Welcome to Seward. Here is a walking tour created by the Seward Chamber of Commerce.

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Walking Tour Points

Seward Fish­eries (Ici­cle) is also on your left, one of sev­er­al fish proces­sors in Seward. Seward attracts many com­mer­cial fish­ing ves­sels, mak­ing it one of the most active fish­ing ports in Alaska. 

Seward has one of the few rel­a­tive­ly intact Main Streets in Alas­ka, and gives you a good idea of what the territory’s ear­ly coastal towns looked like. Despite two destruc­tive fires, some of the town’s ear­li­est build­ings are still stand­ing. In its ear­ly days, it was a rough and row­dy area, a place where one of Seward’s most famous mas­cots held sway – for a time.

Estab­lished in 1964, Seward’s Small Boat Har­bor is locat­ed on the north­ern edge of Res­ur­rec­tion Bay, which mul­ti­ple pub­li­ca­tions have ranked as one of the top sail­ing des­ti­na­tions in the Unit­ed States. From the har­bor you’ll find easy access to Exit Glac­i­er, Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, fish­ing, kayak­ing, camp­ing, flight-see­ing, and an assort­ment of oth­er activ­i­ties. Seward plays host to a vari­ety of ves­sels that make up the com­mer­cial fishing…  ...more

Head­ing south, turn left onto the scenic, paved Coastal Walk, across from Van Buren St. A small bridge pro­tects a salmon spawn­ing stream. Along the coast, keep your eyes open for otters, sea lions, and even whales. 

The coastal walk fol­lows the route of the orig­i­nal Idi­tar­od Nation­al His­toric Trail, used heav­i­ly from 1909 to the mid-1920’s to sup­port min­ing com­mu­ni­ties on Tur­na­gain Arm with mail and sup­plies arriv­ing at Seward’s ice-free har­bor by steamship. 

When vis­i­tors think of the Idi­tar­od Trail, they often think of Anchor­age where the race’s cer­e­mo­ni­al start takes place. But the trail actu­al­ly begins in Seward, right here. This spot is also where the town’s first set­tlers land­ed back in August 1903.

Turn right on 4th, past City Hall. Turn left onto Church St. On the cor­ner is the for­mer army chapel, moved in 1942 from Fort Ray­mond (now the site of the Seward Mil­i­tary Resort). The Methodist Church in Seward was orga­nized in 1905, and respon­si­ble for build­ing and/​or man­ag­ing the Jesse Lee Home, Seward Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal, and the Seward Tuber­cu­lo­sis San­i­to­ri­um (1950s). Fur­ther along Church St is the for­mer Luther­an Church, orig­i­nal­ly built…  ...more

Turn right onto 4th Ave and pro­ceed down­hill into the 4th Ave busi­ness dis­trict. While the west side includes some orig­i­nal con­struc­tion, all of the orig­i­nal build­ings on the east side of the street were destroyed by var­i­ous fires, with the last dev­as­tat­ing one in 1941. Of note Brown and Hawkins dates from 1907 and is the old­est con­tin­u­al­ly-oper­at­ed busi­ness in Seward, while Urbach’s Cloth­iers has been in busi­ness since 1915. Both shops…  ...more

Season: Year Round $29.95

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

In front of you stand a row of cot­ton­woods, locat­ed along the for­mer Alley B”, Seward’s noto­ri­ous red-light dis­trict known as The Line. Dur­ing its WWII hey­day, with 5,000 G.I.s sta­tioned in Seward, 21 lit­tle hous­es were locat­ed in this alley, owned and oper­at­ed by local busi­ness­women. The Line closed down in the mid-1950’s. Turn right on 3rd and pro­ceed up the hill a short way. 

At the cor­ner of 3rd and Wash­ing­ton is the Chugach Muse­um and Insti­tute of His­to­ry and Art. Pro­ceed one more block, where you will find the Qutek­cak Native Her­itage Center. 

St. Peter’s Epis­co­pal Church is the old­est sur­viv­ing Protes­tant church build­ing on the Kenai Penin­su­la. It was also the loca­tion of the first pub­lic school class­room in the town of Seward, and it housed a library read­ing room begin­ning in 1929. Soon after the town of Seward was estab­lished in the sum­mer of 1903, a priest head­quar­tered in Valdez began mak­ing peri­od­ic trips to Seward to hold ser­vices in a tent. The base­ment, or undercroft,…  ...more

The Bal­laine House is named after its orig­i­nal own­er, Frank L. Bal­laine, the broth­er of John Bal­laine who is con­sid­ered to be Sewards found­ing father. Frank Bal­laine Arrived in Seward in March 1905 and con­struc­tion on his house was com­plet­ed lat­er that year. The Bal­laine House has been con­tin­u­ous­ly occu­pied for 95 years and appears today much as it did when it was con­strust­ed. Today, it pro­vides lodg­ing in a his­toric atmos­phere. Rooms 6 Rooms…  ...more

The muse­um presents the chief events of Seward’s his­to­ry through pho­tographs, arti­facts and doc­u­ments. There is also a fine col­lec­tion of Native bas­kets and ivory carv­ings on dis­play. Dur­ing the sum­mer there are evening pro­grams con­sist­ing of two slide shows: The His­to­ry of Seward and The His­to­ry of the Idi­tar­od Trail. A spe­cial open house is held every August 28 in hon­or of the found­ing of Seward in 1903. Muse­um shop car­ries books by local  ...more

Head­ing east (down­hill on Jef­fer­son) and turn left on 4th Ave. As you head back to the Small Boat Har­bor and the end of your tour, you will pass the Buoy Tree, a whim­si­cal com­men­tary on Seward’s marine roots.