Go on a helicopter tour
A helicopter tour is one of the best ways to experience all that Seward's beautiful area has to offer to its visitors. Flights tend to range between 30 to 60 minutes, and the price fluctuates with the ride's length. You can see all of Seward from above, including its gorgeous park and breathtaking landscapes on these tours. Some tours even offer landings on glaciers nearby, which is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
You Should Know Tours like this tend to sell out fast. You'll want to book them well in advance to ensure that you can go while you're waiting for your cruise to start!
Check out the Alaska SeaLife Center
The Alaska SeaLife Center is home to one of Alaska's finest aquariums. It opened in 1998 and has been one of the state's most-visited tourist attractions since opening for a good reason. It's closely located near Resurrection Bay and is, therefore, in one of the best areas to explore in Seward. As the only permanent spot in Alaska dedicated to rehabilitating marine mammals, the SeaLife Center is truly a must-visit. The best part of the center is the exhibit, where visitors are welcome to come and get up close with many of the smaller animals, including sea urchins, seals, and more.
You Should Know The Alaska SeaLife Center doesn't have extended hours every day, so you'll want to plan your trip accordingly.
Explore the harbor
The Seward harbor is a stunning boat and coastal area in the town known for having some of the best views, restaurants, and shopping. It's also one of Alaska's cleanest harbors, which won an award for in 2012. It's great fun to come and explore the area just for an hour or two. You can see the many boats coming in and out of the harbor, grab a bite to eat, and maybe even purchase some souvenirs to take home so you can remember your time in Seward.
Best Time To Visit The harbor is open 24 hours. Try to visit around sunrise for an unforgettable experience.
Visit the Seward Community Library & Museum
The Seward Community Library & Museum is a combined library and museum that works as the town's fun community center. Whether you're looking for a book to read or just want to explore the museum area, this is a fun place for you. Be sure to keep an eye on the town's calendar to see if there will be any fun events during the time that you're visiting. It might just be held at this fun community center and library!
You Should Know Different parts of the building have various hours for opening. For example, keep in mind that the library often opens at least two hours before the museum does, depending on the day. Time your trip here wisely.
Go on a whale-watching cruise
Whale watching tours are one of the most popular ways to explore Seward, Alaska's marine life. Similar to the helicopter tours, these have varying lengths and pricing depending. On average, these tours usually last at least 3.5 hours. You'll want to book your reservation well in advance because this is one of the most fun things to do in Seward that you genuinely won't want to miss out on!
You Should Know This is a great day trip for travelers of any age, but you'll want to be sure to pack in layers and also bring some fun things to do for younger children to keep them occupied.
Kayak in Resurrection Bay
Resurrection Bay is an 18-mile water area off the coast of Seward. It's also often referred to as Blying Sound and is connected to the Resurrection River. Though there are guided tours you can take of the bay, you could also consider renting a kayak from one of the rental places in town to take out on the water! Kayaking gives you the freedom to explore the area as you wish. Be sure to check the weather before you go out on the water, though!
You Should Know It's better to wear layers for an activity like this because it can get quite cold out on the water.
Hike up Mount Marathon
Mount Marathon, which is also referred to by locals as Marathon Mountain, is a breathtaking mountain in Seward. It stands at 4,826 feet tall and consists of one of the best hiking trails in the area. The trail to the top is best for experienced hikers. It's a loop trail that is safest to hike between May and September. It totals 4.1 miles in length but has stunning views of the area below.
You Should Know Be sure to pack lots of water and snacks for this hike. It has an elevation of just under 3,000 feet, so you're sure to get hungry and thirsty on the way up.
Walk by Waterfront Park
The waterfront in Seward is genuinely spectacular. It's one of the most gorgeous and breathtaking areas in the town. This is a very commonplace to go tenting, which could be excellent accommodation for you if you're interested in it! These accommodation options start at just $10 if you want to stay in a tent. If you walk around Waterfront Park, be sure to follow the marked trails. They will normally end right around the SeaLife Center, which is another place in Seward that is definitely worth exploring.
You Should Know Make sure you have good walking shoes because you'll be walking around a lot.
Explore parts of the Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park is a beautiful natural park area that was established in1980. It covers the majority of the Kenai Peninsula Borough in Alaska, covering a total of 669,984 acres! It's mostly located in Seward. One of the best things to do when visiting Seward is to visit and explore the park. Some of the top sights include the Harding Icefield Trail, Exit Glacier, the Kenai Fjords, and the multiple ranger programs.
You Should Know Oftentimes, there are alerts due to the glaciers and possible ice fall that can happen inside the park. Be sure to check the website online to see if there are any alerts in effect before visiting. Make sure you pack layers to wear to this park. It's definitely cold most of the time, but you'll warm up if you're doing a hiking trail.
Nestled in the southern region of the vast, wild frontier known as Alaska, Seward holds a special spot not just in the country but also on the continent of North America. This city lies about 125 miles south of Anchorage, almost at the end of the famous Seward Highway, and serves as the starting point for the historic Iditarod Trail.
What's particularly striking about Seward's geography is its stunning location between the mountains and the sea. The city sits right at the base of Mount Marathon, making it a perfect playground for hiking enthusiasts. Imagine trekking up for breathtaking views of Resurrection Bay, known for its deep, tranquil waters and vibrant marine life.
But it's not just the mountain trails that captivate visitors. Seward is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, a world where glaciers inch toward the ocean and rugged cliffs meet the relentless waves. Here, you can take a boat tour, spot whales, or listen to the distant echo of a glacier.
Moreover, Seward's coastal position means fishing is a big deal! Whether you're an amateur or seasoned angler, there's something incredibly satisfying about reeling in your catch against the backdrop of Alaska's pristine wilderness.
In Seward, the geography itself invites adventure, making it an irresistible destination for those who crave a connection with nature.
The Best Time to Cruise From Seward
Cruising from Seward, Alaska, is a gateway to exploring the region's stunning natural beauty, and choosing the right season for your visit is crucial to maximize your experience.
Winter (November - early April): Cruising from Seward during the winter months presents a magical winter wonderland, with temperatures ranging from 17°F to 30°F. This season is ideal for winter sports enthusiasts interested in skiing or snowshoeing. The shorter days also provide an opportunity for viewing the Northern Lights. However, be aware that some local tours and accommodations may have limited availability during these quieter months.
Spring (late April - May): Cruising from Seward in spring allows you to witness the city awakening from its winter sleep. With temperatures between 35°F and 55°F, the landscape starts to bloom, revealing wildflowers and greenery. This season offers a more tranquil touring experience with fewer crowds, though some attractions may still be closed.
Summer (June - August): The prime time for cruising from Seward, summer offers comfortable temperatures between 50°F and 70°F and long days due to the 'midnight sun.' This season is the best for wildlife watching, fishing, and fjord exploration. However, it's also peak tourist season, so expect more visitors and higher prices.
Fall (September - October): Early fall is a great time for cruising from Seward, offering fewer tourists and a landscape painted with autumn colors. The cooler temperatures, around 45°F to 65°F, are ideal for comfortable touring. While some services begin to wind down, there's still plenty to explore, especially for those who enjoy peaceful landscapes. In deciding the best time for cruising from Seward, consider what you want from your trip.
Summer provides the full tourist experience with optimal weather for outdoor activities, while spring and fall offer quieter touring experiences amidst nature's transitions. Each season in Seward has its unique appeal, ensuring a memorable journey whenever you choose to cruise from this spectacular Alaskan destination.
Journey through Time: Seward’s History
Embarking on a journey through Seward is like stepping back in time, where each corner of the city whispers tales from the early 1900s. Established in 1903, Seward's inception was strategic, serving as the trailhead for what would become the Alaska Railroad, a vital vein pulsing into the territory's rugged heart. The city owes its name to William H. Seward, the visionary Secretary of State who advocated for the United States purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.
However, Seward's path wasn't always clear. In 1964, it faced one of its most significant challenges: the Great Alaskan Earthquake, the most potent quake ever recorded in North American history. The disaster brought incredible devastation, but Seward proved resilient, rebuilding and emerging stronger, transforming into an indispensable port for commercial fishing and cargo distribution. This resilience was echoed during World War II when Seward morphed into a crucial military supply base, and Fort Raymond stood tall against the horizon, guarding against potential threats.
As you wander through Seward, historical landmarks serve as tangible links to the past. Places like the Ballaine House, the original home of Seward's founder Frank Ballaine, transport visitors to the early days of the 20th century. The Seward Community Library & Museum, meanwhile, offers a treasure trove of local heritage, from indigenous history to contemporary art. Not to be missed is the Jesse Lee Home for Children, the birthplace of the iconic Alaska flag design, conceived by 13-year-old Benny Benson in 1927.
But Seward isn't a place anchored solely to its past; it's a living narrative where history informs present-day life. The city continues its legacy as a maritime powerhouse while embracing the very wilderness that has shaped its history. The community celebrates annual events, like the time-honored Fourth of July festivity, dating back to 1915, reflecting a deep bond and communal resilience.
The cultural blend, from the indigenous Alaskan heritage to the imprints left by gold rush adventurers, fishermen, and railroad workers, weaves a unique fabric into the city's social, artistic, and culinary tapestry. Visitors to Seward find that the streets, trails, and buildings aren't just scenic tokens; they're chapters of a rich, living history book, a testament to a city that respects and rejoices in its past, making any trip here more than a getaway—it's a walk through time.
The Local Seward Food Scene
In Seward, Alaska, the local food scene is a treasure trove of fresh, quality fare rooted in the simplicity and abundance of the sea and wilderness. Here, the catch of the day isn't just a menu option; it's a way of life. The city is a haven for seafood lovers, with dishes featuring halibut, salmon, and king crab reigning supreme. These aren't your average seafood dishes; they carry the taste of the Alaskan waters — crisp, fresh, and full of flavor.
One of the must-try experiences in Seward is a visit to the docks to enjoy seafood straight from the source. Establishments like Chinooks Waterfront and the Seward Brewing Company serve everything from hearty salmon chowders to blackened halibut tacos, with recipes that highlight the freshness of their ingredients rather than hiding them behind heavy sauces or seasonings. It's honest food that reflects the rugged charm of Seward itself.
If you're in town during August, the annual Silver Salmon Derby is not to be missed. This event is more than a fishing competition; it's a community celebration, complete with food stalls showcasing local flavors and inventive salmon preparations. It's a golden opportunity for foodies to indulge in local cuisine while enjoying the festive atmosphere.
And it's not just about traditional fare in Seward; the city is seeing a rise in modern dining experiences. Places like The Cookery are introducing a new wave of culinary sophistication, featuring dishes that fuse local ingredients with global flavors. Think Alaskan oysters paired with international wine selections or desserts made with locally foraged berries. These contemporary twists bring something new to the table, attracting both locals and visitors alike.
The beauty of Seward's food scene lies in its deep connection with the surrounding nature. From the straightforward approach to seafood to the community's shared love for local produce, dining here is a reflection of the city's heart. So, take a seat, order up, and savor the genuine flavors of Seward, Alaska.
Get Ready for Your Visit to Seward, Alaska
Are you getting ready to explore Seward, Alaska? You're in for a real treat! This city isn't just a spot on the map; it's the gateway to some of the most breathtaking natural experiences and culinary delights you could imagine. Whether you're chasing the thrill of outdoor adventures, eager to reel in your own fish from the abundant Alaskan waters, or can't wait to taste the freshest seafood dishes, Seward welcomes you with open arms.
Planning your journey is simpler than you might think. With its well-connected transportation options, including scenic train routes, comfortable coach services, and the convenience of major cruise ship stopovers, getting here is part of the adventure. Plus, there's a range of travel packages tailored to every interest and budget, whether you're an intrepid solo explorer or bringing the whole family for a memorable vacation. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the planning, pack your bags, and set your sights on Seward. An unforgettable Alaskan experience awaits you!