Things to do in Seward

Things to do in  Seward

On the edge of Alaska

If you can only do one thing when you’re in Seward, make it exploring the glacial-carved fjords of Kenai Fjord National Park. Most travelers join a boat tour to see Kenai’s fjords and wildlife, but kayaking adventures, scenic flights (with optional glacier landings), and the park’s hiking trails offer alternative ways to explore. Those with more time—and access to a car—should hit the Seward Highway, which leads from Seward to Anchorage and passes through some of Alaska’s wildest terrains, from Chugach National Forest to the Kenai Mountains.

Top 12 attractions in Seward

Kenai Fjords National Park

Encompassing 1,047 square miles (2,711 square kilometers), Alaska's Kenai Fjords National Park is named after its numerous glacial-carved fjords—beautiful ice valleys that sit below sea level. The fjords run down the mountains into the iconic Harding Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the United States with 40 active tidewater glaciers flowing into it. The stunning landscape is also a wildlife watcher's dream, thanks to its abundant marine animals, birds, and other native wildlife.More

Resurrection Bay

Resurrection Bay on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula—dotted with glistening glaciers, majestic fjords, and secluded coves set against a backdrop of snowy mountains and dramatic fog—is a haven for those who enjoy striking landscapes. Not only is this pristine wilderness beautiful, it’s also filled with opportunities for outdoors recreation.More

Bear Glacier

Not far from the town of Seward, Alaska, dozens of glaciers comprise an icefield spanning more than 300 square miles (780 square kilometers) within Kenai Fjords National Park. The longest of these glaciers, Bear Glacier sits in a lagoon of the same name that draws adventurous campers, kayakers, and stand-up paddleboarders (SUPs) from Alaska and beyond.More

Alaska Railroad

Extending from Seward to Fairbanks in the interior, the Alaska Railroad provides travelers access to popular stops, such as Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali National Park. While its main line runs for more than 470 miles (750 kilometers), there are also secondary lines providing more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) of extended service.More

Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier, the only part of Kenai Fjords National Park that's accessible by road, is also one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska. Visitors can hike right up to the wall of blue ice to listen as it crackles and learn about how this and other glaciers from the Harding Icefield have reshaped the landscape over time.More

Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

Comprising more than 2,500 islands, islets, rocks, spires, and reefs stretching from Cape Lisburne on the Arctic Ocean to the westernmost tip of the Aleutian Islands, the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is America’s largest protected marine habitat. The refuge protects breeding habitat for millions of seabirds and offers incredible birdwatching and wildlife viewing opportunities for visitors.More

Seward Highway

Spanning 125 miles (201 kilometers) from Seward to Anchorage, the Seward Highway passes through the Kenai Peninsula and the Turnagain Arm of the Gulf of Alaska and is one of Alaska’s most scenic stretches of road. Multiple scenic viewpoints and roadside attractions including the Portage Glacier, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and Chugach State Park makes this scenic byway a destination in itself.More

Iditarod National Historic Trail

Alaska’s Iditarod National Historic Trail is a network of over 2,000 miles (3,218 kilometers of trails that once connected Alaskan Native villages. This historic trail system stretches from Seward to Nome and was an important supply route during the Alaska Gold Rush. Today, the route is a popular outdoor recreation trail and the site of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.More

Fox Island

Located off the coast of Seward in Resurrection Bay, Fox Island is a popular sea kayaking and hiking destination. The island is largely mountainous and the coastline’s rocky coves are home to puffins, sea lions, seals, and more. The secluded island is also home to two state parks, Sandspit Point State Marine Park and Sunny Cove State Marine Park, and a high-end all-inclusive resort.More

Alaska SeaLife Center

Located along the shores of Seward’s Resurrection Bay, the Alaska SeaLife Center is the state’s only public aquarium and marine wildlife rehabilitation center. Learn all about Alaska’s diverse marine life while getting up close and personal with harbor seals, sea lions, puffins, and much more.More

Seward Boat Harbor

Surrounded by toppling mountains on the northern edge of Resurrection Bay, you can feel Alaska’s hard-working spirit come to life at the Seward Boat Harbor. With sea birds scouting out the salmon from the sky, fishing boats recounting their catch, tour boats heading off for an adventure, and all walks of life visiting nearby shops and restaurants, there’s never a dull moment at the harbor.More
Seward Cruise Ship Terminal

Seward Cruise Ship Terminal

Located 126 miles (203 kilometers) south of Anchorage at the head of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park and Harding Icefield. Alaska cruises often embark or disembark in Seward. Schedule extra time in Seward to explore the port city's surrounding glaciers and fjords.More

All about Seward

When to visit

Unless you’re someone who thrives in snowy weather and freezing temperatures, you’ll want to stay away from Seward during the winter. Instead, visit the Alaskan gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park during spring or summer, particularly mid-May through September, when life in this outdoor adventurer’s paradise is buzzing and most businesses are open. Summer in Seward also can bring rainy days, so if you’re hoping to stay dry, the first half of summer is the best time to visit.

Getting around

You don’t need a car in Seward. The city offers multiple free and fee-based shuttle services, including a free shuttle that has a looped route through Seward with stops near downtown and the Seward Cruise Ship Terminal. If you’re looking to get to Exit Glacier Nature Center, there's a shuttle you can take for a fee, or you can book a guided tour that provides transportation to Kenai Fjords National Park.

Traveler tips

Many travelers are looking for kayaking and fishing tours while in Seward, but the area also offers gold mining adventures. You can look for gold by booking a tour with Adventure Sixty North, which has a company office on Herman Leirer Road. For other adventures you can’t find anywhere else, book a dog sledding experience with Seavey's IdidaRide on Old Exit Glacier Road—the family members who run the business are actual champions of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

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People Also Ask

How do you spend a day in Seward?

It’s easy to fill a day in Seward with activities. This port city offers fishing and whale-watching excursions, as well as kayaking and hiking adventures for outdoor enthusiasts. Depending on your interests, you can explore the vast Kenai Fjords National Park or see the beginning of the historic Iditarod Trail.

Is Seward, Alaska worth visiting?

Yes, Seward, Alaska, is worth visiting. This port city near Kenai Fjords National Park offers a mix of activities in the mountains and on the ocean that make it a great stop for photographers and lovers of the outdoors. Seward provides opportunities for fishing and kayaking, wildlife spotting, and dogsledding.

Can you walk around Seward, Alaska?

Yes, you can walk around Seward. The city is mostly flat, and the downtown has shops, galleries, restaurants, and public murals. If you’re visiting from a cruise, most things you’ll want to do are within a few miles of the terminal. An information office is located near the cruise dock.

Can you see the northern lights in Seward?

Yes, you can sometimes see the northern lights in Seward; however, it’s not the best location in Alaska for viewing them because its coastal skies can be cloudy. Alaskan cities with better visibility and where your chances of seeing the northern lights are higher include Fairbanks, located inland, and Anchorage.

What is the best month to visit Seward, Alaska?

The cold, snowy Alaskan winters bring fewer daylight hours, so it’s usually best to visit Seward between June and September. These months offer travelers more daylight, warmer weather, and no snow—which makes it easier to explore the city’s outdoor wonders. However, March through May are better months for wildlife sightings.

How many days should you spend in Seward, Alaska?

You could easily spend up to a week exploring Seward, but even a short visit is worthwhile. Big items on the to-do list include Kenai Fjords National Park (including Exit Glacier), as well as Alaska SeaLife Center, Two Lakes Park, and a local eatery for fresh seafood or wild game.

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