Corrington’s Museum of Alaskan History (5th Ave. and Broadway, 907/983-2637 or 800/943-2637) is a combination gift shop and free scrimshaw museum. The collection includes 40 or so exquisitely carved pieces that tell the history of Alaska on walrus ivory. It’s well worth a visit. The building is flanked by a colorful flower garden.
Be sure to poke your head into Skagway Hardware Company (Broadway and 4th Ave., 907/983-2233, www.skagwayhardware.com ), one of the few old-time hardware stores left in Alaska. The wooden floors creak, and items of all types (even washers and dryers) are crammed into the shelves. A block away is the distinctive gold-colored cupola of the Golden North Hotel. Built in 1898, the hotel closed in 2002.
Broadway has more than its share of soak-the-tourists gift shops staffed by folks whose only connection to Skagway  is a paycheck. The most egregious examples are the Caribbean, Colombian, British, and Swiss jewelry shops that barely make an effort to sell anything remotely connected with Alaska. Despite this, do step inside the Little Switzerland Store (Broadway and 5th Ave.), where you’ll discover both the world’s largest and smallest gold nugget watch chains. Local people do run many of the other shops in town.