Celebrate The 4th Of July In Seward
If youre planning your trip around the 4th of July, you wont just be catching the fireworks display. The Seward 4th of July celebration packs in a festival, fireworks, and the Mount Marathon Race.
Spend your days exploring the festival booths filled with local foods and crafts, catch the boat parade off Seward Harbor, or cheer on contestants of the 5k marathon.
Theres even a mini-marathon for kids 2-6 years!
Dont miss the midnight fireworks display from the boat harbor or bay on the 3rd. Then, head downtown on the 4th for the annual parade.
Ideal Things To Do In Seward Alaska In 2021
Are you looking for things to do in Seward, Alaska? Check out this list of the 15 most ideal things to do. You won’t regret discovering the natural beauty of Seward.
Seward, pronounced Soo-word, is a port city in southern Alaska, located on the Kenai Peninsula. Because of its southerly location, the weather in Seward remains milder during winter and summer, making it an ideal destination for any season.
This picturesque coastal community is a must-see during your Alaskan excursion.
Have limited time for your itinerary or dont know where to start? Then plan ahead with our 15 things to do in Seward, Alaska!
A Two Day Anchorage Itinerary
Updated , 2 Day Anchorage Itinerary: Anchorage in a Weekend was originally written in September 2015
Got two days in Anchorage, Alaska and not sure what to do?
Ill be honest, Anchorage isnt the highlight for most tourists in Alaska. I get it, most people come to Alaska for the nature, not the cities. Pair that with high crime rates and not a whole lot of attractions, which explains why Anchorage doesnt make most travelers itineraries.
With all that said I do get emails from readers that find that they will have a day or two to kill in Anchorage and want suggestions on what to do there, or just to flat out ask if they should even include Anchorage on their itinerary. So, after living near Anchorage my entire life, here is a 2 day Anchorage itinerary to show you the highlights of what the city has to offer.
Just start planning? Check out my post Travel Alaska on a Budget
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Visit Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures
Location: Tours leave from 1304 4th Ave, Seward, AK 99664
About: For a fun, daring adventure that provides a one-of-a-kind tour of the forests near Seward, check out the zipline tours at Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures. Theyll teach you to navigate a series of ziplines that zig zag from tree to tree in woods near the Chugach National Forest. Upon landing, youll head into the canopy for a three-hour adventure.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 7 These zipline tours will certainly get your heart pumping and give you a great view of forest climates near Seward.
Alaska Helicopter Flightseeing From Seward
You can take a helicopter flight seeing tour for 30 minutes or more. Its incredible flying over parts of the glacier that no one ever sees except by air. We were lucky to see goats but unfortunately no bears. I was dying to see bears somewhere other than on a hiking trail.
The other amazing thing to see during the helicopter flight is the birds eye view of icebergs in Bear Glacier Lagoon. Icebergs have 90% of their mass below the water and you can see a good portion of the iceberg underwater from the air. From a kayak, you can only see the 10% above the water.
There are other cool flight seeing trips. You can take are a 30 minute flight with glacier landing or a 45 minute flight to watch the Aialik glacier calving if you dont want to take the 6 hour glacier cruise. We went with Marathon Helicopters and felt very comfortable with pilot Mike.
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Visit The Harbor Marina
Another great little area to experience while in Seward is the marina. This is where youll embark on your cruise of Kenai National Park so you can just hang around for a bit longer as you return.
Youll find the Seward office of the National Parks here, so you can walk in and get information and help from the ranger. Or just stroll around to see the boats and watch fishermen as they clean their daily catch.
Have A Flight Of Beers At Seward Brewing Company
Open only during the summer months, Seward Brewing Company has a solid selection of flagship beers and tasty brewpub fare. Bonus: the whole building is an exercise in Seward history. Originally opened as a bar in 1904, it was turned into a theater during Prohibition, then an Elks Club and a dinner club, before finally becoming Seward Brewing Company in 2012. Many of the relics within show that history, including the original Seward Theater seats and Alaska Steamship Logo.
A post shared by Seward Brewing Company on Jun 10, 2016 at 6:51pm PDT
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Paddle Around In Kenai Fjords National Park
Where else can you paddle within inches of impressive glaciers and scope out marine animals in their natural habitat? There are several shops within Seward that rent kayaks, as well as provide water taxis and offer guided tours.
A post shared by Kenai Fjords National Park on Dec 29, 2017 at 7:15pm PST
See The Northern Lights Or The Midnight Sun
Similar to Fairbanks, depending on when you visit a highlight is likely to be either daylight all night long OR the northern lights! Anchorage is not quite as great of a place as Fairbanks to see the northern lights in Alaska, but its still a very good place to see them! Its a bit further south than Fairbanks and a bit cloudier but you still have an excellent change of seeing them from late August till the end of March. May through mid August it will be daylight all the time!
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Fishing Tour In Seward Alaska
Seward is one of the most popular fishing destinations in all of Alaska, and probably the most visited destination of them all.
There are so many different companies, locals and charters that you can join to go on a fishing excursion that only Alaska can offer.
One of the cheaper family priced options comes from Alaska Northern Outfitters which starts at only $199 in the early offseason.
Regular rates during high reason can range anywhere from $300 to $500 per person. Depending on how big your group or family is, it might make sense to opt for a private charter for $2,000.
Seward Community Library & Museum
If you are interested in the history of the area this is the place to visit. There are many different exhibits, artefacts and films about ancient as well as more recent history. This includes the 1964 Tsunami.
There are some videos produced by residents explaining their experiences in Seward which are really moving. As well as a childrens area for little explorers where they can play and read about fun history facts.
Find the library and museum on Sixth Avenue in Seward but remember to check opening times before visiting as they vary.
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Drive The Scenic Seward Highway
The road that takes you from Anchorage to Seward is in itself an attraction. It is so beautiful, its been awarded the highest rank in scenic byways: An All American Road. This awesome drive-lapse video shows you exactly what it looks like
I drove our SUV along coming in and out of town. Since we stayed at the Midnight Sun Log Cabins outside of town, I actually got to drive parts of the road on a daily basis.
Its not a difficult drive some of it is very easy in fact with wide shoulders and plenty of room. The views are stunning and keep changing along with the weather.
The good news is that unless youre getting to Seward by train or on a cruise ship, youre going to drive this road into town and out of it.
Take A Selfie With The Benny Benson Memorial
The story goes that in the late 1920s, 30 years before Alaska achieved statehood, a contest was held for children in grades seven through twelve to submit their design ideas for Alaskas flag. An orphaned 13-year-old Alaska Native boy named Benny Benson submitted the winning design: eight gold stars, forming the Big Dipper and the North Star on a dark blue background. That design can be seen on a humble memorial to Benny at the corner of Seward Hwy and Dairy Hill Lane.
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Southeast Alaska: Iffy Weather But Still Cruise
For most travelers, Southeast Alaska means cruisingand cruising in September offers just as much of a gamble as a land tour. You still have that increased chance of rain and clouds, so your shipboard views of the coastline could be shrouded in fog. On the other hand, if you get a nice day, your experience will be crisp and crystal clear. And, many cruise lines discount their September cruises.
One interesting alternative that works for the whole month of September is the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry System . Its great for independent travelers, and most of its routes continue through September.
Getting To Seward With A Car
If you have a car, driving to Seward is easy on the unbelievably scenic Seward Highway from Anchorage. Seward is 130 miles from Anchorage and driving time is 2.5-3 hours. However, I highly recommend giving yourself all day for this spectacular drive, since there are so many amazing things to do before you even get to Seward!
Once you arrive, most things to do in Seward are walking distance from hotels and the municipal campground. I recommend parking your car and walking or taking the shuttle around town once you arrive, since parking is limited in this small town and everything is close together and walkable. The one place thats too far to walk is Exit Glacier, which is about 9 miles away. You can take a shuttle or drive there from downtown Seward.
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Hook A Halibut On A Fishing Charter
While Homer is known as the halibut capital of the world, Seward boasts its fair share of halibut charters. In fact, the commercial fishing industry accounts for a substantial portion of the towns economic impact.
As such, there is a large harbor full of charter boats with captains waiting to take you on a mission to catch halibut.
Most fishing outfits will offer both full and half-day fishing trips directly from Seward harbor. Some will even cater to longer trips deep into the Alaskan wilderness.
However, simply put, Seward is one of the best places in Alaska to go fishing. Whether fishing for halibut, silver salmon or whatever is biting, a fishing trip from Seward is not sure to disappoint.
Each person is entitled to keep two halibut. And with each halibut having the potential to weigh 100 pounds or more, there is a lot of fish to catch, eat and share!
To book a fishing trip, you can simply walk along the harbor and stop in at any of a number of fishing outfits on the boardwalk.
Places To Stay In Fairbanks
Fairbanks has plenty of accommodation options. If youre looking for a luxurious stay, Borealis Basecamp is the best. You can also stay at Chena Hot Springs Resort, Rivers Edge, and Best Western Plus.
For a mid-budget accommodation, you can stay in Hampton Inn & Suites, Sophie Station Suites, or Pikes Waterfront Lodge.
The standard accommodation prices in Fairbanks typically range from $80 to $120 per night.
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Visit Benny Benson Memorial To Pay Homage To Alaska’s Flag Designer
Editor’s Note: There’s no photo available at the time of writing
The boy who designed Alaskas flag is none other than Benny Benson, a 13-year-old orphan who outdid about 700 participants in that 1927 competition. The flag features eight golden stars set on the blue background, forming the Big Dipper with the North Star. At the time of the contest, Alaska was not yet a territory, but young Benny declared his flag design to one day become a state flag. If not a visionary, then he is to be admired for his bold confidence. Take your children to the quaint park in Dairy Hill Lane, where Benny Benson Memorial now stands. Your kids will be inspired to hear his story, and the park is great for walking and chilling with your family.
Benny Benson Memorial
Address: Dairy Hill Lane, Seward, AK 99664
Opening hours: 12am – 12pm
Travel Into The Past At The Seward History Museum
If you want to learn about the culture of the town and its rich past, a visit to the Seward History Museum wont disappoint. Here, youll learn about the regions first inhabitants along with the rise of different industries that helped establish Seward as a popular destination.
The museum, which is located in the Seward Community Library, is a perfect break when you need to recuperate from all the outdoor activity. Its also great for the whole family.
They offer a section for kids and daily screenings of documentaries that will take you back in time to events such as the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake and Tsunami.
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Visit The Sealife Center
Sewards famous SeaLife Center is truly an institutionand with good reason: Its a great place to see Alaskas unique wildlife up close. You can check out harbor seals, Steller sea lions, puffins, giant octopuses, and much more. Kids will be thrilled at the hands-on displays. Plus, its much more than just a zooits also a wildlife rehabilitation and research center, so youre supporting a good cause by visiting.
Where To Stay In Seward
I highly recommend staying in town while youre in Seward, since the town is so walkable. Once you arrive you can park your car and enjoy the town on foot. This is also where you want to stay if youre arriving in Seward without a car for the same reason. There are vacation rentals and lodges in the area around town, but I recommend staying near downtown.
Seward is one of the few towns in Alaska that has a really terrific option for camping within walking distance of town and all the activities. The Seward Municipal campground is huge and has sites for RVs as well as tents and has coin operated showers. The campground itself is mostly a gravel parking lot without any privacy, but its scenic location at the head of fjord in Resurrection Bay and convenient location more than make up for this downside.
If youre not a camper, there are several excellent hotels in Seward. You can also find vacation rentals in town. Make sure to book lodging far ahead of time and dont try to show up without a reservation. You can sometimes save a bit of money by booking your trip in May or September during the shoulder season.
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Enjoy Fresh Seafood At Downtown Eateries
If youre a seafood lover, downtown Seward Alaska is where you want to be. The commercial fishing industry is huge here, so youll enjoy some of the freshest seafood youll ever eat.
The restaurants in the downtown area are perfect for King Crab, oysters, and Alaskan halibut. Check out Rays Waterfront, The Cookery, and Chinooks Restaurant, to name a few.
Hike Along Resurrection Bay
There are several hikes just minutes from Downtown Seward offering gorgeous views of Resurrection Bay.
The trailhead for the Caines Head Trail is located at Lowell Point State Recreation Site which is at the end of Lowell Point Road. If you hike the entire trail, its 7.8 miles each way, out and back, taking you all the way to Fort McGilvray. But, a shorter option is to hike 2.3 miles each way to Tonsina Point . Fort McGilvray is home to World War II ruins and incredible views of Resurrection Bay. Tonsina Point has beach access and campsites available.
Pro Tip: Parking is available at the trailhead, but there is a $5 daily fee. Bring cash and exact change!
Pro Tip: Between Tonsina Point and Derby Cove, the trail is influenced by tide. You cannot hike this portion of the trail during high tide. The Alaska DNR website has great tips on how to time our your hike to avoid getting stranded at the tide change.
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Spot Salmon At Bear Creek Weir
Nobody can predict when the Alaska salmon will run. But when they do run Bear Creek Weir is one of the best places to watch them.
Located just seven miles out of town on the Seward Highway, Bear Creek Weir is a popular spot to spend the day watching salmon. Contrary to its name, bears are less frequent at this part of the river than further upstream.
The weir is a ladder in the river that helps salmon make the journey to Bear Lake to spawn. Fish are counted at the weir so that the populations can be monitored.
Keep an eye out for bald eagles in the nearby trees.
Once youve spent some time being mesmerized by the plight of the salmon, you can drive 2 miles further down the road to the trailhead to hike to Bear Lake. If youre interested in seeing bears and bald eagles, you are more likely to spot them at the lake than at the weir.
For another great place on the Kenai Peninsula to watch salmon swim upstream, check out Russian River Falls in Cooper Landing.