Juneau - which has been called America's most beautiful state capital - became Alaska's capital city in 1906 when the administration of the then-District of Alaska moved from Sitka to the site of Alaska's first major gold strike. Prospectors Joe Juneau and Richard Harris had, under the guidance of a Tlingit Indian chief named Kowee, discovered gold there in 1880. It soon became Alaska's biggest, busiest, most bustling community. History buffs should not fail to visit at least one of three rewarding museums - Last Chance Mining Museum (in Last Chance Basin not far from the site of the initial discovery), the City Museum across Main Street from Alaska's State Capitol, and the Alaska State Museum on Whittier Street, a 10-15 minute walk from Juneau's cruiseship wharf where some of the largest cruiseships on the Pacific Coast tie up or anchor out.
Other must-see attractions: Mt. Roberts Tram which rises from sea level on the wharf to an upper station at the 1,800 foot level, and Mendenhall Glacier about 13 miles "out the road," one of only a handful of massive ice rivers in Alaska you can drive to. Time to spare? Hike the beach and woods of the Treadwell Historic Trail on Douglas Island and photograph skeletal remains of mining buildings and equipment. For libations, don't miss the famous Red Dog Saloon downtown.
For collectors of zipline courses - where you ride suspended from cables in parachute-like harness while "zipping" through lush Alaska forests - Juneau boasts not one but two. Both lie across the bridge on Douglas Island. Along the beach and within the old Treadwell Mine diggin's there's Alaska Canopy Adventures. In the alpine forest adjacent to Eaglecrest Ski Area you'll find Alaska Zipline Adventures. More Juneau information at http://www.traveljuneau.com