Juneau is situated at the foot of the Juneau Ice Cap on the shores of Alaska's Inside Passage. Surrounded by the Tongass National Forest, Juneau is known for its glaciers, mountains, islands, waterfalls, marine life and wildlife. Residents and visitors enjoy easy access to a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities:
- 50 hiking and biking trails from sea level to the alpine zone
- Many fine beaches for picnics
- Eaglecrest ski area, with 3 double chairlifts serving 34 alpine runs
- 10 km of tracked Nordic ski trails at Eaglecrest and many more km of tracked Nordic trails at Mendenhall Campground and on Mendenhall Lake
- 2 commercial zip lines
- Several indoor athletic clubs
- 2 beautiful campgrounds
- Kayaking, sailing, and other types of boating
- Unsurpassed hunting and fishing
- Rock and ice climbing
- Hang gliding
- River rafting and whitewater kayaking
- Birds, wildlife and marine life
- Scuba diving
- Indoor and outdoor skating and ice hockey
- Gyms and field houses for basketball, volleyball and other indoor sports
- Great outdoor playgrounds
Juneau has been nationally recognized as a "best place" to live, work, and vacation. Here are a few recent recognitions:
August 2009 - Juneau was named the fifth-best city to raise an outdoor kid by Backpacker magazine. Juneau earned extra points for having the highest percentage of Boy Scouts in the West and an "unrivaled cornucopia: Glacier Bay National Park (ice, bears), Tongass National Forest (trees, bears), and Admiralty Island (fish, bears) totalling nearly 40 million acres."
February 2009 - Alaska's Blue Canoes (the ferries of the Alaska Marine Highway System) were named one of the Top 10 most exciting ferry rides in the world by the Society of American Travel Writers: "Public and private ferry boats provide an inexpensive alternative to cruises, often traversing some of the world's most beautiful harbors, fjords, rivers and waterways at bargain prices."
July 2008 - Juneau was listed 6th best in the 10 Best Outdoorsy Places to Retire by U.S. News and World Report: "Retirees who love the outdoors get more than just enjoyment out of hiking, bird-watching, and kayaking. They also get exercise that improves their quality of life. Juneau, Alaska, provides a jumping-off point for hiking, rafting, kayaking, and rock climbing."
April 2008 - Juneau's Alaskan Brewing Company was named No. 5 among medium-sized companies in Outside Magazine's "Best Places to Work" list. The magazine conducted extensive surveys based on benefits, compensation, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives and community outreach programs designed to identify, recognize and honor the best employers in the country.
June 2004 - Juneau was listed as the best place to live in the Pacific Northwest by CNN's Money Magazine: "With a population of some 30,000, Juneau, Alaska isn't a big city. But as the state capital, it straddles the urban and wilderness worlds. Ferries along the Alaska Marine Highway give access to other Inside Passage communities and beyond."