Your guide to Haines.
Soaring peaks and temperate rainforest add to this city’s infinite charm, while sea kayaking, rafting and hiking through verdant forests awaken the senses in more ways than one. From historic forts and sculpture gardens to native art and Tlingit history, Haines is a celebration of Alaska’s culture, heritage, and native population. Join a guided wildlife tour for a chance to see some of the region’s resident animal species or savour a small batch gin at a local distillery.
From outdoor adventures to cultural pursuits, Haines has a pace of life to suit every speed of visitor. Take to the skies in an Alaska seaplane to see the area’s fjords, forests and glaciers by air, join a fishing expedition to Chilkoot Lake or spend an afternoon bouncing between galleries to appreciate the city’s rich local art scene. Around half a mile out of town you’ll find Fort William H. Seward, the last of 12 military forts built during the Klondike Gold Rush. In town, the Hammer Museum offers over 2000 exhibits charting the evolution of this common DIY tool, while the American Bald Eagle Foundation introduces several species of majestic bird.
Eating and drinking.
Haines has a varied food and drink scene, which champions native Alaskan fare alongside some worldly international offerings. You’ll find everything from grab-and-go food trucks serving innovative takes on local favourites to roadhouse restaurants and cafés offering a blend of savoury and sweet staples. Downtown is where one of the highest concentrations of food outlets in the city can be found, and the historic houses here add plenty of character to appreciate before or after a bite. The city is also home to some distilleries and breweries, which offer a great taste of locally brewed spirits and craft beers to sample.
One of the most original keepsakes you can collect on a visit to Haines is a piece of art by a local artist, and for this you won’t be short of options. Haines has a thriving gallery scene, abundant with works created by local makers and inspired by the scenic beauty of the surrounding area. From watercolour paintings of palatial glaciers, to ceramic sculptures of bears and wooden carved Alaskan Indian arts, you’ll find both traditional and contemporary tastes catered for. Main Street is a great place to hit the shopping trail, while the Chilkoot Distillery is perfect if an Alaskan bottle of vodka, gin or bourbon appeals.
Like most port calls in Alaska, venturing beyond Haines’ city limits unlocks scenery quite unique to this part of the world, and anyone looking to soak up more time amongst fjords, mountains and nature would do well to do so outside Haines. The area offers ample outdoor experiences, from guided mountain climbing and nature walks to glacier trekking, sea kayaking and Glacier Bay flightseeing. Fish for sockeye or pink salmon in Chilkoot Lake, or combine a guided raft through the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve with a visit the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Centre to learn more about Tlingit culture; Alaska’s earliest inhabitants.