Ensconced in a stunningly beautiful landscape, Alaska's capital city has a small-town style blended with a touch of cosmopolitan flavor and a hefty dose of outdoor adventure. Within a 15-minute drive of downtown, visitors can hike, bike, kayak, and fish in some of America's most awe-inspiring territory; or join tours ranging from ziplining through a rainforest and whale watching, to "flightseeing" above and trekking or dogsledding on the Juneau Icefield. Juneau event venues include a number of historic attractions; there is also a thriving arts scene with a variety of musical and theatrical performances.
Juneau International Airport, located about a 10-minute drive from downtown, is serviced by Alaska Airlines and several regional airlines that serve Southeast Alaska’s smaller island communities. Alaska Airlines provides multiple nonstop flights daily to Anchorage and Seattle, with additional nonstop flights from Seattle to destinations across the United States. Travelers arriving by plane have a number of ground transportation options. Along with abundant taxi service, four of the hotels with meeting facilities have on-call shuttles. For the really thrifty, the Capital Transit Express bus runs approximately every 30 minutes and arrives downtown in about 15 minutes.
Chief among convention venues in Juneau, the Centennial Hall Convention Center is in the heart of downtown and within walking distance of all the hotels. As the city's largest meeting facility, it provides a total of 16,000 square feet of space that includes three ballrooms totaling 12,389 square feet and four smaller rooms. With an upgrade to its HVAC, sound system, and kitchen the summer of 2014, meeting planners can expect a state-of-the-art facility that's comfortable, has ample bandwidth for online participants and event streaming, and updated traffic flow. Other Juneau meeting facilities include a 4,300-square-foot main hall at Juneau Arts & Culture Center; and a 1,680-square-foot hall at the Juneau Yacht Club.
Along with combining to support convention center events, hotel venues in Juneau cater to small conferences. The largest meeting capacity is at the 195-room Westmark Baranof Hotel, which has 5,100 square feet of function space. Other meeting-focused hotels that can accommodate small gatherings include the 106-room Goldbelt Hotel, the 78-room Aspen Suites Hotel, and the 61-room Prospector Hotel.
When it comes to staging a special event, Juneau offers facilities that rank high on the memories-of-a-lifetime list. Timberline Grill, which can host a group of up to 220 people, rests at 1,800 feet above sea level and is reached by the Mt. Roberts Tram, offering sweeping views of Gastineau Channel to the south and the Silverbow Basin to the north. The Eaglecrest Ski Lodge is located on Douglas Island at the base of Juneau's city-operated ski area. Groups of up to 150 can enjoy the view and hiking as part of their private event May through September.
It's hard to find a restaurant in Juneau that doesn't come with tons of ambience and an interesting menu. The Gold Room at Westmark Baranof Hotel serves contemporary Northwest cuisine that emphasizes regionally sourced seafood in an elegant setting. Downtown's Rookery Cafe is known for its breads and pastries baked on site. Hangar on the Wharf, located on Juneau's historic waterfront, offers great views of Gastineau Channel and Douglas Island along with its pub grill atmosphere. Just across the Channel is The Island Pub, with a menu of sandwiches and gourmet pizza that includes some designed by Juneau locals. And for an unforgettable dining experience, Wings Airways/Taku Glacier Lodge diners board a floatplane to fly over five glaciers before landing at the lodge to dine on fresh king salmon—and keep an eye out for the almost daily bear visits.