The sophisticated and vibrant city of JUNEAU is the only state capital in the nation not accessible by road. It is exceptionally picturesque, wedged between the Gastineau Channel and the rainforested hills behind. In 1880, Joe Juneau made Alaska’s first gold strike here, and until the last mine closed in 1944 this was the world’s largest producer of low-grade ore – all the flat land in Juneau, stretching from downtown to the airport, is waste rock from the mines. Today, state government provides much of the employment, and tourism plays its part with the drive-to Mendenhall Glacier and the watery charms of Tracy Arm fjord as temptation.

 

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