Where to Go and What to Do in Beautiful Haines, Alaska

by Hey There From Here
December 9, 2021 | 5 min read

Where to Go and What to Do in Beautiful Haines, Alaska

Haines is a top Alaska tourist destination and is known as “The Adventure Capital of Alaska”!

Explore the abundant wildlife and breathtaking scenery by air, land or sea.

There are a number of tours available to make your experience in Haines a truly memorable one.

Go whale watching, flight seeing, hiking, deep-sea halibut fishing or take a hike through an ancient spruce forest.

Learn the history of Haines at the local museums, enjoy the local shops and restaurants and visit the eagles at the eagle preserve.

Interesting Facts About Haines

  • Haines, Alaska lies in the northern part of the Alaskan Panhandle, near Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, and is rich in Tlingit Native history and culture.
  • The population of Haines is a little under two thousand, but in the summer months it draws in thousands of visitors from all over the world.
  • It is situated on the Chilkat Peninsula at a narrow spot called the Deshu Isthmus.
  • The original Native name for Haines was Deishu, meaning “end of the trail”, by the Chilkat group of Tlingit.
  • The little town of Haines also played a big part in the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1899, where it became a supply center for the Dalton Trail from Chilkat Inlet and offered a route to the Yukon for prospectors.
  • Haines sits along the edge of the Lynn Canal, the longest and deepest fjord in North America.

You will definitely want to visit the museums while you are here, to learn more about the fascinating history of this adorable little town.

The Museums

  • Haines Sheldon Museum Get the history of Haines and the Chilkat Valley at 1st & Main St. Mon.-Sat. 9am-5pm
  • Hammer Museum If you’re into hammers, there are 2000 of them on display on Main St. between 1st and 2nd St.
  • Bald Eagle Foundation: Natural History Museum Haines Hwy. and 2nd Ave. – Call for Aviary Tour and Eagle Presentation Times 907-766-3094

Places to Eat Downtown

  • Alpenglow Play ping pong and eat wood-fired pizza at 214 Main St. – Lunch weekdays 11am-3pm / Dinner Mon-Sat. 5pm-9pm
  • Bamboo Room Restaurant American Diner/Seafood at 11 2nd Ave.,N. – Open weekdays 7am-9pm / Fri-Sat 7am-10pm
  • Bear-rittos Bakery and Eatery Mon-Sat. 7am-2pm and Sun 7am-1pm
  • Chilkat Restaurant and Bakery American/Thai/Mexican on 5th St. – Lunch 7am-2pm and Dinner 5pm-8pm daily
  • Fogcutter Bar Food 2nd and Main – Finger food: hot wings, pizza, chicken strips and more. Open daily from 9am to one hour before bar closing.
  • Lighthouse Restaurant 1 Front St. – American Diner – Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-8pm
  • Peterson’s Pretzels Freshly baked pretzels, pretzel dogs and pretzel bites – Open daily 11:30am-5:30pm
  • Rusty Compass on Main St. – coffee, teas, soups, sandwiches, baked goods and ice cream – Open Mon-Fri 6:30am-5pm and Sat-Sun 7:30am- 3:30pm
  • Sarah J’s Coffee and Eatery baked goods, breakfast burritos, sandwiches, coffees and ice cream – Open Mon-Fri 7:30am-4pm
  • Raven’s Cafe 100 White Fang Way – Southern Comfort Food – Open Wed-Sun 5pm-9pm

Things To Do

  • Alaska Indian Arts at 13 Fort Seward Dr. – Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
  • Haines Borough Public Library at 3rd and Haines Hwy. – Voted 2005 Best Small Library in America – Open Mon-Thur 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-6pm and Sat and Sun 12:30pm-4:30pm
  • Haines Brewing Company on Main St. – Award winning beers and rootbeer brewed locally – Open Mon-Sat Noon-7pm
  • Haines Packing Company (cannery) on Mud Bay Rd. at Letnikov Cove – Retail store open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm Gift shop 10am-4pm
  • Port Chilkoot Distillery 39 Blacksmith Rd., Historic Fort Seward – Open Mon-Sat 2pm-8pm
  • Valley of the Eagles Golf Course and Driving Range 1 Mile Haines Hwy. Open Daily
  • Haines Farmers Market Get to know the local farmers and artisans – Saturdays 10am-12pm

Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve

Haines is home to the largest population of American Bald Eagles in the world at the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. The preserve was created by the state of Alaska in 1982 and covers an area of 48,000 acres of river bottom land of the Chilkat, Kleheni and Tsirku Rivers. During the Fall, up to 3,000 Eagles gather to feast on late salmon spawning runs in the rivers. The American Bald Eagle Foundation hosts the, week long, Alaska Bald Eagle Festival which lures photographers and bird lovers from all around the globe. Visitors enjoy learning opportunities as well as photography safaris and releases of rehabilitated eagles back into the wild.

You can view the eagles from designated parking areas between Haines Hwy. and the river. The largest congregation of eagles is during the late fall and early winter.

View the eagles from four main pull outs, located between miles 18 and 21 of the Haines Hwy at the Council Grounds area.

You won’t want to miss the Eagle Preserve!

Cruise Ship Port

If you arrive via cruise ship, you will pull up to the Port Chilkoot dock at the foot of historic Fort Seward. Some of the smaller ships dock at the Fast Ferry dock just one block south. Both ports are within walking distance to most of the towns main attractions. There is also a shuttle bus service that runs every 30 minutes.

With so much to see and do and so much history to learn, you will no doubt love your visit to Haines, Alaska. What’s not to love!

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Any thoughts, tips or questions?

Hey there! I’m Stephanie! I’m a travel nurse with a serious travel addiction….fitting, right? You won’t find fancy writing styles here (sorry!), but you will find my stories (and lots and lots of pics). I love sharing my passion for exploring and I hope it inspires you to get out there and create some amazing memories of your own.

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