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Best Things to Do in Seward, Alaska, For Families and Solo Travelers


Do you know there are many incredible adventurous things to do in Seward, Alaska? People of all ages can enjoy different activities there. Whether you’re into exploring nature, outdoor adventures, or learning about history and culture, Seward has something for you. 

There’s never a dull moment at Seward. The exciting wildlife, breathtaking hikes, and stunning views of glaciers and mountains make it a beautiful holiday destination. 

After covering other locations in Alaska, we are back with Seward. If you’re planning your trip to Alaska, Seward is a great vacation spot. Let’s explore the things and activities you can do in Seward during your stay.

Seward, Alaska: An Overview

Seward is located at the head of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula. It’s the gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park. There are many outdoor adventures you can enjoy there, like wildlife cruises, fishing, hiking, and kayaking. 

Resurrection Bay , Seward, Alaska
Image Source: iStock

On the other hand, it hosts the renowned Seward Music and Arts Festival and Mount Marathon Race. The deep-water port of Seward is an important hub for recreational and commercial fishing. Seward is home to 200 bird species. From bald eagles to rare seabirds, you’ll find all. 

Best Things to do in Seward with Friends and Family

As mentioned earlier, Seward is another town in Alaska where you can enjoy interesting cultural attractions and outdoor adventures against an incredible backdrop of natural beauty.  Let’s explore everything you can do there:

Go for Cruise Ride in Kenai Fjords National Park

Cruise in Kenai Fjord, Seward, Alaska
Image Source: iStock

Cruising is a must if you’re going to Seward. It gives you an excellent opportunity to see wildlife and glaciers. The view is breathtaking. If you’re short on time, you can go on a short day trip to Resurrection Bay. It also offers amazing views that you’ll not see anywhere in the world. If you have plenty of time, then do a multi-day or overnight cruise trip to Kenai Fjords National Park.

However, it’s difficult to make a booking during the peak season, so always book in advance to avoid last-minute inconvenience. Also, keep an extra layer with you, as when you get closer to glaciers, it gets quite cold. And don’t forget to carry a camera and binoculars. 

Explore Exit Glacier

Woman exploring the Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska
Image Source: iStock

Exit Glacier is another popular tourist destination located in the Mountains of Kenai. It flows down from the Harding Icefield. This is also one of the easily accessible glaciers in Alaska. It got its name from the explorer who used it as an exit route while crossing the Harding Icefield. 

You can do many recreational activities at Exit Glacier. You can hike up to various trails and reach the glacier’s edge to see breathtaking views. During hiking, keep an eye on marmots, mountain goats and other bird species. You can also go for ice climbing. It’s a great activity you should never miss out on.

Hike to the Seward Trails

A woman and two men hiking on a trail in Seward, Alaska
Image Source: iStock

Seward is home to some stunning landscapes. It has hiking trails for people with every skill. If you’re taking your family, then consider hiking at Exit Glacier Overlook. It’s a short paved trail with an incredible view of the glacier. The other option is to go hiking on the Two Lakes trail. It’s also a family-friendly trail that goes through the thick forest. 

If you’re a seasoned hiker, then go for Harding Icefield Trail or Tonsina Creek Trail. Both of them are challenging, but the challenge is worth it. Also, Alaska is home to bears, so be sure to keep bear spray with you and dress appropriately, as the weather in Alaska changes within minutes.

Visit the Caine’s Head

Caines Head, Seward, Alaska
Image Source: iStock

Caine’s Head is another breathtaking scenic headland located in Seward at the tip of the beautiful Resurrection Bay. It’s named after the great trader and early settler, Captain Joseph Caine. To get there, you can either take a water taxi or kayak through Resurrection Bay.

You can enjoy a handful of activities there, including hiking, beachcombing, wildlife viewing, and camping. Before visiting, ensure that you check the tides, as some trails are only accessible when the tides are low. Also, pack extra layers of rain and carry a water bottle.

Checkout Marine Animals at the Alaska Sea life Center

A seal in water
Image Source: iStock

This renowned sea life center is dedicated to marine research, education, and wildlife rehabilitation. It’s the only facility in the entire Alaska that’s a combination of all three aspects. It was built from the funds of the Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement. 

You can find the following sea animals there:

  • Mammals: Stellar Sea Lions, Harbor Seals, and Sea Otters
  • Birds: Puffins (Tufted and Horned), Common Murres, and different species of Seabirds and Ducks
  • Invertebrates and Fishes: Salmon (various species), Jellyfish, Halibut, Giant Pacific Octopus, Sea Urchins, and Sea Stars.

The Sea life Center houses a premier research program on Steller Sea Lions. These are threatened species in Alaska. Moreover, you can find other animals being cared for, depending on the time of your visit. 

Recommended Readings:

If you wish to do fishing in Alaska, then go through our guide, ‘Best Time to Fish in Alaska’

Enjoy Flightseeing over Kenai Fjords and Harding Icefield

Harding Icefield , Seward, Alaska
Image Source: iStock

Flightseeing over Kenai Fjords and the Harding Icefield is an absolutely incredible experience in itself. When flying over the park, you can see plunging waterfalls, tidewater glaciers, and dramatic coastal. In comparison, the icefield is filled with jagged peaks, also known as nunataks. You can spot different animals, including mountain goats, whales, and bears. 

You can either go for a helicopter tour or a fixed-wing plane tour. Choosing a helicopter will let you view the location more closely, and you might even get a chance to hike or dog sledge in remote locations. These tours are quite popular in summer, so book yours in advance. Also, don’t forget to wear warm clothes and carry rain gear. 

Take a Stroll to Seward Waterfront Park and Downtown

Seward Waterfront Park
Image Source: iStock

The beautiful Waterfront Park is located on the shoreline of Resurrection Bay. It has a paved path with stunning views of the mountains, water, and marine wildlife. You can spot otters and whales playing in the harbor and breaching further out. Also, the park marks the start of the world-famous trail Iditarood. 

On the other hand, the atmosphere of the small town of Seward is delightful. There are many quaint shops and historical buildings. The people living there are quite friendly and hospitable. Approximately 60 years before, the town was severely damaged by the Great Alaskan Earthquake. It was the greatest earthquake ever recorded. 

See the Mural Artwork

Harbor front store with mural on its front side
Image Source: iStock

Seward is also known as the ‘Mural Capital of Alaska’. This official designation came in 2008, inspired by a group of talented locals who introduced murals back in 1999. The Seward Mural Society today works as a group of people who are responsible for creating new murals and maintaining the existing ones. 

You see different themes in the murals, such as Alaskan wildlife, history and culture, and fishing and maritime heritage. Most of the mural’s buildings are located in the Downtown area. You can also check out the official website of the Seward Mural Society Website for more information and maps.

Some of the popular murals are the ‘Pony Cove’, ‘Painting with Wyland’, and the ‘Two Giant Puffins’. 

Learn About Seward’s History via Popular Landmarks

Kennicot in Alaska
Image Source: iStock

Seward is home to many landmarks which uniquely narrate its story. Absolutely! Here’s a simplified description of Seward’s history through its landmarks. Seward’s Waterfront Park, where you’ll find the start of the Iditarod Trail, tells a story of transportation. It was built because of the railroad, a lifeline for Seward, and marks the beginning of a famous dogsled race route.  

The Alaska SeaLife Center highlights Seward’s focus on protecting its wildlife and ocean. It’s also a reminder of rebuilding after challenges like the 1964 Earthquake. 

Downtown Seward has buildings from the early 1900s, a peek into the town’s busy past. The colourful murals add to the history lesson, often showing fishing, an important part of Seward’s story. 

Exit Glacier is a beautiful but sad reminder of climate change while also hinting at how early explorers used the ice to travel. Lastly, the Seward Community Library and Museum is the perfect place to dig even deeper into Seward’s past.  

Enjoy Awesome Seward Festivals

A man running uphill
Image Source: iStock

The locals of Alaska really know how to celebrate. Every year, many festivals are hosted in the city. The Polar Bear Jump festival is celebrated at the beginning of the year. The brave individuals take a plunge into the icy waters of Resurrection Bay. It’s filled with costumes, hot tubs to warm up in, and plenty of spectators who join to cheer the participants.

On the independence day (4th July), the Mount Marathon Race is held. Athletes tackle a gruelling race up and down Mount Marathon, a steep and challenging climb with incredible views. The whole town turns out for this iconic event.

In September, people celebrate the music and art festival of Seward. This family-friendly festival celebrates local Alaskan music, arts, and crafts. There, you can enjoy live performances and workshops and browse handmade art and gifts.

At the end of the year, the holiday arts and crafts festival will take place, please. This is a perfect head start to holiday shopping. This festive event features local Alaskan crafters and artists working. There, you can find unique gifts for your loved ones, enjoy holiday music, and sometimes Santa makes a special appearance. 

P.S.: All cities of Alaska are home to mosquitoes. Read our blog to learn how to battle against mosquitoes in Alaska

In a Nutshell

A woman sightseeing the Kenai Fjords in Seward, Alaska
Image Source: iStock

Seward offers something for everyone, whether you want exciting adventures or peaceful nature time. From amazing glacier cruises to learning about sea animals at the Alaska Sea Life Center, from the challenging Mount Marathon race to fun local festivals, Seward is a place you’ll always remember. If you’re ready for an amazing trip, plan your visit to Seward! This charming Alaskan town, with its mountains and ocean views, won’t disappoint.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Seward, Alaska, worth visiting?

Yes, Seward is a popular destination for a reason. Visitors praise its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife and variety of activities to enjoy as a tourist. 

2. How do you spend a day in Seward?

You can enjoy various activities in Seward, Alaska, such as:

  • A glacier and wildlife cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Visiting the Alaska Sea Life Center
  • Hiking to Exit Glacier
  • Strolling the waterfront and downtown, enjoying shops and restaurants

3. How many days do you need in Seward?

The recommendations vary from person to person. Here’s a timeline of days and locations you can visit within the time frame:

  • 1-2 Days: Enough for a glacier cruise, the Sea Life Center, and a short hike.
  • 3-4 Days: Allows for more in-depth exploration, like longer hikes, kayaking, or overnight boat trips.
  • 5+ Days: Perfect if you want a slower-paced, multi-day wilderness adventure or to use Seward as a base for exploring the surrounding Kenai Peninsula.

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