Best Places To Visit in Alaska: Seward Highway

Best places to visit in Alaska: Seward Highway and the area south of Anchorage. Scenic ride, bore tides, panning for gold, birding, animal lover paradise.

We consider Seward Highway as one of the best places to visit in Alaska. Also known as Alaska Scenic Byway, it ascends to 1000 feet in the mountains and then dropping down to sea level within an hour. What you can see and explore during 127 miles: bore tides, panning for gold, animal lover paradise. Seward Highway is pure wonder and is easy to explore with a family!

Best places to visit in Alaska: scenic Seward Higway (the area south of Anchorage)

1. Potter Marsh

Located at the south end of Anchorage, Potter Marsh is part of Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge and is known as a premium spot for birding. We didn’t see much of the waterfowl (lack of the binoculars or too much giggling from the kids?) but really enjoyed the views and boardwalk. Lots of spawning salmon in Rabbit Creek underneath the boardwalk:

2. McHugh Creek

Looking for a scenic picnic spot? Try McHugh Creek day-use area in the beautiful Chugach State Park. You will find picnic tables, restrooms, trails, and nice scenery.

The entrance to the park is south of milepost 111.

3. Beluga Point

Watch for beluga whales (relatively small white whales) and maybe orcas hunting belugas. “Beluga” comes from the Russian word “belyi” – white. Didn’t see either of them but had a lot of fun climbing the rocky beach:

4. Bore Tide, surfing (Beluga Point)

Did you know there is Bore Tide surfing in Alaska? Even if you are not into surfing, check the schedule and watch for Bore Tide, right from the Beluga Point. It’s a unique thing happening in Alaska.

5. Windy Point

Dall sheep and mountain goats gather at this point of Seward Highway to lick the salt deposits and munch on plants. We were lucky to see a bunch of them, paying little attention to the crowds. Be careful and watch after your kids, cars pass this part of the highway without slowing down much.

6. Indian Valley Mine

Found in 1910 and now listed as National Historic Site, Indian Valley showcases an early gold mining settlement back from the early 1900th. It’s an excellent place to pan for gold with kids. Bring change clothes for the little ones – no way they will be dry after shaking and swirling a pan dozens of times 😀

Leo was skeptical about this activity, but the kids and I really enjoyed it. Especially when we finally picked our very real gold pieces! (very tiny though). The host is helpful and generous. This place was a highlight on our trip back from Homer to Anchorage and a lot of fun despite the rainy weather.

Oh, and there’s the cutest outhouse on-site. 🙂

7. Bird Point

Another great place to watch the tidal phenomenon, Bore Tide, is located at Bird Point. Scenic views of the Turnagain Arm from the overlooking platform (similar to Beluga Point). Restrooms on site.

8. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Located in a beautiful setting, AWCC is an animal sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaskan wildlife.

Don’t leave Alaska until you visit this place, where you can watch the variety of local animals, many of them up close: wolverine, lynx, brown bears, porcupines, wood bison, black bears, a grizzly bear, fox, elk, muskox, caribou, reindeer, bald eagle, coyotes, wolves, moose:

Some of the animals were rescued: from the forest fire, after losing mom in early infancy, or after being captured. You can learn many interesting stories from the displays, make sure to check them out:

I remember one about a porcupine who became a pet after some family found it abandoned in a wild. It’s been living as part of a family for 3 years, sleeping in the same bed with a child.

We had luck with bears. Their habitat is huge, so seeing them up close may only happen during their feeding time:

Bear standing up at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

If you were lucky to see giant Alaskan veggies grown by locals in the Mat-Su Valley, you might wonder where they are ended up eventually (see the picture below). Well, now you know! 🙂 .

Mike Miller, Executive Director of The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center with bears
photo credit: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Best places to visit in Alaska: Essentials

  • There is a glacier right across the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center: you can feel its breath even on a hot day. Dress in layers!
  • Don’t forget bug spray, sunscreen, rain jacket, binoculars, and comfy shoes.
  • Check out the schedule for the Bore Tide.
  • Pack plenty of snacks and water.
  • Be very cautious walking at the beach during low tide: mudflats work like quicksand and are very dangerous.
  • Keep a safe distance from wildlife: even “harmless” animals can change without warning.
  • No feeding the wildlife, please!
  • The trip above we did with kids 2 and 7 y.o.

Thank you guys for reading!

Please verify all the essential information for the destinations before you go: hours, prices, current conditions, etc.

Seward Highway: all the places on Mymaps

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By Mrs. Grazy Goat

I am Ira, the author behind Grazy Goat. My husband and I run this blog and share our experiences about thrilling places and cultures. Our son Artem recently joined us and helps with editing.

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