The best local gallery is Wild Iris Shop (Portage St., 907/766-2300), run by Fred Shields, with jewelry, trade beads, carved ivory, and photos. Find it a block up from the Port Chilkoot Dock and just down from the fort. His front garden overflows with flowers all summer.
Extreme Dreams (907/766-2097, www.extremedreams.com) has the unusual watercolors, block prints, and textiles of John and Sharon Svenson in a gorgeous setting seven miles out on Mud Bay Road. Another interesting Mud Bay Road gallery is nearby, Catotti & Goldberg Studio (907/766-2707, www.artstudioalaska.com), where you can see the paintings of Donna Catotti and Rob Goldberg.
Although he isn’t Native Alaskan, Tresham Gregg makes distinctive wood carvings and prints using Tlingit-inspired designs. Find them in his Sea Wolf Gallery (907/766-2540, www.tresham.com) near the center of Fort Seward.
For quality outdoor gear, head to Alaska Backcountry Outfitters (111 2nd Ave., 907/766-2876, www.alaskanaturetours.net). Get Alaskan and other books—plus toys and maps—from The Babbling Book (907/766-3356), at 223 Main Street next to Howser’s.
Haines is home to one of several birch syrup producers in Alaska—Birch Boy Products (907/767-5660 or 877/769-5660, www.birchboy.com). The syrup is sold locally in gift shops. Don’t expect the smoothness of maple syrup; birch syrup has a bit of a bite to it, but is quite good on ice cream and when blended with sugar syrup.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition