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harbor in Seward, Alaska

Top 6 Things To Do In Seward, Alaska

The ultimate list of things to do in Seward, Alaska. Hike to Exit Glacier, kayak Resurrection Bay, or catch a prize fish on a Seward fishing charter.

Rugged beauty and a mellow attitude make Seward a favorite port on Alaska cruises. Situated on the Kenai Peninsula, it is ground zero or “mile zero” for the Klondike Gold Rush's Iditarod National Historic Trail, a dogsled route that connected the ice-free port with Nome during frontier-era winters. 

Today Seward acts as a gateway to Resurrection Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park and the 127-mile Seward Highway. Many stop in on Alaska cruisetours and then head to Anchorage. Favorite things to do in Seward include the Alaska SeaLife Center, the 4th of July foot race up Mount Marathon, and boat tours of the bay and islands. 

A walk around town also tops the list of things to do, as Seward has an expansive waterfront park and vibrant murals. Enjoy! 

1. Cruise Kenai Fjords National Park

A Seward boat tour is practically a must. Even a short water taxi trip on Resurrection Bay is filled with scenery. Seward is a gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park, the source of over 35 named Alaska glaciers and surrounded by dramatic mountains. You may witness ice calving or white thunder, when the ice breaks off and splashes into the sea. Look out for marine life, such as humpback whales, orcas, and sea lions.

2. Hike to Exit Glacier

There are eight different types of Alaska glaciers   On Alaska cruises, you will become well-acquainted with tidewater glaciers, the ones that touch the sea. But Exit Glacier, the Kenai Fjord’s major attraction is one of the most accessible valley glaciers in Alaska. Only a 10-minute drive from Seward, you can take a guided Alaska shore excursion and hike to or even climb this blue beauty. Exit Glacier is not only breathtaking, it is a measure of climate change, as it is sadly retreating at a rapid pace. It is one of the most-visited glaciers in Alaska.

3. Visit Seward’s SeaLife Center

To see Alaska’s marine life up-close, visit Seward’s Alaska SeaLife Center. Say hello to harbor seals, otters, giant octopuses, puffins, Stellar sea lions and others. This isn’t your standard aquarium, it’s a research center and rehabilitation facility and a good thing to support. If you’re cruising Alaska with kids, they will love the touch displays.

4. Visit The Seward Museum

Rainy day in port? Dry off at the Seward Community Library & Museum, a shimmering blue-and purple building on 6th Avenue. This quirky museum features a collection ranging from Russian relics to Iditarod memorabilia and a vintage hair-curling machine. An excellent multimedia exhibit explores the 1964 earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The museum also touches on the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill that devastated the area. 

5. Kayak Seward Waterways

To be one with the water, paddle offshore on a Seward kayak trip exploring Caines Head, Fox Island or the Aialik Glacier. Listen for the shrill cackle of bald eagles, as there are many in the area. Also look out for sea otters, harbor seals and leaping salmon. As you would on any Alaskan activity, wear synthetic clothing, dress in layers and bring a waterproof jacket and trousers.

6. Take A Seward Fishing Charter

Fishing in Alaska is often a fruitful endeavor. A Seward fishing charter brings you right to the local spots with an experienced guide who will help you reel in your limit of halibut or king and coho salmon. Fishing licenses are available for purchase and the charter can help you get your catch packed and shipped. The second week of August, avid anglers fill the town for the Seward Silver Salmon Derby®, one of the largest fishing derbies in the state. 

Learn more about the port of Seward and unforgettable Alaska adventures! 

View all Alaska Articles and Videos to prepare. Or see all of Holland America’s Alaska Cruise Ports.

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