I may earn income from affiliate links or partnerships in this post. I spend time to curate tours or products that align with my values. Thanks for supporting my work, at no additional cost to you.

Last updated on May 7th, 2024 at 02:36 pm

Are you curious about sustainable and local things to do in Seward, Alaska? Seward is a popular spot for people traveling through Alaska. Yet, sadly, most people just quickly pass through on their way to or from a multi-day cruise experience. However, you could easily spend days here soaking up the slow, mindful coastal life that makes Seward so special. There are so many things to do to keep you entertained, many of them eco-focused, making Seward a great eco-tourism destination for outdoor enthusiasts or those who love a slow life by the sea. 

Seward was my family’s vacation spot when I was little. On Friday afternoons, we would pack up the car, hitch up the pop-up camper, and drive one of the most beautiful roads in the world. We always looked for Beluga whales in the inlet and Dall sheep precariously hanging onto the steep mountain cliffs. Once we arrived in Seward, we would set up camp, explore the tide pools, visit Exit Glacier, and go hiking or fishing. After a long day, we would grill fresh salmon and toast marshmallows over the open fire. As an adult, I still return to Seward regularly, and each time I visit, I discover something new and charming about this seaside town. 

Sustainable travel guide and things to do in Seward

One of my favorite things about Seward is the local dedication to sustainability, ocean conservation, and appreciation of the great outdoors. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, with Seward home to independent women and family-owned businesses. With many local recommendations for things to do in Seward, this comprehensive guide to this charming seaside town will ensure you’re visiting sustainably and responsibly by supporting local businesses and connecting with nature. 

Rocky cliffs in Resurrection bay Seward Alaska

What is sustainable travel in Seward? It’s supporting businesses with strong environmental commitments, ecotours, and eco-accommodation, enjoying nature with minimal impact, learning about the ecosystems, farm-to-table dining, and local experiences. Honestly, you’d be hard-pressed to find a business that isn’t locally owned in Seward, so I tried to highlight local companies open year-round that employ or support locals and those that provide meaningful connections to the region’s beautiful natural landscapes.

Learn About Indigenous History

You’re on Native Land. Before Europeans and Russians colonized and invaded Alaska, Alutiiq-speaking people called Unegkurmiut lived here. Three villages existed in the vicinity of Seward. The village of Kangiaq was located at Day Harbor and belonged to a local group known as the Kaniaymiut or “Bay People.” A second village, the Qutatluq in Alutiiq, was located at or near the present town of Seward. A third village in the same vicinity was called Kani lik or “Two Boys.” In the Alutiiq language, the site of Seward is known as Qutekcak, or “big beach.” These villages no longer exist due to the invasion and destruction of culture from Russia and Europe. Today, Indigenous Alaskans live in Seward, but little remains of the region’s cultural heritage. Learn more about Seward’s Indigenous Peoples.

Unfortunately, I am unaware of any indigenous-owned businesses in Seward, but if you know of any, please contact me so that I can support them. Kenai Fjords has an awesome Yup’ik park ranger, Lynda, whom you can meet below.

View this post on Instagram

My name is Lynda and I am a Park Ranger at Kenai Fjords National Park. What I enjoy most about working here, beyond the amazing scenery, wildlife and glaciers, is having the platform to take up space as a Black Indigenous Ranger in a National Park. I feel that I have a unique relationship with Alaskan Parks being Black and Indigenous. My ancestors are Yup’ik, of western Alaska and I am proud to work here in the traditional land of the Sugpiak people. I sometimes wear my traditional parka, made of seal skin, lined with wolf and caribou hide. I am happy to share with visitors how my people have traditionally been and continue to be stewards of the land. Alaska Native people are here and we are strong and resilient. National Parks are for everyone; today and tomorrow. I see myself reflected in the history of the parks in the faces of the Buffalo Soldiers who not only patrolled parks in California, but also in Alaska during the gold rush. I see my ancestors in the abundant wildlife, I hear them in the caw of the raven and feel them on the katabatic winds that rush off the ice field. My hope is that people who also look like me, can see themselves in National Parks as well. #BlackInNationalParksWeek #FindYourPark #MeetaRanger NPS Photo/E Wagner

A post shared by Kenai Fjords National Park (@kenaifjordsnps) on


Responsible Eco-Outdoor Things to Do in Seward

Learn about Seward’s unique ecosystems and stunning nature, from ice fields to temperate rain forests, with these eco-adventures and Alaskan businesses with sustainable commitments.  The best things to do in Seward get you outside to explore the stunning biodiversity responsibly and ethically!

Wildlife and Glacier Viewing with Major Marine Tours

As someone studying conservation, ecosystem health, and sustainable travel, I recommend one company offering amazing wildlife and cruising options in Resurrection Bay, Major Marine Tours. Major Marine is a family-owned business with three female captains committed to ethical wildlife viewing practices, waste reduction, educational programs, and going above and beyond to give back to the community and ecosystems around Seward. On top of all that, their boats adhere to Coast Guard regulations, and they voluntarily pilot boats that support clean air and water initiatives to reduce pollution. Read more about Major Marine Tours’ environmental commitment.

sea otter floating in Resurrection Bay, Alaska

What can you expect onboard? With more than seven tours, you can choose if you want to prioritize wildlife sightings, glacier viewing – or a combination of both! Every time I’ve cruised with them, I’ve seen otters, puffins, sea lions, and eagles, and I often see whales and porpoises. All crew members adhere to NOAA WhaleSENSE guidelines to ensure ethical behavior in the water around wildlife. One of the best highlights is that they typically invite a park ranger on board to educate you about the ecosystem and wildlife you see.

They are a plastic-free company- so leave your plastic at home! Book your next adventure with MMT for one of the best wildlife excursions. 

large glacier calving into the ocean during a glacier cruise at resurrection bay alaska

If Major Marien doesn’t have what you are looking for, plenty of other tour companies offer experiences in Kenai Fjords National Park. One of these 6 options is sure to catch your eye.

Was your cruise canceled due to COVID-19? Learn how to travel to Alaska without a cruise – you’ll love it, I promise!

Visit the Seward Sealife Center

The Seward SeaLife Center is an educational and research facility and one of my top recommended must-dos in Seward. Everyone will enjoy the center, from those with limited mobility to small children. The center focuses on rehabilitating and rescuing marine animals, including a baby walrus recently nursed back to health after losing its mother. By visiting the center, you’ll have the opportunity to see and learn about numerous local species, from the giant octopus, Steller sea lions, puffins, salmon, and rescued baby seals. In addition to visiting the center, your money goes toward helping fund critical research focusing on the conservation and protection of Alaska’s coastal regions. Check out this photo from when they rescued a baby walrus. It had to be cuddled 24/7 as they are social creatures heavily reliant on their mothers. I’m sure my dream job would be a professional baby walrus cuddler!

Alaska Sealife Center employee cuddling a rescued baby walrus

The SeaLife Center struggled with the loss of tourism from the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic. This struggle still lingers, and the center has reported a significant impact on its revenue stream. Please consider donating to help ensure they can continue to maintain quality environmental services for years to come!

Explore Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the most amazing national parks in the United States. Most of the park is a sprawling ice field called the Harding Ice Field, which feeds 40 glaciers. These glaciers often tumble into the ocean, making it a place where ice and the ocean meet. Hundreds of marine species call this park home, including sea lions, porpoises, whales, otters, and sea birds. The accessible land portion features endless mountains, glacial valleys, and land animals. So, whether you’re looking for backcountry hiking, a small trek out to a glacier, ocean cruises, or glacier trekking, Kenai Fjords has something for you.  

Visit Exit Glacier: If you want to explore the national park alone, I recommend driving to or catching the Exit Glacier Shuttle to the Exit Glacier Nature Center. After looking at the nature center, join a ranger-led walk to Exit Glacier, learning about the glacier and Harding Ice Field. You can also explore the glacier at your own pace. A one-mile loop is accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers, offering views of Exit Glacier. A more technical trail continues to the Exit Glacier terminus overlook, adding an extra mile. This will get you close to the glacier.  My 70-year-old in-laws were just able to manage this trail. 

Exit Glacier and climate change: The photo below shows me and my family during one of our camping trips to Seward. My cousins and I posed in front of Exit Glacier. When I was little, I could walk up to the glacier and touch it; as you can see, it was right behind me. I’m the redhead in the purple shirt. Today, the glacier is a tiny sliver you can no longer walk up to and touch. Glaciers melt over time, but they are melting at an alarming rate, putting Alaskans at risk of losing water security, increasing flooding, loss of cultural heritage, and changes to our natural environment. As you travel Seward, consider your impact on the environment, and please make smart choices for the sake of Exit Glacier, yourself, and our planet.

family photo in front of exit glacier from the 1990s

Hike Harding Ice Fields: For the more adventurous and experienced hikers looking for a strenuous day trip, I recommend completing the 8.2-mile there-and-back Harding Ice Field trek. You should be an experienced hiker with the proper gear, including 2 liters of water, food, hiking boots, food, microspikes, cold-weather clothing, and other safety equipment. Always check in at the nature center for the latest conditions.

The unknown snow and ice conditions might cause problems even if you are a confident hiker. Therefore, I recommend booking an ice hiking trip with local expert guides like Alaska Backcountry Adventures. 

Public Use Cabin: If you want to stay overnight in the national park, consider booking one of the public use cabins for a truly rustic and off-the-grid experience. These cabins are an excellent option for locals who can source transportation in and out of the cabin and have all the required gear. 

Go Kayaking

Kayaking in Kenai Fjords National Park and the surrounding area can be one of the most memorable ways to get up close and personal with glacier views and wildlife while respecting nature. Kayaking in this region can be very dangerous, and I strongly recommend booking a guided tour. There are dozens of kayak companies in the area, and I strongly recommend using one of the following. 

ocean kayaking in alaska whitter outdoor things to do

Adventure 60 North is my top recommendation. Co-owned by “mom”- ager Monica, they support diversity with leading female kayak guides. They are also open year-round, employing local guides in summer and winter, making them a great ethical choice for kayak operators based in Seward. Choose from any of their short half-day or multi-day trips. I recommend Aialik Glacier day or multi-day trips to get up close and personal with glaciers. For WWII history buffs, take the day trip to explore WWII ruins. If you’re crunched for time, choose the half-day Resurrection Bay tour. 

Another great option is Sunny Cove Kayak Adventures, which offers kayaking experiences around Resurrection Bay.

Go Hiking

The ecosystems around Seward are fragile; please always stay on the trail and avoid disrupting wildlife – even starfish you might find on the beach. Leave everything as is, and pack out what you pack in. You are in bear country, so ensure you are bear-aware or hike with a guide. Aside from the Harding Ice Field, there are plenty of hikes around Seward to surround yourself with nature.

Mt. Marathon: The story goes like this: back in the old days, two drunk sourdoughs or cranky old gold miners were having a drink in Seward. One looked at the prominent mountain overlooking Resurrection Bay and claimed he could climb up and down in less than an hour. They waged a bet with the loser having to buy drinks for the entire crowd. The fastest man ran it in just over an hour and about 20 minutes. To this day, crazy Alaskans come together on the 4th of July to race up this mountain. The racers take the steep runner’s trail, covered with loose shale; runners often descend covered in blood.

However, you can be a part of history and still take your time leisurely while taking the HIKERS TRAIL – not the runner’s trail unless you are a fit half-mad Alaskan beast. The hiker’s trail is quite scenic and is about 4 miles all up. Bring proper hiking boots, lots of water, food, and hiking poles if you have them. There will be snow and some tricky parts for most of the year. The trailhead is at the end of Monroe Street, away from the water. 

exit glacier outwash plains

Cains Head / Tonsina Beach: You have two options, starting from the Cains Head trailhead in Lowell Point. The first is the easy walk to Tonsina Point, along the coast. Tonsina is a beautiful spot to look at tide pools during low tide. 

For more experienced hikers who can monitor tides, you can continue to Cains Head for an all-day 13-mile out-and-back hike. At Cains Head, you’ll find Ft. McGilvray, a WWII military fortification ruin. You must plan your hike around the tides, and there is a three-mile stretch you can only access during a +3 or lower tide. If you leave the trailhead 2 hours before a +3 tide, you should be okay—but if you’re unsure, turn back at Tonsina Point.

Bear Lake: A gentle trail winds around Bear Lake from Bear Lake and Golden Eagle Rd. Bear Lake is an out-and-back trail totaling 4 miles and is suitable for most people. Despite its name, this trail is perfect for bald eagle viewing, rather than bear watching. 

More Hiking! Check out this Guided Wilderness Hike in Seward with a local expert for more hiking opportunities. 

Take a Leisurely Nature Walk

If you prefer to experience nature at a slower pace, then try the two lakes walk. Near downtown Seward, this little slice of nature feels worlds away from civilization. The trail is flat but can be uneven and muddy at times. If you plan to visit the SeaLife Center, I recommend walking there from downtown Seward along the waterfront. This paved trail is accessible and offers lovely views of the bay. 

SCUBA Dive and Get Lost with Seward Ocean Excursions

Yes, you can scuba dive in Alaska! One of my favorite small family-owned businesses in Seward is Seward Ocean Excursions, and their small vessels and small group sizes mean you can get completely off the beaten trail. If you’re an experienced Scuba diver with cold water certification, you’ll love all the marine life in coastal waters, including giant kelp, octopus, otters, and more. 

If you’re not a scuba diver, check out their other amazing small-scale tours. You can get up close and personal (safely and ethically following WhaleSENSE guidelines) with orca whales, seals, and sea lions. They also will take you to remote, secluded beaches for walks, snow shoe tours, and even custom photography tours. If small-scale and intimate excursions are your thing, then definitely reach out; you will not be disappointed. 

Explore Tide Pools

girl beach combing at waterfront park in Seward

My favorite thing about coming to Seward as a kid was exploring the tide pools along Waterfront Park or on the way to Tonsina Beach. During low tide, you can walk (carefully not to disturb the marine ecosystems) along the water’s edge, observing starfish, urchins, crabs, barnacles, and seaweed. Do not touch or take anything home, as even seemingly abandoned shells have a purpose in the ecosystem. Respect nature, and do not take anything home with you! Just looking and watching is a great way to see Alaska’s diverse and unique coastal waters. 

Rent Bicycles

I have always loved riding my bike along the waterfront in Seward. You can rent bikes from Seward Bike Shop and get around Seward in style and without carbon. A well-paved and mostly flat bike trail runs from the SeaLife center to the harbor. It is a great way to explore this charming waterfront harbor city. Make sure you take plenty of spots to visit the beach or small local businesses. 

More Fun Things to Do Around Seward, AK

Visit the Museum and Libary

Learning about regional history is essential while financially supporting community preservation when visiting a new destination. Visiting the Seward Museum and Libary (one fabulous-looking building) checks all these boxes. 

rainbow tiles and unique architecture of the Seward library

With only a $4 CASH admission, this is an excellent bang for your buck. You can learn about history through videos. One video is about the Ididatrod – which started in Seward when the diphtheria vaccine landed in the port of Seward before being rushed to Nome by several dog sled teams. The second movie is about the 1964 earthquake. The 64′ quake is the second largest recorded quake in human history, and it happened right off the coast of Alaska, causing a massive tsunami to wash over Seward. Unfortunately, my mom, who survived the earthquake, had a friend who was lost to the sea during the Seward tsunami, and learning about how this shaped Seward is important. The rest of the museum has displays to help educate you about Seward’s history. 

Walk Around the Harbor

Seward Harbor is arguably the most magical part of Seward. It is free to walk along the piers and check out all the cool boats with scenic mountain views behind them. Keep your eyes on the water as you’ll often see jellyfish, otters, and occasionally the rouge seal or other larger mammals. Start your journey at the Kenai Fjords Visitor Center before passing behind Joho Joe’s Coffee and then just meandering down the wooden docks to your heart’s content. 

Fishing boats resting in the Seward harbor

Stroll Charming Downtown

Downtown Seward has remnants of the old gold mining days, with historic buildings and a cute old-timey vibe. I’ll give my recommendations for the best spots to visit downtown a bit later, but enjoy walking around downtown and going where your feet take you, admiring the buildings, shops, and art. 

Buy Cannabis

The cannabis industry is vast in Alaska (yes, it’s legal) and supplies numerous jobs for locals. The tax on cannabis products is high, but that money goes back to the state and local government for improved public works. So stop by the Tufted Puffin and let the experts help you purchase a product that is right for you, inform you of all the local laws (you can’t smoke outside, etc.), and enjoy something uniquely Alaskan!

Experience First Friday

Seward comes alive with local artistic talent every first Friday of the month. Restaurants, cafes, bars, and street vendors showcase local art, cuisine, music, and more. You’ll find things just wandering around Seward or by stopping in any of the local cafes and asking where a First Friday is hosted – chances are it will be at the cafe you’re visiting!

Best Local Restaurants and Where to Eat in Seward

The Cookery Oyster Bar is arguably Seward’s best restaurant, IMHO. Seward can be a real hit or miss, over-promising and underdelivering. However, the husband and wife duo, Chef Kevin and Stacy, know how to use the best ingredients in Alaska for flavorful food. The Cookery is a farm-to-table restaurant sourcing food from local farm Alaska Homegrown Farm in Kasilof to fresh oysters and seafood from Jakolof Bay Oyster Co and Alaska Shellfish Farms. You’ll even find mindfully foraged food on the menu. They had many vegetarian options, including mushroom toast, salads, cauliflower schnitzel, and hummus. Owned by the same family, The Lone Chicharron brings the same local food with a Mexican twist and is worth checking out.

Seward Brewing Company offers excellent pub fare, pizzas, and fresh local beer on tap. This is always one of my favorite casual places to eat in Seward, and you can consume all the comfort food, from salmon burgers to homemade soft beer pretzels. Some vegetarian options are on the menu, including green beans, pizza, and salads.

Woody’s Thai Food is always one of my favorites if I’m looking for vegetarian and vegan options or if you’ve had your fill of fried seafood and American cuisine.

Le Barn Appetite is perfect if you are looking for something sweet. Visit Le Barn Appetite for crepes and Belgian waffles. Vegetarian options are available.

Zudy’s Cafe is great for a quick lunch, including a sandwich, chips, or soup. Located away from the harbor but with ocean views, you feel like dining at a best friend’s seaside house. Judy’s items are homemade and cooked with local ingredients.

Ms. Genes Place is great for a fancy brunch or hangover cure with pancakes, egg scrambles, and benedict. They’re also open for dinner, with an elegant dining room and great local eat. 

Most seafood places are along the harbor and serve fresh local seafood! Ray’s Waterfront Restaurant and Chinooks are touristy but upscale dining along the harbor. Both are great options for seafood, including fresh halibut and salmon. If you like fried seafood and french fries, grab something quick at Alaska Seafood Grill.

Best Cafes, Bars, and Brews and What to Drink in Seward

13 Raves Coffee serves some of the best coffee in Seward. If you visit, tell Liberty Miller that Susanna said hello! The best part is that 13 ravens is located in an old Alaska Railroad train car next to the Seward Harbor. Another excellent coffee opinion is Nature’s Nectar, owned by a working mom and local, Cedar. If you like enjoying your coffee with art in a funky setting, visit Resurrect Art Coffee House in downtown Seward. Finally, Seabean is a great cafe for coffee or a quick sandwich.

I already mentioned the Seward Brewery as a place to eat, but they also have amazing beers on tap. If you’re looking for local Alaskan craft brews, then don’t miss my guide to drinking your way through Alaska’s craft beer scene.

Susanna and Ganesh drinking at a bar in Seward

Seward has a great mix of all Alaskan dive bars and pubs. My favorite dive bar is Yukon. No matter the day of the week, it is always a good time to party with locals, salty fisherpeople, and wayward tourists. Other options are Tony’s Bar and Liquor Store or Seward Alehouse, owned by local female entrepreneur Liz Demoss. If you have a designated driver or taxi, check out The Pit, a weird place to meet some of the most Alaskan characters – it’s hard to explain unless you visit. These bars often include plastic straws in your drinks- so remember to ask for no straws!

Best Local Shops and What to Buy in Seward

Seward is a mix of “souvenirs” cheaply made overseas and local art created right here in Alaska. Even some of the gift shops I recommend have that mix, so check the artist bios and ask the front desk clerk to ensure you are getting something made in Alaska. 

Ranting Raven and Forest Tides and Treasures are two of my favorite shops. They both have a great selection of local artwork and unique gifts made in Alaska. Ranting Raven also supports diversity and Black Artists in Alaska. If you want a unique piece of art or an authentic local souvenir to take home, I suggest checking out these two shops first.  

Salmon Sisters. The two sisters, the Salmon Sisters, are my heroes. These two amazing women are badass fisherwomen in their own right, but they also have a knack for design. They created some of Alaska’s best local clothing and reimagined the shoe of Alaska – the XTratuf boot. They also love everything salmon, so if you are looking for a cookbook with great salmon recipes, these are your gals! Visit their store next to the SeaLife Center for a gift you can only buy in Alaska. Note: Unfortunately, this store closed during the pandemic, and it is unknown if they will reopen, but you can still find their products around town :(

Designer rain boots in the mud

Mermaid Co. Boutique is the store of local fashion sensation AK Starfish Co. This locally-owned clothing company took Alaskan fashion by storm, so if you want to dress to fit in or bring home gifts for your family, you must visit this cute little boutique near the harbor. 

Annual Events in Seward

Being such a small town, annual events in Seward are huge for the community but can also bring about massive crowds, so when visiting during busy events, respect staff, be prepared for longer wait times, and don’t trash the town!

Seward Mermaid Festival

The Mermaid Fest is my favorite event because the purpose is to bring together the true local spirit of Alaskan businesses as they come together to sell their wares and art. The theme is mermaids, which is arguably the best theme ever. As you visit during the mermaid festival, you’ll encounter mermaids dressed up and roaming around downtown. There is a pirate and mermaid pub crawl to support local bars and pubs and a Seware business crawl to support all the small businesses in Seward.

The Seward Mermaid Festival usually takes place in mid-May.

Music and Arts Festival

This family-friendly event supports, you guessed it, local art and music. The event even has an environmental impact policy and supports a diverse group of artists. The event takes place in October, making it a great time to visit Seward after the summer tourism boom and to support the local economy meaningfully. 

Luminary Ski & Christmas Markets

Find out why I recommend visiting Seward in winter! As a bonus, Seward has wonderful Christmas and gift markets to support local businesses and creatives again. If you stick around until New Year, don’t miss their Luminary Ski – a great and healthy way to connect with nature while ringing in the new year. The Divide Ski Trails are lit with ice lights, and you can walk, snowshoe, or ski, with hot cocoa, cider, and bonfire provided. 

Best Accommodation and Where to Stay in Seward

Central Seward

I recommend booking Harbor 360 for a fantastic location! The same wonderful family that owns Major Marine Tours also operates Harbo 360. At their hotel, they are just as committed to sustainability, environmental responsibility, and giving back to the community as they are on their cruises. You can even book a room and cruise package to save money. The hotel is located right at the harbor edge so that you can see all the comings and goings of the bustling harbor from your room.

Hotel Seward is a historic family-owned hotel, and Mary and Mark, the owners, will take care of you and give you a big Alaskan welcome. You’ll get friendly local service and lots of insider knowledge for your stay in Seward. You can choose modern Alaskan rooms, historic rooms, a cabin on a cliff, or lakefront lodging.

Sauerdough Lodging, one of the few buildings that survived the 1964 earthquake and formerly a brothel, is a charming boutique hotel in the heart of downtown. It is an excellent option for larger groups and families. My family stayed at Sauerdough on our last trip to Seward. The perk of this location is the location and the modern, well-designed rooms for a comfortable stay.

Eco Options in Nature

Orca Island Cabins is making waves in sustainability and eco lodgings. Orca island yurts are designed to be eco-friendly and were built with careful consideration to have minimal impact on the delicate rainforest ecosystem. They intentionally limit the number of yurts to avoid mass over-tourism and environmental damage. The yurts are off-the-grid, so you will be using a compost toilet, but trust me, this is an authentic Alaskan experience. Orca Cabins are at the far end of Resurrection Bay, but included in the price is water taxi transportation, kayaks, SUP, wetsuits, fishing gear, and more so you can enjoy the best of the best without ever venturing too far from your yurt. 

Angels Rest is a great green and eco-friendly accommodation in Seward. Tucked away from downtown Angels Rest is located in Lowell Point for a perfect escape. Certified eco and green, this family-owned business is dedicated to recycling, green cleaning, and other sustainable initiatives to ensure minimal environmental impact. The cabins are rustic and built by a local contractor with beautiful wooden features. You are encouraged to stay with them in the winter; the longer your stay, the better your rate. Enjoy waterfront cabins, ocean-view rooms, and suites for extended stays. 

Windsong Lodge is a rustic lodge nestled away from downtown on the way to Exit Glacier. You can book various eco excursions from the lodge directly, and the dining menu features regional cuisine. 

Camping! I will always associate Seward with camping since that is how my family always chose to stay in Seward. There are plenty of tent camping sites, RV locations, and even a KOA campground for a great Alaskan experience. However, if you are trying to keep this trip sustainable, I suggest camping or KOA over an RV any day!

How Much Time to Spend in Seward

One of the most disappointing things about Alaska’s cruises is that it only allows for a short time in Seward. For this reason, I recommend people travel to Alaska without a cruise and slow travel to experience the best of the state. Seward has so many amazing adventures you can easily spend days here. I recommend at least two full days in Seward to see the rest of the state. One day you can take Major Marine Cruise and meander around the old town. The following day, you can head out to Exit Glacier. However, if you’re into epic adventures, I suggest staying for three or more days to go on a kayak adventure and hike Harding Ice Field.

Sealions in Seward on rocks

How to get to Seward

The best way to get to Seward in terms of sustainability and awe factor is The Alaska Railroad. While the drive to Seward is lovely and a great road trip, traffic can get so congested in the summer, and you don’t always have time to pull over to see wildlife. The railroad passes glaciers, waterfalls, coastal views, and mountain passes. It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. You can catch the train to Seward and back most days of the week in the summer, so ride the train and get treated to a royal Alaskan experience. The train departs from Anchorage early in the morning and takes you to Seward; from there, you can catch a shuttle to your accommodation or walk right down to the harbor. If you’re driving, use Google Maps, you know the drill.  

train riding into a colorful sunset along the Turnagain arm

Fun Facts About Seward

  • A group of puffins is called a circus. If you take a Major Marine cruise, you’ll see the chaos of a group of puffins, and they are most certainly secretly in a freakin’ circus.
  • Seward is considered a Pacific Coast Mountain ecoregion featuring tundra, ice fields, and temperate rainforests. 
  • Kenai Fjords National Park is home to several endangered and threatened species, including the Humpback Whale, Sei Whale, Grey Whale, and Steller sea Lion. Around 200 species live in the National Park. How many are you able to observe?

Mountains and water at the Kenai Fjords National Park

Share the Love

Seward will forever be one of my favorite places in Alaska. This charming fishing town is full of life and energetic Alaskan entrepreneurs committed to conserving their delicate ecoregion. Visiting Seward with this sustainable travel guide and my local travel tips will ensure you experience the best of Seward, Kenai Fjords National Park, while supporting local businesses and providing environmental awareness. Share the love so all your friends and family can visit Seward responsibly.

Sustainable travel guide and things to do in Seward
Responsible Tavel Guide to Seward Alaska
sustainable travel guide to Seward Alaska