Top 15 Seward Attractions & Things To Do You Can't Miss

Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Nikki Jain

Seward is a coastal town which is located in southern Alaska. This charming town is situated on Resurrection Bay, providing stunning views of snow-capped mountains and blue water.

The things to do in Seward are endless, from enjoying freshly caught seafood to exploring Kenai Fjords National Park.

There are plenty of accommodation options as well, ranging from ocean-front resorts to lodges nestled on the side of a mountain.

Seward has an option for every traveler looking for an adventure. Enjoying the views is just the beginning; keep reading to learn about the top 15 Seward attractions.

Where to Stay in Seward

The accommodation options in Seward range from luxury to quaint, which provides something for every traveler. You are probably wondering, where do I even begin? Don't worry; we got you covered! Here are the top five hotels in Seward, Alaska.

1. Seward Gateway Hotel

The Seward Gateway Hotel is located near the small boat harbor in Seward. It is a new hotel that opened in May 2021 and has quickly become highly rated. The location provides walking distance to the harbor, which has waterfront dining and boat tours. This modern hotel offers mountain views and harbor views, all from your hotel room window. This location and property are great for both couples, families and even solo travelers.

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2. Hotel Seward

This family-owned and operated hotel is a Seward favorite. The historic Hotel Seward is run by Mary and Mark, who take pride in their Alaskan hospitality. The hotel is located in downtown Seward, an excellent location for walking to Seward attractions. You are just a five-minute walk to the SeaLife Center and dining. The hotel itself provides dining down in the lobby at its own restaurant. The rooms in the Alaska Wing of the hotel were built in the 1900s and have the most spacious room sizes in Seward. Enjoy relaxing at this historic Seward property!

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3. Harbor 360 Hotel Seward

A luxurious option in Seward, Alaska, is the Harbor 360 Hotel. The location of the property is one of the reasons it is so highly rated. The hotel sits on the harbor and is where the Kenai Fjords Boat Tours leave daily. A convenient way to take a day trip, only a few steps from the door of your hotel room. That's not the only reason it is a popular place to stay; the comfortably furnished rooms face the harbor providing breathtaking sunset views of where the bay meets the mountains. Spot puffins and seabirds from your hotel bed while enjoying a morning cup of coffee. This hotel is also just steps away from the Alaska Railroad for those taking the train. Hotel Harbor 360 Hotel is a top choice among Seward accommodations.

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4. Best Western Plus Edgewater Hotel

Best Westerns are always a comfortable accommodation option when traveling. But the Best Western Plus Edgewater Hotel takes the cake. This gorgeous property is steps away from Waterfront Park. Spend your day picnicking or walking the paved path around the park before heading back to the hotel. A convenient location for families with easy access to the SeaLife Center and playgrounds. You will also be within walking distance of many restaurants and takeout options. Best Western Plus Edgewater Hotel is a convenient hotel located in south downtown Seward.

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5. Spruce Lodge

For those looking for a cabin vibe in accommodations, then look no further. Spruce Lodge is a cozy lodge that is ideal for couples and families traveling to Seward. Its dark wooden exterior surrounded by snow-capped trees provides a homey feel for visitors. The inside has modern interiors with a flat-screen tv and comfortable beds. The lodge features rooms that range from studio apartments to two chalets. The studio apartments are perfect for couples traveling to the area. The larger chalets can host larger families. The lodge is tucked away in the forest, making it an ideal Alaskan lodge to relax at.

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Must-See Seward Attractions

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1: Hike Exit Glacier

Hike Exit Glacier
Dreamstime/Galyna Andrushko

Located in Kenai Fjords National Park is Exit Glacier. This two-mile hike will get your heart pumping while viewing the forestry park.

The hike starts at the Exit Glacier Visitor Center, the only accessible area of the park by foot. The dirt path will bring you through the lush Alaskan Forest, which follows along the Resurrection River.

Take the steep climb up to the bottom of the glacier. If you are feeling adventurous, you can continue hiking upward to get the best view of the glacier.

It is a short and quick hike that will cross hike to a glacier off your Alaska bucket list. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife since it is commonly spotted in this area.

Afterward, stop by the Kenai Fjords Visitor Center to learn all about this quirky National Park. One of the most educational things to do in Seward.

Address: Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

2: Take A Glacier & Wildlife Cruise

Take A Glacier & Wildlife Cruise

The best way to visit Kenai Fjords National Park is by boat. This unique National park is only fully accessible by water. Making a day cruise the perfect way to explore it!

Join the guides at Major Marine Tours on their six-hour tour of Kenai Fjords. One of the top-rated activities in Seward.

The captain will stop the boat for any wildlife sightings while teaching you about what you are seeing. Frequently spotted wildlife include sea otters, sea lions, whales, bears and even bald eagles.

The tour even provides complimentary binoculars so you can get an up-close look at these animals. Eventually, the tour brings you out to the towering glacier, a fun photo opportunity.

Lunch is provided during this excursion; try their fresh salmon spread sandwiches while coasting along the ocean—a once-in-a-lifetime boat trip through the Kenai Peninsula.

3: Go Dog Sledding

Go Dog Sledding

The Iditarod Dog Sledding Competition is a long-distance dog sledding championship held in Alaska every year.

Winning this race is a true accomplishment and the IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours prides themselves on their trophies. Most of their dogs have not only run in the race but won three championships.

During the summers, the dogs are off-season, so IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours hosts visitors who want to see these showrunners for themselves.

Your tour begins with a walk to the kennels, where the tour guide teaches you about the Iditarod Route. Then you get to see it for yourself!

On a one-mile dog sled run with your very own informational musher. The tour ends holding the newly born sled dog puppies.

IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours is one of the best places to visit in Seward. Spend your day with friendly and adorable champions while learning all about their lifestyle.

4: Alaska SeaLife Center

Alaska SeaLife Center

Watch Sea Lions play in the water at the Alaska SeaLife Center. This is not your typical aquarium; the center combines a public aquarium with marine research education.

You can visit rare animals, fish and birds here, including the adorable puffin, a Seward favorite. Some popular fish and invertebrates are Alaskan Skate, Green Sea Urchins and even the Giant Pacific Octopus.

They even offer some one-on-one tours at the center at an additional cost. The Steller Sea Lion Exclusive teaches you training techniques that you can use hands-on with the Sea Lions.

Other hands-on tours include the Octo Experience, Ice Seal Adventure and the Puffin Encounter.

The Alaska SeaLife Center is a unique experience that is a must-see when visiting Seward. A fun, family-friendly experience when looking for what to do in Seward.

Address: 301 Railway Ave, Seward, AK 99664

5: Hike The Icefields

Hike The Icefields
Dreamstime/Martin Schneiter

Also located in Kenai Fjords National Park at the Exit Glacier parking lot is a bucket list hike, the Harding Icefield Trail.

This hike starts from the parking lot and brings you on a personalized tour of the National Park.

A 9.2-mile hike that has an elevation gain of 3,641 feet is not for the faint of heart. This hike typically takes anywhere between six to seven hours with plenty of breaks.

The reward is worth the full day trek and is one of the top things to see in Seward.

The trail brings you through the forest into a meadow and finishes with a steep climb to the top. The top of the trail provides stunning views of the Harding Icefield.

You will be able to see a horizon of ice and snow that goes on for endless miles.

Be sure to check weather conditions when taking on this once-in-a-lifetime hike. Bears are common in Alaska; packing bear spray is a must when hiking remote areas.

6: Grab A Coffee

Grab A Coffee

Grab some coffee with a coastal view! The Mermaid Grotto Cafe and Boutique is a cozy coffee shop in Seward.

Enjoy the views of the harbor from the upstairs lounge while sipping a hot latte. You can grab some breakfast treats such as Avocado Toast or the Mer-Babe sandwich.

Try the local fisherman snack Musubi, a simple seaside snack of Teriyaki spam & rice wrapped in nori. Hot soups and sandwiches are a great option for lunch.

Once you are done enjoying your meals, stop by the gift shop filled with local mermaid art and beachy handmade crafts.

Grabbing a warm drink on cold days is one of the common things to do in Seward. The Mermaid Grotto Cafe is an adorable place to warm up on those cold Alaska days.

7: Waterfront Dining

Waterfront Dining

Dining with a view makes date night even more romantic. It is even better when you view the bay where the fresh seafood you are eating is caught.

North Seward has a few gorgeous waterfront restaurants. The restaurants are nestled along the small boat harbor and provide stunning mountain views through the large glass windows.

Ray’s Waterfront is a top-rated option and has won "Alaska's Best Restaurant Award". This fresh seafood restaurant is known for its delicious Halibut Anandam and freshly caught Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon.

Another waterfront dining option is Chinooks Restaurant, also located on the small boat harbor of Seward. The ambiance of this restaurant is welcoming and warm, with wooden walls and harbor views.

The food is outstanding with unique dishes, such as their Halibut, stuffed with crab and soaked in lobster bisque. These waterfront dining options are romantic vacation spots in Seward!

8: Seward Waterfront Park

Seward Waterfront Park
Dreamstime/Lawrence Weslowski Jr

Seward Waterfront Park is located near the button of downtown Seward at mile 0 of Seward Highway.

The park extends from the Small Boat Harbor all the way down to the SeaLife Center. There are RV Campgrounds, playgrounds and more.

The short trail is home to some historical landmarks in the area. This includes the Founder's Monument, the Old Railroad Depot and Mile 0 of the Iditarod Trail.

This is a beautiful park to pack a picnic and hang out by the water at the picnic areas. Just be sure not to let the puffins eat any of your food.

Watching wildlife is common here; you can spot bald eagles, sea birds, sea otters and occasionally a whale!

Sit back and relax while taking in the majestic views of Resurrection Bay. A must-see when visiting Seward attractions.

Address: 420 Ballaine Blvd, Seward, AK 99664

9: Art Walk

Art Walk

Seward is known as the "Mural Capital of Alaska", providing over thirty vibrant paintings and murals scattered all over the little town.

Each painting displays historical events or local characters. The Seward Community Library & Museum is a mural itself that collects historical artifacts of Seward.

A fantastic place to learn all about this Alaskan town and what you are looking at in the murals that line the streets.

Afterward, stroll down 4th & 5th Ave and visit the local Art Galleries. The galleries range from pottery, paintings and jewelry.

Purchase a local artist's painting to bring home with you from your travels. Finally, take a Mural Walk using the Seward Mural Society's map.

This will guide you through the thirty murals located throughout the city. This is a unique option when exploring Seward attractions. An educational and fun way to learn about Alaskan artists and the history of Seward.

10: Fishing Charter

Fishing Charter
Dreamstime/Lawrence Weslowski Jr

Spend your day fishing on the Kenai Peninsula with Fish Seward Alaska, Inc. This local company provides fishing charters to guests and visitors.

The fishing charters are for catching halibut, salmon, lingcod and rockfish, including yellow-eye. The Kenai Peninsula is rated a top destination for saltwater fishing.

In May and June, they target Trophy Halibut and saltwater King Salon. The charters range from half-day to full-day that leave early in the morning.

Their most popular tour is the Skippers Full Combo, which is a halibut, rockfish, salmon and lingcod fishing trip.

They provide many tour options; check out their website to see which tour is best for you. Catch a fresh Alaskan fish that you can bring home with you from the peninsula straight to your freezer!

11: Kayaking

Dreamstime/Lawrence Weslowski Jr

Kayaking alongside an ice glacier sounds like a dream. With Kayak Adventures Worldwide, it can quickly become a reality.

This locally owned company provides half-day, full-day or multi-day kayaking trips to all Seward visitors.

You do not need any kayaking experience to take a tour either. They will teach you how to use your kayak while being safe and alert from wildlife.

The half-day trip allows you to explore Resurrection Bay and spot the local wildlife and forestry views.

The full-day trip options can bring you to Fox Island or visit the Aialik Glacier of Kenai Fjords. For the more adventurous, try a multi-day overnight trip.

Camp at Aialik Bay right next to the glacier. A bucket list adventure that departs from the heart of Seward.

12: Take A Helicopter Tour

Take A Helicopter Tour

There are many ways to explore Seward, but exploring it by air can get your adrenaline racing.

Seward Helicopter Tours is a family-owned helicopter tour company that has been operating since 2013. They provide many different tours detailed to every guest's needs.

The Glacier Landing Tour is a 15-minute helicopter ride that brings you to the Godwin Glacier. Fly over cascading waterfalls and blue glacier ice.

The helicopter even lands on the glacier to get you an up-close and personal look. A longer option is the Grand View, a sixty-minute helicopter tour of Harding Icefield and more.

You will get to see over four glaciers, valleys, lakes and waterfalls. You can even see the bears fishing for Salmon in the streams during certain times of the year.

Seward Helicopter Tours prides itself on sharing the epic scenery of Seward. So join them and see it for yourself!

13: Alaska Railroad

Alaska Railroad
Dreamstime/Eq Roy

Take a day trip to Anchorage on one of the most scenic routes in Alaska, the Alaska Railroad.

From Mid-may to September, the Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic Train operates this route. This train was ranked the 'Top Ten Train Rides in North America by National Geographic Traveler'.

The ride begins in Seward and brings you along the steep mountains of the Chugach Range. The train makes one stop along this route in Girdwood, a lively ski town that provides lunch and shopping options.

The train will bring you through the backcountry, allowing options for spotting wildlife. The Goldstar Service Class of the train has glass-dome ceilings and upper-level viewing platforms.

The dining is all-inclusive and provides two free drinks at the bar. An Alaskan Tour guide will give you information about the area and point out any wildlife.

You can buy tickets for this ride right on the website here. The Alaska Railroad is a unique day trip for all Seward visitors to take advantage of.

Address: 408 Port Ave, Seward, AK 99664

14: Seward Brewing Company

Seward Brewing Company

The Seward Brewing Company is a staple in Seward, Alaska. This brewery is run by two Alaskan locals who have been calling Seward home since the early 2000s.

The owners have both worked in the food and dining industry during their careers and one is even a chef.

The brewery opened in 2014 and is now a favorite spot for all locals and visitors. Their food menu is to die for, with dishes such as the Salmon Sandwich, which is grilled Alaskan Salmon, slaw and more.

Other dishes include Fish Tacos, Hot Chicken and Crabby Mac and Cheese; yum!

Their beers range from Juicy Swell IPA, a tsunami of hops barrel-rolled into a chewy, thick hazy IPA. It Is What It Is, is a rotating tap series made from rye.

They also showcase local aka guest taps on their menu, which will allow you to try beers from other Alaskan breweries.

Seward Brewing Company is a fantastic place to grab a brew and yummy food after a day of adventure in Seward.

Address: 139 4th Ave, Seward, AK 99664

15: Explore The Food Scene

Explore The Food Scene
Flickr/Lou Stejskal

The food scene in Seward is nothing short of delicious. The fresh-caught Alaskan Crab, Salmon and Halibut are common items on almost all restaurant menus in Seward.

Alaska does not have the same luxury of importing and exporting as the rest of the United States has, which is why you can taste the freshness of their food.

The fish are caught outside of your restaurant window. Luckily, there are plenty of dining options to try along 4th & 5th Street all the way up to the harbor.

Grab breakfast at the famous Ms. Gene’s Place, located in Hotel Seward. Their breakfast menu has their Signature Crab Omelet, which is savory fresh Dungeness crab in a three-egg omelet, topped with homemade Bur Blanc Sauce.

A savory lunch spot is Chartermark Seward. Try their hot seafood chowder and even add a smoked salmon BLT to it!

Finish your day at The Highliner for dinner. This spot is famous for its seafood entrees. Try the Alaskan Seafood Pasta, a hearty dish with Halibut, Shrimp and Scallops.

Seward's food scene is out of this world, so be sure to try all of their local eateries when visiting.

Plan your trip to these Seward attractions soon!

Seward, Alaska, is home to adventure, local cuisine and breathtaking scenery. Whether you want to take a helicopter ride to a glacier or relax with a hot cup of coffee by a fireplace, the things to do in Seward are limitless.

This unique town that is nestled between the ocean and mountains draws over 500,000 visitors a year.

Adventures from all over the world visit the pristine hiking trails and icy glaciers. Start planning your trip to Alaska now, and make sure to visit these top attractions in Seward!

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