Babbling Book: Babbling Book
Owned by Tom & Liz Heywood, this is a nice small book store located right on Main Street between Helen's Gift Shop and Howser's IGA. They have a nice collection from artist with local interst and a smaller gneral fiction and paperback selection. Tickets to cultural events can often be purchased here as well. Their collection of note cards is quite impressive, many feature phtography or designs by local artist.
What to buy: Books, toys, maps, & phone cards.
Helen's Gift Shop: Buy your Birch Syrup from Helen
Helen's old fashioned Gift shop is a rare breed nowadays. The shop is not packed with goods that you can buy at any souvenier shop, but she will have most anything you would need to remember a trip to Haines. The store is sparse enough that you really can see and enjoy all that she has to offer. We purchased birch syrup here after reading an informative article in a the local Haines Guide. Did you know that it takes an enourmous amount of sap to make a small amount of birch syrup? It is quite tasty and you will only find it in Alaska. Helen was friendly and informative and could answer just about any question about Haines, if you ask. She has obvoiusly been in the gift shop business for a long time. She has a very nice selection of Alaskan made jewelry. Open year round.
What to buy: alaskan jewelry, birch syrup, ulu knives, gift items ect.
What to pay: $7.95 for birch syrup
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Chilkoot Gardens: "Haines' Biggest Little Mall"
This store is crammed with souviniers, scented items, and gift items. While many shop-a-holics and housewife types will just love the stacked ailses of scented soaps, candles, gift cards, and just about any souvenier you can imagine, it is the kind of place that makes me dizzy after about five minutes. If you need fresh flowers, this is where you willl buy them in Haines. The souvenier clothing selection was very nice and seemed reasonable.
What to buy: clothing and souveniers
Howser's IGA: Go to Howser's IGA for almost anything
Everyone in Haines shops at Howser's. It the only sizeable grocery store in town. They also have just about anything you would need in you travels including camping supplies. You can meet just about anyone in the store. I found the locals friendly and outgoing here if you make the slightest effort. There is something very democratic about a town that buys most of it's food from the same store.
What to buy: Anything you need at Howsers including: Saucy Lisa's Alaskan Hot Sauce
What to pay: That's up to you. Groceries are understandably more expensive here than in the lower 48 discount chains, but I didn't find anything outrageously priced.
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