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While some of the best things to do in Seward, Alaska are more obvious, including the iconic Kenai Fjords tours and the trek across the Harding Icefield, there are plenty of under-the-radar activities that often get passed up by tourists! Nestled on the edge of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is a charming coastal town that is well-known as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Its serene landscapes are adorned with snow-capped Kenai Mountains and the North Pacific Ocean which is full of a myriad of wildlife.

A big whale breaching in the Alaskan ocean near Seward with water splash.
Photo credit: alexmgn/Shutterstock.

Table of Contents

This area of Alaska is the traditional land of the Qutekcak and Sugpiaq (Alutiiq) who have called this area home since time immemorial. The spirit of Seward and the Kenai Peninsula is reflected in the culture, history, and traditions of indigenous people. Look for indigenous-owned tours, restaurants, accommodations, and guides as you plan your travels.

Best Things To Do in Seward, Alaska

The town itself is dotted with quaint shops, cozy eateries serving up fresh seafood, and friendly locals who always have a fascinating tale or two to share. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking to land your two feet on a glacier or someone who simply wants to unwind amidst nature’s grandeur, Seward has it all.

Holgate Glacier calving as kayakers watch, Alaska, Seward, Kenai Fjords National Park.
Photo credit: davidhoffmann photography/Shutterstock.

In this post, you’ll find all of the best activities and Alaska tours in the region (from someone who lived on the Kenai Peninsula) and get some of your essential questions answered before departing for your Alaska trip. Let’s get started!

Celebrity Millennium cruise ship in the port of Seward in Alaska.
Photo credit: Steve Heap/Shutterstock.

1. Take a Kenai Fjords Tour

One of the most unforgettable adventures you can embark on in Alaska is a Kenai Fjords National Park cruise! As you sail through the striking landscapes of the fjords en route to Aialik Bay (home to the majestic Aialik Glacier), you’ll be surrounded by some of the most remote landscapes in North America.

A day cruise tour start from Seward took the tourists to see closely Holgate glacier of Aialik bay in Alaska.
Photo credit: z-l e x/Shutterstock.

The tour, which typically includes a tasty lunch, offers you a unique opportunity to witness an astonishing diversity of land and marine wildlife in its natural habitat. From the comfort of your boat, you can watch brown and black bears ambling along the shoreline, steller sea lions sunning themselves along rocky cliffs, mountain goats situated near the Exit Glacier, and even Orcas splashing playfully in the chilly waters.

Glacier Meets Sea in Seward, Alaska.
Photo credit: Eric Wang/Shutterstock.

Having personally done the tour several times, I can honestly say each time you visit you’ll see something new. Dall porpoises leaped along our starboard side for the entire journey through the bay while puffins flew past in all directions and humpbacks breached in the distance.

Seward Harbor, Alaska.
Photo credit: Caleb Foster/Shutterstock.

Each moment you’ll witness is a spectacular encounter with the untamed beauty of Alaska, sure to create memories that you will treasure forever. Easily the #1 thing to do in Seward, Alaska, be sure to book your Kenai Fjords Tour well in advance as boats tend to fill up fast!

2. Get Your Cancellation Stamp at the Kenai Fjords National Park Visitors Center

As an avid outdoor lover myself, I never travel across the U.S. without my National Park Passport. Purchasable for $10 at most national park visitor centers, you can add stamps to the book for each region of the country with every national park you visit.

US National Parks passport book.
Photo credit: melissamn/Shutterstock.

Embellished with the local park’s emblem and the date that you visited, this national park book is a fun way to keep people of all ages excited about getting out into nature. I purchased mine at the one in the Kenai Fjords National Park, just before departing on my trek up to the Exit Glacier.

This is definitely one of the quickest and easiest things to do in Seward, but it’s absolutely worthwhile, especially if you’ll be spending time in the national parks anyway!

3. Make a Day Trip to Fox Island

While many of the Kenai Fjords Tours stay en route to different glaciers located across the scenic Resurrection Bay, some include stopovers on Fox Island.

Beautifully equipped with a lavish lodge and full team prepared to cater your meals and ensure your utmost satisfaction, Fox Island is a must-visit for anyone in the Seward area with a few days to spend.

A small whale watching cruise shipped docked at Fox Island near Seward, Alaska.
Photo credit: Nikki Gensert/Shutterstock.

Whisk yourself away to an environment as close to nature as you can get by taking part in kayaking, fishing, beach combing, campfires, and even bird watching! It certainly comes with a price tag, so you’ll want to keep this in mind (and in budget) if it’s something you think you would be interested in.

Fox Island offers a true escape from most other tourists making it the ideal getaway for nature enthusiasts, just bear in mind that internet service is limited and shopping is nonexistent, so if you were hoping to take part in typical tourist activities then this may be one to save for next time you’re in town.

4. Spend a Day in the Alaska SeaLife Center

The Alaska SeaLife Center, situated in the heart of Seward on Railway Ave, is a must-visit for any wildlife enthusiast or family with curious kids. As the state’s premier public aquarium and the only permanent marine mammal rehabilitation center in Alaska, it offers an up-close view of the diverse marine life that calls the surrounding waters home.

Animals in the Sealife Center in Seward.
Photo credit: Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock.

Here, you can marvel at adorable puffins, sea otters, harbor seals, and an array of fish species as you explore the exhibits. You get a chance to learn all about these fascinating creatures as well as the unique ecosystems they inhabit, thanks to the informative displays and knowledgeable staff.

Apart from the exhibits, the Alaska SeaLife Center also offers interactive meetings such as bird encounters where you can feed the puffins or octopus encounters where you can learn about these incredibly intelligent animals.

Sea otter close up.
Photo credit: Menno Schaefer/Shutterstock.

For the younger visitors, there’s a touch tank for a hands-on learning experience. The center also conducts research into Alaska’s marine ecosystems, contributing to the conservation of these precious habitats. Whether you’re fascinated by the underwater world or simply looking for a fun, educational activity, the Alaska SeaLife Center is a stop you’ll definitely want to make!

5. Get Out on the Water for a Full Day Fishing Tour

Fishing in Seward, Alaska is tied for being #1 in the top Seward things to do right along with the Kenai Fjords tours! Home to thousands of species of fish with many of them being “trophy-sized”, Seward is an angler’s dream vacation.

Boats at the Seward, Alaska marina.
Photo credit: MaxFX/Shutterstock.

Just off of J-Dock in downtown Seward, you’ll find dozens of local tour operators who will gladly take you out for an unforgettable day of fishing. Most companies offer half and full-day trips, with options to go for particular species (halibut, silver salmon, king salmon, and rockfish are the most popular).

Fish caught at Seward Alaska. Fish displayed on pier.
Photo Credit: Emily Concannon

The equipment used is typically top-notch so all you need to bring along is a box lunch, some sunscreen, and your Alaska fishing license. They make it effortless and convenient to put yourself out onto some of the most bountiful fishing waters in the North Pacific, so it’s easy to see why there are often dozens of boats leaving the harbor each morning and returning each evening in Seward.

6. Go Shopping in Seward for Souvenirs

Seward is a shopper’s utopia, especially for those looking for a unique keepsake to remember their Alaskan adventure. You’ll find a blend of locally owned boutiques, pieces from local artists, and quirky souvenir shops all around the small town.

Shops along the dock in Seward Harbor in Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska, USA.
Photo credit: Raisa Nastukova/Shutterstock.

On Fourth Avenue, you can browse through a diverse range of Alaskan-made goods, from artisan crafts to intricately designed jewelry, at my personal favorite store, Once in a Blue Moose.

Native arts and crafts, such as handmade soapstone carvings and totem poles, are popular purchases in the more tourist-driven shops such as Alaska Shop and Kenai Fjords Tours Gift Shop.

Don’t miss the chance to buy some locally sourced products, like Alaskan fireweed honey, smoked salmon, or even a bottle of birch syrup if you want to bring a taste of Alaska back home with you!

Waterfront shops with tourists on deck at Seward.
Photo credit: Claudiovidri/Shutterstock.

Personally, I recommend picking up a unique magnet for your fridge that reminds you of the adventures you had in the great north. I adore my metal float plane magnet as it reminds me of my trip to Katmai National Park.

It’s also possible to find some beautifully hand-painted coffee mugs, sweatshirts (among other apparel), and books! If you aren’t sure what to buy, check out this list of 25+ Authentic Alaska Souvenirs to Bring Home.

Unique Things To Do in Seward

7. Go for a Ride on the Alaska Railroad

The Alaska Railroad presents an exceptional journey for travelers venturing to Seward. This iconic rail route carves its way through the rugged Alaskan wilderness, offering passengers a unique perspective of the state’s stunning landscapes.

Blue and yellow cars of the Alaska Railroad, a vintage train going from Seward to Fairbanks in Alaska through Denali National Park.
Photo credit: EQRoy/Shutterstock.

The train’s comfortable, spacious cars are equipped with large windows that allow an unrestricted view of the breathtaking Turnagain Arm, the Seward Highway, and the small towns that Alaska is renowned for (Alyeska and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center are particularly beautiful to pass by).

Scenic railroad in Seward Alaska.
Photo credit: Dino Adventure/Shutterstock.

Moreover, the railroad provides an accessible and relaxing mode of transportation, eliminating the stresses of navigating unfamiliar roads. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast eager to capture the raw beauty of Alaska or a family looking for a memorable, stress-free travel experience, the Alaska Railroad is a fantastic option to consider.

8. Book a Private Water Taxi to Humpy’s Cove

Did you know that you don’t have to go out on Resurrection Bay with dozens of other tourists? If you’re willing to pay a bit more for a private experience, you can have a local water taxi company (Seward Ocean Excursions is great) bring you anywhere you want in the bay (weather permitting, of course).

One of my personal favorite areas unknown to most tourists in Seward is Humpy Cove. Ideal for fishing, kayaking, a stunning waterfall, and even paddleboarding, it’s one of the most unique things to do in Seward Alaska!

Kayaking in Humpy Cove, Resurrection Bay near Seward, Alaska,
Photo credit: Ventu Photo/Shutterstock.

If you want to reach the waterfall, ask the water taxi company if you can rent and tow a kayak behind the boat. From the entrance to Humpy Cove, you’ll have about a 10-minute kayak ride out to where the channel ends. If you pull your kayak up on the rocky shoreline, you’ll have less than a 2-minute walk to a gorgeous 50-foot waterfall! I usually strap my fishing rod right to my kayak when the salmon are running so I can do some shore fishing when I return.

Photo Credit: Emily Concannon

Just be sure not to fish from the kayak, as the salmon are a lot stronger than you think! Also, keep an eye on the tides and tie up your kayak, otherwise you may return to see it drifting out to sea.

9. Take a Flightseeing Tour to a Glacier

Whether it be via a bush plane or a helicopter, there are some epic flightseeing tours that depart from Seward en route to Bear Glacier, Holgate Glacier, as well as several others.

Happy tourist taking selfie picture on helicopter tour excursion in Alaska, USA.
Photo credit: Maridav/Shutterstock.

These national park glacier tours can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, but the important thing to remember is that only some of them will actually put your feet on the glacier (the ones via helicopter!)

View of Holgate Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park near Seward , Alaska.
Photo credit: Chansak Joe/Shutterstock.

If you want the opportunity to swim, kayak, or paddleboard in one of Alaska’s glaciers, be sure to book your helicopter tour well in advance as they typically book up almost a year prior. These tours also allow you the chance to taste real glacier runoff and get some incredible photos of the iconic blue waters that penetrate the crevasses on the Harding Icefield.

An inflatable canoe on a deep blue lake on the glacier. The narrow flooded canyons leave fins of white ice that look like icebergs, but are still attached to the glacier.
Photo credit: DCrane/Shutterstock.

Stunning to witness, this was easily one of my favorite experiences from living in Alaska!

10. Pick Out Your Favorite Gelato Flavor from Sweet Darlings

Most people wouldn’t expect to find delicious gelato in a remote town in Alaska, but Sweet Darlings has flavors that rivaled those I’ve found all over Europe.

Sweet Darlings ice cream in Seward, Alaska.
Photo Credit: Emily Concannon

From tropical sensations like passionfruit to rich, nutty favorites like chocolate hazelnut, this is one of the best Seward Alaska things to do in my book! Pick yourself up a cup (they come in Mama Bear and Papa Bear sizes) and head down to the bay to finish off a perfect day in Alaska.

Not a fan of gelato? Well, you’re in luck because they have an entire homemade candy section too. Candy apples, handmade chocolate-dipped marshmallows, and even sticky toffee bark have been known to make me open my wallet from time to time!

11. Go Sea Kayaking on Resurrection Bay

Sea kayaking on Resurrection Bay is a remarkable experience that gives you a front-row seat to Alaska’s breathtaking beauty. As you glide across the shimmering waters, the tranquil sound of your paddle slicing through the cool bay accompanies you while the majestic snow-capped Kenai Mountains and sprawling glaciers form a postcard-perfect backdrop.

Kayak in Resurrection Bay Alaska.
Photo credit: Abigail Alexander/Shutterstock.

Safety is paramount, and kayaking operators will equip you with lifejackets and provide a thorough safety briefing before you embark. You’ll learn how to navigate your kayak, what to do if you capsize, and rules for wildlife interactions.

Speaking of wildlife, don’t forget to keep an eye out! Resurrection Bay is teeming with an abundance of marine life, from playful sea otters bobbing along the surface to schools of steller sea lions cutting through the waves.

Resurrection Bay, Alaska.
Photo credit: CSNafzger/Shutterstock.

There’s also a variety of seabirds overhead, including puffins, bald eagles, and hawks. Remember, as tempting as it is to get up close for a photo, it’s crucial to respect the animals’ space and observe from a safe distance. The combination of epic scenery, the chilly ocean spray, and the possibility of wildlife encounters truly make kayaking on Resurrection Bay one of the best things to do in Seward, Alaska.

12. Take a Trip to Bear Creek Weir

Bear Creek Weir, located just a short drive from downtown Seward, is an under-the-radar gem that offers visitors a unique glimpse into Alaska’s rich ecosystem.

Single Red Salmon (Sockeye) intent on spawning by leaping from the stream to go up the waterfall of the fish weir of Bear Creek at Seward Alaska.
Photo credit: Berns Images/Shutterstock.

Only here are you practcially guaranteed to spot salmon swimming upstream to spawn whereas in the wild, the experience is left solely to chance. The Weir also serves as an important research facility, where scientists diligently monitor salmon populations.

Complete with informational signage, the Weir provides an educational experience, allowing you to learn more about the life cycle of salmon and the vital role they play in Alaska’s ecology.

Free Things To Do in Seward Alaska

13. Photograph Resurrection Bay and it’s Wildlife

Resurrection Bay offers an unforgettable snapshot of Alaska’s breathtaking natural beauty. This pristine body of water is a veritable treasure trove for photographers, brimming with an astonishing array of wildlife and scenic vistas.

Stellar Sea Lions on rocks.
Photo credit: Caleb Foster/Shutterstock.

Majestic bald eagles soar by the dozens and often stop to feed on spawning salmon, while playful seals and sea otters frolic in the bay’s clear waters. On the opposite side of the bay, towering cliffs, often shrouded in a delicate mist, provide a dramatic contrast to the sprawling emerald forests that line the bay’s shores.

American Bald Eagle standing on a post with hunted salmon fish under its crawls. Prince William Sound - Whittier - Seward Area
Photo credit: Rubes.fotos/Shutterstock.

The waters of the bay are teeming with humpback whales, Dall porpoises, and salmon by the millions come July. The last time I was sitting at Resurrection Bay, I was eating my gelato from Sweet Darlings when a mother humpback and her calf breached less than 50 yards off the shoreline. The following year upon my return, I was greeted with this spectacular rainbow over the Kenai Mountains!

Resurrection Bay with rainbow in sky.
Photo Credit: Emily Concannon /

My favorite time to make my way down to the bay, however, is at dusk when it’s bathed in the soft glow of the setting sun, making it the ideal place to snap some epic photos of an Alaskan sunset.

14. Walk Along the Iditarod National Historic Trail

Walking along the Iditarod Trail in Seward is like stepping back in time, as you tread the same path that was once frequented by the dog sled teams, miners, and indigenous people of Alaska’s storied past.

Iditarod National Historic Trail Sign Seward Alaska.
Photo Credit: Emily Concannon

In the spring and summer months, the trail is adorned with a vibrant array of wildflowers that add a splash of color to the green expanse. The tranquility of the trail is punctuated only by the symphony of nature – the rustling of leaves, the trill of songbirds, and the occasional sighting of wildlife such as moose or fox.

The Iditarod Trail offers a flat, well-maintained path for those looking to take a leisurely stroll through Seward’s historic past.

15. Check out a Book from the Seward Community Library & Museum

The Seward Community Library is more than just a repository of books; it’s a vibrant cultural hub nestled in the heart of Seward!

Seward Community Library and Museum on a cloudy day.
Photo credit: Jay Yuan/Shutterstock.

Housing a wealth of literature spanning various genres, the library also boasts an impressive collection of local history and Alaskan-centric books. My personal favorites are all of the Alaskan cookbooks! The best seafood ones focus on salmon and halibut, but I have a soft spot for the baked goods, too.

In addition to its traditional library services, the establishment also serves as a museum, showcasing a captivating array of artifacts and exhibits that narrate Seward’s rich history.

Whether you’re a bookworm, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, this is among the best things to do in Seward Alaska, particularly if the weather isn’t ideal.

16. Pull Up a Chair on Seward Waterfront Park

The Seward Waterfront Park, although commonly associated with camping and RV sites, surpasses its reputation as a budget-friendly destination.

Waterfront Seward downtown of fishermans wharf.
Photo credit: Just dance/Shutterstock.

Similar to the docks on the small boat harbor, it’s easily one of the most beautiful places to spot local wildlife, enjoy s’mores over a campfire, have dinner, and spend time with friends and family with one of the most breathtaking views on the eastern side of the Kenai Peninsula!

In my opinion, one of the best things to do in Seward, Alaska is to pick up some food and drinks at the local Safeway and hit this local park for the few hours surrounding sunset. Or, if you don’t enjoy sharing space with others, just 3 miles down the road is the stunning Lowell Point. It has all the same views and attractiveness with far fewer people.

17. Participate in the Annual Mount Marathon Race

Mount Marathon, towering over the city of Seward, offers an exhilarating hiking experience with unmatched views of the bay, the city, and the surrounding wilderness. The trail’s rugged landscape, dotted with spruce trees and wildflowers, ascends steeply, challenging even seasoned hikers.

View from Mount Marathon trail, Seward, Alaska.
Photo credit: mhgstan/Shutterstock.

But it’s the annual Mount Marathon Race, held every July (typically on July 4th), that truly captures the spirit of Alaskan adventure. Advertised as “the toughest 5k on the planet” and stretching over 3.1 miles of treacherous terrain, this footrace draws racers from around the globe.

Whether you’re a participant or a spectator, the Mount Marathon Race is a thrilling spectacle that encapsulates the raw beauty and challenging terrain of Seward, Alaska.

18. Look for Moose in the Chugach National Forest

As if Seward couldn’t get any more beautiful, I bet you didn’t realize that it’s actually encapsulated by the Chugach National Forest! Home to dozens of majestic wildlife species, it’s a fantastic place to check out some hiking trails in search of animals in their natural habitat.

Bull moose, Alces alces, with large rack of antlers in Chugach State Park.
Photo credit: Rob Crandall/Shutterstock.

Just be sure to keep your distance and come prepared with a camera equipped with a zoom lens. Personal protection is also key here, so be sure to bring along a bear bell, bear spray (one can for every two people is ideal), and make plenty of noise.

Don’t worry, this won’t spook every animal away (especially moose), but it will keep the more dangerous ones from becoming startled by your presence!

19. Walk Along the Docks in the Small Boat Harbor

One of my favorite pastimes in Seward is casually strolling the docks of the small boat harbor in the early morning and post-dinner hours of dawn and dusk. Why? Well, conveniently, this is when the local fisherman are either preparing their bait or fileting their day’s catch, often throwing the leftovers overboard for the local sea and birdlife!

Small boat harbor Seward Alaska.
Photo Credit: Emily Concannon.

Right from the docks, you can witness seals, eagles, sea lions, tons of fish, and on the rare occasion, even whales, feeding on the fish carcasses!

At this spot, I witnessed a heartwarming scene: a mother sea otter meticulously grooming her baby’s fur, ensuring he would remain buoyant while she hastily dove to the ocean floor in search of mussels to bring back for him to enjoy as an early evening snack.

The docks are often overlooked by tourists, but if you sit patiently and quietly, there’s a very good chance you’ll see some wildlife up close!

Things To Do in Seward Alaska in Winter

20. Go Trekking on the Harding Icefield Trail to the Exit Glacier

Starting at the Exit Glacier Nature Center, the Harding Icefield Trail is a showcase of stunning winter appeal. As you venture along the hiking trails, you’ll be engulfed by a sprawling white expanse, where the shimmering icefield glistens under the winter sun and stretches out as far as the eye can see.

Harding Icefield Trail.
Photo credit: Santiparp Wattanaporn/Shutterstock.

The trail is a steady uphill climb, challenging but rewarding, with scenic overlooks throughout much of the journey. After snow has covered the trails, crampons and snowshoes will be necessary to reach the Exit Glacier. Keep in mind that snow is often found year-round once you reach the glacier, and even during our trek in mid-July, we experienced temperatures dropping into the low 20s Fahrenheit.

Hiking to Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, USA.
Photo credit: Santiparp Wattanaporn/Shutterstock.

Easily one of the most rewarding things to do in Seward, Alaska, the Harding Icefield is a full-day, 8.2-mile, out-and-back hike that requires previous hiking experience and personal protection against local wildlife (i.e. bear spray).

21. Enjoy Some Oysters in the Best Restaurants in Seward Alaska

Nothing screams “comfort” like seafood and it’s common knowledge that Alaska is world-renowned for having some of the freshest catch- but Seward tops the list! There are a few local restaurants in town that serve up the freshest oysters, including The Cookery, located in the heart of downtown. If you ask my husband, The Cookery has the best oysters in the world.

Oysters at Ray's Restaurant Seward Alaska.
Photo Credit: Emily Concannon.

Other local eateries that are sure to impress include The Salmon Bake on Herman Leirer Road as well as Ray’s Waterfront Restaurant located right on 4th Ave in downtown Seward. Now, don’t let the exterior appearance of The Salmon Bake deter you from entering… we’ve eaten seafood all over the 49th state and we still tell people how this unattractive establishment had some of the best salmon and king crab we’ve ever had in our lives.

As for Ray’s, people start lining up over an hour before they open for a table! If you’re traveling in a group, take turns standing in line and ensure everyone in your group is present within 5 minutes of opening time. They have some of the best seafood pasta and oysters rockefeller in the state, so it’s absolutely worth the wait.

22. Go Snowshoeing in the National Parks

If you’re visiting Alaska in the winter, chances are you love the snow. And conveniently enough, Alaska gets plenty of it!

A woman hiking in Alaska, carrying snowshoes.
Photo credit: Jeff Manes/Shutterstock.

Often blanketed in the sparkling white stuff by mid-November, fall and winter visitors to the 49th state can enjoy dozens of beautiful hiking trails perfect for snowshoeing. Whether you start out in the iconic Denali National Park before making your way down to the Kenai Fjords or you’ll be spending most of your time on the Kenai Peninsula, be sure to pack plenty of warm layers as the weather can be quite unpredictable this far north.

23. Have a Pint at the Seward Brewing Company

Offering locally brewed craft beers and a cozy atmosphere, the Seward Brewing Company is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of outdoor activities in Seward.

Drinking beer and clinking glasses in a  pub.
Photo credit: ENZELEN/Shutterstock.

This local spot features a delicious food menu – I recommend trying their beer-battered fish and chips, but their pizza is also delicious– as well as an extensive selection of beers. With everything from light lagers to dark stouts, there’s something for everyone’s taste!

24. Go Ice Climbing in Kenai Fjords National Park

For adrenaline junkies and those craving a unique Alaskan winter experience, ice climbing near Seward is an exhilarating opportunity not to be missed.

An ice climber on a rope climbs out of a crevasse on a Glacier in Alaska.
Photo credit: DCrane/Shutterstock.

Guided tours, such as the ones offered by Exit Glacier Guides, offer breathtaking climbing expeditions on ice formations found within the Kenai Fjords National Park, adding an extreme adventure to your trip!

With the towering ice walls glistening under the winter sun, the climb can be challenging yet rewarding, offering unparalleled views of frozen waterfalls and pristine white landscapes.

Despite the cold, it’s a fascinating experience where you can hear the unique crackling sound of the Exit Glacier shifting and the sharp echo of ice axes penetrating the surface. Suitable for beginners or seasoned climbers, this is one of the most popular things to do in Seward, Alaska in winter!

25. Take a Dog Sled Tour

Dog sledding has long been a part of Alaska’s history, with local mushers still racing in the world-famous Iditarod today.

Snow dogs pulling a sled in Alaska.
Photo credit: prochasson frederic/Shutterstock.

For those looking to learn more about this decades-old form of transportation and get a taste of what life is like out on the Alaskan trails, dog sledding tours provide an excellent opportunity to do just that! Various companies offer guided tours around the Seward area, giving you a front-row seat to some of the most authentic Alaskan experiences.

Whether you take a short 1-hour tour or plan to take a dog sled ride atop a famous glacier, this is one of the most unique and thrilling things to do in Seward, Alaska during winter. Be sure to bring your camera as there will be plenty of photo opportunities along the way. Plus, you’ll often be given the chance to play with some adorable husky puppies at the end!

Insider Tip: Not all dog sled tours are created equal. While many provide excellent conditions for the dogs, some unfortunately do not. Do your research in advance of booking to ensure the proper care of the dog teams is being taken, and if when you arrive, something doesn’t feel right, simply ask for a refund. It’s always best to financially support the companies that are dedicated to the well-being of the animals, so if possible, leave some extra time for this excursion in case you wish to search for a different dog sledding operator after arrival.

FAQ: Things To Do in Seward Alaska

In this next section, we’ll be answering some important questions for your trip to Seward.

Is Seward Alaska Worth Visiting?

Seward Alaska is absolutely worth visiting owing to its diverse range of activities, abundant wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and convenient location on the Kenai Peninsula.

Easily reachable by rental car or the Alaska Railroad, Seward has so much to offer its visitors and is easily among the top destinations in the 49th state!

Beautiful View of Fire Weed and Mountains in Seward Alaska.
Photo credit: Joel Shawn/Shutterstock.

How Do You Spend a Day in Seward?

If you only have one day to spend in Seward, don’t fret! You’ll still have plenty of time to see and do some of the town’s best activities. Do your best to start your day early with a hearty breakfast at one of the local eateries (the Lone Chicharron Taqueria has the best breakfast burritos in town!)

With a full belly, make your way to the docks (near the cruise ship terminal) where you’ll be able to hop onboard a boat that will allow you to cruise Kenai Fjords National Park. These tours not only provide stunning views of the fjords themselves, but also provide an opportunity to spot a plethora of wildlife including seals, sea otters, Dall porpoises, bald eagles, whales, and possibly even puffins!

The ice is breaking up in the bay and marina below tall mountains in Seward Alaska.
Photo credit: Real Window Creative/Shutterstock.

After your morning tour, lunch beckons and what better way to enjoy it than a picnic at the bay? With its breathtaking views of the Kenai Mountains and a high probability of spotting wildlife, it’s a fantastic spot to eat and relax. There’s a Safeway supermarket with plenty of great lunch options located just a few minutes (half a mile) from the J-Dock where you’ll be deboarding your cruise.

Post-lunch, you can take a leisurely stroll along the Iditarod National Historic Trail, immersing yourself in the rich history and culture of one of Alaska’s most important stories. Or if you still have a little pep in your step, go for a short hike on Mount Marathon. It’s a bit strenuous, but the view from the top is well worth the effort!

A Cruise Ship Leaving Seward Harbor at Sunset.
Photo credit: Albert Pego/Shutterstock.

To end your day, treat yourself to some local cuisine at one of Seward’s best restaurants (Ray’s is a personal favorite). If you’re a seafood lover, don’t miss out on the chance to try some freshly caught oysters (they’re the freshest at The Cookery). Then, take a gentle walk along the docks of Seward Harbor keeping an eye out for adorable sea otters feasting on the discarded fish remnant of the local’s latest catch.

There are so many ways you could spend a day in Seward, so use everything mentioned in this list to create your own unique adventure!

How Many Days Should I Spend in Seward Alaska?

The number of days to spend in Seward really depends on your personal interests and pace of travel. However, I’d recommend spending at least two full days in Seward to truly experience the core highlights of the region.

This will give you a chance to explore Seward and the Kenai Fjords National Park, take a wildlife cruise, visit the Alaska Sealife Center, and try your hand at some adventurous activities like hiking or kayaking.

If you’ve got more time, consider extending your stay to three or four days. This will allow you to dive deeper into the local culture, try out more local delicacies, include more adventurous activities (such as a helicopter landing on a glacier), and even indulge in some leisurely activities such as fishing for king salmon or perusing local shops for unique Alaskan souvenirs.

Spire Cove located within Kenai Fjords National Park. Wildlife Cruise around Resurrection Bay, Alaska, USA.
Photo credit: Tomasz Wozniak/Shutterstock.

Why Visit Seward Alaska?

Seward is more than just a typical Alaskan town; it is a destination that provides visitors with the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the diverse and distinct offerings of the 49th state all in under a compact 22-mile radius.

This small, seaside town offers the best of Alaskan landscapes, with its stunning fjords, snow-capped mountains surrounding the bay, and an abundance of wildlife. The Kenai Fjords National Park is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike, where you can witness glaciers, go hiking, or even take a wildlife and glacier cruise.

It’s also home to numerous private log cabins where those seeking some peace and tranquility can escape for a few days, as well as a multitude of stunning luxury hotels offering everything from mountain views in their private restaurants to deluxe family suites.

Being just under a 2.5-hour drive from the state’s largest city of Anchorage, you can go from being in a city to one of Alaska’s most popular towns in no time!

What is the Best Month to Visit Seward Alaska?

The best month to visit Seward Alaska is July, with June and August being close seconds. This is when Seward typically experiences the most moderate temperatures and daylight hours are extremely long (20+ hours per day), allowing travelers to enjoy wildlife at its most active state while still having ample opportunity for sightseeing.

The warm summer months also bring with them a plethora of outdoor activities, such as kayaking and sailing, that can be enjoyed around the bay or out in the national park.

Fishing is another popular summertime activity often sought out by tourists looking for things to do in Seward, Alaska. Late June to early July is typically when the salmon are running (though they have been late the last two years with the run peaking in late July), so it’s an ideal time to visit for beginner to advanced anglers.

Can You See Northern Lights in Seward, Alaska?

Having seen them myself, it is indeed possible to see the northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, in Seward, Alaska.

However, this naturally occurring light display is highly dependent on the time of the year and weather conditions. The best chances to see the northern nights in Seward are during the winter months, from late September to early March, when the skies are the darkest.

Remember, this spectacular celestial show is elusive and requires clear, dark skies. Cloud cover, moon phase, Kp values, solar winds, and light pollution can all affect visibility. Always check the aurora forecast (the Geophysical Institute is best for this) and be prepared for late-night ventures to increase your chances of witnessing this remarkable spectacle.

Pod of orcas in Kenai Fjords National Park bear Seward, Alaska.
Photo credit: CSNafzger/Shutterstock.

So Many Things To Do in Seward Alaska

Seward, Alaska is an adventurer’s paradise, brimming with diverse and exciting activities. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast longing to explore the stunning Kenai Fjords National Park, an adrenaline junkie looking to conquer Mount Marathon, or a wildlife lover eager to spot sea otters, puffins, and whales, Seward doesn’t disappoint.

Its quaint, local shops offer the chance to pick up unique Alaskan souvenirs, while an array of restaurants serve fresh, local seafood, providing an authentic taste of the region.

The chance to witness the northern lights just makes it all the more magical. With dozens of things to do in Seward, Alaska, you’re sure to have a wonderful trip to The Last Frontier!

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Emily Concannon

Born and raised in New England, Emily is a full-time travel blogger at Emily Embarks and Sea to Summit Alaska with an appetite for adventure. Having called Alaska home for nearly a year after adding dozens of stamps to her passport, she's excited to continue her travels and share her best tips with the world!

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