Seward Alaska

Seward Alaska
Seward, Alaska, is one of the top tourist destinations on any Alaska vacation “bucket list”, no matter how you get there. The harbor town of Seward, on Resurrection Bay in the Gulf of Alaska, is a major cruise ship stop. By land, the 4-5-hour drive from Anchorage is spectacular and the round-trip ride to or from Anchorage by train is scenic and relaxing. Wildlife, marine life and glacier tours as well as fishing charters abound in Seward and the Alaska SeaLife Center is right on the edge of town, overlooking the bay. What’s not to love?

Whether you are a tourist or an Alaskan resident, Seward should be on your short list. The picturesque town has plentiful overnight lodging opportunities if you come by car, RV or train, including hotels, B & B’s, cabins, RV Parks and campgrounds for every budget.

The town caters to visitors by offering a free shuttle bus to transport guests to a variety of points of interest around town or even just the local grocery store. The shuttle buses run a regular schedule seven days a week during the summer season. Some of the drivers are chattier than others, but all are happy to answer questions.

Seward has a wonderful downtown area filled with fun shops, galleries, uniquely Alaskan restaurants and cafes. A favorite restaurant, according to locals and tourists alike, is The Cookery. In an overall excellent menu, it’s really the fresh seafood that stands out. Locally harvested oysters are on the menu all summer and a sure bet is to order whatever fish or other seafood they have on the special of the day.

Of course, one of the “must see” destinations in Seward itself is the Alaska SeaLife Center. The center is not only a fun tourist attraction, but is also the only permanent marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation facility in the entire state of Alaska. With a focus on research and education; the SeaLife Center offers not only a beautiful public aquarium and marine wildlife exhibits, but interactive programs and displays unlike any you’ll find anyplace else.

RV travelers arrive by way of the scenic Seward Highway and have quite a large and varied selection of RV Parks and campgrounds to choose from. My personal favorite is the Waterfront RV Park right in downtown Seward, partly for the spectacular views and partly for the close access to town just minutes walking distance away.

The actual front waterfront row of this RV Park – right on the bay with absolutely nothing but beach and a walking path between your RV and Resurrection Bay, is mostly dry parking (no hook-ups) but for me, it was worth it. There is definitely something special about sitting at the dinette in your RV, watching seals and sea otters playing in the surf just outside your windows!

Still, others may choose to trade a waterfront view for more spacious and woodsy sites in the parks and campgrounds a little further outside of town. Online reviews and photos are a great way to find just the right fit for you and your camping style.

Seward’s deep-water boat harbor offers a wide variety of marine wildlife boat tours and fishing charters. It is literally the gateway to the fantastic Kenai Fjords National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors can make reservations months in advance or make arrangements in person once you arrive in town. Weekends can be busy, but a mid-week arrival date will likely score you plenty of choices. A reminder – if you plan on a fishing charter, you will need a fishing license!

Marine wildlife tours often include such sights as harbor seals, Stellar sea lions, sea otters, whales, porpoises, eagles, puffins and other bird and sea life. The time of year will dictate what is around to be seen in some cases, so check with the boat tours as part of your pre-trip planning if you have “must-see” creatures on your bucket list.

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