Juneau's Local Culture Guide: History, Customs, Festivals

Juneau's Local Culture Guide: History, Customs, Festivals

Juneau's Local Culture Guide: History, Customs, Festivals


Juneau, the capital of Alaska, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by the Tlingit people, who were skilled traders and fishermen. In 1880, gold was discovered in the area, leading to a gold rush and the establishment of the city of Juneau. The city was named after Joe Juneau, a prospector who played a key role in the early development of the area. Today, Juneau is a vibrant city that celebrates its diverse cultural heritage.


The people of Juneau are known for their welcoming and friendly nature. Visitors to the city are encouraged to embrace the local customs and traditions, such as respecting the natural environment and wildlife, which are an integral part of the Alaskan way of life. It is also common to greet others with a warm smile and a friendly "hello" or "how are you?" when walking around the city.


  • Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival: This annual festival celebrates jazz and classical music and features performances by world-renowned musicians.
  • Gold Rush Days: A celebration of Juneau's gold mining history, this festival includes parades, gold panning competitions, and historic reenactments.
  • Southeast Alaska State Fair: Held in nearby Haines, this fair showcases local arts, crafts, and delicious Alaskan food.

Local Cuisine

Juneau offers a variety of delicious local cuisine that reflects its unique cultural heritage. Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood, including salmon and halibut, as well as traditional Alaskan dishes such as reindeer sausage and fry bread. Be sure to try a bowl of comforting seafood chowder or a piece of decadent smoked salmon candy while exploring the city.

Outdoor Activities

Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, Juneau is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the lush forests and towering mountains on hiking and biking trails, or take a scenic boat tour to admire the majestic glaciers and abundant wildlife. For more adventurous travelers, activities such as whale watching, zip-lining, and glacier trekking are also available.

Arts and Crafts

Juneau is home to a vibrant arts and crafts scene, with many local artists showcasing their work in galleries and studios around the city. Visitors can purchase unique handmade souvenirs, such as intricate native Alaskan carvings, vibrant traditional textiles, and beautiful jewelry inspired by the natural surroundings. Be sure to visit the Juneau Arts & Culture Center to experience the creativity of the local community.

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