Welcome to Seward. Here is a walking tour created by the Seward Chamber of Commerce.
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.
The local history museum, operated in partnership with the Resurrection Bay Historical Society, is situated on the first floor. The library, located on the second floor, offers computer with internet access, youth programs, and preschool story time for no cost.
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
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.