In Juneau, Alaska's capitol, I awoke early to climb the top of Mt. Roberts, which can also be reached by tram, for the best view in town of the city and its port. Downtown Juneau is based around the capitol and has several excellent bed and breakfasts, along with restaurants and shopping, all just minutes from the Mendenhall Glacier and other outdoor activities.
To get to Gustavus, gateway to Glacier Bay National Park, I hopped in a small bush plane for the smooth flight and bird's eye view of Alaska. There is a multitude of tours you can take from here, including whale watching, kayaking, fishing, and cruises in and out of the glaciers. Each glacier has somewhat of its own personality-its own looks, individual crevices and coloring, which depends on the pressure of the icepack. Marjerie Glacier was calving while I was there; it's really incredible to hear the thunderous cracks of ice and watch the ripples of the waves after a piece has fallen in. The Bear Track Inn has an enormous sitting room in the main lodge, with overstuffed sofas and chairs, all centered around a large stone fireplace. It was wonderfully cozy and social for drinks and conversation before dinner.