Alaska - Seward

Introduction:

What? : Seward is probably the most attractive & crowded tourist town south of Anchorage.

located at the heart of Kenai Peninsula on Resurrection Bay and considered to be the gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park.

Many things Alaska is known for can be found in or nearby Seward.

Amazing whale and other marine life watching cruise, Icebergs both on land and falling directly into the ocean, fishing, kayaking, hiking and many more outdoor activities and attractions.






 

Where? :  Located 130 miles south of Anchorage, south on hwy 1 and then on hwy 9, about 2.5 hour drive total.

Google Map Link

 

Due note 1: Seward is one of the busiest tourist towns in Alaska so better reserve any of your planned cruise, activities or hotel in advance. For RV, the large town RV park is based on first come first serve so try to come early at the day to catch a RV parking spot. Town RV campgrounds in Seward are located by the waterfront and are all dry camping.

The town RV several parks located right on the water, but at summertime tourist peak season they are packed by hundreds of RV side by side. This is not “alone in nature” experience but the plus side is that you do not need to move your RV when you are going for the cruise or other local walking-distance activities in town.

 

When looking at maps you can see several RV parks but they are all essentially part of the same network of city park RV campgrounds that follow the same basic pricing and procedures (mainly first come first serve, dray campground, 20$ per day).

 

When we came to town late in the afternoon, we search for available RV parking slot for 1 hr but we did not find anything available.

After calling few RV parks we had to drive back few miles out of town and park at Stoney Creek RV Park (https://www.stoneycreekrvpark.com/)

 

Due note 2: The road to Seward is amazing, plan to stop along the way at the many pullouts, take memorable pictures of unbelievable vistas laid before you.

 

My thoughts: Highly recommended place to visit, the full day cruise we took was one of our trip highlights.


 

The visit:

Because of the road closer we had on our way to Homer we arrive one day later than originally planned to Seward. We practically had one full day that was dedicated to boat cruise at the Kenai Fjords National Park.

This is one of Alaska's best sea wildlife spectacles and some of its most beautiful fjords and glaciers. On top of Alaskan landscape and glaciers you can see at the cruise a lot of marine life:  humpback and killer whales, sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, and puffins that crowd the park's waters.

 

Our main activity cruise to Kenai Fjords:

No trip to Seward Alaska could be complete without taking a cruise to Kenai Fjords National Park.

You can find several companies that doing such cruise to choose from.

Based on friends recommendations we booked, well in advanced, our cruise at Major Marina Tours (https://majormarine.com/).

We booked the 7.5 hr tour, there are longer (8.5 hr) and much shorter (4 hr), but we thought this will be the best for us.

 

All cruise departure from the main harbor, just make sure you will be on time for your specific departure, come earlier and find your cruise office in the building above the harbor.


 

We had a winter cold weather day with relatively high wave at the open sea and it rain most of the day with low clouds.

We took some anti-seasickness drug that did not help. Even that we all had seasickness at different levels we all enjoy the cruise VERY much.

You can stay at the lower deck, warm and comfortable with it viewing glasses but I preferred the upper open deck, open to the fresh air but still protected from the rain.

The water in the open sea can be raff, depending on the wind and wave direction and where the boat is heading, but once you are entering into the narrow fjords the sea is much calmer.

 

At our cruise we saw active tidewater glaciers falling into the ocean, both Holgate Glacier at Aialik Bay and Southwestern Glacier and the Northwestern Fjord. We manage to see Wales, Orca, Sea Otters, Seals, Puffins, Bold Eagle, steep ocean cliffs, Cape Resurrection cliffs and more … 😊



 

All boats captains are exchanging information where they spot Whales or Orca. If they hear that there are wales somewhere in the bay from another boats, they will change the trip course so you can view them from close distance.

 

Few Cruise Tips:

- If it is cold day bring warm cloth, wool hat & gloves, the temperature on the open ocean can be low by 5-10c than in Seaward.

- Bring binoculars for better wildlife watching.

- I will recommend bringing food with you, there is option to eat lunch at the boat (pre-paid), but this may be too heavy if you are suffering from seasickness.

 

At the afternoon, when we were back at Seaward, we went to eat a good dinner at one of the harbor restaurants, the seafood was good, a little bit pricy and slow service because all cruise are coming at once back from the day activity.

 

After dinner we drove with our RV back to our RV-camp at Bear Creek.

 

As explained, we had to shorten our visit in Seward because of schedule delay and our specific Denali reservation so we did not had the time to do more things at Seward.

 

More things to see and do near Seward:

- Visit Seward harbor and see up-close the sea otters that resident inside the harbor. You can usually spot the sea otters from the boardwalk along the harbor or walk down the gangway and among the boats.

- Exit Glacier Nature Center: Glacier not far from Seward, you can hike all the way to the starting point and see it. It is looks like a nice hike to the glacier view.

We already did a glacier guided hike and we were one day short, so we decided not to visit this glacier.

- Alaska SeaLife Center: We decided to skip this attraction although I’m sure it is very educational visit. Here you can you learn about Alaska’s wildlife and marine ecosystem. Suitable for families with young kids.



- Lowell Creek Waterfall: A nice small waterfall just south of town near the main road.

- Watching Solomon run at Bear Creek Weir (7 miles north of town), you can drive 2 miles further down the road to the trailhead to hike to Bear Lake.

- Caines Head Trailhead: TH is located south at the end of the road. This hike is long 14 miles out and back trail, rated as difficult. Start at Lowell Point (south of Seaward)

- Hiking to the top of Mt. Marathon is challenging (3,000 feet in elevation) but well worth the views. It is best to pick a day that is clear and sunny. Directions: To reach the trailhead, start out where Monroe Street and 3rd Avenue intersect. Follow the trailhead road upward out of town. The Jeep Trail route will take you up to the top (It's a 4.1-mile loop), but no matter home much you climb you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views of all the surrounding mountain ridges.

- Many other adventure activities including hikes, water-taxi drop-offs at secluded coves around the bay, kayaking, fishing, air tours and more.

 

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