Sandwiched between the Kenai mountains and the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward is one of Alaska's oldest and most scenic communities. A spectacular 2.5-hour drive south from Anchorage brings you to this seaside village, which offers a bustling harbor, quaint shops and galleries, and many different ways to tour Kenai Fjords National Park. The entire Kenai Peninsula is rife with scenery and activities, but Seward packs a lot into one small town.
Mt. Marathon rises steeply behind town. Every 4th of July, this town of 4,000 swells to 25,000, and runners hit the trail to be first to the summit in America's second-oldest footrace. The town's population also balloons during the August Silver Salmon derby, the state's largest. Get out on the water and cast your line for several-hundred-pound halibut or salmon so numerous they bump into your boat. Just beware: you may get so caught up in the scenery, whales, and wildlife that you forget to fish! Here are the main things people do here:
This park offers one of Alaska's best wildlife spectacles and some of its most beautiful fjords and glaciers. Humpback and killer whales, sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, and puffins crowd the park's waters. Choose from a variety of Kenai Fjords boat tours, or you can arrange for water-taxi drop-offs at secluded coves around the bay where you can beachcomb, rent a private cabin, or kayak to sea lion haul-outs, bird rookeries, and tidewater caves.
Alaska's most accessible glacier is just a short drive (10 minutes or so) from town, and a gentle half-mile trail leads you close enough to Exit Glacier to touch.
At this huge facility you can go nose-to-glass with many of the creatures you'll see only from a distance on a cruise: puffins, sea lions, harbor seals, and more-in their naturalistic habitats. This one-of-a-kind research, rehabilitation, and education facility lets you observe marine research as it's being conducted.
From Seward's Lowell Point, slice through the glassy waters of Resurrection Bay on a kayak, past sea otters, harbor seals, and eagles.
Hiking. Aside from walking to Exit Glacier, you can walk the mile-long beach or trek the five-mile coastal trail to Caines Head, rated one of Alaska's top 10 hikes.
You can get to Seward by road, air or the Alaska Railroad. The Seward highway that connects to Anchorage has been named an All-American Road, which is the highest designation of a National Forest Scenic Byway.
• Beautiful drive here
• Glacier cruises
• Visit Kenai Fjords National Park
• Hike Exit Glacier
• Alaska SeaLife Center
• Sea Kayaking
• Go for a Summer Sled Dog Ride
• World War II Caines Head State Recreation Area
• Ride the Alaska Railroad
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- Coordinates: 60.10417, -149.442