Haines Port Guide

Haines Port of call is the most attractive port of the Inside Passage. As the docking facilities allow for only a large cruise ship and maybe, one more small ship, the cruisers get to enjoy an unhurried and relaxed atmosphere. The Port Chilkoot Dock is located adjacent to Fort William H. Seward—less than a mile from downtown Haines. Cruise ships dock at the Haines Pier. Shuttle services are provided for those who prefer it, even though it is only a short distance to the town. Recently, Haines has become a port of call for several cruise ships. Haines is the only town linked to the Alaskan highway system. Haines also houses the largest sanctuary for bald eagles—the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. The Chilkat River teems with Chum salmon; eagles flock in large numbers to feast on these fishes.

Shopping

From Caroline’s Closet in 208 Main Street, you can buy dresses for men and women, Alaskan T-shirts, souvenirs, and gifts. The Wild Iris is an art shop in Potage Street, fronted by a beautiful garden. It deals in local gold jewelry, amber, Eskimo art, paintings, handmade soaps, and silkscreen prints. Near the Haines Harbor, you can find the Bear Den Gift Shop, which sells Alaskan Eskimo Dolls made from furs of badgers, beavers, sheepskins, rabbits, etc. Jewelry made from Alaskan jade and ivory, hats, shirts, T-shirts are a few of the other items available here. Another specialty of Alaska is the freshly smoked salmon and halibut. Dejon Delights gives you free samples of its merchandise and also ships your purchase home for you.

Things to See

The Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve is home to hundreds of bald eagles year-round and thousands during the annual Fall Congregation. The Davidson Glacier is another tourist draw in Haines. Tourists can hire boats or kayaks and then drive or hike from the shore to the glacier. You can take a tour of the old salmon canning company and learn about Alaska’s past salmon industry. Fort William, which was designated a National Historic Site by the US government in 1972, is situated on a hill near the dock. In the center of the fort, there is a replica of a Tlingit Tribal House. The Alaska Indian Arts Cultural Center also has a gallery and carver’s workshop in the grounds of the fort. The totem poles carved here are highly valued. The giant whale gun that is positioned on the parade ground gets fired, like a cannon, during special occasions. The Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center was founded by a local man, Steve Sheldon. His wonderful collections of Haines memorabilia are displayed here; the displays include Tlingit artifacts, military items, and the objects used during the famous gold-rush period. Opposite the Sheldon Museum is the Hammer Museum, which exhibits more than 1500 hammers from all over the world, collected by another local—Dave Pahl.

Restaurants and Bars

Local Catch is an open-air stand that sells Thai food, fish tacos, sweets, and sandwiches. The Pioneer Bar and Bamboo Room Restaurant in the Main Street have pool tables and darts, along with the house specialty—halibut and chips. The All-American menu of the Halsingland Hotel is popular. The Harbor Bar is a popular haunt among locals.

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