1. Take a Day or Multi-Day Cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park
A glacier and wildlife cruise is one of the most popular options for how to spend a day in Seward, and it’s easy to see why: Sailing out on these majestic waters filled with marine wildlife and surrounded by dramatic mountains is a thrilling way to experience the area. Pressed for time? No problem: Even a shorter cruise in Resurrection Bay is incredibly dramatic.
If you have more than a day, you can really experience the majesty of the area on an overnight or multi-day cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park. These are often private charters, with just your group, and adventures are customized to you.
2. Visit Exit Glacier
Located just a 10-minute drive from Seward, Exit Glacier is not only a gorgeous wall of blue ice, but also one of the state’s most accessible roadside glaciers. It’s an easy way to experience the thrill of seeing a glacier and hear it crackling. Choose from a couple solo hikes to get close to the glacier; you can also take a guided ice-hiking or ice-climbing excursion and walk right out on the ice!
3. Go for a Hike
Whatever kind of hiker you are and however challenging (or not) you like your hikes, you’ll find the perfect scenic trail in Seward. Some take you past gorgeous lakes, through lush forests, or past glaciers. In fact, one of the most popular hikes leads right up to the face of the blue wall of ice that is Exit Glacier. Want a view? Check out the Seward waterfront. And if you want a view and a challenge, take on the steep slope of Mt. Marathon. If you prefer not to go alone, you’ll find some great options for guided hiking in Seward.
4. Explore by Water Taxi
In Alaska, car-accessible trailheads are just the beginning of the adventure—after all, most places in Alaska are only accessible by boat or plane. So hop on a water taxi in Seward—it’s an easy, inexpensive way to expand the range of potential destinations. One place to go is Caine’s Head, which has an abandoned WWII fort that’s ripe for exploring. You can even spend the night there in a cabin. For an even more adventurous option, book remote yurts out in Resurrection Bay.
5. Visit the SeaLife Center
Seward’s famous SeaLife Center is truly an institution—and with good reason: It’s a great place to see Alaska’s unique wildlife up close. You can check out harbor seals, Steller sea lions, puffins, giant octopuses, and much more. Kids will be thrilled at the hands-on displays. Plus, it’s much more than just a zoo—it’s also a wildlife rehabilitation and research center, so you’re supporting a good cause by visiting.
6. Go Fishing
Experience what makes the fishing in Alaska truly world-class on a Seward fishing charter. Go out with experienced captains who know where to find the fish and cast for halibut, king salmon, and silver salmon. Spend a half-day or full day out on the water. Captains will do everything they can to help you catch your limit, and will recommend a place that can process and ship your prized fish so you can enjoy it back home!
7. Stroll Waterfront Park & Downtown
Seward comes ready-made for walking. Downtown, you’ll find lots of charming shops and restaurants to duck into for a bite or to pick up a souvenir. Then check out the gorgeous Seward Waterfront Park, which extends out over 5 miles—from the small boat harbor to the SeaLife Center. Shimmering water backed by snow-capped peaks make for an iconic Alaskan view, and you’ll pass many monuments and landmarks along the trail. Look for bald eagles, sea otters, and even sea lions and harbor seals along the way!
8. See the Murals
How do you make a pretty seaside town even prettier? Add some gorgeous murals! Seward has officially been the “Mural Capital of Alaska” since 2008, thanks to 12 large murals painted by local artists, and you’ll find examples around town of how the town achieved this designation. Paintings depict epic natural nearby sites, like Exit Glacier and Kenai Fjords National Park, as well as historic achievements like the Alaska Railroad (of which Seward is the southern terminus) and events like the Iditarod and Mt. Marathon race.
9. Discover History
Seward’s strategic position has made it the centerpiece of a lot of historical events, and exploring them adds insight to your visit. For example, you can see where the famous Iditarod race began—before it became an international event—at the historic Iditarod trail and monument. You can also learn about the building of the Alaska Railroad, check out what the town was like before the 1964 earthquake, and even stop by Seward’s oldest continually operating business.
10. Check Out a Festival
Add some extra fun to your trip by timing your visit to coincide with one of Seward’s awesome festivals. The 4th of July is an especially big deal here, with many parades (and fireworks of course) as well as a famous foot race up Mt. Marathon. Or come for one of Alaska’s oldest and largest fishing derbies, the Silver Salmon Derby, usually held the second week in August, when anglers compete for the largest catch! Love music? Catch the Seward Music & Arts Festival, held in the fall, for the best in local music and arts, as well as amazing food!
Seward & Kenai Fjords Day Tours & Excurions View All
The port city of Seward is a classic stop on any Alaska itinerary, thanks to its proximity to Chugach National Forest and Kenai Fjords National Park. But it’s also one of the more diverse places to fly. This tour operator offers stunning birds-eye views of the area’s alpine meadows, glaciers and fjords, as well as the chance to touch down, explore the terrain and even meet sled dogs.
Traverse the majesty of Exit Glacier by ice hiking or ice climbing, or opt for a nature hike in the gorgeous terrain around Seward, Alaska. Never ice climbed or hiked on a glacier? Not a problem. All trips include instruction to get you started.
When in Seward, head out on the water with Alaska Northern Outfitters on their comfortable 46-foot catamaran – the Sea Quest — for an epic day of fishing for halibut, salmon, lingcod, and rockfish. It’s the only charter vessel in Seward with an upper viewing deck. This lets you sightsee or have lunch on the upper deck while watching the action below. . Inside you’ll find a large and heated interior, indoor seating for everyone, tables, and ...more
The Coastal Classic train runs between Anchorage and the town of Seward — a four-hour trip that’s the most beautiful along the entire Alaska Railroad. You’ll see Turnagain Arm as the train departs Anchorage, then a panorama of mountains, glaciers, lakes, and streams. You may even see wildlife like Dall sheep, Beluga whales, moose, bear, and more! Day Trip from Anchorage: Seward, Girdwood Multi-Day Trip from Anchorage: Overnight Seward, or ...more
Take a 5‑hour cruise out of Seward into Kenai Fjords National Park. Look for glaciers and wildlife from the M/V Bravest, a 127-foot, high-speed, stable catamaran that features an enclosed heated seating area with large windows and two outdoor decks.
Start with a dramatic flightseeing trip in either a helicopter or ski plane and then get out onto an ancient river of ice for a thrilling glacier exploration either hiking or climbing.
Go behind the scenes with Iditarod mushers and get your own thrilling ride with the dogs at Turning Heads Kennel. Choose a summer dog demonstration and cart ride, or whisk off by helicopter for glacier dog sledding. Winter brings its own variety of tours, which range from an hour long to multi-day expeditions near Willow, Alaska.
$4,500+ (Inside Passage starting at $1,320)
5 days / 4 nights
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Sea Star
Set sail for 5 days and 4 nights with the crew of the M/V Sea Star for small ship adventure cruising in Prince William Sound, Kenai Peninsula or along the Inside Passage. The well-appointed yacht accommodates just 12 guests, allowing for a personalized experience where you are the explorer! Unplug from day-to-day life and soak up the wonders of Alaska’s amazing coastline. All meals prepared by an on-board chef and featuring fresh local ...more
This veteran tour operator runs a a fleet of fast, modern boats in Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park. You’ll visit tidewater glaciers as you watch for puffins, sea otters, Dall’s porpoises, sea lions, and more. Some tours are designed to please birders or shutterbugs, while others are perfect for families.
$435+ Day-trip | $470+ Multi-day
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Caroline
Spend the afternoon, or a few days exploring the waters of Resurrection Bay and Prince William Sound aboard the M/V Caroline, a beautiful custom-built yacht set for adventure! It’s the perfect setting for a family or small group vacation. Fill your days lounging on the flybridge, fishing, kayaking, strolling beaches and cruising to your next fantastic destination.
Members of 1% For The Planet, Kayak Adventures Worldwide strives to fulfill their mission to inspire an active stewardship of our natural world. Through small group sea kayak tours in Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park, they focus on safety, education, and connecting guests with the unique and fragile ecosystems you’ll visit.
Take a boutique, small-group kayaking trip with experienced guides at Liquid Adventures and get close to glaciers in kayaks or paddleboards while looking for whales and other marine mammals. You can even combine your adventure with a jetboat, helicopter, or wildlife cruise. There’s nothing quite like it in all of Alaska!
Get up close to the Alaskan glaciers and wildlife you came to experience by taking a cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park on a custom-built catamaran out of Seward. The difference from other cruises, is that you’ll then get off the boat and into a kayak, paddle around icebergs, and watch for wildlife from your own vessel.
Feel the thrill of world-class salmon and trout fishing on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula with experienced, passionate guides. You’ll get out on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers, just hours from Anchorage, with a team that knows where the fish will be running each day. Spend a day, or make it a multi-day trip with a custom package that includes lodging on the river.
For a closer, quieter, and more peaceful version of the Alaskan glacier and wildlife cruise, travel by sea kayak. Paddle the shoreline of Resurrection Bay, where encounters with sea otters, seabirds, and spawning salmon are common. Choose from a variety of three-hour excursions or take a full-day trip.
This world-class, 115,000-square-foot facility was built with funds from the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and serves to remind visitors — in a highly interactive way — of the importance of understanding and maintaining Alaska’s marine ecosystem. See life swimming right before your eyes: witness a Steller sea lion gliding past underwater viewing windows, puffins diving in natural habitat, and harbor seals resting on rocky beaches. Take self-guided or ...more
Hop on board the all-season Missing Lynx and Lost Lynx, the vessels bound for whatever Seward Ocean Excursion suits your fancy. Want to whale watch, see glaciers, go bird watching or just check out hidden coves? Captains Bixler and Krystin McClure will help your small group plan an outing catered to your preferences. No matter the season, you can always catch some excitement in Resurrection Bay!
Take a spectacular private guided hiking tour in Seward — where the mountains meet the ocean — to explore glaciers and alpine ridges. When you go with Seward Wilderness Collective, you get a great tour plus a dialogue with their knowledgeable guides about the impacts of climate change, with living examples right in front of your eyes.
Alaska Saltwater’s small-group whale watching, wildlife, and glacier tours offer daily excursions into the pristine Kenai Fjord National Park. Your captains and crew — experienced and well-versed in the area’s natural habitat — specialize in taking out film crews, professional photographers, serious birders, and guests that want an unforgettable experience.
Go flightseeing in a helicopter out of scenic Seward and enjoy unforgettable views of the Kenai Mountain Range, Resurrection Bay, and gorgeous glaciers. Choose from a 30-minute, 45-minute, or 1‑hour long tour. And, add a glacier landing to any of them!
$450+ Lunch Cruise | $1100+ Overnight & Multi-Day
Afternoon & Multi-Day Packages
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: M/V Gambler
Hop aboard the M/V Gambler and cruise out to Resurrection Bay for a relaxing and personalized outing with locally-owned Alpenglow Charters. Couples and families will relish their time together exploring Seward’s enchanting coastline, guided by an engaging and knowledgeable crew. Options fit into the busiest of schedules: from a 4 hour lunch cruise, a remote overnight, to a 2‑day land and sea journey.
Visit Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey’s homestead, home to three generations of Iditarod mushers. Experience an exciting two-mile dog sled ride, tour the racing kennel, meet the dogs, cuddle adorable husky puppies, and listen to stories from the Iditarod trail. Then climb aboard a custom-designed sled; an Iditarod race finisher drives you through rainforest to a river-cut canyon surrounded by mountains.
Bald eagles are known to nest in this wooded spot near Resurrection Bay — and when you sign up for a tour with Stoney Creek Canopy Adventures, you’ll get to soar just like these iconic birds. This three-hour tour — the only canopy tour on the Kenai Peninsula — combines ziplines, rappels and sky bridges, with panoramic views of Mount Marathon, Resurrection Peaks and all the gorgeous scenery around you. It’s easy, and undeniably thrilling.
Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords are great places to see wildlife and glaciers. And Major Marine’s vessels, which have cozy heated cabins and an outdoor viewing area, can take you out to see both. This family-owned tour operator has gone above and beyond to give guests an amazing day on the water since 1990.
3 days / 2 nights +
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Darby
Explore Alaska’s Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park fully with a three-day/two-night custom adventure perfect for families or couples. Alaska Fjord Charters guides you to the best mix of kayaking, glacier viewing, whale watching, and fishing, all in one leisurely tour.
Experience the unique thrill of summer dog sledding on a glacier! Lift off in a helicopter and enjoy incredible views on your way to this amazing adventure. Want more time in the air? Add a flightseeing excursion before or after your dog sledding experience!
Profish-n-sea Charters, out of Seward, offers salmon and halibut fishing with friendly, experienced Alaskan guides. Trips last a full day; you’ll motor 2 to 2.5 hours from Seward to the Gulf of Alaska, Montague Island, and other outer-coast hotspots. Profish-n-Sea knows the three keys to catching fish: boats, knowledge, and gear. That’s why the boats are always clean, the gear sharp, and the crew friendly, helpful, and fun.
Seward & Kenai Fjords Parks & Trails View All
Your best bet for this trail is to go out on one low tide, spend the night — in either a forest service cabin or campsite — and then return the following day or several days later on another low tide. Great forest-to-beach hiking trail.
Don’t expect to run very much of this world-famous race route, which begins 2.5 hours south of Anchorage and climbs nearly 3,000 feet from downtown Seward. Though the first part of the route is very runnable, the next 1.5 miles climb Mount Marathon and are too steep and rocky for most to run. Just the hike itself makes for a very intensive workout.
You can hike right up to Seward’s Exit Glacier and feel the dense blue ice while listening to it crackle. Walk the lower trail to get a good photo in front of the glacier face. Or, choose the more challenging 7‑mile round-trip Harding Icefield Trail. There is a short ranger-led walk daily at 11am and 3pm, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Many people know of the grueling Mount Marathon racecourse in Seward, some 130 miles south of Anchorage. However, most people don’t know that there’s also a hiking path to the top at Race Point — and it’s far less demanding. This 2.25-mile route, which entails hiking three different trails, takes you up the mountain and lets you to explore a glacial valley along the way.
Much like the Mount Marathon trail, this hike is a little strenuous. Luckily, the Jeep Trail gives you more benches and opportunities to rest. The trail goes from rain forest to alpine, passes by beautiful waterfalls, and small mountain lakes, and ends with the beautiful Marathon Bowl.
The trail begins at mile 12.1 of the Seward Highway. Watch closely for the sign and pull into the off-highway parking area. The trail begins as the Iditarod Trail, and many improvements have been made to this section. The Troop Lake Trail branches off of this famous trail approximately 1 mile from the start, reaching the lake about a half mile later.
This trail is a spur off of the main trail that connects the North and South Beach trails in Caines Head State Recreation area. This is a really good hike for the whole family with gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. Also, because it is part of a trail system, this makes for an excellent day trip. There are many trails to hike and opportunities to get some great pictures!
These popular trails lead to two beautiful, pristine lakes. Even better, they’re both easy hikes, which makes them perfect for people of all ages. Bring a fishing pole and angle for stocked trout in Meridian Lake or grayling in Grayling Lake.
If you want a taste of dim spruce forest along a wild river bottom, try the first few miles of this mostly level route into the Resurrection River Valley. From the trailhead Mile 7 of Exit Glacier Road, the trail runs 4.5 miles to Martin Creek and is suitable for mountain biking or skiing after snowfall. It features two primitive campsites and occasional access or views of to the river.