Local Lingo & FAQs
If you're gonna walk and talk like a local,
then you'd better get to know the lingo
Juneau, Alaska, is known for its warm and friendly hospitality. In fact, more than 130 Juneau residents volunteer to meet and greet visitors and are available to answer any questions they may have about Juneau or Alaska.
The Local Lingo and Frequently Asked Questions below are great resources, but don't hesitate to call one of our local information experts at
888-581-2201 for further assistance.
Local LingoAlaskan: Simultaneously a person, place, and thing, depending on context. This is a bar and hotel in downtown Juneau, a malt beverage brewed here by the Alaskan Brewing Company, and a state resident. You could have an Alaskan with an Alaskan at the Alaskan. (And you should.)
Amber: A type of Alaskan beer, an ale.
The Bridge: "The Bridge" is the one downtown that crosses Gastineau Channel to Douglas. Technically, it's called the Juneau-Douglas Bridge.
The Channel: Gastineau Channel, that body of water between Juneau and Douglas.
Chums: Dog salmon, as in "the chums are running." Soon to be your best friend. Get it?
DIPAC (pronounced die-pack): Stands for Douglas Island Pink and Chum. This is the fish hatchery now renamed the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, where you can see chums, kings, and coho.
Dollies: Dolly Varden trout.
Douglas: A place, not a person. Refers to both the town and the island across the channel from downtown. When people say North Douglas, they mean West Douglas, where the North Douglas Highway goes. Makes perfect sense, right?
XtraTufs: Knee-high slip-on rubber boots. XtraTufs is a brand name, but this is a generic term for all "Juneau Sneakers." They go with everything.
Lemon Creek: Might sound like a fancy wine, but it's the big valley between downtown and the airport. Also refers to a local glacier and stream.
The Road: There are lots of roads, but "The Road" is the long one that runs north and south. It's called Egan Drive between downtown and the Mendenhall Valley; north of there, it's either the Veterans Memorial Highway or Glacier Highway. Past Auke Bay, people call it "Out The Road." It ends 40 miles north of downtown.
The Shrine: The Shrine of St. Therese. A quaint stone Catholic church next to a hot fishing spot "Out The Road" at mile 28.
The S.O.B.: This is what the locals affectionately (wink-wink) call the State Office Building, where many of them work. It's sandwiched between Willoughby Avenue and Calhoun Street downtown.
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: What should we bring to wear?
A: During the spring, summer, and fall, dressing in layers is the key to being comfortable. A light shirt, short or long sleeves, makes an excellent first layer. Over that, a sweatshirt, wool sweater, or fleece pullover will provide warmth. The ideal outer layer is a light waterproof jacket. Layers should be easy to remove depending on weather changes and your activity.
Q: How many hours of daylight do you have?
A: How many do you need? On Juneau's longest day, June 21, we have 18 hours and 18 minutes of the good stuff. On the shortest day in December, we have 6 hours and 21 minutes of daylight.
Q: Can we get married in Alaska?
A: Yes -- with a little planning. Contact the Marriage Commissioner at Vital Statistics at 907-465-3038 to obtain a license or apply here. The license must be picked up in person. It will be available three business days after the application is received and is good for 90 days, anywhere in Alaska. Complete information on planning your wedding in Juneau is available by calling toll-free at 888-581-2201.
Have more questions? We have more answers!