Make Juneau, Alaska the Place for Your 50th State Visit

Thursday, March 1, 2018 9:00 AM by Marika Mashburn and Dennis William Grimes, Actors/World Travelers

Dennis and I have wanted to come to Alaska for several years.  We are both avid travelers, and we have heard such incredible things from friends who have lived and traveled there. Alaska was #50 for me and #46 for Dennis.  I saved Alaska for last, partially because, let’s be honest, nobody wants to end things on Kansas (sorry, Kansas), but also because Alaska was a bit daunting to me. There was so much I wanted to see and do, that I felt like we either had to take a 10-day cruise or spend a ton of money taking several small flights from city to city.  By happenstance, we found ourselves with just enough time and money to help us decide on staying put in Juneau.  Plenty of hiking, whale watching, salmon, water, and beauty.  Neither of us were prepared for how green and lush the city is.  We knew it rained a lot, but I had no idea how incredibly beautiful everything was. 

When we arrived we were delighted to meet Jeff with Juneau Limousine at the airport. He took us on an incredible driving tour of Juneau and was an absolute gem. Great love and knowledge of the history of the city, and he was kind enough to point out perfect hiking spots and cool restaurants.

Some highlights of the vacation:

  • Whale-watching cruise with Admiralty Excursions
  • Hiking the tram trail on Mount Roberts (bring rain gear!  Whoops!)
  • Fish tacos from Deckhand Dave’s
  • Cocktails at The Narrows and the Amalga distillery (Sunday morning bloody mary bar!)
  • Amazing Indian food, especially the Masala Chai at Saffron
  • Excellent cedar salmon at the Twisted Fish
  • Savory and sweet crepes at Alaskan Crepe Escape
  • Paddling with a new friend on Lake Mendenhall with a hike to the glacier

Everyone we encountered from Juneau was the nicest!  When they found out we were staying for a few days the world opened up; food and drink recommendations, offers for discounted excursions, even an offer to lend us some kayaking equipment.  Every day, regardless of the weather, we had stunning views, scenery, and incredible nature. This, coupled with sweet messages from locals on social media making sure we knew about downtown happenings, ensured we had the loveliest of vacations.  We look forward to visiting again in the future, and to telling all of our friends to visit ASAP. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, friends. 

Author: Marika Mashburn and Dennis William Grimes, Actors/World Travelers

Marika and Dennis are Chicago-based actors and Airbnb hosts who have enjoyed traveling together since 2011.  Marika has visited 50 states, 25 countries and 5 continents, including a year-long stint driving trucks in Antarctica.  Dennis is not far behind, but has no desire to live anywhere that is colder than Chicago.  Next stop: India?