We were recently reminded of a fabulous day that we had six years ago in Haines, Alaska while on a Holland America Line 7-Day Glacier Discovery cruise.
Most cruise guests going to Haines, Alaska (population approximately 2,400 people and 1,897 d0gs) take a shore excursion by ferry to Skagway to ride on the White Pass & Yukon historic railroad, which is fabulous. But if you’ve already done that, or historic train rides don’t interest you, Haines offers some great things to see and do as well.
A side note: Haines and Skagway are 14 miles apart by water but they are 350 miles by road which is the Golden Circle Route.
We opted to rent a car to use during our port call in Haines. The Avis car rental is located at the Hotel Halsinglandon on Ft. Seward Drive, and they don’t have many vehicles. Rent well in advance of your arrival in Haines.
When we picked up this rental vehicle, we confirmed with the gentleman helping us that the two nearby state parks were worth a visit. When also mentioned that we might drive on the Haines Highway into Canada, and we asked for a recommendation for lunch. Without hesitating, he said, “Stop at mile marker 33 and have a burger. They are great!” We took note.
We just admired the view, and then drove onward, back towards Haines.
We got a great view of our cruise ship as we drove back through Haines to head to a second state park in the area. While driving in Haines, we got a look at the Fort William H. Seward historical Military Base, which is more than 100 years old.
The Disney movie White Fang was filmed in Haines in 1991.
At mile marker 33, we stopped for lunch at the 33 Mile Roadhouse that the rental car guy had recommended.
After passing the summit, we eventually turned around and headed back toward Haines, crossing the border again; this time getting a US stamp in our passports.
Back in Haines, we went by the Hammer Museum for a photo, although we did not go in to view the collection of hammers. It is the “world’s first museum dedicated to preserving the history of man’s first tool, the hammer.”
Walking down Main Street in Haines, we discovered the Babbling Book, an independent book store with a wide variety of books, cards, toys, maps, journals and other gift items. We cannot resist a fun bookstore, and we spent a long time in this one.
I figured out from a book display that Heather Lende, one of my favorite Alaska authors, is a local resident, and that the “Small-Town Alaska” that she wrote about in her book If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska is Haines.
From Main Street to the Canadian border, and from one state park to the other, we had an exceptional day exploring Haines, Alaska, and its surrounding wilderness.
Have you visited Haines? What was your favorite thing about the Alaska town?
Learn more about Haines, Alaska with these books:
Check out these other Alaska blog posts:
- Views from the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge in Alaska
- 28 Fun Facts About Anchorage, Alaska
- 17 Fun Facts About Kodiak, Alaska
- 12 Fun Facts About Dutch Harbor, Alaska
- 5 Top Reasons to Visit Alaska
- Planning to Visit Alaska? 23 Insights to Help You Have a Better Trip
- Destination Discovery: Glacier Bay, National Park and Preserve, Southeast Alaska