Experience Seward Like a Local
If you look up, the soaring rugged mountain peaks seem to pierce the sky. If you look down, the crystal clear waters reveal abundant wildlife and a rich intertidal zone. Somewhere in the middle is Seward – a cute, seaside fishing town along the Alaskan coastline with a profound history and great local charm. This is the place we call home, and the destination we’d like to share with you.
Seward is located 2.5 hours south of Anchorage, on the road system. The drive is absolutely stunning, so leave time for stops and photos along the way! If you’re not going to have a vehicle, check out local transportation resources here. We’ve also listed some other activity ideas for you, favorite restaurants, and a few resources for weather and current information. There are countless areas to explore from the Seward area, and we offer multiple options for your multi-day adventures. Aialik Bay, Northwestern Fjord, Nuka Bay, and Prince William Sound all offer fantastic possibilities, depending on what you’d like to get out of your trip. We hope you’ll find this section useful for your trip planning!
About Aialik (EYE-AL-IK) Bay
If glaciers, icebergs, whales, and wildlife are what you’re after, you should take a look at our Aialik Bay options. Located in Kenai Fjords National Park, it is the closest fjord to the west of Seward. We use a water taxi or mothership to transport us all the way out of Resurrection Bay, around the cape, and into Aialik Bay. There’s a chance of seeing humpbacks or orcas on the water taxi ride, as well as sea lions, Dall’s porpoise, puffins, and lots of other seabirds.
It’s a 2 to 2.5-hour ride each way to access Aialik Bay by water taxi or 6-7 hours by Mothership. The scenery and wildlife will surely keep you entertained on the way. Both your guide and your boat captain will have stories and information to share as you travel the coastline. Itineraries for our various trips in Aialik will vary depending on weather forecasts, tides, trip length, and trip goals.
Paddle into secluded coves with magically calm waters, watch sea stars dangle from rocky shorelines as the tides change, gaze upon waterfalls as they dance down the mountainside, watch black bears amble along the beaches or splash in the rivers for a salmon feast, listen to the tumbling roar of glacial ice as it calves into the sea before you, paddle in a lagoon filled with icebergs and be awe-struck by the gentle, sloping glacier that terminates there, watch as playful sea otters feed and frolic, and feel the surrounding stares of harbor seals as they swim nearby to check you out. This land is dramatic, it is fresh, and it is dynamic. Ever-changing and filled with wondrous activity. A trip out here is money well-spent and will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay offers waterfront lodging, cabins, and beautiful view rooms. Designed for couples and mini-suites perfect for 3 guests. The small retreat and conference center, along with the waterfront lodging, is just three miles south of town, on Lowell Point. Angels Rest is one of the most unique, and special lodging accommodations in all of Seward. The local owner Lynda is incredibly kind and knowledgable when it comes to planning adventures in Alaska!
This is Seward’s only hostel and is located right down the street from our kayak shop. They are happy to welcome travelers and backpackers from all over the world! The owners are great people, and the guests create a fun, and outdoor-focused environment.
Deo’s Alaskan Cabin is privately situated amongst the trees 130 feet behind Log Dreamin’ Lodge, just a short walk through the forest to Lost Creek, where exploring & sometimes catching a glimpse of wildlife is a favorite of owners Jasmine & Jared! The cabin was designed to be efficient & comfortable. This beautiful property can accommodate up to six guests.
Come enjoy the peace and comfort of this beautiful, custom built Alaskan log home. Located on the Kenai Peninsula minutes from the unique town of Seward Alaska and Resurrection Bay. This two-level lodge offers over 2100 sq. ft of living space, 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths and can accommodate up to 10 people!
Bell in the Woods is a luxury B&B filled with unique and special touches, from luxurious linens to featured Alaskan artwork. Owners Nick & Brooke are all-things Alaskan enthusiasts and take great pride in providing outstanding hospitality & warmth. Brook’s robust & delicious breakfasts will have you wishing you could stay all summer long!
Enjoy all the luxuries of a beautiful log home! You’ll have full access to the kitchen, living areas, high-speed internet, deck with grill and hot tub, etc. Let the cozy, yet gorgeous log home be your “home away from home” while you’re in Seward!
There are countless great hikes in the Seward area and on the Kenai Peninsula. To list them all here would really difficult! I can tell you, though, that there is a great book called “50 Hikes In Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula” by Taz Tally. If you plan on hiking while in the area, this is a great one to pick up. You can find just about anything in the area, from steep & difficult to rolling & relaxing. Just a couple of our personal favorites that are close to home are:
Mt. Alice, Mt. Marathon, The Harding Icefield Trail, Tonsina Point / Caines Head Coastal Trail, Lost Lake / Primrose
Feel free to give a shout and ask more about hiking in the area. We’re also happy to point you in the right direction and give you advice once you’re here. Just ask!
Marathon Helicopters offers premier flightseeing tours departing from the Seward Alaska Airport. Shortly after takeoff you will be soaring over massive glaciers, buzzing around icebergs the size of buildings, and viewing a variety of Alaskan wildlife from above!
Although we’re a bit biased and think that kayaking is the best way to view the glaciers, whales, and magical wilderness of the area – we know that it’s not for everyone. Another fantastic option is to take a boat tour of the area. There are many options – from short trips in Resurrection Bay, glacier tours out to Aialik and Northwestern fjords, and dinner cruises. We can book boat tours for you with Kenai Fjords Tours for a 10% discount! Check out their link below, and then give us a shout to let us know which tour you’d like to do. It’s as easy as that!
Exit Glacier is located a short 12-mile drive from downtown Seward, out Exit Glacier Rd. It is the only glacier within Kenai Fjords National Park that is accessible by car – and the ice is only a 15-minute walk from the parking lot. They have a great Visitor’s Center at Exit Glacier, and many informational signs along the way. Park Rangers offer free guided tours of the area, but you can also explore independently. There is a great “Overlook Trail” which affords stunning views for minimal work to get there. It’s also possible to hike the much longer and challenging “Harding Icefield Trail”, which is well worth the time and effort if you’re up for it! There is no entry fee to visit Exit Glacier – so this is a great, free activity!
Let our friends at Kenai River Dog take you on an intimate, custom rafting trip down the turquoise colored Kenai River. This small rafting company is owned and operated by Kayce James out of Coopers Landing, and is a must do while on the Kenai Peninsula. The section of river they raft contains no more than Class 1 rapids. All you just have to do is sit back and take in the scenery while the guide rows. Kayce wants her guests to see rafting on the river as an intrinsically rewarding way to spend your time while you are visiting. Join Kenai River Dog and enjoy the beautiful turquoise color, the wildlife, the people that you meet, and the amazing scenery.
The Alaska SeaLife Center is a wonderful resource that we are so fortunate to have in town. Much of the SeaLife Center is based on research and rehabilitation, but they also have terrific educational exhibits and displays for the public. There are tanks with sea lions and harbor seals, areas where you can watch puffins and other sea birds dive and swim, touch tanks, interactive learning displays, and so much more. It’s well worth the stop to learn about our area and the wildlife we share it with.
Salmon Bake is also located out Exit Glacier Rd. Their motto is “Cheap Beer and Lousy Food”, although the beer isn’t much cheaper there and the food is quite good! They have reasonable prices, great value, and a very laid back and rustic atmosphere. My personal favorite is the Halibut Sandwich, and I can’t go to Salmon Bake without hitting their huge pickle barrel!
The Smoke Shack is a great breakfast spot, located in an old train car in what’s known as the “Train Wreck” in the boat harbor. It’s a small and cozy atmosphere, but is interesting and a great way to start the day.
Named after Seward’s beloved and iconic sea lion, Woody’s is just a short 5-10 minute walk south of the Seward Boat Harbor. They serve authentic, Bangkok-style Thai curries, soups, noodles, and rice dishes along with specialties that infuse Alaskan-Pacific Northwest and Pacific Rim ingredients with traditional Thai family recipes. The menu varies with a variety of mild and spicy dishes as well as vegan options.
The Seward Brewing Company is located in historic downtown Seward. Offering Seward’s only locally brewed craft beers. Chef Erik Slater and Chef Shawna Mcintyre’s collaborated menu consists of elevated comfort food with pub favorites featuring fresh local and sustainable Alaskan seafood and fresh produce—all brought to you by the amazing people of Alaska.
Chinooks is a wonderful option if you’re looking for a nice dinner out with views overlooking the harbor. They feature local seafood and a great Alaskan beer selection. You’ll often see sea lions swimming by and eagles perched on the masts of sailboats as you enjoy your meal. The atmosphere is pretty laid back, the food is great and it is a local favorite!
The Roadhouse is part of the Windsong Lodge, which is located out Exit Glacier Rd. I would confidently say they have the most beers on tap of any place in Seward, and they have a fantastic deck that’s just perfect for relaxing on a sunny evening! They have unique fresh pizzas which are delicious, and fish & chips that will leave your mouth watering.
Zudy’s cafe has the best view in town! Enjoy delicious home-made soups, sandwiches, and ridiculous desserts while looking out at stunning Resurrection Bay. Owner Judy is the unofficial mayor of Seward! This is a great place to grab lunch after a half day kayaking trip! Located just down the street from the SeaLife Center.
We know how hard it can be to plan a trip to Alaska when you’ve never been here before. So many options, so much distance to cover, and how can you tell what’s best from just looking online? You’re not the first one to struggle with this. We’ve put together this list of useful links in hopes that we can help direct you to organizations that provide quality services. We’re happy to try to pass on as much local knowledge as we can, in hopes that you will have the best trip possible.
Parks & Recreation
Kenai Fjords Cabins For Rent
Want to paddle in the fjords, but don’t want to camp? Check out this site for more info on cabin rentals.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Take a look at the areas we explore on our extended trips. This is our backyard!
Public Use Cabins in Resurrection Bay
Information about the cabins at Thumb Cove, Derby Cove, Callisto, and Caines Head. Look about half-way down this linked page for the appropriate cabins.
Caines Head State Recreation Area
Learn about what Caines Head has to offer.
Alaska State Parks
Find your State Park cabins here.