The Alaska Marine Highway System (tel. 800/642-0066 or 907/766-2111; www.ferryalaska.com) is how most people get to Haines, and the cruise on the Lynn Canal fjord from Juneau or Skagway is among the most beautiful in the Inside Passage. The ferry takes almost 5 hours from Juneau. The Juneau-Haines fare is $37. The trip from Skagway takes an hour, and the fare is $31. The dock is 5 miles north of town.
At press time, no taxi service was operating in town, so ask about getting a ride when you reserve your lodgings. Both of the hotels in town offer courtesy shuttles.
You may be able to take a fast private boat to or from Skagway, landing in town so you don't need a ride out to the ferry dock. Haines-Skagway Fast Ferry (tel. 888/766-2103 or 907/766-2100; www.hainesskagwayfastferry.com) charges $35 one-way, $68 round-trip. It runs daily during the summer and carries passengers only, not vehicles.
If you're driving, the Haines Highway leads 155 miles to Haines Junction, Yukon Territory, an intersection with the Alaska Highway. (You must pass through Canadian Customs.) The road runs along the Chilkat River and the bald eagle preserve, then climbs into spectacular alpine terrain. Anchorage is 760 driving miles from Haines, and Fairbanks is 644.
Several air services offer scheduled prop service, air taxis, and flightseeing tours to surrounding communities from Haines. Wings of Alaska (tel. 907/789-0790 reservations, or 766-2030 in Haines; www.ichoosewings.com) has plenty of flights, charging $218 round-trip from Juneau.
You can also fly scheduled or air-taxi service with Air Excursions (tel. 907/766-3800; www.airexcursions.com).
The small but well-staffed and -stocked Haines Convention and Visitors Bureau Visitor Information Center, 2nd Avenue near Willard (P.O. Box 530), Haines, AK 99827 (tel. 800/458-3579 or 907/766-2234; www.haines.ak.us), is operated by the local government, which also sends out a vacation-planning packet. It's open summer Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8am to noon; in winter, hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.
Haines sits on the narrow Chilkat Peninsula near the north end of the Southeast Alaska Panhandle. Highways run north and east on either side of the peninsula; the one on the east side goes to the ferry dock, 5 miles out, and ends after 11 miles at Chilkoot Lake. The other is the Haines Highway, which leads to the Canadian border, the Alaska Highway, and the rest of the world. The town has two parts: the sparsely built downtown grid and, a short walk to the west down Front Street or 2nd Avenue, the Fort William Seward area.
The local microbrewery, Haines Brewing Co. (tel. 907/766-3823), situated at the fairgrounds, hosts a beer festival over Memorial Day weekend and offers samples and informal tours all summer. The 160-mile Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay (www.kcibr.org) is held the third Saturday in June, heading steeply up and down the Haines Highway from Haines Junction, with more than 1,000 entrants riding solo or in teams of two, four, or eight.
The Southeast Alaska State Fair (tel. 907/766-2476; www.seakfair.org) is the biggest event of the summer, held for 4 days the last full weekend in July; it's a regional small-town get-together, with a logging show, a parade, a children's carnival, hobbyist exhibits, music on various stages, and other entertainment. Buildings constructed for the filming of the movie White Fang in 1990 were donated to the fair and form the nucleus of a retail area.
The Alaska Bald Eagle Festival (tel. 907/766-3094; www.baldeaglefestival.org) offers photography seminars and wildlife presentations to mark the annual eagle congregation. Held over 5 days in mid-November.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.