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Old 12-30-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
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Must do's for Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan??

Any advice for things to do/see in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan?
We will be 4 adults (one with limited mobility, would need a chair/scooter for long distance or prolonged standing) and 2 children (5yrs and 2yrs).

Anything that might fit in with the ages/ability levels?

Trying to keep costs low so free or cheap is best
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:16 PM   #2
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I've been doing a ton of research for my family's Alaska trip in June. There are threads specifically for excursions here on the boards (don't have the link at the moment). I have gotten most of my information from them. It seems most of the ports, if you want something close to free to do, would be taking a bus or taxi to some of the local parks and museums. Also, most of the excursions are cheaper if you don't book them directly through the ship.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:27 PM   #3
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Check out the National Park Service..there are several tours/walking tours that are free in each port.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:07 PM   #4
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Don't miss Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. We booked through the ship, but I assume you can do it on your own cheaper. The visitor center is great, lots of information and a movie that explains about glaciers. We walked a bit of the trail but that is not too scooter friendly. You can also go over to the creek which is scooter friendly since it is build up like a boardwalk. We went in Aug. so the salmon were running which was neat to see. We also saw a black bear scoop a salmon out of the water, climb a tree, eat it, then take a nap. We also saw a brown bear lumber across the street near the parking lot.

Not cheap but so wonderful-we went whale watching. If you splurge and do this, be sure to do it on a smaller vessel. There were only about 35 people on our boat so there was plenty of room to watch. We saw other larger boats nearby and people were jockeying for space at the rail.

In Skagway, the White Pass Rail was wonderful, very informative, beautiful scenery. You can do it cheaper on your own but make sure you get off the ship early to get in line. You can walk from the ship to the train depot.

Ketchikan is a neat little town to just walk through and shop.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:15 PM   #5
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Whale watching with Captain Larry in Juneau (check Cruise Critic for info), then a visit to the Mendenhall Glacier. We saw tons of bald eagles in Juneau - as plentiful as seagulls at the beach. Definitely do a smaller ship for whale watching if you can - we saw tons of whales and got to observe bubblenetting up close.

We did the lumberjack show in Ketchikan (very touristy, but the kids were 8 and 4 and loved it). We also went shopping and found some great Christmas ornaments.

We didn't visit Skagway on our cruise (we went on HAL), but DH and DD13 (then 8) went salmon fishing in Sitka, and we had the salmon shipped back home. I don't know if that is an option for Skagway or not, but they thought it was pretty cool.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:18 PM   #6
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A little place we discovered on our HAL trip there a couple years ago, walking distance from the port, a little slice of chocolate-dipped heaven, Ketchicandies. Imagine any sort of snackie food product. Now dip that item in amazing chocolate. Repeat ad infinitum.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:34 AM   #7
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We were on a budget for our honeymoon (RCCL) Alaska cruise, and only did one official excursion. We loved going to the Jewell gardens for tea.

Other than that, we walked around town and enjoyed it.

In Juneau, we went to a bookstore, that famous saloon, and even found a really tasty Mexican restaurants several blocks away from the tourist zone! That was in 2003, but in 2009 (? right as the market, etc, crumbled) my stepdad and his wife stumbled across it as well. So it might still be there. VERY good.

We hit Ketchikan last and were back on the ship within the hour. Didn't like it, and it seemed you needed a car to really see the town itself. So we went back and enjoyed the ship.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:37 AM   #8
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If you're into food at all:

The Silverbow Bakery is THE BEST. Best bagels I have had west of New York. Their cinnamon ones are to die for! I believe they are within walking distance of the cruise terminal, but not sure. I've only ever flown to Juneau.

Further away, if you happen to rent a car and just want a pretty drive and yummy waffles we loved the Southeast Waffle Company. Free wifi, good coffee, delicious waffles. But not at all within walking distance.

Back near the water, we loved Valentine's Coffee House, no idea if it's still there though. It was on Seward street.

I have eaten at that mexican restaurant, it was back in 2005. My sister's taco salad was nasty, but what I got (probably enchiladas, don't remember) was decent, nothing special (of course here in Seattle we have lots of really good Mexican food).

Mendenhall Glacier is really neat, but I don't remember how accessible it was. There are tons of buses that run between the waterfront and Mendenhall, and I'm sure just catching of of those and paying the fare is cheaper than the DCL excursion. There is a visitors center as well as lots of areas to walk around the glacier itself. Mt. Roberts Tramway is neat too (beautiful views).

The area right around the cruise terminal is, as you would imagine, a very big tourist area with lots of gift shops and such. If you don't feel like doing an excursion, you can easily fill a good part of the day wandering shops full of souveniers and the like. There is a good bookstore there too.
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