Seward is a small town in Alaska that is situated at the head of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula. It is one of the most scenic places in Alaska. The town is known as a gateway to the breathtaking Kenai Fjords National Park.
Seward is a mecca for nature lovers. The town has astonishing natural beauty, majestic wildlife, and an enchanting local vibe. All these and the easy access to the town make up a big list of many things to do in Seward.
There are two high seasons during which a lot of tourists visit Seward. The first is summer; from June to September as the temperature is mild. The other is the months of March to May. These months are popular because they fall in the whale migration season. So, to decide on the time to visit, you need to pick what things to do in Seward.
Things to do in Seward
Seward is a popular pick for anyone that wants to explore Alaska. It offers its visitors with a wide variety of activities to do and sites to visit. With the many choices Seward has, it might be a bit hard to come with an itinerary that includes the most important things to do and see. Here’s a list of the most important things to do in Seward to help you plan the perfect trip.
Explore Fjords National Park
The number one activity of the things to do in Seward is exploring Fjords National Park. It stretches over around a thousand square miles and is known for its preservation of wildlife and landscape.
Getting into the park is an activity in itself. If you want to explore the Fjords National Park with a group, you can take a boat from Seward harbor to the park. On the other hand, you can rent a kayak to explore the park on your own.
The most famous attraction at the Kenai Fjords National Park is the Harding Icefield. The Icefield hosts around 40 different glaciers. The spectacular glaciers catch the attention of a lot of visitors that stare in awe at the magnificent frozen creations.
When it comes to the icefields, it is possible to either hike through them or fly above them in a private plane. The choice depends on both your budget and what kind of activities you are looking for.
Regardless of how you choose to explore the park, the cruise through the park will grant you fabulous views of the wildlife living there. Some of the wildlife you can observe closely include sea otters, orcas, pilot whales, harbour seals, sea lions, eagles, puffins and many other birds.
A visit to the Fjords National Park might be a bit pricey but it is sure worth every penny. The activities and views offered by the park are not found at any other national park.
Gaze at Bear Glacier
An attraction that is worth a special mention is the astonishing Bear Glacier. Many actually choose to visit Fjords National Park just to get a glance at the Glacier. The glacier should be on your itinerary of things to do in Seward.
Bear Glacier is a spectacular sight in itself. Visiting the Glacier is one of the best things to do in Seward. However, the actual gem is located right at the foot of Bear Glacier. It is Bear Glacier Lagoon. The lagoon is very deep and has clear water. It is surrounded by snow capped peaks.
Different icebergs are scattered in the area. The icebergs come in various shapes and sizes. Some of them are so huge that you can spot them before you arrive at the lagoon. Yet others are as small as a cup.
The icebergs are in different shades of blue. The lagoon and icebergs intertwine in harmony as some of the icebergs fall under the surface of the lagoon and then unite as they become one.
One of the things to keep in mind while you are at the Bear Glacier is that no matter how beautiful the icebergs look, do not get close to them. Even if you do not realize it at the beginning, these icebergs are constantly moving; cracking, popping, tumbling, and rolling.
Visit the Alaska SeaLife Center
Want to get even closer to sea animals? Visit the Alaska SeaLife Center and get up close to your favorite sea creatures!
The Alaska SeaLife Center is a public aquarium located in Seward. It is Alaska’s only permanent facility for marine mammal rehabilitation. If you are into sealife, checking out Alaska Sealife Center should be on your list of things to do in Seward.
The center is dedicated to studying and understanding Alaska’s marine ecosystems and its premier goal is to start conversations about saving marine wildlife. You can see pretty much all the Alaskan marine creatures except for whales. The exhibitions at the center feature a touch tank where you are not just allowed but also encouraged to touch marine invertebrates like sea stars and sea urchins.
Other exhibits show the important fish of Alaska, harbour seals, Pacific octopuses, sea otters. Yet, the center’s gem is a two-story diving pool and an astonishing variety of seabirds that you can watch. Another exhibit that is worth stopping at is the king crab exhibit. So, make sure to make time for it while you are at the center.
The visit to this amazing SeaLife Center is very affordable. The cost of tickets is $30 per adult, $18 per child. However, there are other additional costs if you opt for animal encounters or behind the scene tours.
Hike Mt. Marathon
If you are into physical activities, go on the adventure of hiking Mt. Marathon, it is one of the most interesting things to do in Seward. The beautiful mountain has a 2.25-mile route to the top of the Race Point. During the hike, the view will dazzle you.
The route of Mt. Marathon has three different trails. The trail is used primarily by hikers and runners. The best time to hike is from the month of May and until September.
Hikers who make it to the top of the mountain get to enjoy a breathtaking view of Resurrection Bay. The fresh mountain breeze has a feeling like no other.
One of the things to do in Seward is to participate in the 4th of July Mt. Marathon race. The race is around 5 kilometres, and it starts at 9:00 am. So, get in shape and be prepared for the breathtaking Mt. Marathon race!
Check Seward Boat Harbor
Fascinated by boats? Watch all kinds of boats at Seward’s boat harbor. The harbor welcomes a wide variety of boats that include local fishing fleet, charting fishing boats, tour boats, the US Coast Guard Cutter Mustang, and more.
It is a full-service harbor that offers different services to sailors and their boats. All the boat needs are met from repair yards to power utilities and portable water, Seward harbor has it all.
The harbor also has hardware stores, grocery stores, art galleries, restaurants, hotels, and many more to cater for the sailors’ requirements.
While you are most probably not going to the harbor with your own boat, watching fishing boats and fishing boats getting repaired and prepared to sail.
The harbor is open and welcomes all visitors with no entry fees. The sight of the boats docked are so worthy, it makes the harbor visit one of the best things to do in Seward.
Observe Sea Animals at Resurrection Bay
Resurrection Bay houses a very rich marine life. The somewhat protected area is home to a wide selection of North Pacific sea creatures. These include sea otters, Steller sea lions, harbour seals, and others.
The bay is made up of six islands; Fox Island, Rugged Island, Hat Island, Hive Island, Barwell Island, and Cheval Island. The bay also contains coves that pique the interest of explorers from around the world. Some of the coves that welcome a lot of visitors are Derby Cove, Humpy Cove, Porcupine Cove, and Halibut Cove.
Among the activities you can enjoy is cruising through the stunning waters. The beauty of the cruise can be maximised with feasting on Alaskan Salmon.
Exploring the bay requires at least half a day. The different species that reside in and around the bay, the amazing view, and the different spots to be explored make visiting Resurrection Bay one of the best things to do in Seward. So, make sure to plan for a visit while you are in Seward.
Go Camping at Waterfront Park
On a small portion of the Resurrection Campground stands the Waterfront Park of Seward. It is a popular RV park and camping site. The Waterfront Park is popular for having amazing scenery.
The Seward Waterfront Park is mainly a camping site. Camping at the park is one of the popular things to do in Seward. It features spacious picnic areas, a skate park, and also a direct access to the beach.
The park also has a trail that is lined with local historical landmarks. Many hikers like to go for a stroll along the trail, enjoying the views of the beautiful park and historical landmarks.
Some of the landmarks found at the trail include the Old Railroad Depot, the Founder’s Monument, and Mile 0 of the historic Iditarod Trail. Exploring the trail also gives visitors ample opportunities to spot sea birds, bald eagles, sea otters, and the occasional harbor seal or sea lion. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a whale.
If you decide to go for a stroll or a picnic at the park, there are no entry fees. This makes spending the day at the park completely free. However, if you decide to camp at the park, there are six separate camping areas along Seward Waterfront Park. Rates range from $20 (tent only) to $65(RV with electric and water).
Experience Adrenaline Rush at Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures
While Seward is the place for relaxing sightseeing, the city is not short of extreme adventures. Seward offers its visitors a range of adventurous activities that would give them a rush of adrenaline like no other. The list of things to do in Seward would never be complete without this adventure.
Based on the mountainside in Alaska, Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures has many activities that grab the attention of many visitors. The place features eight ziplines, three suspension bridges, and two rappels.
One of the most popular activities at Stoney Creek is the zipline tour. The ziplines have different heights; the first Stoney Creek zipline traverse is a short 65 feet across the fall line, running fairly close to ground level and allowing riders a chance to become comfortable with the process.
Still high along the valley wall, the third zipline travels 190 feet and lands 50 feet up the trunk of a huge Sitka spruce. The fifth traverse soars above the trees 1,100 feet back across the valley wall, sails over a reflecting pond, and comes to a stop at a platform 75 feet up another Sitka spruce.
The tour is 3 hours long and takes adventurers down eight adrenaline pumping ziplines and along a woodland aerial walkway, which features unbeatable panoramic views of Alaska’s distinctive natural beauty. It is an experience that must be added to your list of things to do in Seward The tour is very safe as all safety precautions are applied. Helmets and safety gears are available for all visitors.
Explore The Seward Community Library & Museum
Well, after seeing the beauty of the city and its rich wildlife, another thing on the list of things to do in Seward is to know about the history of the town! The Seward Community Library and Museum poses a precious learning opportunity. The museum was established in association with the Seward government and the Resurrection Bay Historical Society.
The museum has an entire collection of photographs, archives, keepsakes, and artifacts from the city’s history. On the other hand, the library books, magazines, audiobooks, newspapers and more. All the library’s contents are available for public consumption.
The staff at the library is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. So, if you need any help while you are there, just try talking to one of them and you will be astonished with the amount of information they know.
In addition to the history and knowledge to experience at this center, the library has a fantastic view of Resurrection Bay for you to enjoy while you get some reading in. The entry to the library is free of charge. The Seward Community Library and Museum is perfect for spending a laid back day in the city.
Walk Around Downtown Seward
A lot of people like to start their visit to any city with a walk around it. However, we believe that a walk around downtown is the best goodbye to any city. So, a stroll through downtown is one of the most important things to do in Seward.
Seward is generally divided into two parts. It is separated by the Waterfront park. However, the town is small enough that you can visit most of it on foot or by bike quite easily.
Starting from the northern end of the city, the harbor occupies a big part of this side of the city. Other than the harbor, “tourist town” is another attraction. This part is where tourists come to book the different activities they want to do in Seward.
During your stroll through downtown, you can stop for a bite at one of the many restaurants that stretch along the harbor. Your stroll will also include some sightseeing to do. Sea otters playing in clear turquoise water will be the highlight of your walk.
As you move to the south, you will approach the “old town”. This part is generally quieter and offers a local-like experience of the town.
There are many things to do in Seward. The town is full of places and activities. Take your time planning your trip and include the activities you are interested in. Allow yourself enough time to be able to go around this amazing town and enjoy its sea life and breathtaking views.
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