This restaurant is located right by the cruise ship dock and is pretty much swarming with tourists. They have guys standing out front dressed up like old gold miners and there is a line going out the door to wait for a table. The food is also really expensive. Why should anyone wait in line to pay $12 for a burger when they can get one down the street for $6 right away?
Unique Suggestions: I heard a couple of locals say that this place isn't so bad during the winter when there are no cruise ships in town. Then it turns into more of a laid-back local joint.
Fun Alternatives: Of couse this is just my opinion, but I'd say to do yourself a favor and walk a block or two down the street and find a better, cheaper quieter place to eat.
The people who do marketing for Juneau (and lots of other places in Alaska) make much ado about the fact that the state used to be part of Russia. Of course this is part of their heritage, but today it seems that this fact is mainly used to sell junk to tourists. There must be about five or six Russian imports stores in the city and they all sell the same overpriced crap.
I've actually been to Russia, so maybe that's why these places don't impress me too much. The same stuff is sold in all of the Russian tourist shops as well, half the world away. I'm not even sure how much of the stuff is made in Russia, and if it is I kind of doubt that the people who make it see much of the revenue it produces.
Unique Suggestions: If you go to one of these stores, be sure what you are buying is actually from Russia and that it is of decent quality.
Oh, and even I kind of liked the t-shirts that these places had with the Russian writing on them. I didn't get one though.
When the gift /Souvenir shop is almost bigger then the Bar that is NOT a good sign!
Bad Beer with Bad service is a diffenent BAD sign. STAY AWAY!!. Walk up 2 blocks to the Alaska Hotel for a much better experiance!
Unique Suggestions: Don go in!
Fun Alternatives: Alaska Hotel bar up the street.
It cost over $35 to take a 6 minute return trip on a cable car up to Mt Roberts. Personally, I thought it was a rip off. Get you up there for some nice views, lots of shopping, a restaurant and some nice hikes. It just feels that it is designed to get money out of you at every turn.
The 45 minute wait for the cable car back down didn't help!
Unique Suggestions: Hike the trails at the back of the main building.
Fun Alternatives: Tongrass National Park!!!!
The Red Dog Saloon has to win this award. It does have swingin doors, saw dust floors, and and all manner of flags and animals hanging from the walls. It has pretty much always been a tourist attaction. In territorial days, owners would meet tour boats with a mule that wore a sign saying, "follow my ass to the Red Dog Saloon." Think of Alaskan Hard Rock Cafe which heavily promotes it's gift shop. It was moved to it's present location and became the living room for every cruise ship in the harbor. It is the first thing you see walking north on Franklin Street. The current owners have certainly polished this "Oldest man made tourist attraction in Alaska." If you take away the swinging doors, the external facade could place it in any tourist town USA.
Unique Suggestions: Get very drunk. Sing and dance the Ragtime Hattie.
Fun Alternatives: The Alaskan Hotel Bar feels more historic and is likely to have a lively local crowd. Just walk a little farther up franklin Street.