So despite the vast land that the city encompasses, you won’t need a car to get around downtown. And with public transportation, you can get to many destinations for a low $2 fare. 

Ready to experience all that Juneau has to offer? Book your stay at Juneau Hotel. We’re conveniently located downtown to put you near bus stops and sightseeing as well as some of the best cuisines Juneau has to offer. 

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