Seward Things to Do

  • My Favorite Stop From This Tour
    My Favorite Stop From This Tour
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  • I Swear That These Two Work For Kenai Fjords Tours
    I Swear That These Two Work For Kenai...
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  • A Couple of Fin Whales
    A Couple of Fin Whales
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Most Recent Things to Do in Seward

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    Ice Blue Ice

    by 850prc Updated Mar 17, 2009

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    We all know that glaciers and glacial ice contain literally the sands and waters of timelessness - they were formed literally hundreds and thousands of years ago. The thing about glaciers that has always amazed me are the depth of blue color you see when you peer into the deepest and clearest parts of the ice. The deep frozen crystal of the ages literally traps light in such a way as to produce the most amazing deep blue hue.

    Just another miracle of nature. :) In the picture below, blow it up and look at the deeeeeep blue colors in the lower parts of the glacier's edge.

    Deep blue ice, near Seward

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    A whale of a time in the waters off Seward

    by 850prc Updated Mar 17, 2009

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    It's been over ten years since we visited Seward, and I honestly can't remember the name of the company with whom we did our afternoon/evening whaling and fjord tour. There are plenty of reputable outfits in the area, just do your research and pick one that offers what you're looking for.

    All of them will give you the disclaimer about "we can't guarantee that you'll see a whale on any specific tour".... and that's lawyer talk, something that has to be said. From what I heard and the people I talked to, it's not really that hard to find whales, so I suspect that you'll have good luck in spotting whales galore, along with all sorts of other wildlife. The waters around Seward are teeming with life and spirit.

    Enjoy.

    The big guys are out there, Cap'n Ahab!

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    Check out the Kenai Fjords

    by 850prc Updated Mar 17, 2009

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    One of the things you're going to want to do in the Seward area will be to do a wildlife/whaling cruise through the area fjords. If you're a fan of crisp weather, deep water and nature, you'll love this. The quiet and the majest of the area are incredible, and when you get a chance to look over one of the glaciers, you'll learn that it's a living thing, these glaciers. They creak constantly like the hold of a sailing ship. And when ice breaks lose and falls (they call it calving), it roars like thunder.

    Just another way that the majesty and power of this beautiful and special planet shows her pretty face in Alaska.

    The icy waters of the Kenai Fjords

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  • Glacier hiking

    by charleslarry Written Apr 25, 2008

    Awsome 'Ice Hiking' on Exit Glacier with Exit Glacier Guides. Unbelievable scenery, great guides and just the best thing we did in Alaska. They also have a shuttle to and from the glacier from Seward for only $9 RT! Truly a must do in AK.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Budget Travel

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    Alaska Sea Life Center

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 5, 2008

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    I did not take the time to visit the Alaska Sea Life Center but it certainly is an impressive looking facility. I notice from its website that it also has impressive admission fees. In the summer, adults are $20, students (12-17 or with ID) are $15, children (4-11) are $10, and infants (0-3) are free. Please note that reservations are not required for general admission to the Alaska SeaLife Center; however, reservations are strongly recommended for the Octopus Experience, Puffin Encounter, and Behind-the-Scenes tours. Reservations are required for all other special programs and tours. The Reservation Hotline is 1-888-378-2525, or email visit@alaskasealife.org.

    Alaska Sea Life Center
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    • Aquarium

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    Visit Downtown Seward

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 5, 2008

    Downtown Seward is the old part of town. It is basically located at the south end of Fourth Avenue. There are several shops and restaurants, and even murals on buildings. The old railroad depot and the Alaska Sea Life Center are down the hill at the water's edge. See also separate tips on the old railroad depot, Alaska Sea Life Center, Apollo Restaurant, Kawabe Park and my travelogue on the historical walking tour, which includes Brown and Hawkins, and the Van Gilder Hotel.

    Downtown Seward Unique Shops Interesting Mural
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip

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    Exit Glacier Up Close

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 5, 2008

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    VT member Extremist recommended highly that I visit the Exit Glacier. She was right. As you can tell from my many tips on it, the Exit Glacier is an interesting place and it's not that hard to reach. Exit Glacier is just one of the many glaciers making up the Harding Icefield. Explorers crossing the icefield from the south named the Exit Glacier when they found it to be a good place to "exit" the icefield. The glacier is presently 3 miles long but may have extended all the way to the ocean at Seward when climatic conditions were not as mild as now.

    Exit Glacier is open year-round. Upon the arrival of snow, usually in mid-November, the road is closed to cars but is still open to snow machines, dogsleds and cross-country skiers. The road often remains closed through early May, so be sure to check current conditions if you are visiting during the shoulder seasons (Spring or Fall). Several companies provide taxi/shuttle bus service from Seward. Although some references say there is a fee, I did not see where one had to pay to park or walk the trails.

    Exit Glacier from Upper End of Overlook Loop Trail Exit Glacier and Moraine Me at the Exit Glacier Green Ice Base of Exit Glacier and Exit Creek
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    • National/State Park
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    Exit Glacier Nature Center

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 5, 2008

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    The Exit Glacier Nature Center includes hands-on exhibits and an Alaska Natural History Association book store. Flush toilets, near the Nature Center, are operable from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The rest of the year pit toilets are available. Exit Glacier has a 12-site, walk-in campground. There are guided walks on the nature trail; however, I started with one but it was going so slowly that I decided to take off on my own. Although some references say there is a fee, I did not see where one had to pay to park or walk the trails.

    Exit Glacier and Nature Center Exit Glacier Nature Center Interesting Display of Furs
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    Exit Glacier from a Distance

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 5, 2008

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    The turnoff to the Exit Glacier is at Mile 3 on the Seward Highway, a little north of Nash Road. It is 8.6 miles to the Exit Glacier Nature Center. Just before the access road turns west to cross the bridge at the Resurrection River to get to the Nature Center, there is a pullout near where Exit Creek runs into the river. It is a good place to see the Exit Glacier from a distance.

    Exit Glacier and Exit Creek Exit Glacier Nature's Icy Bulldozer Sign
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    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

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    Exit Glacier Overlook Loop Trail

    by AlbuqRay Written Jan 5, 2008

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    The Overlook Loop Trail is a moderately difficult 0.75 mile trail. There are some steep spots and in some places you may have to walk through small streams. It is actually a loop with three excursions. One connects to the Main Trail, one to the Outwash Plain Trail, and one goes up near the glacier itself (see the map).

    Upper Part of the Overlook Loop Trail Part of Overlook Loop Trail Warning Sign on the Overlook Loop Trail Steps on the Overlook Loop Trail Approaching the Exit Glacier
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    Exit Glacier Trails

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 5, 2008

    From the Exit Glacier Nature Center there are several short trails that together lead to the foot of the glacier: Main Trail (0.5 miles, easy), Nature Trail (0.75 miles, easy), Outwash Plain Trail (0.25 miles, easy), and Overlook Loop Trail (0.75 miles, moderate). The first 0.25 mile of the Main Trail is paved and handicap accessible. The pavement ends at a kiosk with benches and interpretive signs about the area's geology. At that point you can continue along the main trail on a gravel path to the Glacier, or pass through the kiosk and follow a piece of the Nature Trail to a panoramic viewpoint of Exit Glacier, the surrounding peaks and the outwash stream. There is an excellent aerial photograph map of all the trails.

    I walked all of the trails when I was there in Aug 07, except for the Outwash Plain Trail. At the time, Exit Creek was running deep and swiftly right where the Overlook Loop Trail met the Outwash Plain Trail and it looked too dangerous to wade. There are signs along the trails showing where the glacier was in 1917, 1926 and 1951. I'll do separate tips on the Overlook Loop Trail and the Exit Glacier itself.

    Handicap Accessible Part of Main Trail View from the Kiosk Too Deep to Wade Trails Are Well Marked 1917 Sign
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    Seward Founders' Monument

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 1, 2008

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    In 1906, John Ballaine wrote his own account of how Seward was founded... Accordingly, in March, 1903, I bestowed upon the new town to be the name of Seward, in honor of William H. Seward, President Lincoln’s Secretary of State. I advised Frederick W. Seward, now a resident of New York. That I had chosen the name of his father as the most worthy for the future metropolis of Alaska... It was on that date [August 28] in 1903 that the steamship Santa Ana arrived with the first cargo of construction material and a force of about thirty men to commence the preliminary construction of the Alaska Central Railway, such as building the wharf, setting the saw mill to work and clearing right of way, in preparation for permanent construction the following spring... I went personally to President Teddy Roosevelt and explained to him the basis of my desire to have the new place named Seward, pointed out to him that the other post offices of that name were canneries or temporary camps which could easily be changed to another name... After he had read it he said to me, as nearly as I can remember. “You are quite right. This railroad should give rise to an important city at the ocean terminus. That city deserves to be named in honor of the man responsible for making Alaska American territory.”

    Founders' Monument (looking east) Founders' Monument (looking south) Founders' Monument (looking west) Plaque on Founders' Monument
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    • Historical Travel

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    Iditarod National Historic Trail - Mile 0

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 1, 2008

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    The Iditarod National Historic Trail is one of a number of trails designated by Congress in recognition of their significance as scenic, recreational or historic transportation routes. Designated by Congress in 1978, the Iditarod National Historic Trail celebrates the vital role sled dog transportation played in America’s last great Gold Rush. The main route from Seward to Nome was first mapped and marked in 1908, with road houses springing up to shelter and feed two- and four-legged users. Downturns in mining and the introduction of the airplane for mail and freight service caused a decline of trail use in the mid-20th century. After being reborn with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the trail today is home to three internationally recognized long-distance winter races, and is used annually for winter recreation, subsistence, and inter-village travel.

    Mile 0 of the Iditarod National Historic Trail is in Seward. An old sleigh marks the original trailhead near the Founders' Monument at the south end of Waterfront Park. The bike path that starts at Fourth Avenue and Ballaine Boulevard and continues along the shoreline was the original beginning of the Iditarod Trail. The end of the trail, Mile 926, is in Nome. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race first ran from this trailhead to Nome in 1973, after two short races on part of the Iditarod Trail in 1967 and 1969. However, the race has started in downtown Anchorage since 1983.

    Original Trailhead Marker Mile 0 and Resurrection Bay
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    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Small Boat Harbor

    by AlbuqRay Written Jan 1, 2008

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    The Seward Small Boat Harbor was established in 1964 after the Good Friday earthquake demolished the old boat facilities. The harbor is situated on the north end of Resurrection Bay, with easy access to Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, fishing, hunting, camping, skiing, flightseeing and many other activities. The Small Boat Harbor provides full service with 50-ton and 250-ton Travelifts, a 5000-ton Syncrolift, boat repair shops, hardware stores, novelty and gift stores, grocery stores, art galleries, restaurants, hotels and many other amenities. There are over 100 charter boat operators and a dozen day tour operators in the harbor.

    Seward Municipal Small Boat Harbor I Was There Looking North Across the Harbor Looking East Across the Harbor Toward Mount Alice
    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Benny Benson Memorial

    by AlbuqRay Updated Dec 22, 2007

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    The Benny Benson Memorial welcomes you to Seward. It is in a small park as you come into town on the Seward Highway. The University of Alaska tells us the Benny Benson story. Basically, Benny's whole life changed when he entered a contest to design the Alaska State Flag. His mother had died when he was four and his dad sent him and his brother, Carl, to boarding school at the Jesse Lee Home in Unalaska. His sister, Elsie, was sent to Oregon. The home was moved to Seward in 1926 (but closed in 1966).

    Benny was in the seventh grade when he created the winning design in March 1927. He wrote the following explanation of his design: “The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, an Alaska flower. The North Star is for the future of the state of Alaska, the most northerly in the Union. The dipper is for the Great Bear – symbolizing strenth (sic).”

    Benny Benson Memorial and Mount Marathon Welcome to Seward Small Park Benny Benson Memorial and Alaska State Flag Benny Benson
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

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Seward Things to Do

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