Jewell Gardens
Jewell Gardens
4.5
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Escape to the tranquility of beautiful Jewell Gardens & Garden City Glassworks. Stroll Alaska's most spectacular certified organic Show Garden and watch the action at SE Alaska's only public Glassblowing Hot Shop. Book a tour for a unique hands-on "hot shop" adventure which is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to blow your own glass art in the Last Frontier! Join us for lunch or tea service at our restaurant "Poppies" where many of the meals served include organic produce picked fresh from our gardens. Open daily
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
729 reviews
Excellent
603
Very good
81
Average
30
Poor
6
Terrible
9

DallasRay
dallas263 contributions
This was something my friend and I talked to our friends about over and over. The place was beautiful. The shuttle charged us $5 each round trip from town to the gardens. We watched a glass blowing display and a miniature train display. Our train excursion left in the afternoon, so we had time to check out the gardens. I attached photos on my review of the restaurant; it was very peaceful. When we got back into town, the sidewalks were very busy with the hustle and bustle of tourists. Entry into the park was about $12 a person. It's a mile from the END of town to the gardens, but even longer from the cruise ships, so please don't consider walking to it.
Written March 16, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dela
phoenix176 contributions
Solo
I visited Jewell Garden on a previous Alaskan cruise ship tour, paying $39. This year I was determined to get to the garden on my own. Walked to town from the cruise ship pier and inquired at the Smart bus stop. $5 will get you an on-off all day pass to the garden, the Klondike goldfield area, and the cruise ship pier. The garden admission is $12.50. A considerable savings over the cruise ship tour price.

Visiting beautiful gardens around the world is on my "bucket list." While this garden may be small, the view is great! A snow-topped mountain background contrasts with the riot of colorful blooms. Walking paths meander through the grass, trees, flowers, vegetables. Did you ever see a flower "bed?" You will find some whimsical iron beds with colorful quilts here. A miniature railroad setting appears here and there throughout the garden. This is truly a serenely beautiful jewel of a garden.

There is a glass blowing studio on the property. For a hefty sum you can create or have created for you a piece of art work to grace your own garden. Any way, it is interesting to watch the craftsmen create their works. The gift shop is an interesting place to browse.

If you're in Skagway with a few hours to spare, Jewell Garden is a beautiful experience!
Written August 8, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SCheng46855
Warren, NJ197 contributions
My husband and daughter did this excursion while our Holland ship was docked in Skagway. They had the best time! My daughter loves to make things so if your child is into art at all this is perfect. My husband said it was so well run, they even had snacks and beverages, and it was very interesting. Each of them got to blow their own glass piece and select the colors. By the time we got home from our trip, their finished pieces were waiting for us. We didn't think our cruise line did enough to promote this excursion, it is a great family activity. My daughter still talks about it.
Written September 14, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

calhoneybear01
California52 contributions
Friends
If you are going to stop in Skagway as part of an Alaskan cruise (most of them do), then you will have an option to take this shore excursion. The price includes a tour of the gardens which are small but pretty, a tasty meal made in their little restaurant, and a chance to buy blown glass souvenirs in the gift shop, but the real highlight is the opportunity to blow your own ornament. The tour is capped off at 10 people, but ours consisted of four which was just perfect because you don't feel rushed and get lots of personalized attention.

The tour guide meets you at the dock at your specified time and when you arrive on site you will first walk through the gardens. Our guide explained about the gardens and let us taste some of the edible flowers while answering questions. Then you walk over to the glass blowing studio on the premises and you are introduced to the glass artist. Ours had recently graduated with a degree in fine arts/glass work, and is very good at what he does. Hanging on the wall are many different examples of what you can make. Each one is labeled with the colors and design used to create it. The twist, drapery, and hurricane are some designs that come to mind. You are allowed to choose up to three colors and add gold leaf if you want. I picked two colors, maroon and pink, plus gold leaf and my resulting ornament is gorgeous! Everybody I've shown it to thinks it's beautiful as well, but really I think the artist is so good that all of them come out quite nicely.

Before you begin, everyone gets safety gear including a lab coat and glasses to wear. The artist makes a sample and the tour guide gets to blow it. Then one by one, each participant goes through the process of making their own ornament as the others watch or take pictures. When I say that we "make" our own ornaments, really it is the artist that does most of the work. As participants, we get to hold the blowpipe in a furnace called the "glory hole" to reheat it a little bit and turn it so the molten glass doesn't droop, and depending on your design you can pull and manipulate the glass with tools. Towards the end of the process the artist tells you when and how much to blow, thus inflating your ornament. The piece is then broken off of the pipe and is finished with either a hook for hanging or a flat piece of glass for standing upright. If you choose a hook, that has to be done entirely by the artist as it requires some practice to make a nice hook. If you want a paperweight, however, the artist will put some molten glass on the end to cover the hole and the participant gets to flatten the glass with a paddle-type tool. Each person gets to take a "funny" picture with the artist and their ornament when they are done. The ornaments are then placed in an "annealing" oven kept at 900 degrees F which is slowly cooled down by a timer overnight to about 90 degrees F the next morning at which point it is packaged in protective wrap and shipped to your home. Mine was waiting for me when I returned from my trip and what a delight it was to see the finished piece, because when I had last seen it at the studio it was so hot that the true colors were not yet apparent.

This review turned out longer than I expected, but I really can't say enough about this excursion. I would do it again in a heartbeat and feel that this hands-on experience is something special that appeals to women, men, and children alike.
Written September 3, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MsTERESA
Florida20 contributions
Couples
This was a nice and relaxing experience in Alaska after all the adrenaline-rushing experiences we had taking during our Royal Caribbean land and sea tour. We booked this excursion on our own after enjoying the Skagway train ride. Skagway is easy to get around on your own via bus which you can hope on every 15 minutes to get to the Jewell Gardens just at the edge of the town. We arrived at Jewell Gardens and it was a beautiful site just to visit. However, we booked an afternoon glassblowing excursion and we were fortunate enough that it was only the two of us in our class, (the one prior was booked full). With that said, we received a lot of personal attention and the our guide had time to show us how he made other more elaborate pieces of art, (which we ended up buying, of course!) It was a lot of fun learning to blow glass but more importantly after we were done designing and creating our own glass ball and/or ornament, we were able to keep our own creations. Jewell Gardens shipped our pieces of art to our home which is included in the price. One less souvenir we had to pack and travel with during our trip. The experience was great!
Written August 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

roger l
San Diego, California, United States264 contributions
Couples
Don't balk at the ticket price and get a peak at this little gem just out of Skagway town. You can see that it's an easy bike ride across the river in this video https://vimeo.com/72555809. We skipped the formal tour and self guided through these grounds of flower and vegetable garden with hand blown glass pieces and a model railway coursing through the property. Well worth the stop. The restaurant is quaint but we didn't dine here, despite temptation of berry pie.
Written October 11, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

anonymousfortwayne
Fort Wayne, IN187 contributions
Family
We came here during a shore excursion to Skagway from a cruise ship. We walked around the charming town of Skagway (now more Downtown Disney than true Alaskan frontier) and then decided to walk to the Jewell Gardens about 2 miles away. Walking through the non-tourist part of the town revealed the range of houses here, some with fenced in yards with large dogs, possibly an Alaskan husky mix. Closer to the gardens, there was a beautiful vista of river and mountains. I imagine this is closer to the real Skagway than the town would reflect. The walk took about 45 minutes. We did have kids (down to age 3) with us and there was endless complaints, but the views were worthwhile to me. Got lots of beautiful photos.

The Jewell Gardens is a combination of landscaped garden and glass blowing demonstration. The gift shop shows some of the gorgeous glass creations. We paid for admission to the gardens. It is a small but meticulously landscaped garden with an artistic mixture of vibrant colors, huge and riotous annuals and perennials. The textures and colors were truly beautiful. To see the whole garden took about 25 minutes.

The glass blowing demonstrations, unfortunately, were for people who paid for the demonstrations and were off-limits for other visitors. To our bad luck, while we were there, it started to rain, and we were not allowed to wait out the rain in the glassblowing building. There was no other area where we could stand out of the rain, so we had to leave early.

We were able to take a wagon back to the ship. This is a wagon that drives through town. I think it's a few dollars per person.
Written April 16, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Pam S
State College, PA276 contributions
Friends
Had a great glassblowing experience here and thoroughly enjoyed tea and a visit to their gardens. I followed up the visit by spending some "dough" in their glass gallery as they had the most gorgeous items for sale. Since we were traveling via cruise ship and airline, they shipped my items and they arrived without issue within 10 days. The staff here were friendly and fun, and the hands-on glassblowing experience was great. We visited in September 2010 although I didn't have that date choice for this review.
Written November 12, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HeatherMegaMauriFan
London247 contributions
Solo
This was a real gem, as we only had limited time in Skagway and had opted for the White Pass railway trip. Luckily, I was able to get out to the Gardens for an hour or so and see some of the glassblowers and visit the wonderful gardens.

There are some Chihuly aspects/influence which is cute and the boutique has an array of arts and crafts - it's always good to support the local artists so why not come here to buy your gifts.

Aaron was really helpful and took care of me, making sure I got on the last bus back to the cruiseliner.

BEWARE: Of huge mosquitoes (horseflies), I got bitten on the forehead - they come out at dusk and hunt to kill!~
Written November 6, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Suanne A
Missouri City, TX50 contributions
This was my 3rd visit to Jewell Gardens and my second time to blow glass there. Keeper was my instructor this time and he was a fantastic teacher. We had a great time and I blew a beautiful glass ball. It arrived about 6 days later and is hanging in my window of my kitchen where I can enjoy it daily.
Written September 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Jewell Gardens (Skagway) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go