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Old 06-21-2009, 06:29 PM
 
Location: West Texas
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My wife and I are going on an Alaskan Cruise in a few weeks to celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary.

We'll be stopping in Juneau and Skagway. In Skagway we already have tickets on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. But, I was wondering about any sights that may be off the beaten path in either place.

We'll be in port about twelve hours in each place and the railroad tour is in the middle of the afternoon.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
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The City and Borough of Juneau Homepage

Skagway Alaska
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:14 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
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Default Haines

You can always catch the fast ferry from Skagway to Haines, check out the Hammer Museum and the Sheldon Museum, or just walk around town. Maybe take a walking tour of the old fort, or a ride out to one of the rivers to see some eagles or maybe a bear. The fast ferry runs something like a dozen times a day in the summer, and brings people over for whitewater rafting trips and such. Seeing as your train ride is in the afternoon, you could probably swing it time-wise, the ride each way is only about a half-hour, forty minutes, something like that. There's a lot more to do around here of course, but it's hard to fit it in with only half a day to work with. Unlike Skagway, Haines is still a real town where real people can still live.

Skagway is basically an Alaska-flavored theme park, and the crowds of tourists there can be pretty stunning. Some days they'll have five or six big cruise ships docked there; an extra 12-15,000 tourists in a town where well under a thousand people live there year-round. Skagway is ideally suited for those whose idea of "real Alaska" is wall-to-wall T-shirt shops, overpriced jewelry stores, and candy/junk shops where everything is made in China. The flightseeing and train tours offer some fine scenery, but they do that by getting out of Skagway as soon as possible.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:37 AM
 
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Damn it, now I do have a headache...I agree with Rotor. Get on a ferry and go to Haines.
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:38 PM
 
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We rented bikes downtown and then rode out towards Smuggler's Cove and then out to Gold Rush Cemetary and a short hike up to the falls. You could actually walk to either of these as well. The museums in town are worth a visit.

It does turn real touristy after the cruise ships take over during the summers although it's still an excellent area to bone up on what it took to participate in the gold rush.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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Hi, Turkey! We just got back from the same.....one of the highlights of the trip was the RR ride. Be sure and take your camera! We did the gold panning just because my husband thinks he'd like to be a prospector....it was okay. I loved sitting by the river while he did his thing. The sidewalks were extremely crowded as were the t-shirt stores....had our camera stolen out of my son's coat pocket in one of them (local career, I guess). Don't waste your money on the glass blower and gardens. The hike up to the cemetary and the waterfall was a great experience....you could feel the history and the waterfall was spectacular. Wish we had known about the ferry ride!
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:34 PM
 
Location: The end of the road Alaska
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(local career, I guess).

GayleTX, I really take offense to that assumption! Until "down south" started moving up to Alaska and the tourists started showing up absolutely NO ONE ever had to lock or hide anything!!! In Wrangell, fortunately we still don't have to lock our houses but when the tourists show up we sure can't leave any valuables in our boats in the harbor.
It is not a "local career" - grrrrr!
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:49 PM
 
Location: West Texas
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Thanks for the info, it will make our short time in your state even better!
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Alaska & Florida
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Do the train ride, the first 30 mins or so are pretty boring, but after that...it is BEAUTIFUL!
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:59 PM
 
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I second Rotor's suggestion to go to Haines. The trip over is beautiful. Haines is a nice town. We did a rafting trip through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Its a lot of fun too.
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