If you want to get a real feel of local Alaska, this is the place. Icy Strait consists of a welcome center, an old cannery converted into gift shops and museum. There is a short nature walk through part of Tongass National Forest and along the coastline where you can see whales out in the water. In fact, we saw more whales breaching from our ship than some people saw on their whale excursions.
A short trip into Hoonah we thought would be a waste. It was a very small run down town. However, we visited Tlingit Indian project where they were building totem poles for a tribal village in Glacier Bay National Park.
Most people like to take the White Pass railroad. We opted for a car rental from Avis and drove to Emerald Lake via the Klondike Highway. We'd purchased Murray's guide on the Internet for $5.00 and it pointed out every important stop along the route. Carcross, Yukon is a sleepy little town worth a visit.