We'll do our very best to ensure you'll GoBe an explorer in Alaska. Please note there is very limited space available on this tour and all reservations must be reconfirmed. Thanks for your understanding.
Beautiful Gardens & Glassblowing in Skagway
Skagway, Alaska, USA
- Jewell Gardens: Marvel at giant plants and flowers on a guided tour of Alaska's only community-supported agriculture program and first Certified Organic show garden in the United States.
- Klondike Railway: Railroad buffs, both young and old will love the garden railway, an authentic G-scale model of the legendary White Pass & Yukon railway, complete with a tent city like the ones used by actual prospectors.
- "Lights Out" glassblowing experience: Learn about glassblowing and watch it glow in the dark as artists create masterworks inspired by the sculptures of glassblowing legend Dale Chihuly, famous throughout the world for his innovative twists on this ancient craft. The color and organic form of hand-blown glass art is the perfect complement to nature's own dizzying display of color and form in the garden.
- Glass sculptures: Admire the glass sculptures throughout the garden created by resident glassblowers.
- Signature snack: Enjoy a taste of rhubarb sherbet made from the legendary giant rhubarb plants that make this farm famous. Beer and wine are available for purchase.
- Shopping: Be sure to visit the on-site glass and gift gallery.
About this Skagway Tour
When Skagway is referred to as "The Garden City of Alaska," it's no mere marketing slogan. Nestled in a deep valley formed by glaciers thousands of years ago, the area spent much of its history unmolested by wild animals and the indigenous people who hunted them, making it a haven for plants and flowers.
But the real reason is the Alaskan sun: the state is situated at a latitude so high that it receives up to 20 hours of daylight in summer (earning it the misnomer "land of the midnight sun," though this technically only applies to regions of Alaska located north of the Arctic Circle).
The result? Alaska's sun-gorged fruits, flowers, and vegetables are renowned the world over for their astonishing size, from a 138-pound cabbage to a 35-pound broccoli, from strawberries the size of your fist to rhubarb the size of, well, you.
Indeed, it was his enormous giant rhubarb plants that earned Skagway farmer Henry Clark the title of "The Rhubarb King" and allowed him the fame to build his farm into a floral paradise. In 1996, a former whale bone and ivory carver named Charlotte Jewell leased part of the farm to create a Skagway show garden, now a USDA-certified Organic Show Garden and home to the first public glassblowing studio in Southeast Alaska.
You can commemorate Skagway's giant food with a tasty snack. Please note, however, that your hosts will not be liable for any injuries incurred by climbing beanstalks.
Practice makes perfect
Though she originally made her living through a Skagway gift shop, Charlotte Jewell couldn't resist her passion for gardening. She started by bedding plants for neighbors and was soon maintaining flower beds at the post office, bars, and docks. Finally she leased the land to start Jewell Gardens, and for three years worked to make her dream a reality until a regional environmental cleanup effort forced her to uproot her entire garden and start over from scratch.
Please make your way to the SMART City Shuttle stop at the end of the pier.
SMART City Shuttle runs from Broadway and 3rd and 5th; and 7th and Spring St. SMART bus stops (northbound) from 10:00am until 5:00pm daily, every half hour. Sign in bus front window will say "Klondike Gold Fields/Jewell Gardens." $5.00 All-Day pass required and is purchased directly from your bus driver.
Walking is at your pace and discretion. It's minimal. Jewell Gardens is wheelchair accessible. The SMART Shuttle has accessible vehicles that can be ordered with advance notice.
Family Friendly, Cultural, Shopping, Adventure
24-seat SMART Shuttle; wheelchair lifts available with advanced notice.
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for travelers 5 years of age and older.
Special Medical Restriction
We can accommodate you if your mobility is limited and you use a folding wheelchair with at least 7 days advanced notice, providing you are not travelling solo and have someone along to assist you. Not all venues may be accessible.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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