SHOP THE LOOK
RED PUFFER COAT: Vero Moda // BACKPACK: FJÄLLRÄVEN // YELLOW TWIST BACK SWEATER: Asos // STRIPED LONG SLEEVE TEE: J. Crew // RAIN BOOTS: c/o Chooka // BOOT SOCKS: Hunter // JEANS: Joe’s Jeans // POM BEANIE: similar Sole Society // SUNNIES: c/o DIFF
Happy Monday friends!! I’m not sure about the weather in your neck of the woods, but this seventy-something and humid thing we have going on here in Dallas is so not cool for December (literally and figuratively), so I thought it would be the perfect time to escape to a much cooler place here on the blog (which I’m sure is currently a winter wonderland!): Juneau, Alaska. As promised, today I’m sharing my travel diaries from our first stop on the incredible 7-Day Alaskan Cruise Cole and I took with Princess Cruises earlier this year in September. From what we ate, to everything we saw and did, click through to read my complete Juneau travel guide.
After spending our first full day on board the Ruby Princess at sea (you can catch details from that day here!), we woke up on Monday morning of our cruise to see rolling green mountains floating on the water outside of our balcony. Before long, we’d docked at the capitol of Alaska, Juneau, and got ready to get off the ship to head to our excursion. This day was actually the only one that ended up being cloudy, but the low-hanging clouds and light spring-y mist made Juneau even dreamier than we could have imagined. As we got off the ship to check in for our excursion, we were a bit disappointed to find that our helicopter-glacier tour excursion had been cancelled due to poor visibility, but we quickly found that there was plenty to do and explore in Juneau (and unbeknownst to us, we’d still have a chance to see Alaska via helicopter, thanks to the Princess’ amazing customer service – more on that to come!). Keep scrolling to read all about the adventures Cole and I had in Juneau, Alaska.
1. Explore the Waterfront Shops and Restaurants
As we walked off the ship to explore, we could see a darling little village of colorful shops of restaurants just in walking distance on the waterfront, so we couldn’t help but do a bit of exploring. If you have time in-between your excursion(s), definitely take some time to explore the charming town of Juneau (it’s one of the largest towns in the world, in size!) If not to do some shopping then at least to eat, which is how Cole and I ended eating one o the best meals we’ve ever had at…
2. Eat at Tracy’s King Crab Shack
We’d already heard talk on the ship about Tracy’s King Crab Shack, and after passing by to see (and smell) the Alaskan King Crab being cooked right at the front of the restaurant, Cole and I wandered inside for an early lunch. Cole and I had never eaten Alaskan King Crab before, and boy were we in for a treat! The restaurant serves the freshest Alaskan King Crab in a casual and comfortable setting where you simply walk up and order your meal. Cole and I decided to treat ourselves to a couple of Alaskan Crab Legs, which come with hot melted butter and garlic rolls, along with some King Crab bisque and, as I previously said, we both agreed it was one of the best things we’ve ever tasted. So much, in fact, that we came back for an early Alaskan King Crab dinner before our evening excursion. This place is an absolute MUST when you stop in Juneau. You and your taste buds will thank me. 😉
3. Take in Views From the Mt. Roberts Tramway
After our bellies were full and very happy, we decided to explore Juneau from the clouds, with a ride up the Mount Roberts Tramway. Located right in the middle of the village and in walking distance from the ship, this is a must-do if you have any spare time during your stop in Juneau. The tram ride takes you 1,8000 feet above sea level so you can see Juneau from high above. At the top, there’s a shop, a restaurant and access to dozens of gorgeous alpine trails for hiking. You’ll even have the chance for a meet and greet with Miss Baldwin, a rescued and rehabilitated bald eagle. She’s majestic!!
4. Take a Hike Among Some of The Most Beautiful Trails and Views!
After Cole and I stepped off the tramway and greeted Miss Baldwin, we decided to give the alpine trails a try. While neither of us are very experienced hikers, once we began our hike, we both agreed we were kind of glad our helicopter ride was cancelled, because it was absolutely GORGEOUS. As you can see in the above photos, the mountains and surrounding were so lush and green, we literally felt like we were in Ireland! And everywhere we turned, there was another gorgeous view of Juneau. We even got a little taste of Alaskan wildlife as a porcupine passed right before us on the trail, and wasn’t at all bothered by us watching him eat.
5. Go Humpback Whale Watching!
After our hike, we decided we couldn’t leave Juneau without another stop at Tracy’sKing Crab Shack (it’s just that good, y’all!), so we went back once more. Since we were docked in Juneau for quite some time and there was SO much to see and do there, Cole and I had booked two excursions, both a day excursion and an evening one (which I highly recommend!). Our last excursion was an evening whale quest, and it was more magical than I could have ever imagined. We met for our excursion just outside of the docked ship where a charter bus was waiting to take us to our adventure. Even the bus guide was full of tidbits and knowledge about Juneau, pointing out bald eagles and historical points along the way to our destination. Once we arrived at Auke Bay, we boarded a two story catamaran that offered up seating both inside where it was warm and cozy and outside, where you could get up close and personal with the humpback whales. What I was most impressed with was how knowledgeable the crew was about humpback whales. They even had a name for each of the whales we saw, thanks to the unique identity they carry on their fins as they dive into the water (they even had a chart with their identities!). As promised we got to see dozens of humpback whales diving into the ocean (they’re in Alaska for feeding and would soon make their way to Hawaii for the second half of the year to breed!) Not only did we get to see whale son this excursion, we also got to witness hundreds of adorable sea lions playing on an island as well as stunning views of Alaska’s glaciers. The excursion ended with the most delicious buffet on board featuring local Alaskan fare.
Click here to read all of my posts from our Alaskan Cruise with Princess Cruises and stay tuned for more of our adventures.
**Thanks so much to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.