Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Journal ranks town in top 12 in country


Executive Travel magazine has named Haines among 12 of “America’s Best Small Towns.”

The brief write-up in the upscale, bimonthly magazine describes Haines as “a former U.S. Army outpost bordering 20 million acres of unprotected wilderness.”

Haines Brewery’s spruce tip ale gets a mention, as do heli-skiers, the Fogcutter Bar, the bald eagle festival, artist Tresham Gregg, The Hammer Museum and moose hoofprints in the sidewalk cement at Third Avenue and Main Street.

The article mistakenly reports that Haines “limits passing cruise ships to one docking per week,” but then credits the town, saying that for lack of ships the town is “rarely overrun with guests, giving visitors plenty of time and space to get to know the locals.”

Other communities listed in the ranking include Spring Green, Wis ., Berea, Ky ., Galena, Ill ., Little Compton, R.I ., Hanalei (Kauai) Hawaii, Berkeley Springs, W.Va ., Oxford, Miss ., Florence, Ala ., Watkins Glen, N.Y ., Telluride, Colo ., and Marfa, Texas.

“The only thing small about these small towns is their populations,” the article says in introduction, adding that the towns possess “an enviable concentration of culture.”

Haines has been featured in similar rankings in the past 10 years by magazines including Outside and National Geographic Traveler.

Haines tourism director Tanya Carlson, who provided magazine writer Caitlin Drexler with photos and information about the town, said Drexler wrote the article from New York City.

“She wanted to know local flavor and what people were like,” Carlson said. “She fell in love with all of it. She wants to come here and visit some day.”

Mayor Stephanie Scott said she got a laugh out of the article’s depiction of the town “limiting” cruise dockings. Haines has unsuccessfully tried to attract more ships. “She did a pretty nice job making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. If we tell ourselves that enough, maybe we’ll convince ourselves that we’re very clever.”