Tell me about Juneau, Alaska

I was born in Juneau and we moved to Anchorage when I was about ten. Forty years later, I made it back there on business and made several subsequent trips. As an isolated community, your options are somewhat limited, but if you like the outdoors and don’t mind getting damp, it’s terrific. Whales, bears and birds abound. Fishing is great. Blueberries are plentiful. And when the sun shines, it’s truly spectacular. Not having a road out makes me a bit claustrophobic: YMMV.

Juneau is a left-leaning town and nearly always goes Dem in elections. The local paper has been there a long time by Alaska standards and is also lefty. The politics are always rough and tumble, if you’re into that.

LOTS of cruise-ship tourists in summer, so there are also lots of t-shirt and knick-knack shops downtown, along with a few decent places to eat.

Juneau is mostly built on the side of a mountain and some areas are prone to avalanche. Keep that in mind before buying or renting a place. Lots of hiking trails in the mountains: see prior comment about wildlife. The streets in downtown are narrow and haven’t changed in - well - ever. They’re also steep. A smaller vehicle is probably desirable, rather than a Hummer.

While air is the most common way to get in and out of Juneau, there is also the Alaska Ferry System, which can deposit you and your vehicle in Skagway or Haines, thus placing you back on a road system. Approach by aircraft can be an adventure, as you are often coming in in heavy fog and landing with steep mountains on one side and ocean on the other, which means interesting up/down draft issues. Juneau at least now has sophisticated locator-type stuff so planes don’t have to guess where the runway might be.

There’s a great antique bookstore/map store called Capitol Books. Good luck.