The City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) was originally a gold mining town and is now a thriving coastal city. Juneau is located on the southeastern peninsula of Alaska, close to the Canadian border. Although it is the capital of the state, its population is only about 31,000.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
The main employers in the Juneau area are the government, retail, hospitality and health care sectors. Almost half of the city's residents are employed by federal, state and local government agencies. Because tourism has such a great economic impact on Juneau's economy, the retail and hospitality sectors also make a major contribution. There is one major healthcare facility in Juneau, Bartlett Regional Hospital; it is the only hospital in a 100-mile radius, and it provides extensive services to the city's residents and visitors. The hospital is one of the leading employers in the area. Juneau offers a variety of resources for entrepreneurs and workers who want to gain skills. The city does not want to depend heavily upon government jobs to employ its residents, so it actively helps small-business owners and provides workforce training.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
In Juneau, housing is at a premium. About 45 percent of homes are single-family homes, most with two or three bedrooms. The cost of living in Juneau is significantly higher than the national average. The city is divided into several distinct districts:
- Borough Center: Despite its name, this district is a remote coastal area with few residents. The majority of people living here are highly educated government employees. This area has high home values, but the rental rates are low, and many people choose to rent a unit in an apartment complex.
- Douglas/West Juneau: Douglas Island is a large island south of the main city. This is a quiet, rural community, home to many young professionals. Most of them are highly educated and belong to the upper-middle class.
- Lemon Creek: This suburban area lies on the south side of Juneau. It is an artsy, nautical area, home to many families with school-age children.
- Tee Harbor/Auke Bay: This large area is located to the north of Borough Center and has similar demographics. It is a wealthy, nautical community with a mix of renters and home owners.
- Glacier Tours: There are several companies that offer helicopter tours and dog-sledding tours of the glaciers of Juneau. However, many of these tours are open only from late spring to early fall due to potentially hazardous weather conditions.
- Charters and Cruises: Another way to see glaciers and ocean wildlife is from a boat. A plethora of companies offers boat charters and glacier cruises year-round.
- Waterfront Dining: Juneau is home to several restaurants located on local waterways, where you can find fresh seafood and stunning mountain views.
- Alaskan Brewing Company: This brewery offers tours of the factory and free samples to visitors of drinking age.
- Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure: Many people are surprised to learn that Alaska has a rainforest within it, and visitors can enjoy the real deal at this park. In addition to touring the rainforest, visitors are able to see spectacular views of Mendenhall Valley and downtown Juneau. Tour guides lead visitors into the Tongass National Forest for a brief tour.
- Alaska Folk Festival: A Juneau tradition for more than 30 years, this week-long, annual festival features local musicians, artists and craftspeople. There are workshops for both children and adults.
- Alaska State Capitol: Self-guided tours of the capitol building allow visitors to see some of the inner-workings of the state's government. The building houses the state legislature and the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor.
- Downtown area: This pedestrian-friendly area of Juneau boasts numerous shops, boutiques, restaurants and art galleries.
Juneau has several local media outlets, including two newspapers, the daily Juneau Empire and the Capital City Weekly, and several radio and television stations:
- KFMG 100.7 FM (top 40)
- KSRJ 102.7 FM (adult contemporary)
- KTOO 104.3 FM (public radio)
- KTKU 105.1 FM (country music)
- KSUP 106.3 FM (rock music)
- KJNO AM 630 (news/talk radio)
- KINY AM 800: (adult contemporary)
- KTOO-TV, channel 3
- KJUD, channel 8
DID YOU KNOW?
- About 12 percent of Juneau's population is composed of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
- Juneau is in the most mild climate zone in Alaska, with average winter temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit and average summer temperatures in the 50s.
- The city gets about 100 inches of snow per year.