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More Q&A About Juneau

Q: How can you spot an Alaskan?

A: Southeast Alaskans are often decked out in rubber boots, well-worn Levis or Carhartts, and tattered, hooded sweatshirts. Their complexions are dewy, and they squint when the sun comes out, followed by comments about that strange yellow ball in the sky.

Q: Why don't locals use umbrellas? 

A: Call it stubbornness or being in denial, but somehow the umbrella just never caught on here. People are drip-dry, and umbrellas just can't take the wind that so often accompanies the rain. Besides, umbrellas are for wimps.

Q: How high is Juneau?

A: The ocean gives you a clue. The Inside Passage is the Pacific Ocean, which places Juneau right at sea level. High tide used to lap South Franklin and Front Street, and canoes were parked where people are walking now. 

Q: Does it always rain here?

A: No. Sometimes it snows. Juneau gets about 150 inches of precipitation a year; we call it "liquid sunshine." Around these parts, any day without rain is considered a beautiful day.

Q: Do you take American money?

A: You betcha. We'll take all the money you want to give us. However, due to our proximity to Canada, don't be surprised if a cashier gives you Canadian coins for change. The two coinage types mingle freely here. 

Q: Do I need a passport when I come to Juneau?

A: Only if you plan to continue your journey to Canada, Russia or the Far East.

Q: What time is it here?

A: Alaska time. Things will get done unless the sun is out or the fishing is exceptionally good. Most of Alaska is on Alaska time, an hour earlier than Pacific time. 

Q: Where's the Midnight Sun?

A: Go north above the Arctic Circle, where the sun never sets during the summer, about 66 degrees north latitude. Juneau is just above 58 degrees north latitude. 

Q: When is the best time to see whales?

A: Whales are in the Juneau area year-round. However, from April to November the majority of humpback whales return to the waters of the northern Inside Passage.

Q: Do you have car rentals in Juneau?

A: Of course! Most national rental car firms and local dealers rent cars, vans, and even buses. Many of these firms will offer to pick you up or drop you off. Visit the Getting Here and Around page for more information on local rentals.

Q: Can I drive to Glacier Bay?

A: No. Glacier Bay/Gustavus is only accessible by air or water. It is a short 33 miles from Juneau. Convenient commuter air service is available year-round. During the summer, daily jet service is provided by Alaska Airlines. 

Q: Can I see Glacier Bay in one day?

A: What's your hurry? Yes, you sure can, although a minimum of two days is suggested. To visit Glacier Bay in one day, an early morning flight with one of several scheduled commuter plane services is required. The Glacier Bay cruise aboard the Spirit of Adventure departs at 7:30 am from Bartlett Cove. The late afternoon return trip to Juneau can be by commuter plane, jet, or ferry.

Q: Where can we get an Alaska Marine Highway Ferry schedule?

A: It is available on the web at

Q: How can I get to the Ferry Terminal?

A: Taxi service is available. The nearest bus stop is 1.75 miles from the terminal.

Q: How far is the airport from downtown?

A: A short 10 miles. Many hotels offer courtesy van service. Taxi cabs and public bus service is also available. 

Q: Where can I get more information on Alaska for a student report?

A: Information about Alaska is available at

Q: Where is the statue of Patsy Ann?

A: The statue, in memory of Juneau's most famous resident, an English Bull Terrier, is located on the downtown dock boardwalk halfway between the library and the small boat lightering ramp.

Q: Where will we find Totem Poles?

A: There are several totem poles and historic buildings on the National Register located in the downtown area. The City Museum has a complete list and detailed map, but below are a few and their approximate location:

  • Harnessing the Atom Totem Pole, outside City Museum (Calhoun St. side)
  • Friendship Totem Pole, lobby of Courthouse Building (4th and Seward)
  • The Old Witch Totem Pole, State Office Building (8th floor Main Lobby)
  • The Governor's Totem Pole, outside Governor's Mansion (716 Calhoun St.)
  • Raven and Eagle Totem Poles, Village St. & Willoughby
  • Wooshkeetann & Auk Tribe Totem Poles, outside Centennial Hall
  • Four Story Totem Pole, outside City Museum