Transportation at a Glance
|Estimated Time||Travel Guide/Schedule|
|Car||2.5 - 3 Hours||Seward Highway Guide|
|Bus||3 Hours||Bus Schedule|
|Train||4 Hours||Train Schedule|
Driving the Seward Highway offers scenic highlights around every turn, and you can stop and go as you please. People like the convenience and independence. Once you arrive in Seward, you're already set for transportation-around town, out to Exit Glacier, or down to Homer, for example. And if you rent an RV, you'll be all set for sleeping, dining, and showering as well-no need for bathroom breaks en route, either. It's the fastest way to get to Seward (other than by plane, which very few people use because Seward's so close and flying's so expensive), taking about 2.5 hours.
If your Alaska trip is a once-in-a-lifetime deal, you really ought to experience the historic Alaska Railroad. The trip between Anchorage and Seward-the Coastal Classic-is arguably its most scenic section, and you can take the train one-way. The route parallels the Seward Highway along the Turnagain Arm, but then you head up into the mountains, away from the road-you won't see these glaciers and alpine meadows by car. You'll pass through tunnels-always a kid favorite-and by railroad houses, home to rail workers. The train is fairly affordable ($79 o/w, $125 rt), the rail cars are historic, and it's nice to get up and walk around. It does take more time than driving (4 hours, 20 minutes), however, and there's only one departure daily from Anchorage-6:45am.
The bus provides an alternative to driving, letting you check out the scenery instead of keeping your eyes on the road. It is a bit cheaper than the train ($55-65 o/w, $90 rt), a bit faster (3 hours), and offers a few different departure times from Anchorage (7am, 2:30pm, 3pm). Buses also let you hop on and hop off anywhere along the route, with a reservation.
If You Go One-Way
If you go one-way you have a couple options for the other segment of your Anchorage/Seward trip. There is a rental car company in Seward-Hertz, 800-654-3131-and they do offer one-way rentals. However, the drop-off fee may be anywhere between $100-300! Thus, the bus may be a better choice.
Getting Around in Seward
If you're not looking to tool around the rest of the Kenai Peninsula, you'll probably be ok without a car in Seward. Some hotels and tour operators provide shuttle service. Much of town is within walking distance, if you're in good health and don't mind a good walk. Exit Glacier is not within walking distance, but the Seward Windsong Lodge offers a guided tour and can take up to 20 people. Or go by cab, which will take up to 5 people. If having a car would be more convenient, it's probably best to just rent in Anchorage and drive both ways.