Things to do in Juneau must include an Unplugged Adventures Jeep tour to the Shrine of Saint Thérèse, one of Alaska’s most popular excursions. Father William LeVasseur, a Jesuit priest from New Brunswick, Canada, envisioned a retreat center for his diocese in Alaska. With the consent and blessing of Bishop Joseph R. Crimont, the first bishop of Alaska, the Shrine of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a 19th-century Carmelite nun and patron saint of Alaska and Russia, was established.
The Shrine of Saint Thérèse is located 22 miles north of Juneau just off the Glacier highway. Visitors looking for things to do in Juneau won’t want to miss seeing this magnificent church built with river rocks that sits on a small spit jutting into Lynn Canal. Originally accessible only on foot at low tide, a permanent causeway of logs and stone was constructed. Some of the highlights of things to do in Juneau are:
- Shelter Island with its crashing surf, mountain vistas, and rocky coastline is a good place for things to do in Juneau such as whale watching, and sea lions and marmots can often be seen here.
- The Merciful Love Labyrinth can be reached by following a path from the parking lot to the rear of the caretaker’s headquarters. Things to do in Juneau presents opportunities to admire the statues and beautiful flowering gardens and see the old log church that was built in the 1930s, where it sits beneath the bows of towering spruce trees. See the cobblestone structures sheltering scenes of the Stations of the Cross or just take a few moments to relax in the serenity of the peaceful garden, or catch one of the most spectacular sunsets you’ll ever see.
- The cairn Zen rock garden located by the beach is another choice of things to do in Juneau with a spectacular view of the majestic Chilkat Mountains.
- Visitors can also cast a line off the deep water of the spit for a try at catching salmon or halibut.
- The Good Shepherd Rosary trail, located just across from Shrine Creek, is a walking path that is wheelchair accessible. Start at the plaque of the Good Shepherd and finish at the replica of Michelangelo’s famous statue “The Pieta.”
- The National Shrine Columbarium, the resting place of the ashes of deceased Christians, can also be seen here.
You can experience peace and serenity at Shrine of Saint Thérèse. For an extended visit, things to do in Juneau offers accommodations at the Lodge, an original log building at the shrine. Other cabins available to rent are the Jubilee Cabin, the Little Flower Retreat Cabin, the Post Office Cabin and the Hermitage Cabin.
The donation-based retreat center is open to the public on a daily basis and offers unique things to do in Juneau such as views of the Gastineau Channel. The retreat center has a coffee shop, gift shop and rooms and cabins available for rent. The hiking trails are handicap accessible and clean public restrooms are available. This is a great place for meditation, contemplation, solitude, and observation of nature.
An Unplugged Alaska Jeep Adventure is an ideal way for you to tour the area and experience things to do in Juneau that you won’t see anywhere else. Visit us online and book your excursion to the Shrine of Saint Thérèse now.