Seward became one of our most beloved cities in Alaska. Just 2.5 hours drive from Anchorage and full of wonders for big and small. We were also mesmerized by Seward Highway – on a clear, sunny day you just can’t get enough of it!

Here is our list of all top thing you can do in Seward:

One of many glaciers at the Resurrection Bay, up close. Seward

Hop on board of Major Marine

Hop aboard of Major Marine – a very kid-friendly local company, to see the beautiful Kenai Fjords National Park. Most of the Kenai Fjords is only accessible by water. To reach the park you’ll have to take a full-day cruise (6 hours or more). We did the 3.5 hours Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise tour focused on exploring the Resurrection Bay and wild animals.

Ready for a trip! Kenai Fjords Wildlife Cruise tour boat, Orca Song

We were wondering how Erika will handle it, she just turned 2 years old and it was her first boating experience. She did great the entire trip, but her older brother (7 y.o.) was suffering from seasickness. The crew and narration were excellent and the bay is really beautiful, its pristine water looked like the ones from famous Banff lakes in Canada.

Resurrection Bay fjord, Seward, Alaska
Sail boat at the Resurrection Bay, Seward
Major Marine tour: Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska

Bring some patience – spotting wildlife is really a matter of luck!
We were fortunate to watch during Resurrection Bay tour: bald eagles, sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, the great variety of birds and a glimpse of whale – not bad at all, but they weren’t as close as we would like to: any boat should remain at least 100 yards from marine mammals. Binoculars would be really helpful, not only on that cruise but in traveling to Alaska overall.

Group of tufted puffins
photo credit: Wikimedia
Flock of puffins on the rocky cliff
photo credit: Wikimedia

Our one of the most memorable experience of the cruise was watching as one sea lion wasn’t fighting another or barking at him, but pushing hard his fellow to help him climb the rock! They finally succeed and the people on our boat was applauding them. 
A flock of puffins was also a cool thing to spot in a wild. I fall in love with them after our trip to Iceland and was full of joy at Seward SeaLife Puffin Exhibit – so many puffins and so close – within arm’s reach!

Check the weather and dress properly, it’s much colder once you are at the open water of the Resurrection Bay. Sweater, warm jacket, hat, gloves, and sunglasses are essential.
If you’ll book this tour, ask Major Marine what time is the best for this particular trip, morning or afternoon. We left at 9 am and the sun was beaming right into the camera most of the trip.

Glacier and the mountain range at Resurrection Bay, Seward
Small fishing boat at Resurrection Bay, Seward

Alaska SeaLife Center

Visit Alaska SeaLife Center, a premier Alaska aquarium and marine mammal rehabilitation center, even if you aren’t as obsessed with puffins as I’m :). It’s a great place to watch local marine mammals and birds up close. We went there to visit the puffin exhibition but stayed much longer to spend time with otters, sea lions, seals, and a giant octopus. Very kid-friendly place, highly recommend.

Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward

Seavey’s IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours

Within 10 minutes drive, right on the way to the Exit Glacier, you can meet the Seavey’s Iditarod racing team – some of the fastest dogs in Alaska. A 2-mile sled ride in the wilderness, kennels, and playtime with husky puppies are included in the summer tour. Very family friendly facility.

Explore the town

Leave enough time to explore the town! Stroll around to try local food and check out the boat harbor, waterfront path, Iditarod Monument, the Russian art and gift shop and multiple colorful murals, made by local artists, Seward is famous for it.
Visit Seward Waterfront Park: multiple campgrounds, a skate park, a playground, and beach access are all located within its limits. You can walk the entire park in half an hour: from small boat harbor to Alaska SeaLife Center via the waterfront trail. And even more: you can take kids fishing right there!

Seward Waterfront Park, shore path
One of the many city murals: Raven The Creator, Seward, Alaska
Never tried Okroshka, traditional Russian summer soup ? You may have one in Seward!

Cast a Line in Seward

The city of Seward offers plentiful shoreline surf casting access off its beaches. The three main access sites are:

  • just south of the small boat launch;
  • about 100 yards south of that at the culverts of the Seward Lagoon outflow;
  • the mouth of Lowell Creek, which is the waterfall on the southern edge of town.

Anglers also fish from:

  • the breakwater walls near the small boat harbor (but you must yield to boat traffic);
  • from the beaches from small boat launch to the Alaska Sea Life Center.

Most surf casters start fishing 2-3 hours before the high tide and fish through the high tide. Source: Fishing access in Seward Area.

Seward, Alaska: fishing salmon at the mouth of Lowell Creek

Seward Waterfront Playground

Playgrounds in Alaska are real hidden gems: they are cool, huge, creative and kind of hidden. For some of them, there are hardly any pictures online. Waterfront Park playground in Seward is like that: gigantic, with multiple wooden structures for kids big and small. Great place to let kids go wild at the end of busy day. Gorgeous views of the Resurrection Bay and the mountains. Restrooms are on site.

Waterfront Park Playground, Seward

Who would have guessed it could be HOT in Alaska? It was 82 °F/28 °C during our stay in Seward!

Resurrection Bay view from the Waterfront Playground in Seward
Couple of playful otters at the very edge of Waterfront Park, Seward

Resurrection Bay Kayak Tour

Take Resurrection Bay kayak tour. It’s family friendly, for kids 8 and up. Great way to explore the Bay and spot marine mammals. Unfortunately, we missed this one – the tour was canceled due to weather.

Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier is the most accessible part of Kenai Fjords National Park and the most accessible glacier you can reach from Anchorage. Located at the end of the National Park’s only road (sounds familiar? – Denali National Park has the same story), Exit Glacier is easily reached from Seward – just a short 20-minute drive out of town. Retreating at a terrible speed – as fast as 252 feet in a single summer – it is an eye-opening evidence of the climate change. Pack your bags and hurry up before it’s disappeared!

The Exit Glacier is thrillingly beautiful and still pretty close to the observation platform. Although, you cannot touch it even from there.

Exit Glacier, Seward: one of the most accessible glaciers in Alaska
Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward
Chunk of the Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National park, Seward

Read more:
Exploring the Exit Glacier with Kids;
Seward Highway and Top Places to Visit South of Anchorage.

Categories: Alaska, USA