Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Seward, AK

  • Published 2023/04/04

Seward is a small city situated in the southern part of Alaska, United States.

It’s filled with breathtaking natural attractions that are sure to get you to stop and stare.

This beautiful city is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, along with vast and massive oceans sitting in the middle of lofty peaks.

The scenery is absolutely going to blow your mind, and the glaciers are the most exotic and beautiful of all.

Seward is full of history, culture, wildlife, ice, and snow.

This city, which might seem ancient and historical, is actually a modern place with all kinds of high-tech infrastructure and amenities.

Are you interested in learning more about this bucket list-worthy travel destination?

These are the best things to do in Seward, Alaska:

Watch the Famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Dog-sled at Iditarod

Troy Perano /

The Iditarod National Historic Trail, also known as the Seward-to-Nome Trail, is a 2,300-mile network of trails.

It is of great historical importance to the state of Alaska as it was one of the first trails made by the natives to connect the small port city of Seward to several more prominent cities.

The trail is known as the venue of the iconic Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which is one of Alaska’s most popular annual events.

This race takes place every year in early March, so try to plan your visit around this time if you’re interested in watching.

Besides the trail itself, even the dog race holds great historical importance, as it has been held since 1973.

The Iditarod National Historic Trail is truly a beautiful place for you to explore, dig into the native history, and learn some amazing facts about the city.

Pet an Adorable Baby Walrus at the Alaska SeaLife Center

Display at Alaska sea life centre

juanchoayala /

The best things about Seward are its magnificent snow, beautiful natural sites, and stunning native sea and snow animals.

The Alaska SeaLife Center is one of the only permanent rehabilitation centers for mammals in the city.

It is a beautiful center home to a wide range of sea animals for visitors to meet.

From salmons to seahorses and seals to whales, you can find almost every kind of sea animal at this sea life center.

You can learn about each of these animals via the center’s informational tour.

To make things more exciting, you are allowed to pet some of the animals, like the baby walrus.

The Alaska SeaLife Center is a vast and interesting aquarium to visit while you are in this city.

Board One of the Ships at the Seward Cruise Ship Terminal

Crusing at ship terminal

Raisa Nastukova /

This small boat harbor is a very relaxing spot full of natural beauty.

You can either go cruising and experience the glaciers in their full glory and experience the vastness of the ocean or simply stay put near the harbor and take pictures of the fantastic scenery.

The views from the Seward Cruise Ship Terminal are truly breathtaking.

You can have a lovely date night on a cruise ship, complete with a fancy dinner and the opportunity to go stargazing once the sun goes down.

Alternatively, it’s a fun way to spend time with friends and enjoy a delicious meal.

Go Fishing or Kayaking at Bear Lake

Bear lake

Andrew F. Kazmierski /

Get the most elegant and beautiful experience of boating and fishing at Bear Lake.

You can go kayaking, play in the water with your friends and family, swim, go boating, go fishing, and do whatever your heart desires at this beautiful lake.

The lake is an excellent place for sightseeing and taking beautiful and aesthetic pictures of yourself and the environment.

You can also spot some brown and black bears around the lake, making it an even more memorable experience.

Go on a Thrilling Helicopter Ride with Seward Helicopter Tours

Seward helicopter tours

Nikki Gensert /

Going on a helicopter tour is probably the most adventurous and breathtaking activity you can try in Seward.

The beautiful center situated in the middle of the mountains provides great helicopter tours for you to fly above the mountains and gaze around the most breathtaking views of the hills ad glaciers.

This is the same place where you can watch dog sled races, which is a great way to entertain yourself while waiting for your turn to roam around in the helicopter.

Visitors are guaranteed to have one of their best experiences in the city with Seward Helicopter Tours.

You can land near an iceberg and see some beautiful fish in the crystal clear lakes.

This helicopter ride will definitely not fail to amuse you and fill your heart and soul with positivity and beauty.

Ride a Raft along the Resurrection River

Resurrection River

nodrama_Ilama /

One of the most amazing water sports you can indulge in, not just in Seward but anywhere around the world, is river rafting.

The experience of riding a squeaky and lightweight boat through the sea, beating the waves while drizzling water fills your heart with joy, is something unmissable.

The Resurrection River is a beautiful place for sightseeing, hanging around, just enjoying the beauty and cold of the glaciers, or even indulging in water sports like rafting.

The views are truly amazing, and tourists are highly recommended to pay a visit to the Resurrection River when traveling in or around Seward.

Join a Marathon at Mount Marathon

Mount Marathon

Adam Kenneth Campbell /

As humorous as it sounds, marathoning around Mount Marathon is possible.

This beautiful mountain in Seward is a very fun place to be.

This spot holds various marathons every year just for fun and games.

You would be lucky if you visit during that time of the year and are able to witness or participate in a marathon.

The races are not the only exciting thing about this place.

You can also climb to the top of the mountain and watch the beautiful pink sunset while having a picnic on the grass with your friends or family.

Mount Marathon is a very scenic and alluring place to be and truly warms the heart with its magnificence.

This place is a must-visit if you are a sucker for mountains and beautiful views.

Spend a Night under the Stars at Seward Waterfront Park

Are you a fan of camping and exploring the woods?

If your answer is yes, then Seward has got you covered.

Seward Waterfront Park is the perfect place for camping in the woods and getting a firsthand experience of wild animals.

This park is situated right in front of a beautiful lake and has even more beautiful scenery inside it.

Full of greenery and serenity, this park is the perfect place for picnics, birdwatching, observing wild animals, or simply hanging around and spending time with loved ones.

Seward Waterfront Park offers visitors the complete package, as this attraction boasts gorgeous scenery along with various activities like fishing, camping, hiking, and more.

The site is clean and well-maintained, and snacks and coffee are available to satisfy your cravings.

This beautiful park is a must-visit for a wholesome experience.

Go Kayaking at Adventure Sixty North

Kayaking in Seward

Ventu Photo /

This is the only place in Seward where you can have the unique experience of kayaking in the winter sea.

You can learn about the history and significance of the city in this place.

As it provides the opportunity to witness the spectacular Bridal Veils Falls and go kayaking in the winter sea, this place will surely blow your mind with its beauty.

You can explore the beach, enjoy some hot drinks, have a picnic, or simply watch the sun color the sky with shades of pink and purple during sunset.

You should not miss out on this adventurous place if you are in or around Steward.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Tonsina Point

Spooky trees on Tonsina Point

Eivor Kuchta /

This all-in-one adventure camp is a great place to visit if you want to experience a lot of excitement without having to travel all day.

Tonsina Point is famous for its amazing scenery, lakeside, glacier, fish, camping, and more.

It is a well-maintained trail where you can go for a stroll, ride your bike, have a picnic, go sightseeing, or walk your dog.

The vibes of the place are very wholesome and positive, and you can experience the snow during winter as well.

You can play around, go for a swim if the water temperature is warm enough, or go kayaking.

Overall, it is a very serene and pretty place to experience it all.

Spend a Day amid Nature at Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park Visitor Centre

Wangkun Jia /

Kenai Fjords National Park is yet another attraction in Seward with amazing views, glaciers, a lake, and various other assets for you to enjoy.

You can go boating here and enjoy the cold air or simply stay put near the lake and take in the views.

The park is a great place to take time out of the daily hassles of city life.

It is a fantastic place to just chill around and enjoy with your family and kids.

This is the place where you can view whales and other sea animals as much as you want.

With creatures ranging from starfishes to dolphins to big whales, this place has got you covered.

This place is full of sea animals and the beauty of nature.

The peaks are snow-capped, and the weather is really pretty.

It is a perfect place to hang around and have the time of your life.

You can take as many pictures of yourself and the scenery as you want; it is truly going to be an amazing experience.

Go for a Scenic Hike on Caines Head Trail

Seward’s Caines Head Trail is yet another trail in the middle of the mountains with breathtaking views.

It holds in its heart a warm and amazing experience for you and your family.

The trail is well-maintained and is ideal for walking or jogging.

You can also have a picnic here while enjoying the scenic beauty and calm air of the place.

The Caines Head Trail also has a map for you to locate all the spots you are looking for.

It’s a great place to visit to add to your itinerary if you enjoy hiking.

Have a Quiet Moment at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

St. Peter's Episcopal Church

Gillfoto from Juneau, Alaska, United States, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the beautiful St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and attain some peace.

This historic red-brick structure dates back to the early 1900s.

The church is stunning, and you must definitely explore the places in and around here.

It is a great place to pay a visit if you are a spiritual person.

Make Your Way to the Lowell Creek Waterfall

You must definitely visit the Lowel Creek Waterfall if you are a sucker for waterfalls.

This small but scenic man-made attraction was built as a flood control project but doubles as a tourist site.

The beauty of this place is going to take your breath away.

It is a great spot for just hanging around and spending some quality time with your travel companions.

The waterfall is also ideal for taking pictures and making beautiful memories.

Explore Seward’s Unexplored Areas

This point is vague, but it is only by exploring a place’s unexplored areas that you can fully get to know a particular destination.

After all, discovering a city’s best-kept secrets is always one of the most exciting things to do while traveling.

There’s just something rewarding about stumbling upon attractions on your own, besides getting to see a destination’s most popular tourist sites.

The city of Seward is very beautiful with extremely breathtaking views, and you must definitely explore its trails, lakes, and glaciers—especially those considered hidden gems.

Put your adventure shoes on and go on an exploring mission to discover the city’s underrated attractions.

Go Camping at Resurrection South Campground

Resurrection South Campground is an RV park and campground in Seward.

The campsite is a wonderful place to set up camp or enjoy an overnight stay in an RV.

The views are stunning, which is why it’s also an excellent spot for birdwatching.

You may be able to see the majestic bald eagles fly around.

One can also find otters frolicking about and playing with the ravens and crows.

There are also dogs galore around the area, which is excellent for campers who love them.

Resurrection South Campground is gorgeous and boasts clean facilities and wildlife everywhere, making it the perfect camping destination.

Get a Taste of Bagel Bombs at Resurrect Art Coffee House

Resurrect Art Coffee House is a charming little coffee shop renowned for its delicious biscuits and festive croissant.

The coffee here is tasty, and their fresh-baked breakfast foods are delicious as well.

You’ll want to try their bagel bombs.

Don’t forget to pick up a gift or two while you’re here, too.

They offer all sorts of gifts, from mugs to high-quality watercolor paintings that are ideal for displaying in your home or place of business.

You can also peruse their collection of unique, trendy local artwork for sale.

Explore More Scenic Trails in Seward

Aside from the moderate-level Tonsina Point, you can also discover four other popular Hiking Trails in Seward.

The one-mile Glacier View Loop provides a minimal gain for an easy hike and is also wheelchair accessible; this route starts at the Glacier Nature Center Exit and leads you around the cottonwood forest.

Get mesmerized by the spectacular scenic vista where you’ll see glaciers spilling from Harding Icefield; likewise, you can take the Glacier Overlook Trail for more picturesque views.

Two Lakes is another easy-level trail that spans over a mile with an elevation gain at the right side of Seward; you’ll pass over small streams and waterfalls and around the temperate rainforest and lakes.

This route is family-friendly so it’s perfect for kids as they explore the many wonders of nature in the area.

If you’re more of an expert hiker, you can challenge yourself at Mt. Marathon Bowl which quickly gives trekkers a 2,700-plus elevation gain.

This 5-mile round-trip hike goes through the popular jeep trail; furthermore, the trail beyond the treeline gives you sweeping views of waterfalls and majestic peaks.

Another strenuous-level trail is Harding Icefield offering about an 8-mile out-and-back path.

Though you’ll be daring a 3,000-foot climb, the breathtaking summit views of over 40 glaciers and stunning vistas are all worth the effort.

Enjoy the adventures at Seward’s hiking trails.

Tour the Seward Community Library & Museum

Exterior of Seward Community Library & Museum

EQRoy /

For some wonderful learning experiences, make sure to drop by the Seward Community Library & Museum.

The combined facility is located at 6th Avenue and Adams Street and was opened to the public in 2013.

It currently houses a public library, a historic museum, an archive section, and a community center.

The building’s vibrant and colorful facade is all too amusing, so just go ahead and take some snapshots on your visit.

Colorful facade of Seward Community Library & Museum

Jay Yuan /

Come inside and browse through the wide range of book collections and access other services like computers or WiFi connections.

You’ll find the museum on the ground floor and get to view the exhibits curated by the Resurrection Bay Historical Society; know more about Seward’s past through documents and other memorabilia.

You can also catch events throughout the year hosted by the library like movie programs featuring historical people and events, workshops, and children’s activities like Tot Time.

Learn and enjoy your visit to the Seward Community Library & Museum.

Have a Relaxing Stay at Sea Treasures Inn

After all the tiring activities, you definitely want a place to relax and settle down at the end of the day.

Sea Treasures Inn on Sixth Avenue is a boutique hotel that provides cozy rooms and pleasing amenities you’ll enjoy.

The non-hosted inn is just a few steps from the waterfront walkway so you’ll enjoy some relaxing views as well.

Check in to one of the ocean-themed rooms including the Aloha, Shell, Mermaid Room, and Admiral Rooms; if you’re coming in with the family, you can book The House for your accommodation.

The business is family-owned so you’re sure to get a personal and welcoming service.

Enjoy a self-served continental breakfast in the small garden with scents of lavender and the sea breeze greeting you in the morning.

Have a relaxing getaway with the family at Sea Treasures Inn.

Walk Around Town for a Mural Hunt

Whales mural at Seward

Enrico Blasutto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One thing you don’t want to miss seeing when you’re downtown is Seward’s City Murals.

Hailed as the ‘Mural Capital of Alaska’ way back in 2008, Seward features over 30 vibrant murals painted across town.

The Mural Society started these artworks with its first group of volunteers in 1999, and the group has now grown and continues to share the beauty and uniqueness of Alaska through large creative public murals.

Spend an afternoon strolling around, spot each colorful wall art, and take pictures of your favorite murals in the background.

The first mural was created by Master Artist Susan Swiderski in 2000; you can see the Mount Marathon mural located on the north side of Seward’s Senior Citizens’ Center.

Find the Whale Redux painted by Jay Leslie right on the south side of SeaSalt Restaurant located on 4th and Railway Avenues.

See the 2018 Furry Footprints mural by Dot Bardarson on the south side of Fifth Avenue Fitness.

You can also catch the Xtra Puffs by Liza McElroy located on the Harbor 360 Hotel’s south side right on Seward Boat Harbor.

And you’ll spot Byron Birdsall’s mural entitled Kenai Fjords, Where Mountains, Ice and Ocean Meet at the Kenai Fjords National Park Office.

See other inspiring and colorful city murals like The Iditarod Trail, Tribute to Commercial Fishing, Chart of the Entrance to Resurrection Bay, and so much more; some of these murals were also created by independent, young, and retired artists and individuals.

Catch the Annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby

The Seward Silver Salmon Derby is the oldest and largest there is in Alaska.

The event draws thousands to throw their lines for a chance to win a prize for the heaviest and largest silver salmon or catch a tagged fish.

The first event in 1956, sponsored by the Seward Chamber of Commerce was originally named the “Resurrection Bay Silver Salmon Derby”.

For over 65 years, the derby days during August have been the busiest fishing days throughout the year, and no wonder it’s a much-anticipated family event among Alaskans and visitors alike.

The catch is turned in daily and sold to raise funds to improve fishing efforts in the region.

You can register and join the Seward Silver Salmon Derby or watch participants bag big prizes for their catch.

Final Thoughts

Seward, Alaska is home to a lovely mix of extravagant Alaskan adventures.

From expeditions up glacier-capped mountains and across sea ice fields to opportunities to watch whales breach the surface of the ocean as you happily cruise along the river, you’ll have more than enough activities in Seward to keep you busy for days on end.

Whether you’re traveling solo or with your significant other or family, add these spectacular Seward activities to your travel itinerary!

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