Canadians cannot rent a car to go to Whitehorse!
I read on line the following from a Cruisemates page for Skagway
"Whitehorse in the Yukon is a two hour drive from Skagway and makes a good day trip by car. Canadian citizens should note that you cannot drive into the Yukon from Alaska in a car rented in Alaska so you'll need to stay on the Alaska side of the border when renting in Skagway."
We rented our car from Budget at Whitehorse airport and checked to find there were no problems driving into Skagway & return for us Canadians.
Read more: http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/ports/alaska/alaskashore.cfm#ixzz115FIDXgS
Unique Suggestions: Clearly this is an issue that needs checking not only for Canadians, but others who are not US citizens who want to drive the 90 mins over the mountain to Canada for the day
- Road Trip
A fishing trip based out of Skagway
Unique Suggestions: Oh, I could get some folks mad at me for this one but I must be honest. With so many tours to choose from and so many other ports to fish from...skip Skagway for the fishing. I'm a boater and from experience you will not have smooth waters by any resemblance of the word not to mention the area is not know for fish. Save your money and stomach and book a fishing trip from any port south of Skagway.
Fun Alternatives: If you mist have your fish from Skagway, go to the Skagway Fish Company and order your favorite seafood there, just be sure to say "HI" to Dan and Ileene for me.
"made in China"
Any of the gift shops that carry fake Alaskan art. If you see a totem pole for a few dollars look at where it was "poored". If you are on a buget--buy something small like an abalone shell and wrap it in a 50%off t-shirt (all over the place). Most of these gift shops are run by out of staters just wanting to sell cheap products and have nothing to do with the local economy. Much worse is you walk away with a really cheap, useless piece of plastic. Take your time and shop for a real treasure.
Unique Suggestions: Cover your face with a bag and pretend you are not really you. Then after you have regained your senses, look for a local shop run by a local like Alaskan Artworks.
Cruise Lines and Mass Marketing
I knew that I had arrived in cruise ship central when I saw the sign for Little Switzerland. If you arrive on a busy day you are likely to be in the company of up to 5000 other visitors. Many of the shops in Skagway cater heavily to the cruise line crowd. Save Little Switzerland for St. Thomas, USVI. The prices will be much better in the Caribbean. Corrington's appeared to be more unique than most shops in Skagway, but even it claims "The largest selection of duty free Lladro figurines." (Past cruise passengers will understand this form of mass marketing that seems to follow the cruise industry.) On our last evening in Skagway (after the last cruise ship had departed), the speed at which most of the downtown area closed up by 5pm was almost startling. We couldn't find a place to buy a cup of cofee "to go". So we gulped one down at the Red Onion which grudingly remained open, before watching the film at the visitor's center. The Red Onion worth a peak if you've never seen a whore house and saloon. I overheard an employee say that they wouldn't be serving food that night because the regular cook didn't report to work. By the time we left Skagway the closing was complete. Moe's was open and the distant lights of The Fish Company may have meant that it was open.
Skagway had once again become a near ghost town.
Fun Alternatives: Try Corrington's Ivory Museum and Skaguay News Depot for gifts and books.
- Theme Park Trips
Why buy jewelry in Alaska you can buy at home?
There were so many shops in Skagway that upon first glance were obviously for tourists just interested in shopping for stereotypical things that I had to escape the whole town and run to it's outskirts for more stimulating and MUCH more interesting things. I think I stepped into two or three shops and was not impressed by one thing I saw. If you can appreciate things which are tourist purchases with an Alaskan flair, then that is definitely your thing. But if you want unique and interesting experiences, seek refuge outside of the "downtown" area.
Unique Suggestions: Make the person dragging you along buy you something.
Fun Alternatives: If you arrive by ship, just find the creek and follow it up. There are different places where ships dock, so it might take longer to get to certain places. I suggest just taking some time to explore. The town is small and it is worth it. Check out Off The Beaten Path to find out why I think you should do just that.
Most of the town is a tourist trap..so what
Broadway in Skagway is like Disneyland...if your not into shopping...don't! Theres plenty of good hikes away from the madness. Just find some nature!! its Alaska!!!
Unique Suggestions: The cruise ships let out and they all hang around about 4 blocks on Broadway...walk on the street...the boardwalks are packed.
Fun Alternatives: Take a hike, get away from Broadway...be smart,,,...dont be a sheep...you can do it!!!
The White Pass & Yukon RouteTrain
Too expensive. If it was only $25 - it would be cool, but it costs too much for what it is. Yes, it's historically important, and it really is an interesting learning experience... they just overcharge, it's too expensive for what you get.
Unique Suggestions: Have a lot of film on hand, you can get some killer photos.
Fun Alternatives: You might as well ride the train, it's just kind of expensive for what it is.
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