Imagine a land where ice-blue glaciers spill into the ocean, where snow-dusted peaks frame a sapphire bay, and whales paint playful arcs against the vast Alaskan sky.

This isn’t a dream; it’s Seward, Alaska, a gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park.

Nestled at the edge of Resurrection Bay, Seward offers a land of epic glaciers, jagged peaks, and abundant wildlife, promising an otherworldly Alaskan adventure.

Discover hidden waterfalls tucked amidst dense forests, and marvel at the marine life dancing beneath your boat. Seward is a place where the extraordinary becomes your everyday.

Here are some of the best things to do in Seward, Alaska.

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Best Outdoor Activities in Seward, Alaska

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations
Spire Cove in Resurrection Bay

Immerse yourself in the great Alaskan outdoors as you discover Seward’s awe-inspiring natural wonders.

From glacier adventures and water-based explorations to hiking trails and unique local experiences, this coastal gem offers an unparalleled playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

Glacier Adventures in Seward Alaska

From cruising past towering tidewater glaciers to hiking on ancient ice fields, Seward offers a wonderland of glacier adventures to experience Alaska’s icy grandeur up close.

1. Hit the Fjords and witness Aialik Glacier or Holgate Glacier

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

No trip to Seward is complete without exploring the awe-inspiring Kenai Fjords National Park. Glacier cruises are a Seward staple, offering up-close views of tidewater glaciers like Aialik Glacier and Holgate Glacier.

As you cruise amidst the majestic glaciers, keep your eyes peeled for an extraordinary array of wildlife gracing the icy waters.

Look out for humpback whales breaching, orcas slicing through the waves, playful puffins bobbing on the surface, and sea lions and harbor seals lounging on the ice floes.

You might even spot the playful splashes of Dall’s porpoises or hear the booming bark of Steller sea lions. Sea otters, with their captivating charisma, might be spotted diligently grooming themselves or cracking open a shellfish feast.

A majestic bald eagle might soar above it all, its keen eyes scanning for prey. Black-legged kittiwakes, with their acrobatic dives, might add to the visual spectacle.

As you cruise amidst the majestic glaciers, keep your eyes peeled for an extraordinary array of wildlife gracing the icy waters.

Important Note: These cruises are extremely popular, so it’s highly recommended to book your Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise from Seward in advance to secure your spot!

Also, read my detailed review: Kenai Fjords Tours from Seward, Alaska: A Review

2. Visit Exit Glacier

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Seeing the Glacier from the Roadside:

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations
  • Effortless Appreciation: Even if you’re short on time, you can experience the grandeur of Exit Glacier simply by driving to the end of Exit Glacier Road. There are roadside viewpoints that offer stunning vistas of the glacier and surrounding scenery. This is a fantastic option for those who prefer a less active approach.

Exit Glacier Nature Center

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations
  • The Gateway to Exploration: Begin your deeper dive into Exit Glacier here! The Nature Center provides exhibits, educational resources, and information about the area’s natural history and glacial formations.
  • Ranger-Led Programs: Join a ranger-led interpretive talk or walk to learn fascinating details about the glacier, its wildlife, and the impact of climate change on the region.
  • Trail Access: The Nature Center is the starting point for a network of well-maintained hiking trails that offer fantastic opportunities to explore.

Trails

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations
  • Glacier View Loop Trail (Easy): This accessible, one-mile loop winds through a cottonwood forest, ultimately leading to the Glacier View point. Here, you’ll be treated to a panoramic perspective of Exit Glacier cascading down from the Harding Icefield.
  • Exit Glacier Overlook Trail (Moderate): A moderately challenging trail of about 0.6 miles that takes you closer to the glacier. The Exit Glacier Overlook boasts incredible views of the glacier and its glacially carved valley.

3. Embark on the Exhilarating Harding Icefield Trail

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

If you’re seeking a challenging yet immensely rewarding Alaskan adventure, the Harding Icefield Trail demands your attention.

This strenuous 8.2-mile (roundtrip) hike ascends from the Exit Glacier Area, offering ever-evolving scenery and culminating in unparalleled views.

Journey Through Diverse Landscapes

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Begin amidst cottonwood and alder forests, then traverse vibrant meadows filled with wildflowers. As you climb above the treeline, prepare to be stunned by the vastness of the Harding Icefield.

This seemingly endless expanse of ice and snow, punctuated only by the occasional nunatak (a mountain peak piercing the ice), serves as a powerful reminder of past ice ages.

A Test of Endurance… and a Feast for the Eyes

Be warned: this trail is not for the faint of heart! With an elevation gain of roughly 1,000 feet per mile, expect a rigorous workout.

Plan for at least 6-8 hours to complete the hike. However, even if you don’t reach the very top, the breathtaking views of Exit Glacier and the surrounding valley make every step worthwhile.

Want the expertise of a local guide? Consider the Harding Icefield Trail Hiking Tour. This full-day excursion pairs you with a professional backcountry wilderness guide, letting you focus on the stunning scenery and ensuring you stay on track.

Essential Preparation

  • Current Conditions: Check trail conditions before setting out. Lingering snow into July is common, and avalanche danger might be present.
  • Be Weather-Ready: The Alaskan wilderness demands preparedness. Expect unpredictable weather including high winds, blazing sun, and sudden temperature shifts. Pack layers, rain gear, sturdy boots, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
  • Hydration & Protection: Carry plenty of water (at least 2 liters/person) or a filter to treat water found along the trail. Remember, untreated water may carry Giardia, an unpleasant parasite.
  • Tread Lightly: Alpine vegetation is fragile. Help preserve this delicate environment by absolutely staying on the trail and minimizing your impact.

4. Take A Scenic Helicopter Flight over Glaciers: Soar Above Alaska’s Ice Age Wonders

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Embark on an unforgettable 45-minute flightseeing tour from Seward, soaring high above the magnificent Bear Glacier and Aialik Glacier.

Witness the raw power of nature as you admire colossal icebergs, remnants of these ancient giants floating within a remote lagoon.

Descend close to Aialik Glacier’s edge, where its towering ice walls plunge dramatically into the ocean.

Marvel at cascading waterfalls, lush old-growth forests, and vibrant turquoise waters, a breathtaking contrast to the sculpted frozen landscape.

Enjoy unparalleled aerial views of the majestic Kenai Fjords National Park.

This tour is ideal if you…

  • Crave awe-inspiring views inaccessible by any other means
  • Desire a unique perspective on Alaska’s glacial wonders
  • Seek a thrilling and luxurious adventure

Your Helicopter Glacier Experience Includes:

  • A 45-minute helicopter flight over Bear and Aialik glaciers
  • Expert commentary from an FAA-certified pilot
  • Close-up encounters with massive icebergs and Resurrection Bay
  • Small-group setting (maximum of six passengers) for a personalized experience
  • Multiple departure times to suit your schedule

5. Experience Alaska from the Sky: Helicopter Tour and Landing on a Glacier

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Embark on an unforgettable aerial adventure with Seward’s Glacier and Mountain Viewing Tour. Take a helicopter ride and witness the breathtaking beauty of Alaska’s landscapes from above.

Soar over the Kenai Fjords National Park, marveling at majestic glaciers, icy peaks, and sprawling Resurrection Bay.

Your thrilling 30-minute flight culminates with a landing on the pristine Godwin Glacier.

Step out and immerse yourself in this icy wonderland, snapping stunning photos and breathing in the crisp mountain air.

Keep your eyes peeled for incredible wildlife sightings, icebergs, and dramatic calving events.

This tour is a photographer’s dream, offering unparalleled perspectives and a once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan experience.

Water-based Activities in Seward, Alaska: Kayaking and Beyond

Whether kayaking Resurrection Bay, exploring waterfalls, or cruising to remote islands, Seward’s water-based activities immerse you in the raw coastal beauty of this unique Alaskan town.

6. Unwind by the Refreshing Resurrection River

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

In the shadow of the great mountains and just a stone’s throw from Seward, the Resurrection River offers a gentle yet profound contrast to the adrenaline-fueled adventures that fill most Alaskan itineraries.

This scenic waterway flows directly from the mountains into Resurrection Bay, offering a peaceful place for reflection and rejuvenation.

Nature speaks softly here, beckoning visitors to pause and immerse themselves in the quiet drama of the Alaskan wild.

The river’s icy waters, originating from the Harding Icefield, meander through valleys carved by glaciers of yore, offering a soothing soundtrack to a peaceful afternoon.

Here, you can find a rare kind of tranquility as the hustle of city life fades into the rhythmic sounds of flowing water and rustling leaves.

It’s a place that invites you to slow down and sync your heartbeat with the timeless pulse of nature.

7. Explore Fox Island: Immerse Yourself in Wilderness Splendor

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Escape into the heart of Resurrection Bay and discover the unspoiled beauty of Fox Island. This secluded gem within Kenai Fjords National Park invites you to disconnect and reconnect with the untamed nature of Alaska.

Embark on a scenic cruise, cutting through the pristine waters of the fjords. As you cruise, take in the breathtaking scenery of the Harding Icefield and the Kenai Peninsula.

Witness majestic glaciers sculpting the rugged landscape, and marvel at the abundant marine life – playful sea lions, inquisitive otters, and perhaps even a breaching whale!

Step ashore on Fox Island and feel your senses awaken. Follow quiet trails through lush forests, the air filled with birdsong.

Unwind on pristine beaches, listen to the whisper of the waves, and savor a delicious meal at a secluded lodge.

Visit the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge to observe a dazzling array of seabirds in their natural habitat.

Fox Island offers a sanctuary for the soul, a place where the stresses of daily life melt away, and you can rediscover the awe-inspiring wonder of the Alaskan wilderness.

8. Embark on a Kayak Paddle on Resurrection Bay: Where Wildlife Encounters Abound

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Start your day with an invigorating 3-hour kayaking expedition on the pristine waters of Resurrection Bay.

Glide along the scenic shoreline with your expert guide, discovering a vibrant tapestry of Alaskan wildlife both on land and in the sea.

Search for playful sea otters, majestic bald eagles soaring overhead, and curious sea lions basking in the sun.

If you’re lucky, you might even witness the thrill of bears near the shoreline or the awe-inspiring sight of Alaskan salmon during spawning season.

Enjoy a picturesque break at Tonsina Point, accompanied by snacks and warm beverages.

This tour is a perfect fit if you…

  • Seeking an immersive wildlife experience
  • Enjoy kayaking adventures surrounded by breathtaking scenery
  • Want a family-friendly, guided outdoor activity

Important Note: Don’t forget to let your tour operator know your boot size for a comfortable kayaking experience!

9. Kayak and Hike Caines Head: A Land and Sea Adventure

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations
Pic Source: Miller’s Landing Alaskan Fishing & Kayaking Outfitters Facebook Page

Embark on a thrilling combo adventure where you’ll conquer Alaskan landscapes by both land and sea! The Kayak and Hike Caines Head tour delivers incredible variety and a taste of Seward’s wild beauty.

Start your day with a scenic hike from Lowell Point to the top of Caines Head, where you’ll explore the remnants of Fort McGilvray, a fascinating piece of WWII history.

Take in breathtaking panoramic views of the Gulf of Alaska before switching gears for your kayaking adventure back to Miller’s Landing.

Paddle through the pristine waters of Resurrection Bay, keeping your eyes peeled for incredible Alaskan wildlife.

Whales, eagles, sea lions, playful otters, and even bears might make an appearance!

Along the way, you’ll witness the haunting beauty of driftwood ghost forests, a reminder of the powerful 1964 Alaskan earthquake.

10. Explore Seward Harbor: Heart of the Waterfront

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Take a stroll along the Seward Harbor, the bustling center of the town’s maritime activity.

Watch fishing boats unload their catch and admire the array of vessels, from sleek sailboats to rugged fishing boats.

The harbor isn’t just a departure point for cruises; it’s a lively community space where you can soak in panoramic views, catch a glimpse of sea otters and seals playing in the water, or embark on a fishing charter.

Stroll along the waterfront to discover local shops, charming cafes, and restaurants with fresh seafood, making the harbor a destination in itself.

Whether you’re watching the sunrise over the mountains or enjoying the peaceful evening ambiance, Seward Harbor offers a picturesque slice of coastal Alaskan life.

11. Discover Lowell Creek Waterfall: A Hidden Gem in Seward

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Nestled just outside downtown Seward, Lowell Creek Waterfall offers a surprising slice of natural beauty amidst the town’s bustle.

This human-engineered waterfall cascades powerfully through a narrow channel, its path flowing into the ocean, creating a mesmerizing display of water energy and sound.

Hiking & Land Adventures in Seward, Alaska

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Lace-up your boots and venture into Seward’s rugged wilderness, from panoramic seaside trails to remote adventure basecamps surrounded by pristine Alaskan landscapes.

Explore wildflower meadows, old-growth forests, and stunning viewpoints.

12. Hike Seward’s Wild Side: Explore Untamed Alaskan Landscapes

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Seward’s breathtaking scenery isn’t just for admiring from afar. Experience the raw beauty of the Alaskan wilderness on foot with a guided Seward Wilderness Hiking tour.

This customizable adventure lets you choose the perfect trail to match your fitness level and interests.

Your knowledgeable guide will lead you through stunning landscapes, sharing insights about the area’s history and diverse wildlife.

Expect to encounter glacial lakes, majestic mountains, and lush alpine tundra – all while keeping a lookout for iconic Alaskan creatures like bears and moose.

13. Explore Caines Head State Recreation Area: Escape into the Alaskan Wilderness

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty and rich history of Caines Head State Recreation Area.

This majestic 5,961-acre park on the Kenai Peninsula combines sweeping ocean views, World War II military ruins, and diverse Alaskan landscapes.

Hike miles of scenic trails winding through lush rainforests and along pristine beaches. Explore the remnants of Fort McGilvary, a clifftop fortress offering breathtaking views of Resurrection Bay.

Look for incredible wildlife, such as Porcupines, brown and black bears, marmots, mountain goats, sea otters, and playful puffins.

Caines Head is a paradise for hikers, backpackers, boaters, and kayakers. Spend a day exploring or reserve a secluded beach campsite or cozy public-use cabin for an unforgettable overnight stay.

Delve into History

Fort McGilvary stands as a fascinating reminder of Seward’s strategic role during World War II. Wander through its underground passages and imagine soldiers stationed amidst this awe-inspiring scenery.

Getting There:

Caines Head is primarily accessible by boat or foot.

Take a scenic water taxi ride from Miller’s Landing, or embark on the scenic Coastal Trail from Lowell Point (be sure to check tide schedules if hiking).

Kayak rentals are also available in Seward for those seeking a water-based adventure.

14. Miller’s Landing: A Remote Adventure Basecamp in Seward

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations
Pic Source: Miller’s Landing Alaskan Fishing & Kayaking Outfitters Facebook Page

Nestled away in a secluded spot, Miller’s Landing is not just a campground; it’s a prime destination for adventure tourism.

Whether you’re interested in guided kayaking, saltwater fishing, or even renting a boat if you’re qualified, Miller’s Landing has it all.

With water taxis to Aialik Bay, Caines Head, Fox Island, and Humpy Cove, and a variety of accommodation options like cabins, houses, yurts, and suites, it promises an action-packed visit.

Unique Local Experiences in Seward, Alaska

Discover one-of-a-kind Seward traditions, that showcase this town’s distinctive culture.

Witness the incredible salmon run, embark on a dog sledding journey, or try your hand at gold panning, and other iconic Alaskan pursuits.

15. Watch the Salmon’s Incredible Journey at Bear Creek Weir

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

In the heart of a lush Sitka spruce rainforest, Bear Creek Weir stands as a testament to nature’s resilience and mankind’s ingenuity.

Here, the pulse of Alaskan waters beats with the rhythm of salmon runs, drawing visitors to witness an ancient cycle against the backdrop of the modern world.

Get a front-row seat to the thrilling spectacle of the salmon run at Bear Creek Weir.

Watch thousands of determined salmon battle their way upstream, leaping over obstacles in their quest to return to their spawning grounds.

  • Wildlife Wonderland: Observe the salmon in action, and keep an eye out for playful American dippers darting along the creek. Lush forest provides a backdrop for potential sightings of ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets.
  • Salmon Science: Learn about the vital role the weir plays in salmon management and how the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association supports healthy populations.
  • Unforgettable Moments: Capture stunning photos and videos of this raw display of nature’s power.

Tip: The peak viewing season is June-July for sockeye salmon and late July-September for coho salmon.

16. Experience a Wilderness Dog Sled Ride and Tour: A Dash of Alaskan Adventure

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Embark on a quintessentially Alaskan adventure – a wilderness dog sled tour in Seward!

Immerse yourself in the thrill of mushing, powered by the boundless enthusiasm of Alaskan huskies.

Learn the fascinating history behind dog sledding, get up close and personal with the canine athletes, and even cuddle adorable husky puppies.

Recommended Tour: Wilderness Dog Sled Ride and Tour in Seward

What to Expect

  • Convenient afternoon pickup from your Seward hotel.
  • A fascinating overview of dog mushing and the famed Iditarod race.
  • Meet and greet with the energetic sled dog team and their playful pups.
  • An exhilarating sled ride through the Alaskan wilderness, complete with stunning photo opportunities.
  • Insights into the training techniques, gear, and race strategies of dog sledding.
  • Return transport to your Seward hotel.

This tour is perfect if you…

  • Crave authentic Alaskan experiences
  • Love dogs and outdoor adventures
  • Desire an activity suitable for all weather conditions

17. Experience the Thrill of Gold Panning

Dive into Alaska’s rich history with a gold-panning adventure in Seward.

This engaging 1-hour tour offers a hands-on experience, complete with a gold panning demonstration and the chance to try your luck in elevated troughs filled with pay dirt.

Any gold you discover is yours to keep, making for an unforgettable souvenir from your Alaskan journey.


Best Historical and Cultural Attractions in Seward, Alaska

Delve into the rich history and vibrant culture of Seward. Learn about the Iditarod, admire colorful murals, explore historical sites, and immerse yourself in local traditions.

18. Step Back in Time at Mile Zero: Iditarod Trail Centennial Statue

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

History buffs and adventure enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Mile Zero: Iditarod Trail Centennial Statue, located conveniently in the Alaska SeaLife Center parking lot.

This statue commemorates the legendary Iditarod Trail, a vital route that once stretched over 2,300 miles from Seward to Nome, Alaska.

More than just a scenic path, the Iditarod Trail served as a lifeline during the early 1900s, carrying mail and essential supplies during the gold rush era.

The statue itself depicts a determined gold prospector alongside his trusty pack dog, a powerful symbol of the grit and determination needed to navigate this challenging Alaskan terrain.

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Standing at Mile Zero is a chance to connect with the rich history of Seward and the Iditarod National Historic Trail.

It’s a reminder of human perseverance and the ingenuity required to survive and thrive in Alaska’s unforgiving wilderness.

Bonus Tip: After snapping a photo with the statue, head inside the Alaska SeaLife Center for a fascinating glimpse into the marine life of the Alaskan waters.

19. Explore Seward Waterfront Park: Scenic Coastline, History, and Recreation

Nestled along the scenic shores of Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska, the Seward Waterfront Park offers visitors a captivating blend of coastal splendor, rich history, and abundant recreational opportunities.

This gem of a park is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the breathtaking Kenai Peninsula region.

Scenic Coastline

The park’s prime location along the waterfront provides unparalleled views of the striking Resurrection Bay and the surrounding mountains.

Stroll along the paved trails that wind through the park, taking in the fresh sea air and the mesmerizing sight of boats and ships gliding across the sparkling waters.

Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife, including sea otters, seals, and an array of marine birds.

Rich History

Seward Waterfront Park is not just a haven for nature enthusiasts but also a treasure trove for history buffs.

It stands as a testament to Seward’s role in Alaska’s development, including its significance in the Iditarod Trail and its strategic importance during World War II.

Historical markers and monuments dotted throughout the park provide insight into the area’s past, including the devastating 1964 earthquake that reshaped much of the Alaskan coastline.

Explore interactive exhibits and gain insights into the lives of early settlers, the construction of the Alaska Railroad, and the area’s indigenous cultures.

The Seward Waterfront Park is a place where stories of resilience and pioneering spirit come to life, offering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the region.

Recreational Opportunities

The park offers a wealth of recreational activities for visitors of all ages and interests.

Rent a bike and explore the scenic trails, or pack a picnic and relax in the grassy areas while soaking in the stunning vistas. Anglers can try their luck at the park’s fishing dock

20. Immerse Yourself in Seward’s Past: Embark on the Historical Walking Tour

History buffs and curious minds will love exploring Seward’s rich backstory on the Seward Historical Walking Tour.

Discover the stories behind the city with 26 fascinating historical signs, each marking a significant landmark or event.

Journey through Seward’s timeline with this self-guided adventure, exploring its origins as a supply camp to its role in Alaskan statehood.

Customize your historical journey by starting at any point along the tour. Download a map and explore.

Unveil hidden narratives of the gold rush era, railroad construction, devastating fires, and the city’s resilient spirit.

Tip: Take your time, read the signs, and let the tales of this dynamic Alaskan town transport you through time!

21. Discover Seward’s Art and History: Explore the Historic Downtown Murals

Seward, officially designated the “Mural Capital of Alaska,” boasts a vibrant outdoor art scene woven into its downtown.

These colorful, captivating murals adorn buildings throughout the area, showcasing Seward’s rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant Alaskan wildlife.

Brought to life by the Seward Mural Society, a passionate group of local artists, these murals offer a self-guided visual journey through the town’s history.

Uncover tales of its founding, admire depictions of iconic wildlife like whales and puffins, and be inspired by the resilience and spirit of the Alaskan people.

Tip: Pick up a map from the Seward Mural Society or visitor centers to plan your walk and discover over 30 incredible murals!

Best Indoor Experiences in Seward, Alaska

When Alaskan weather keeps you inside, Seward’s indoor experiences, from marine life exhibits, art galleries, unique souvenir shops, to cozy cafes, provide a warm welcome and a glimpse into local culture.

22. Alaska SeaLife Center: Dive into Alaska’s Marine World

Photo source: Alaska SeaLife Center Facebook Page

Discover the wonders of Alaska’s marine life at the Alaska SeaLife Center.

This world-class facility combines a public aquarium with groundbreaking marine research and wildlife rehabilitation.

Get up close with playful sea otters, marvel at graceful puffins, and observe the underwater world of a giant Pacific octopus.

Explore interactive exhibits showcasing diverse Alaskan ecosystems, learn about the center’s critical conservation efforts, and even witness rescued marine animals receiving care.

The Alaska SeaLife Center offers a unique opportunity to connect with the stunning creatures that inhabit the icy Alaskan waters, all from the comfort of a fascinating indoor setting.

Tip: The Alaska SeaLife Center offers engaging educational programs and behind-the-scenes tours, providing a deeper look into their important work.

23. Seward Community Library & Museum: Dive into Local History

Discover Seward’s fascinating past at the Seward Community Library & Museum.

Browse exhibits about the town’s rich history, from its early days as a key port in the Alaska Railroad to its role in World War II and the devastating 1964 Earthquake.

Interactive displays and artifacts bring stories of Seward’s past and resilient community to life, while the library offers a cozy retreat for book lovers.

With its blend of educational resources, historical insights, and cultural enrichment, the Seward Community Library & Museum provides a fascinating indoor experience for all ages, making it a perfect addition to your Seward itinerary, especially on those rare rainy days.

24. Savor a Moment at Resurrect Art Coffee Shop

For those seeking a cozy coffee break, Resurrect Art Coffee Shop in downtown Seward is a must-visit.

Set in a beautifully repurposed historic church, the shop offers an inviting atmosphere, delicious beverages, and an array of tasty treats, including gluten-free options.

Don’t miss the upstairs loft and workspace, and make sure to explore the attached art gallery, showcasing stunning local artwork, jewelry, books, and crafted mugs.

25. Discover Local Art and Souvenirs

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Seward’s artistic scene is vibrant, with numerous gift shops and galleries where you can find memorable souvenirs.

Whether you’re interested in paintings, pottery, or jewelry, Forests, Tides & Treasures, Starbird Studio, or Primrose Provisions offer a wealth of options.

For pottery enthusiasts, a visit to Irvin Pottery and Nakao Ceramics is highly recommended. Take home a piece of Seward with you, and keep the memory of your trip alive through these unique finds.


Nearby Excursions and Day Trips from Seward, Alaska

Venture beyond Seward to uncover more of Alaska’s natural wonders, from national forests to quaint towns, all just a short drive from this incredible base camp.

26. Cooper Landing

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Located at the confluence of Kenai Lake and Kenai River, Cooper Landing is a haven for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Renowned for its world-class salmon and trout fishing, it also offers hiking trails with stunning views, such as the Russian River Falls, where you can watch salmon leap upstream.

Cast your line in this world-class fishing destination!

27. Moose Pass

A quaint and charming mountain village nestled in the Kenai Mountains, Moose Pass offers a serene escape with its stunning natural beauty.

Ideal for those seeking a peaceful retreat, it provides access to pristine lakes, scenic hiking trails, and the warm hospitality of a small Alaskan community.

This hidden gem is a perfect day trip for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the tranquility of Alaska’s wilderness.

28. Chugach National Forest

Covering a vast area of the Chugach Mountains, this national forest offers numerous hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing opportunities.

You can explore the Iditarod National Historic Trail, go fishing in one of the pristine lakes or rivers, or simply enjoy the panoramic views on a scenic drive.

29. Hope, Alaska

A scenic 2-hour drive from Seward, the historic mining town of Hope sits on the northern side of the Kenai Peninsula.

It’s a quaint destination with panoramic views, hiking trails, and gold panning experiences that offer a glimpse into Alaska’s gold rush era.

30. Whittier

A gateway to the mesmerizing Prince William Sound, Whittier captivates visitors with its deep-water fjords, abundant marine wildlife, and striking glaciers.

Despite its small size, this unique town, accessible only by North America’s longest shared vehicle-railroad tunnel ( Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel), offers unforgettable boat tours and a peek into the intriguing lifestyle of one of Alaska’s most secluded communities.

31. Portage Valley

Situated within the Chugach National Forest, the Portage Valley is a natural wonderland, featuring the awe-inspiring Portage Glacier, lush hiking trails, and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

It’s a place where visitors can come face-to-face with Alaska’s wild inhabitants and enjoy the serene beauty of ice-capped landscapes, making it an essential stop for nature lovers.

32. Embark on a Scenic Journey with the Alaska Railroad

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Travel from Seward to Anchorage on the Alaska Railroad, a top-tier experience that showcases Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes.

This 4-hour trip winds through majestic mountains, along beautiful coastlines, and across vast plains, possibly offering wildlife sightings.

With spacious carriages featuring large windows and open vestibules, you’re set for spectacular photo opportunities.

The narrated journey adds rich context, making this an essential part of your Alaska itinerary.


Events and Festivals in Seward, Alaska

Time your visit for one of Seward’s lively festivals celebrating fishing, music, or quirky traditions that highlight the adventurous spirit of this Alaskan gem.

33. Polar Bear Jump-Off Festival (January/February)

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

A quirky and fun event typically held in January, the Polar Bear Jump-Off Festival involves brave participants jumping into the frigid waters of Resurrection Bay.

The festival also includes a variety of other activities like ice bowling, oyster slurping, and a costume contest, all in good fun to support local charities.

34. Seward Halibut Tournament (June)

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

the Seward Halibut Tournament highlights Seward as a premier destination for halibut fishing.

Anglers compete for the biggest catch in this exciting event, which also features tagged fish for special prizes. Fishing aficionados will find it a thrilling experience.

35. Mount Marathon Race (July 4th)

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Held annually on the Fourth of July, the Mount Marathon Race is one of Alaska’s oldest and most challenging mountain races.

Participants, ranging from professional athletes to local enthusiasts, race up and down Mount Marathon, a steep and rugged peak overlooking Seward.

The event draws large crowds and is a testament to the spirit and endurance of the Alaskan people.

36. Seward Silver Salmon Derby (August)

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

One of the oldest and largest fishing derbies in the state, the Seward Silver Salmon Derby is a highlight for anglers from around the world.

Taking place in August, the event offers a week of competitive fishing with prizes for the biggest catches, celebrating the abundant silver salmon in the area.

37. Seward Music & Arts Festival (September)

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Celebrating the vibrant arts scene in Seward, this festival takes place in September and features live music, dance performances, art exhibits, and workshops.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the cultural side of Seward, with something for attendees of all ages.


Where To Eat in Seward, Alaska

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations

Seward’s culinary scene is a seafood lover’s paradise, but the town offers plenty of variety for every taste. Get ready to savor Alaskan flavors at these popular restaurants:

The Kenai Fjords Glacier Dinner Cruise

Enjoying dinner with a view on an Alaska cruise, thanks to the incredibly long summer days that keep the sun shining late into the evening. A dinner cruise is the perfect way to take in the majestic scenery while savoring a delightful meal in this land of the midnight sun.

For a truly unforgettable experience, combine the stunning scenery of Kenai Fjords National Park with a delicious onboard dinner.

The Kenai Fjords Glacier Dinner Cruise takes you on an evening adventure, showcasing glaciers, wildlife, and breathtaking vistas while you enjoy a satisfying meal.

Fresh-off-the-boat seafood:

  • Ray’s Waterfront: A Seward institution, known for its fresh seafood, waterfront views, and lively atmosphere.
  • The Cookery: A locals’ favorite for hearty breakfasts, burgers, and a cozy Alaskan vibe.

More delicious options:

  • Seward Brewing Company: Pair handcrafted beers with tasty pub fare and stunning mountain and water views.
  • Woody’s Thai Kitchen: Authentic, flavorful Thai cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Apollo Restaurant: Savor Mediterranean specialties like grilled octopus, gyros, and fresh seafood dishes.

Sweet Tooth Fix:

  • Zudy’s Cafe: Locals swear by their baked goods, sandwiches, and warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Tips for Your Seward Food Adventure:

  • Waterfront dining: Several restaurants, including Ray’s Waterfront and Chinooks, offer stunning views of Resurrection Bay.
  • Reservations: During the busy summer season, book a table in advance, especially for popular eateries.

Let your taste buds guide you on a delicious exploration of Seward!

Where to Stay in Seward, Alaska

I stayed at Seward Windsong Lodge. Read my detailed review!

When planning your visit to Seward, Alaska, finding the right place to stay is crucial to enjoy the natural beauty and activities this charming town has to offer.

Here are a few accommodation options that cater to a range of preferences and budgets, each offering a unique experience of Seward’s stunning landscapes and hospitality.

  • Seward Windsong Lodge: Nestled in a lush valley surrounded by mountains, Seward Windsong Lodge offers guests a serene retreat after a day of exploring. With comfortable, spacious rooms and on-site dining featuring Alaskan cuisine, this lodge is the perfect base for your adventures in Kenai Fjords National Park. Read my detailed review. Book a stay here!
  • Sauerdough Lodging: Located in one of Seward’s historic buildings, Sauerdough Lodging features unique, apartment-style accommodations with a blend of rustic charm and modern conveniences. Its central location makes it perfect for exploring Seward on foot, including nearby attractions like the Alaska SeaLife Center. Book a stay here!
  • Exit Glacier Lodge: Offering cozy cabins and lodge rooms near the entrance to Kenai Fjords National Park, Exit Glacier Lodge is an excellent option for nature lovers. The lodge’s proximity to Exit Glacier provides guests with easy access to hiking trails and stunning glacier views. Book a stay here!

When is the best time to visit Seward, Alaska

Seward offers something special in every season, but the ideal time to visit depends on your interests and priorities. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Summer (May-August): The peak season in Seward boasts long daylight hours (up to 19 hours!), comfortable temperatures in the mid-60s, and abundant wildlife activity. This is the best time for outdoor adventures like hiking, kayaking, and wildlife cruises. Expect higher prices and more crowds during this popular period.
  • Spring (March-May): Spring awakens Seward with budding wildflowers, returning birds, and the possibility of seeing migrating whales. Expect fewer crowds and opportunities to snag deals on accommodations and tours as the season starts to pick up.
  • Fall (September-October): Autumn in Seward brings vibrant foliage, a chance to catch the tail-end of the salmon run, and possible sightings of the Northern Lights. This shoulder season offers a quieter experience with pleasant weather.
  • Winter (November-February): While many attractions close in winter, Seward transforms into a snowy wonderland. Opportunities for snow sports, dog sledding, and breathtaking winter scenery draw visitors seeking a unique Alaskan experience.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Seward depends on your goals:

  • Wildlife and Outdoor Adventures: Summer is ideal.
  • Budget-Conscious Travel: Spring and fall offer value.
  • Fewer Crowds: Opt for the shoulder seasons or winter.
  • Northern Lights: Late fall and winter provide a chance to see them.

How to Get to Seward: Your Practical Guide

Nestled along the scenic Kenai Peninsula, Seward is a true Alaskan gem, offering a gateway to unforgettable adventures in Kenai Fjords National Park and beyond.

Whether you’re arriving by land, sea, or air, getting to this coastal paradise is part of the journey.

By Road

The Most Scenic Route For many travelers, the drive from Anchorage to Seward is an experience in itself.

From Anchorage, follow the Seward Highway (AK-1) south for about 125 miles, a journey that takes approximately 2.5 hours.

This well-maintained road winds through breathtaking landscapes, offering glimpses of towering peaks, glaciers, and pristine waterways.

Keep your camera ready for photo ops and potential wildlife sightings along the way.

Tip: To ensure you don’t miss any of the must-see sights or hidden gems along this iconic route, be sure to check out my comprehensive guide – Anchorage to Seward Scenic Drive in Alaska: A Complete Guide 

By Rail

A Relaxing Journey Sit back, relax, and let the Alaska Railroad whisk you to Seward in style.

The coastal route from Anchorage to Seward is a 4-hour journey that provides unparalleled views of the Alaskan wilderness from the comfort of your seat.

With large windows and open-air vestibules, there will be ample opportunities to capture stunning photos and soak in the scenery.

By Air

A Bird’s-Eye View For those short on time or seeking a unique perspective, air travel is an option.

Several regional airlines offer daily flights from Anchorage to Seward, allowing you to soar above the rugged landscapes and perhaps even spot glaciers from above.

The flight takes approximately 30 minutes, making it a convenient choice for those with limited schedules.

By Cruise

An Unforgettable Arrival Many visitors opt to explore Seward as part of an Alaskan cruise itinerary, arriving in style by sea.

Major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, and Holland America Line offer Alaskan voyages that include stops in Seward, allowing passengers to disembark and experience the town’s natural wonders and attractions firsthand.

No matter how you choose to arrive, Seward promises an unforgettable Alaskan adventure.

With its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and endless opportunities for outdoor exploration, this coastal gem is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.


Did You Know? Intriguing Facts About Seward, Alaska

Best Things To Do In Seward, Alaska, Travel Realizations
  1. Home to the World’s Second Oldest Mountain Marathon: Did you know that Seward hosts the Mount Marathon Race every Fourth of July? It’s considered one of the oldest mountain races in the world, dating back to 1915. This grueling race attracts runners from all over to conquer the steep and rugged terrain of Mount Marathon.
  2. A Portal to Prehistoric Ice: Seward is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, where visitors can witness the Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States. This vast expanse of ice dates back to the last Ice Age, covering over 700 square miles and spawning numerous glaciers.
  3. Under the Sea in Seward: The Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward is not just an aquarium; it’s also a marine research and rehabilitation facility. It’s the only facility in Alaska that combines public education with marine research while rehabilitating sick or injured marine animals, offering a unique glimpse into the efforts to preserve Alaska’s marine ecosystem.
  4. Seward’s Role in U.S. History: Seward was named after William H. Seward, the United States Secretary of State who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. This event, initially dubbed as “Seward’s Folly” due to skepticism about the land’s value, is celebrated as a visionary move today, given Alaska’s rich natural resources and strategic importance.
  5. A Town of Survivors: In 1964, Seward was hit by a devastating tsunami triggered by the Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in North American history. The resilience of Seward’s community has seen the town rebuild and thrive, becoming a testament to the indomitable spirit of its residents.
  6. A Wildlife Photographer’s Paradise: Seward’s Resurrection Bay is a prime location for wildlife photography, offering chances to capture images of sea otters, seals, whales, and a plethora of bird species in their natural habitat. The bay’s unique ecosystem makes it one of the best places in Alaska for close encounters with marine wildlife.
  7. The Northernmost Temperate Rainforest: Surrounding Seward is the Chugach National Forest, which is part of the expansive Pacific temperate rainforest region. This area represents one of the northernmost edges of temperate rainforests in the world. The lush, verdant landscapes of the Chugach provide a stunning contrast to the icy wilderness of the nearby fjords and icefields, showcasing the incredible diversity of Alaska’s ecosystems.

Tour NameDuration FocusPrice RangeMore Information
Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise6 hoursGlaciers, Wildlife$219Book This Tour
Harding Icefield Trail Hiking Tour8 hoursGlacier, Landscapes$200Book This Tour
Bear Glacier Scenic Flight45 MinutesSerial views of Kenai Fjords National Park, Glaciers$515Book This Tour
Glacier Landing Tour30 MinutesAerial View, Glacial Landing$263Book This Tour
Kenai Fjords National Park Tour with Fox Island8+ hoursGlacier, Landscapes$243Book This Tour
Kayaking Tour Along Resurrection Bay3 hoursWildlife$99Book This Tour
Kayak and Hike Caines Head Tour8 hoursWWII Army Fort, State Park, Landscapes$188Book This Tour
Seward Wilderness Hiking Tour4 hoursScenic Trails, Alaskan Wilderness$111Book This Tour
Wilderness Dog Sled Ride and Tour3 hoursDogs, Iditarod$111Book This Tour
A Gold Panning Tour In Seward1 hourGold, A water wheel, Salmon Stream$34Book This Tour
A Relaxing Train Ride To Anchorage4+ hoursRugged Mountain Landscapes, Scenic Coastline$115Book This Tour
A Kenai Fjords Glacier Dinner Cruise from Seward5+ hoursGlaciers, Wildlife, Mountains$213Book This Tour
Orca Quest Cruise4 hoursWhales$155Book This Tour
Northwestern Fjord Sightseeing Cruise from Seward7 hoursThree Tide water Glaciers, Numerous Alpine glaciers$265Book This Tour

Similar Articles From Travel Realizations

From thrilling outdoor pursuits to fascinating cultural attractions, Seward, Alaska, has something for everyone! 🌈 Discover 37 incredible things to do, plus insider tips on where to stay, eat, and explore in this stunning… Share on X

Travel Realizations

As you plan your Alaskan adventure, let the awe-inspiring beauty of Seward capture your imagination. This coastal gem, nestled along the shores of Resurrection Bay, offers a world of wonder where nature’s grandeur takes center stage.

From the thundering glaciers that shape the rugged landscapes to the playful marine life that dances in the icy waters, Seward invites you to immerse yourself in an untamed wilderness.

But Seward is more than just a gateway to natural splendor. It’s a tapestry woven with rich cultural heritage, resilient communities, and a spirit of exploration that has captivated adventurers for generations.

Delve into the town’s storied past, where echoes of the gold rush era and World War II still linger, adding depth and character to your journey.

Seward isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience!

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Chirasree Banerjee

Hello. My name is Chirasree. I have been traveling for almost 11 years to places all over the world. I enter into a separate reality during my travels and enjoy the allure of escape from the mundane. I seek beauty through nature and human-made creations. Because beauty is powerful. I seek knowledge. I observe, absorb, and write about the places I visit and the profound realizations and inspirations that each place has to offer.