Places to See On Your Alaska Cruise, Welcome To Juneau!!

Well my sister in law is in town this week and we're playing tourist here in Juneau. Very funny how folks react to us because we're locals.

Anyway, we went to the Gold Creek Salmon Bake in Juneau last night and we had a blast. You have to think of it not as a dinner but more of an experience. The grilled salmon was very good although I was disappointed that they were using Chum Salmon as the choice of the evening. Local Alaskans don't eat Chum Salmon!!

It wasn't until I finished eating that I noticed that it was Chum and actually it was rather good. It depends on what time of year that you come here as to what kind of salmon that you'll get. Early in the Alaska cruise season (May-June) you'll get King Salmon but in early July Chum salmon are more available. Sockeye salmon are next in line and they happen to be my personal favorite. They call them reds because their meat is more of a red color then the traditional 'salmon' color that you get from Chinook (Kings) or silvers (Coho) or even humpies (Pink Salmon). Chum tends to have more of a whiter color and most of the seafood processing plants actually add food coloring to spoof people into buying Alaskan Salmon for next to nothing.

With that in mind for around $25.00 per person you get an all you can eat meal of grilled salmon, potato salad, Caesar salad, baked beans, cornbread as well as cole slaw. It's a pretty good deal and the salmon is usually wonderful and cooked to perfection. The cooks there know how to cook the salmon right since they barbecue so much of it on a daily basis.

You can treat yourself to an Alaskan Amber or any of the local award winning Alaskan Brewery's products or get a glass of wine if you choose. They also have coffee, tea and hot chocolate for the non-drinking folks.

While eating you'll be treated to a live performance of folk music, there's always someone playing a guitar for entertainment.

After dinner you can walk by the side of Salmon Creek all the way up to the waterfall which by the way is a beautiful place to take some pictures, it's the perfect backdrop. Once at the waterfall you can try your skills gold panning and even a beginner can find some powdered gold here. Salmon creek was actually one of best place to find gold in Juneau around the turn of the 1900's.

All along the trail (which is only a couple hundred yards in length) they have information plaques that display information on the local plants as well as stories complete with pictures of the life cycle of the salmon.

Once back to the 'camp' don't forget to check out their little gift shop! The shop is first class and my wife dropped about $50.00 in gifts that incorporated Alaskan gold in them. Overall she got a great bargain for the gifts.

And before you leave don't forget to take the kids over to the fire pits where there are plenty of marshmallows and sticks to roast them on. My kids absolutely loved this part of the trip and we thought that we would have to hose the stickiness off of them before we left.

The whole experience should take you about two and a half hours to complete and it's well worth the price. So when taking an Alaskan cruise and stopping in Juneau don't miss the Gold Creek Salmon Bake!!

Earl Lear lives in Juneau year round and enjoys writing about the joys of living in Alaska. You can preview his site for up to date information on the Alaska Cruise industry and visiting Juneau at or learn what it's like living in "The Last Frontier" at

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