Moving To Juneau, Alaska: 10 Tips For A Smooth Transition

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The City of Juneau is the capital of the state of Alaska and  is the second largest city in the United States by area. It is a beautiful city with amazing local wildlife, a picturesque landscape, and a kind community of people.

If you want to get closer to nature, breathe fresh air, and have an excellent quality of life, then moving to Juneau, Alaska, is for you. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled ten tips to make your move a breeze. We’ll list some of the best places to visit, the neighbourhoods and their target lifestyle, and the cost of living in Juneau.

1. Discover What People Love About Living In Juneau

It’s An Outdoor Haven

If you like to head to the mountain trails and hike, camp, fish, swim, or just breathe the fresh cold air, Juneau is for you. The city is close to some amazing destinations that any outdoors lover will be excited about.

The Scenery Is One Of A Kind

Juneau is vast, but only a small portion of the city is inhabited. Much of its geography is untouched, maintaining its natural beauty. Juneau has pristine beaches, majestic mountains, and lush forests and fields. Juneau will never run out of places for you to rest your eyes on and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Friendly Locals

This might not come as a surprise as Juneau plays host to almost a million visitors yearly. Due to the city being a very popular cruise ship destination, locals have become accustomed to newcomers. Through the years, tourists only have the best things to say about the local’s friendliness and hospitality.

a view of a city with mountains in the background

Image Credit: Unsplash

2. Research The Best Part Of The City That Fits Your Lifestyle

If you’re moving to Juneau, you will need to decide where in the city you will live. Be sure to pick one that fits your lifestyle. Somewhere closer downtown? Out in the suburbs for a little peace and quiet? Looking for a place that’s near the best tourist spots?

Check out some of our recommendations and see which one draws you in to call home.

Downtown Juneau is best for those who want to be as close to the busy streets as possible. Here you will find the most active thoroughfares, the most restaurants and shops, and the most people.

Mendenhall Valley is ten miles from downtown Juneau and has many neighbourhoods that are a great choice if you want to live near the city centre but still want your space with nature.

Douglas refers specifically to the downtown area of Douglas Island . Separated from downtown Juneau by Gastineau Channel, Douglas also has a lot to offer with its own local personality and amenities.

West Juneau can be considered Douglas’ suburb. Found 1.8 miles west of downtown Douglas Island, you can find many residential areas such as low-cost housing projects and condominiums.

3. Familiarise Yourself With The Ins And Outs Of The City By Riding Public Transport

The first thing you need to know about Juneau is that no roads go into the city. The only way to get to Juneau coming from North America is through planes or ferries.

To get around the city, Capital Transit operates buses that serve three routes all throughout the city. Due to the high volume of visitors, the bus company has also been very active in upgrading its vehicles to be more wheelchair accessible. They also provide a VIP system that provides free rides to anyone who qualifies for disabilities as specified on their medical eligibility criteria.

If you’d like to visit other islands, catch a ride with the Alaska Marine Highway System. It is a ferry service run by the state of Alaska and can give rides to people, freight, and vehicles. The ferry service has a route totalling about 3,500 miles that says hello to over 30 communities from Bellingham, Washington, to the south and Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Chain.

Another fun way to get around the city is to take Tram Rides. Goldbelt Tram carries people from docks just south of downtown Juneau up to Mount Roberts, which is more than 1,000 miles above sea level. Up top, you can visit one of the most popular spots in Juneau, where you can find restaurants, a theatre, shops, and more.

4. Learn To Budget Better And Adjust To Juneau’s Cost Of Living

According to a recent census, livability in Juneau is above average. In fact, the poverty index of Juneau is only 6.9% compared to the country’s 11.4%. Between 2016 to 2020, the median household income in Juneau was 88,077 USD.

However, this also translates to a higher cost of living compared to the rest of the country at around 29%. For an adult, the total cost of living, which includes the cost of housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, taxes, and healthcare, is 45,300 USD. This is significantly higher than the figure for the country at only 38,400 USD.

white ship on sea near mountain under white clouds during daytime

Image Credit: Unsplash

5. Enjoy The Fresh Air With Some Of The Must Try Outdoor Sights And Activities

If you are going to live in Juneau, it’s almost a requirement that you should take part in outdoor activities. Or, at the very least, go out and explore nature. Alaska is home to some of the most unique and beautiful sights there are, and it would be a shame to not take the time to set aside time and visit these places. Here’s a list of activities and places we highly recommend you try!

Whale Watching tours are a must-try. Not everyone gets a chance to see these majestic beasts up close and personal!

Mendenhall Glacier is just a little over 10miles from downtown Juneau, making it extremely accessible. At the site, you can choose to hike several trails, go kayaking, or even explore ice caves.

Alpine Wilderness Trail is a fun trail you can take with friends on a Segway. You get to explore gorgeous mountain terrain, a creek home to salmon, and many animals native to Alaska.

6. Be Sure To Prepare For The Wet Weather And Varying Lengths Of Days

Juneau will have mild and moist weather for the better part of the year. For Alaskan standards, the winters of Juneau are not too harsh and do not have permafrost.

However, Juneau does tend to be wet, getting 230 days of rainfall every year, ranging from 50 to 90 inches, depending on where you are located.

Fun fact: due to being up north, Juneau experiences its longest day of the year in June, when 18 hours and 18 minutes of daylight are available. This means that the sun will only go below the horizon for a few hours. Though the sun itself might be unseen, its rays will still be visible and shining, which means Juneau will not be fully in the dark.

Inversely, in December, Juneau will see its shortest day of the year at only six hours and 22 minutes of sunlight.

7. Explore The Job Market And Build A Career In Juneau

According to a recent study in 2019, a projected growth rate for jobs in Juneau is 24.82%. This, coupled with an already low unemployment rate compared to the national average, makes Juneau’s job market very healthy and promising.

From the same study, jobs in Utilities, Mining, Gas and Oil, Construction, and Real Estate are some of the highest paying industries there are in Juneau.

While occupations in Architecture, Engineering, Legal services, Healthcare services, Farming, and Fisheries are where you will find the most in-demand and high paying.

8. Be Part Of The Fun And Join In On Local Festivals And Celebrations

Alaska Folk Festival is a celebration of the music of Alaska and is usually held in April. It features performances from local groups and soloists, dancing and poetry recitals, and workshops for people looking to get into music. the annual event

Celebration is a cultural event by the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people and is held every two years in the first week of June. As of today, Celebration has become one of the biggest cultural events in the city. It is filled with dance, parades, language workshops, art exhibits, canoe racing, fashion shows, and so much more.

Gold Rush Days is a mining and logging competition held in Juneau in the latter part of June. A fun family event, the community celebration has been going on for over three decades and only grows stronger every year.

Capital Brewfest is an annual celebration of craft beers in the city. Purchase tickets and enjoy the great beer, good food, and performances by local bands.

The Golden North Salmon Derby is a fishing event in the summer that’s been held since the 40s. Welcoming every family, young and old, to the waters of Juneau to fish and reel in the day’s biggest catch.

9. Get To Know The Local Flavours Of Juneau Favourites

It’s no surprise that the seafood in Juneau is going to be excellent. When you are this close to the open ocean, the catch is going to be fresh and top quality. Be sure to try salmon, scallops, halibut, and the world-famous Alaskan king crab.

If you’re not a fan of seafood, the local food scene has seen a resurgence of new-wave cafes and restaurants. According to an article in 2020, people who move back to Juneau bring with them new recipes and ideas. Try out food trucks that serve tacos, pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches.

For beer lovers, you’d also be glad to know that a few local craft beer breweries & distilleries in the city serve their own special brew.

10. Engage A Moving Company For A Less Stressful Relocation Process

Finally, to truly make the move smooth, engaging a professional moving company such as Sanelo will significantly lessen your worries. You won’t have to deal with carrying heavy bags and just enjoy the ride, knowing full well your belongings are safe thanks to our shipment protection.

Our team, with decades of experience in the moving industry, will guide you every step of the way, including process, requirements, and any other concerns.

Conclusion On Moving To Juneau

Juneau is a beautiful city that offers distinct benefits to living there. For those who love the outdoors, there’s an abundance of places to visit and activities to do. At the same time, the city also has modern amenities that are needed for everyday life.

The quality of living in Juneau is very high, and despite the cost of living being a bit pricey, there are a number of job opportunities as well. There is also great food, fun celebrations, and a community of wonderful people waiting for you.

Overall, there’s always something for everyone in Juneau. If you’d like to explore more cities, check out the articles on Fairbanks, Mesa, and Little Rock.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving/Relocating To Juneau, Alaska

What Is The Weather Like In Juneau?

The weather in Juneau is very mild by Alaskan standards. However, it tends to be dark and wet, with annual rainfall averaging between 55 and 90 inches and more than 200 days of precipitation every year.

Is Juneau Alaska Walkable?

Downtown Juneau is very walkable. Though the whole city is large, only a small portion has people living in it. You could say that the city is compact; thus, shops and restaurants are all within walking distance. Not to mention the weather is cool, walking around the city is a leisurely pleasure.

What Is The Population Of Juneau, Alaska?

In a 220 census, the local population of Juneau is only a little over 30,000 people. However, being a tourist destination, the city sees more than a million tourists every year, peaking from June to August.

Can Sanelo Help With The Relocation To Juneau?

Certainly, if you plan on moving to Juneau, be sure to contact Sanelo and speak with one of our representatives. They will take you through the whole process and assist you on your relocation journey.


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