Hello September! I hope everyone enjoyed their summer and is ready for fall. I am excited for soup weather, fall decor, crafting, lots of things pumpkin and vacation planning. Yup, this time of year is usually when my brain starts dreaming about a vacation to extend my summer. September is also the final month that the cruise ships are in town and tourism winds down dramatically. It’s a great time to take advantage of good deals, sales and summer activities that downtown and Juneau has to offer before it’s time to pack up for the colder months. I have a number of touristy favorites I do at the end of summer.

Mount Roberts Tram: I love to hike up the mountain to the tram. It’s beautiful and I feel comfortable hiking alone because the trail is typically more populated. Continuing the trail above the tram is also fantastic, and on the way back down I love to stop at the gift shop, have a snack or cold beer at the restaurant and then ride the tram down. Just make sure you plan for either a bit of a walk back to the trailhead from the base of the tram or park a car close by.

Tours: Whether you can find a discounted tour or not, they are amazing. I’ve done whale watching, zip lining and food touring and they all were worth my time and money! Even though we live in such a beautiful place, it’s great to take a moment and actually focus on the beauty without all life’s distractions.

Restaurants: There are a number of great eateries downtown that are only open seasonally. I personally love the Twisted Fish, and for desert, the awesome Alaskan Crepe Escape but there are many greats to choose from. I might also mention there are many great year-round eateries open, and to name just one or even ten wouldn’t cover my list of favorites.

Shopping: Who doesn’t love a good deal? Many have great end of the season deals which are great for finding Alaskan apparel or knickknacks to send to friends or save for stocking stuffers.

I know I’ve talked about seasonal shops but Downtown Juneau does have a number of year round shops, services and restaurants that are open all the time. I had the privilege of working with the Downtown Business Association on a “Downtown Year Round” campaign and got to see first hand all the awesome local businesses, activities and events Downtown has to offer. Hope you have a wonderful September, see the sights, taste the food and enjoy the daylight while we still have it!

Anna Hoke is the graphic designer and owner of Southeast Living Magazine. She can be reached at anna@seakliving.com.