Nestled on the eastern shores of Resurrection Bay, Seward offers many outdoor activities, wildlife encounters, and cultural experiences. There are so many incredible things to do and see in Seward!
Whether you’re drawn to the towering peaks of Kenai Fjords National Park, the shimmering waters teeming with marine life, or the incredible fishing, Seward has something for everyone.
I spent three summers working in Denali, Alaska, and whenever I could get a few days off, Seward was one of my favorite places to go. I have since returned to Seward several times and still love it just as much!
We’ve traveled there as a family and have also found plenty of things to do in Seward with kids.
To help plan your Alaska adventure, read – The Ultimate Alaska Road Trip 10-Day Itinerary
Here are some of the things you won’t want to miss when you visit Seward.
Whale Watching and Glacier Tour out of Seward
Every summer, whales make their annual migration from Hawaii and the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska. The whale watching in the water surrounding Seward in the summer is incredible. The Gray Whales arrive in May, followed by the Orcas in June, and then Humpbacks in July.
Although whales can be seen in Ressurection Bay from the shore surrounding the town of Seward, whale viewing is much better from the water.
Many different whale-watching boat options are available, ranging from four hours to all day long.
I’ve gone with Kenai FjordsTours several times, and it has been an awesome trip. While they can’t guarantee that you will see whales, chances are really good to see them in the summer months. We always have seen so many whales that we have to move on to get back from the tour on time.
Although there are full-day tours available, I’ve always booked the half-day tour, and that tour offers more than enough time to see whales. The half-day tour also gives you an opportunity to see glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park, eagles, and otters, with the beautiful steep snow-covered mountains as a backdrop.
Fishing in Seward
If you love to fish, a fishing charter out of Seward is a must-do. It is possible to catch salmon, halibut, and rockfish.
Although there are many fishing charter options in Seward, you should book your fishing trip in advance to secure your spot on a boat. The summer in Alaska is short and very busy, and fishing charters frequently sell out.
Not only can you experience catching fish in Alaska, you can then get your fish processed, frozen, and packaged to ship home. It is really incredible to eat seafood that you caught yourself after you return from your Alaska vacation.
I would recommend using Captain Jack’s Seafood Locker to process your fish. We always go fishing at the end of our trip and fly home with the fish in a cooler as one of our checked bags.
Alaska Sea Life Center
The Alaska SeaLife Center is the perfect thing to do on a rainy day in Seward. Even if it isn’t raining, you won’t want to miss checking it out.
Located on the shores of Resurrection Bay, the Sealife Center operates as a nonprofit research institution and marine mammal rehabilitation facility, as well as a public aquarium.
From playful sea otters and graceful sea lions to colorful puffins and mesmerizing octopuses, the Alaska SeaLife Center showcases a diverse array of marine species that call the cold waters of Alaska home. It is an interesting and fun way to spend a morning or afternoon.
Visit Alaska Sealife Center’s website for hours and ticket prices.
Kayaking in Seward Alaska
There is nothing like seeing marine life up close as you glide through the cool ocean water in a kayak. Not to mention the stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains!
If you are adventurous, kayaking is a must-do when visiting Seward.
We’ve always used Miller’s Landing for our kayaking adventures. Miller’s Landing is right on the water, so you don’t have to shuttle. It is also our favorite place to camp in Seward (more on that later).
There are many different kayaking options- full-day guided tours, half-day guided tours, kayak out and shuttle home, and renting kayaks for overnight camping adventures (if you are a certified kayaker and pass the screening test).
Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park is the one thing you don’t want to miss on your visit to Seward. The National Park is a stunning wilderness area renowned for its breathtaking fjords, massive glaciers, and diverse wildlife.
The park’s fjords are deep, narrow channels carved out by glaciers. In fact, about 50% of the National Park is still covered by ice today.
Exit Glacier is the only area of the park accessible by road. Make sure to stop by the Nature Center to learn about the glaciers before hiking any trails.
Exit Glacier Hike
There are two different hikes to viewpoints of Exit Glacier. The Glacier View Trail is an easy one-mile loop. You can also take the Glacier Overlook Trail for a closer view of the Glacier. The Glacier Overlook Trail adds an extra mile to the hike and is considered moderately strenuous.
If you are interested in a longer hike, the 8-mile-long Harding Icefield Trail is very strenuous, but the views of the expansive Icefield are well worth the effort.
Watch Salmon Spawn at Bear Creek Weir
Watching salmon spawn up the artificial falls at Bear Creek Weir is a fascinating and unique experience.
Every summer, hatchery-born salmon are released into Bear Creek. The smolts (term for young salmon) then migrate to the ocean, where they mature and grow. When the salmon are ready to reproduce, they instinctively return to their freshwater spawning grounds.
If you visit Bear Creek Weir in June and July, you can watch hundreds of spawning Sockeye swim up the artificial falls. It is a fun and fascinating activity for all ages.
The Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association operates the weir. Their employees are knowledgeable and helpful and will answer any questions you have.
Stroll Downtown Seward to Check Out Shops and Restaurants
In addition to its natural attractions, Seward features a charming downtown area with shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
You could easily spend an afternoon checking out the many shops and art galleries. The Seward Brewing Company is a great spot to grab a beer. For delicious local seafood with incredible harbor views, dine at Ray’s Waterfront for dinner.
Camping in Seward Alaska
If you want to truly experience the natural beauty of Seward, Alaska, camping in Seward is the way to go.
My favorite camping spot in Seward is Miller’s Landing. The location of Miller’s Landing can’t be beaten. It is a few miles away from town and right along Resurrection Bay.
Miller’s Landing offers several different camping options – basic tent sites, camper spots with electricity, basic cabins, and cabins with more amenities. There is also a bathhouse with flush toilets and hot showers.
Other Lodging Options In Seward
If camping is not your style no need to worry, there are plenty of other lodging options in Seward. Some of my favorite hotels are-
Exit Glacier Lodge, it is close to Exit Glacier, a few miles out of town so very peaceful and quiet.
Harbor 360 Hotel, is right on the water with incredible views!
You should also check out the Booking.com
Seward is a great place to experience the best of Alaska. With its stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and wide range of outdoor activities, Seward is a must-visit destination for any traveler to Alaska.
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