If you are looking for a perfect destination to enjoy an Alaskan getaway, you should definitely consider Seward. Is Seward Alaska worth visiting? Absolutely, yes!

Seward is settled along the picturesque coast of Resurrection Bay, next to the entrance of the majestic Kenai Fjords National Park. This unique location offers visitors plenty of incredible natural scenery and outdoor activities to enjoy.

There’s something here for everyone! Whether you’re interested in taking a boat tour or kayaking through glacier-carved fjords, viewing marine wildlife, hiking through lush forests, or simply enjoying a relaxing stroll along a charming waterfront, you’ll find plenty to do here.In addition to being a is a great destination for outdoor adventures, Seward is also a wonderful place for a family vacation or a romantic getaway.

In this travel guide, we’ll explore the best activities and attractions Seward has to offer, in order to help you plan your perfect visit and make the most out of your trip!

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Seward, Alaska – An Overview

Seward is located on the Kenai Peninsula, about 127 miles (204 km) south of Anchorage.The town is named after William H. Seward, the former U.S. Secretary of State, who negotiated the purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1867.Seward is one of the most northern ice-free ports in North America. It is also the southern terminus of the Alaskan railroad, making it an important connection between ships and trains.

The area has a very interesting history that goes back thousands of years. It is one of the oldest communities in Alaska and was first settled by Alutiiq (Sugpiaq) people over 7,500 years ago. Seward also served as an important trading post for many centuries.Settlers and traders arrived in the area in the 1890s.

The city of Seward was established in 1903 when the US government began constructing a port for an Alaskan railroad. This allowed transportation of goods and supplies from Seward to other parts of Alaska, as well as providing employment opportunities for many locals. The town quickly grew, and over the years it has become an important port.

The town experienced massive destruction on March 27, 1964, when the “Good Friday Earthquake” occurred. This earthquake, which had a magnitude of 9.2, set a record as the second-strongest-ever earthquake recorded in the world. Despite this disaster, Seward soon recovered and continued to thrive.

Today, Seward is a vibrant community of about 2700. The town is a popular tourist destination for both local Alaskans and visitors from abroad.

The port of Seward is an important port for cruise ships, serving as both a arrival and departure port for many cruises.

Seward Unique Location

Seward is set on the coast of the impressive Resurrection Bay, a large fjord that extends southward into the Gulf of Alaska.Blessed with abundant rainfall, the region is surrounded by lush temperate rainforests.The town itself is located on a narrow strip of land between the bay and the Chugach National Forest. The nearby mountains provide stunning views and plenty of excellent hiking trails for all levels of experience, ranging from easy to difficult hikes.

Southwest to Seward is Kenai Fjords National Park, one of the most famous national parks in Alaska.

Additionally, Seward has easy access to some of the best fishing spots in Alaska, making it a great place for fishing.

When you’re exploring this area, it’s important to remember that this is a bear country. To stay safe while on a hike, be mindful of your surroundings and make plenty of noise! For extra safety measures, think about bringing along bear spray or some bear bells with you.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park, Aialik glacier

Kenai Fjords National Park is the main reason to visit Seward. destination. The park offers a combination of untouched wilderness, glaciers, fjords, wildlife, and a dramatic coastline.

The park spans three main areas:
The coastline area – with rugged cliffs, deep fjords, lush forests, abundant marine wildlife, and tidewater glaciers. To fully appreciate the majestic beauty of this coastline, you must take a boat tour or a kayak excursion.
Exit Glacier area – an easily accessible glacier and an interesting visitor center. This area of the park is the most easily accessed, as it is where the park’s only road passes through.
Harding Icefield area – a mile-thick icefield that covers over 700 square miles (1813 square kilometers) and feeds dozens of glaciers. Harding Icefield is accessible by a strenuous hike or by helicopter.

Please see our article about Kenai Fjords National Park for more information about that park and the activities possible.

explore the coastline

Seward, Ressurection Bay

Seward serves as the starting point for boat tours in Kenai Fjords National Park.

Taking a boat tour is a wonderful way to experience the magnificent coastline of Kenai Fjords National Park. This is also a fabulous way to spot the abundant marine life in the area.

If your time in the area is limited to only one activity, then this is the activity you should be doing!

For detailed information about the boat tours, including a journey in photos, please see our article about the 7.5 h Kenai Fjords National Park cruise.

For the more adventurous – Seward is the perfect place for kayaking.
Tour companies provide all necessary equipment, such as life jackets and paddles. There are several options for tours, ranging from a few hours to multiple days.
If you’re an experienced kayaker, you can also rent a kayak and explore the bay independently.
Here are some examples of guided kayak tours:
Resurrection Bay Kayaking Adventure
Kayak and Hike to Historic WW2 Army Fort

Visit Exit Glacier Area

Exit Glacier, Seward Alaska

Exit Glacier is the only glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park accessible by road. It’s located just outside Seward and can be reached by car or by a short shuttle ride.
This Glacier is evidence of glacier receding. It has retreated by about 2300 feet (700 m) in the last 13 years due to climate change. As you walk along the path toward the glacier, you will see markers illustrating where this glacier was in various years past.

There are several hiking trails of different lengths and difficulty levels, which lead to various viewpoints and up to the glacier’s edge:
Exit Glacier View Loop is an easy trail of 1 mile (1.6 km) that is wheelchair accessible. The trail takes you through a forest in an area that was once covered by the glacier. Along the trail, there are several viewpoints of the outwash plain and the glacier from a distance. It is a very popular trail, so you may encounter many people hiking along.

Exit Glacier Overlook Trail is considered an easy to moderate trail, with a length of 2.2 miles (3.54 km) and an elevation gain of 330 feet (100 m). This trail will take you closer to the glacier, with better views of it.

For the more adventurous, the entry point to the strenuous Harding Icefield trail is also located in the Exit Glacier area. For more information about the Harding Icefield trail please visit the official website.

The nearby Exit Glacier Nature Center offers educational programs, guided hikes, and ranger-led activities. Here you can take a guided tour and learn about the area’s history, flora and fauna, and geological features.

Alaska SeaLife Center

Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward
Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward

On the edge of Resurrection Bay, you’ll find the small but interesting Alaska SeaLife Center. It is a private, non-profit organization that is dedicated to the special marine ecosystem of Alaska. The facility combines a public aquarium, marine mammal rehabilitation, public education, and a research center.

Alaska sea life center, Seward
Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward

Here, you can have close encounters with puffins, sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, and other marine creatures. You can go through the interesting displays and participate in activities. Moreover, you can observe the compassionate treatment and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals.

The center offers special tours and activities with limited availability. Make sure to check ahead what activities are being offered during your visit to Seward, and secure your spot in advance!

Google Maps location
Estimated time: 2 hours (more with young children)
For up-to-date information about operating hours and prices, please visit the official website.


• The place also offers child prices.

• You may find discounts on the Alaska coupon books/apps:
Toursaver Coupon Book
Northern Lights Coupon Book

The Alaska SeaLife Center was the first organization in the state of Alaska to be certified sensory-inclusive by KultureCity.
The staff have received training and are prepared to assist individuals with sensory disabilities during their visit.
The facility provides sensory bags containing noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads at no cost.
Visitors are also informed about areas with high noise levels and can use a designated quiet area when necessary.

The Small Boat Harbor

Seward, small boat harbor

The small boat harbor is a great place to check out. Here you can enjoy stunning views of the ocean, watch sea life from the docks, or take a fishing charter. You can regularly spot sea otters playing along the dock!
The harbor is the starting point for exploring Ressurection Bay and the coastline of Kenai Fjords National Park.

Every afternoon, when the fishing boats return with the daily catch, visitors can witness the daily being weighted, hanged, and filleted.

Stroll Around The Historical Downtown

You can spend a nice afternoon wandering around downtown. Here you can visit the charming shops, galleries, and restaurants around. Strolling around the small historic downtown of Seward will make you feel like you stepped into a living, old-west movie set.

You can download a walking tour map and additional information from the city of Seward website.

Seward Historical Walking Tour Map (Source: https://www.cityofseward.us/)

Enjoy Seward Waterfront Park

Seward waterfront

Extending from the Alaska SeaLife Center to the small boat harbor, the waterfront park is a great spot to take in the stunning views of Resurrection Bay. You can relax by the shore, stroll along the coast or have a picnic.
The park also offers plenty of activities such as beachcombing, tide-pooling, bird watching, and sea otters or seal spotting.
If you are traveling with young kids, there is a great playground at the park for them to enjoy.

There are also several campsites and RV parks nearby if you want to stay longer.

Take a Seward Mural walk

Seward, Alaska, mural, whales
The original whale mural. This mural is already retired, and was replaced by a modern one. Still, we think it was beautiful.

Seward is known as the “Mural Capital of Alaska”. With over 30 murals spread around the city, the Seward Mural walk is a great way to learn about the city’s history through art. The murals depict the story of Seward’s journey from its beginnings in 1903 to the present day and are inspired by historical characters, local events, landscapes, and wildlife.
You can spend a great afternoon walking through the city and looking for the murals.

Here is a map created by the Seward Murals Society.

Mt. Marathon

Seward, Mount Marathon

Climb Mount Marathon

For the more adventurous travelers, Mount Marathon is the perfect place to explore! On days other than July 4th, visitors can enjoy a variety of popular hikes that offer breathtaking views of Kenai Fjords National Park and its surrounding beauty.

Mt. Marathon race trail – a very rocky, slippery, difficult trail that gives you the most direct route to the summit of the mountain. It takes you over 3022 feet (921 m) of elevation gain to reach the peak.
You can find more information about the trail on this website.

Mt. Marathon Jeep trail – less strenuous, but still a difficult trail. It is 3.98 miles (4 km) loop trail with an elevation gain of 1663 feet (836 m).
You can find more information about the trail on this website.

Watch the 4th of July Race

The race up Mount Marathon has become an integral part of Seward’s 4th of July celebrations.
This race is considered to be an authentic Alaskan experience, and it is one of the hardest short-distance mountain races in the world. During the race, runners make their way up the mountain and back down, with challenging terrain conditions, in under an hour. The popular event attracts athletes from all over the world.


• The 4th of July celebration attracts nearly 30000 visitors to Seward. If you plan to visit Seward around that date, you should book accommodations as early as possible!

• If you prefer to stay away from crowded places, do not get near Seward at that time.

Ididaride – Dog Sledging Tours

Seward Alaska, Ididaride, dogs kennel, Iditarod

Ididaride is an old and famous racing dog kennel. The owner’s family has won the Iditarod race 6 times and holds the current record.
The dogs, that compete on the ice during the race, train in the summer on dirt trails. As a part of the summer training, Ididaride offers dog sledding tours where visitors can ride a wagon carried by a team of racing dogs.
The tours are led by local mushers and provide a fun and educational experience.

The tour begins with a brief introduction to the history of mushing and the life of Alaskan Malamute dogs.
You will then be taken to meet the huskies and experience their energy as they are being leashed up for the ride. The dogs absolutely love to run and really beg to be chosen.
Then, you will have the chance to enjoy a ride of around 2 miles on the Iditarod Trail with a team of huskies.
By the end of the ride, you can cuddle the cute puppies and pet the older dogs.
Finally, you will get explanations and a very interesting demonstration about the Iditarod race and the mushers’ lifestyle.

This is a pleasant experience that both kids and adults can enjoy!
The place also offers glacier dog sled tours with Helicopter rides ($$$).


• During the summer, this tour is popular and can fill up quickly – be sure to book your spot a few days ahead!

For up-to-date information about operating hours and prices please visit the Ididaride official website.


Stoney Creek Canopy Adventure Tour offers an amazing ziplining tour through the Alaskan wilderness. This exciting adventure provides some incredible views of the surrounding landscape. It’s a great way to experience Alaska from a new perspective. The tour has a minimum age requirement of 10 and a minimum weight requirement, so it is not suitable for young children.

For more information about prices, availability, and requirements, please visit the Stoney Creek Canopy Adventure official website.


Scenic Flight

A scenic flight is a great way to take in the breathtaking beauty of this part of the world. From high above, you can see glaciers, mountains, and pristine wilderness stretching as far as the eye can see. It’s an incredible experience that will stay with you long after your trip has ended.

There are several options for scenic flights available, varying in duration and cost. Be sure to book ahead of time as availability can be limited.

Here are some examples of scenic flights around Seward:
Glacier and Mountain Viewing Tour
Bear Glacier Scenic Flight
Extended Bear Glacier Scenic Flight
Grand View Tour


Seward Alaska, Fishing, Halibut, small boat habor
Source: Christoph Strässler via Flickr

Alaskan Fishing is famous due to the variety and size of fish that can be found in the area.
Seward offers numerous charters for deep-sea fishing with experienced captains. You will have the chance to catch a variety of fish and explore the beautiful coast. Common species to catch include king salmon, coho salmon, silver salmon, halibut, and rockfish.
Most charters offer package deals that include tackle, bait, and fishing licenses.

If you would like to go fishing on your own, make sure you check and follow the regulations in the area. Check the Alaska Department of Fish & Game website for up-to-date fishing license fees and regulations.

Practical Information

When is the best time to visit Seward?

The climate of Seward is temperate, with a significant amount of rainfall. Winters are cold, snowy, and windy, while summers are mild and relatively dry with longer days. Average temperatures range from 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 1 degree Celsius) in the winter to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) in the summer. In June and July, you can expect less rain than in August, although you should be prepared for rain at any time in Alaska.

The summer months (June to August) are the peak season. You can take advantage of Seward’s location and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as boat tours, kayaking, and hiking. Fishing is also popular in summer – you can find halibut and salmon in the local waters. However, please note that Seward is a very touristy place. The boat tours can be crowded, and accommodations are more expensive in the summer.

A vacation in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall (mid-May and early September) can be a great way to avoid tourist crowds for a more relaxed experience. And on top of that, prices may even be more affordable then! Just make sure that all of your desired attractions are open during those times before you go.

The 4th of July celebrations in Seward are one of Alaska’s biggest celebrations. experience. The celebrations and the world-renowned annual Mt. Marathon Race attract thousands of visitors.


• The 4th of July celebration attracts nearly 30000 visitors to Seward. If you plan to visit Seward around that date, you should book accommodations as early as possible!

• If you prefer to stay away from crowded places, do not get near Seward at that time.

How to get to Seward

By Car

The drive from Anchorage to Seward is about 2 hours and 30 minutes on the scenic Seward Highway. This road is one of North America’s most scenic roads and offers stunning views of nature and attractions all along its length. All in all, the Seward Highway is a perfect destination for a great road trip. Taking your time and exploring the highway is highly recommended.

Reference: You can find more information about driving from Anchorage to Seward in our article about the scenic Seward Highway.

By A Train

The Alaska Railroad offers the Coastal Classic route from Anchorage to Seward. The journey takes about 4 hours and there is plenty of scenic vistas along the way. You can book tickets in advance at Alaska Railroad website.

By A Bus

There are several bus companies that offer regularly scheduled shuttle services between Anchorage and Seward. This is an easy and affordable way to make the trip.
Here are some companies that offer such a service:
The Parks Connection
Alaska Cruise Transportation

By A Cruise Ship

Seward is a major port for cruise ships sailing in Alaska. There are many big ships that make stops in the city during their northern route.

By An AirPlane

Seward has a small airport with limited activity. There are no commercial flights to Seward. The closest commercial airport that is relevant for tourists coming from abroad is Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage.

How to get around Seward

If you arrive by car, Seward will be easy to get around. The town offers several paid parking lots near the harbour and downtown.

However, exploring the town on foot is a good option, as the town is small and many attractions are close together and walkable.

Complimentary transportation services are offered by accommodations and by tour operators, providing an easy way to get to multiple attractions.

There is an hourly shuttle service from downtown Seward to Exit Glacier at an affordable price. You must book this service ahead.
For more information, please visit the Exit Glacier Shuttle website.
If you prefer to use such a shuttle service, please note that the cellular reception at Exit Glacier area is very limited. Make sure to be on time for the return pickup, as you will not be able to call the shuttle service!

Finally, there is a free shuttle from cruise ships that dock in Seward to the downtown area. You can find more information about the route and operation times on this website.

Accommodation Options in Seward

Seward offers a variety of accommodation options for all budgets, from hotels, lodges, inns, and bed & breakfasts, to camping and RV sites.

Accommodation in Seward tends to be more expensive than in other locations in Alaska. You may find better prices during the shoulder season (May or September).

Please bear in mind that the least expensive options get booked quickly, so it is advisable to book accommodations as early as possible.

Based on our own experiences and research, we have selected some of the best places to stay around Seward:

High Range ($$$)

Harbor 360 Hotel offers a great location and comfortable rooms.
Major Marine boat tours depart from a pier next to the hotel, and the check-in for the tours is inside the hotel, which makes it very convenient.
The rooms facing the small boat harbor are the most expensive rooms, providing a stunning view of the beautiful harbor. If you book a room with a mountain view (on the opposite side of the hotel), make sure to ask for a room on a high floor.

Mid Range ($$)

Exit Glacier Lodge offers a good value for money. The hotel is located next to Exit Glacier, a 10-minute drive from the town center, hence it is suitable only if you are with a car.
The hotel offers free parking. There is also a restaurant nearby.


Seward offers several camping options, from public campsites to private campgrounds and RV parks. Most of them are located around the town, or close to major attractions.

The Miller’s Landing Campground offers a unique camping experience with breathtaking views of the Kenai Fjords landscape and wildlife.
Reservations are highly recommended if you plan to visit Seward during peak season.

Unique Accommodations

Orca Island Cabins is a unique place to stay. With yurt cabins located on a private island in Resurrection Bay, it is an ideal place for kayaking and wildlife viewing, as well as fishing.
The cabins are powered by solar energy and equipped with a kitchenette. Kayaks, canoes, fishing gear, and other outdoor activity equipment are available on the property.
While the cost may be high, this place offers an unusual experience of living in nature.

You can search for more accommodation here:

Food & Drink Options in Seward

Seward offers a variety of restaurants and bars to choose from. As a hub of fishing activity, seafood is dominant with many restaurants serving fresh fish dishes, but you can find also American and Italian cuisine, as well as some unique local dishes.
Here are some of the places we highly recommend checking:

The Cookery – A seafood restaurant offering fresh fish and delicious homemade soups and salads.

The Seward Brewing Company – A craft brewery that serves high-quality beer and delicious pub food.

Harbour Street Creamery – An ice cream parlor with great flavors and a great location near the harbor.

Finally, you can always pick up some fresh seafood from one of the many local fishmongers.

How Much a visit to Seward Will Cost?

From our experience, accommodations in Seward are more expensive than in other places in Alaska. The prices vary depending on the season, with lodges and hotels usually costing more in summer. You may be able to find some accommodation deals for the shoulder seasons (mid-May and early September).

Meal options are plentiful, much of them are affordable. There are several fast food options, such as Subway and pizza places.

There are also plenty of free activities in the town and around, such as hiking in nature, walking tours, tide pooling etc.

Boat tours will cost around 139$ per adult for the shorter tours, 219$-289$ for the longer tours (2024 prices). children will pay up to 50% less, depending on the specific tour.

Summer dog sled tour on a wheeled sled will cost 99$ for an adult, 49.5$ for a child(2024 prices).


  • When making reservations on black Friday, cyber Monday, and on US national holidays, you may get significant discounts for many of the attractions.
  • Both Major Marine Tours and Kenai Fjord Tours offer packages that combine accommodations and a discounted boat tour. Major Marine Tours also offers several deals, like early booker deal, repeat customer discount etc.

Seward, Ressurection Bay

In Conclusion

Traveling to Seward, Alaska is a great way to experience some of the best that nature has to offer. The town is small and quaint, but there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. From hiking, boat touring, and fishing to kayaking and whale watching., there is something for everyone in Seward. Ready to start planning your trip? Contact us today if you need any help!

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