Haines — this small town (population: 2,500) serves up one of the state’s most Alaskan experiences. Casual and quirky, Haines offers history, nature, and native culture and combines it with heaps of Alaskan charm. A U.S. Army fort gives historic significance to the town, artists bring their own sense of beauty and whimsy, and a melding of Tlingit (indigenous Alaskan) culture rounds out the experience. There are hiking trails right in town, hanging glaciers and other dramatic wilderness, and tons of marine wildlife. The main attractions include – a large bald eagle population (which visitors can see at the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve), and Mt. Ripinski (climbers who scale this 3,300 ft. mountain will see an overview above Haines).