For every moment of holiday joy you experience, there’s a corresponding moment that was spent cleaning for company, fighting your way through an airport or listening to yet another undeniably offensive joke from Uncle Bob.
The festivities can leave you feeling run-down and eager for a low-key getaway so if you do manage to scrape together some time off, there’s no better place to spend it than in Juneau, AK. Here are a few highlights you can enjoy if you take the quick (less than two hours from Seattle!) flight to Alaska’s capital.
Skiing and snowboarding for days
Only twelve miles outside of downtown Juneau on lovely Douglas Island is Eaglecrest Ski Area, a community-owned winter recreation area with four different ski lifts and tons of trails for skiers of all skill levels. With 36 runs and 1,630 vertical feet of skiing and snowboarding as well as trails for Nordic skiers, this place is a paradise for winter sports lovers.
Take the Snow Bus from downtown Juneau and you don’t even need a car to get to Eaglecrest. Once you arrive you can get lift tickets and gear and head right up the mountain. Alternatively, you can take a lesson in skiing, snowboarding or Nordic skiing to brush up on your skills before you hit the slopes. Eaglecrest also offers lessons in adaptive skiing, snowboarding and Nordic skiing so that visitors with cognitive, visual and or physical disabilities can take part in the fun.
Best of all, because Eaglecrest participates in the Freedom Pass program, if you’re an avid skier or snowboarder who’s purchased this pass you can get three free all-day lift tickets at Eaglecrest.
Optimal glacier access
In the summer, the famous Mendenhall Glacier sits in a wide lake of glacial melt. Those who want to touch the glacier or traverse its surface are forced to paddle across the lake or hike for hours (eight, give or take) to get around the lake and back. In the winter, the lake is frozen so the glacier is easily accessible – just walk across the frozen water.
If you visit the Medenhall Glacier in the winter time you’ll also see locals playing hockey and ice skating, so bring your own skates if you’re a skater and you can claim to have skated across a glacial lake!
The artsy charms of downtown
Downtown Juneau is a walkable area with lots of unique shops, delicious restaurants and a surprisingly lively arts scene. In the coming months, there are several events sure to delight the artistically inclined.
Perseverance Theater produces plays of local interest and national acclaim to rave reviews. This season features “Steel Magnolias” through the end of December, the world premiere of “William, Inc” at the end of January and perennial favorite “Cyrano de Bergerac” in the spring. If you enjoy live theater, plan your trip to coincide with a show for a special treat.
Wearable Arts is another of Juneau’s artistic highlights. This annual competition put on by the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council challenges artists to craft wearable masterpieces related to a central theme, and the theme for 2018 is MOLTEN. For those who appreciate fashion, design and sculpture, this event is sure to be hot, hot hot!
Whether you’re craving a couple’s weekend, a getaway with friends or an easy ski trip for the whole family, Juneau is a fabulously convenient place to make it happen. To learn more and start planning your trip, visit traveljuneau.com.