After the Hatchery the bus brought us to Mendenhall Glacier within the Tongass National Forest. We had seen many glaciers earlier in the week, but it was cool to get even closer. (I am a bit sad that we didn't go on a tour that would allow me to climb on one.) It was raining when we got there, but my Dad and I forged a head to walk to the waterfall a mile away from the visitors center. When we got there, there were only a handful of other people milling around. The rain did finally stop and as we were leaving to walk back, the views became much clearer
|view from the visitors center|
The final stop on our ride around Juneau was to Glacier Gardens Rainforest. While it's hard to believe, parts of Alaska are in fact a rainforest. Just not a tropical one. We stopped by this privately owned park to take a ride around. The owners have created a very beautiful botanical garden near their visitors center, using uprooted trees as hanging baskets. We piled into golf carts and made our way up the "mountain" our guide was sweet, making jokes and pointing out a few different things a long the way. At the top there was a bit of clearing which had a nice view of the area. For the price that they charge, I wouldn't recommend the stop- but since it was included in our ticket for the day, it neat to see.
I had wanted to stop at Alaska Brewing Company for lunch, but their location is a few miles away from town. And while I've dragged my parents to Glacier Brewhouse, Denali Brewing Company, and Skagway Brewing Company, I didn't push the issue and we ended up at a place called Rockwell. I had THE best macroni and cheese I have ever had. So, it was worth it.
We only had a short amount of time in Juneau, and I think there could be more to explore on the historical side, not just the wilderness, but we enjoyed what we did get to see before heading back onto the boat for our next port.
*fun fact, did you know there is NO way to get to Alaska by driving. The only way to arrive is by plane or boat!