This is a town in southern Alaska which is on an inlet of the Kenai Peninsula. It has a population of around three thousand (3000) people, and is located on Resurrection Bay, a fjord of the Gulf of Alaska.
Located about a hundred and twenty (120) miles from Anchorage (Alaska’s largest city), the city is named after the former Secretary of State, William H. Seward. In fact, he is the person who set up the acquisition of Alaska from Russia in 1867 when Andrew Jackson was President.
Some Interesting Facts
— On the southern end of town is Mile 0 of the Iditarod Trail to the interior of Alaska.
— It is the southern terminus of the Alaskan Railroad.
— Seward is actually pronounced “Soo-word”.
— It was a vital port for military buildup in Alaska during World War II. Even today it has a minor military installation where the USCGC Mustang is based.
— During the 1964 Alaska earthquake the town suffered damage by the local tsunami as well as the shaking.
— Even though it has a subarctic climate, it is not as cold as other parts of Alaska. This is as a result of the Gulf of Alaska which is nearby. Temperatures below zero are very rare, and only in January does it average below freezing. Also because of this influence from the Gulf of Alaska, there is quite a bit of precipitation, with the majority being in the fall and winter months.
— The economy is driven by tourism and commercial fishing. The tourist season runs from the middle of May through the middle of September, and this is when the majority of restaurants and shops stay open.
— It is the northern end-point for several cruise ship lines.
— The population is around 3,000 give or take a few folks.
— The medium household income is about $44,306.
— Unlike most small Alaskan communities, Seward does have road access to Anchorage via the Seward Highway. There is bus service as well. The Alaska railroad serves Seward on a seasonal basis with the Coastal Classic train.
— Many people bicycle around the town as there is a paved bike path from the downtown area which circles around the waterfront going through the harbor and along the highway for a few miles. You can rent bikes, and there are also bike tours available.
— They have a small airport, Seward Airport, for general aviation services, but commercial flights are at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and the Kenai Municipal Airport. Both are about one hundred (100) miles (160km) away. Bus service is available to Seward.
Now What Is There To Do?
Even for a small city like this in a very remote part of North America, there is quite a bit to keep one’s interest during the day. For one the scenery is just amazing with much natural beauty all around. It’s an historic town with a very active harbor, and it is known as the “Gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park”. You can observe plenty of wildlife by just taking a boat tour during the day from Seward to the National Park.
In addition, just by hanging out in the downtown area you will immediately pick up on the magnetic quality of the local vibe. There is a sense of authenticity among the locals, which is evidenced by their welcoming and friendly nature. Now let’s figure out some stuff to do.
Let’s begin our journey with a short video which will give you a very good idea of what Seward is all about:
- A Coffee Lover’s Delight — whether you desire nice intimate cafes or an expression shack to get a quick dose of caffeine, you will not be at a loss in locating any interesting spots to hang out and drink your java. A few spots are Nature’s Nectars, the Sea Bean Cafe, and right inside a refurbished church you will find the Resurrect Art Coffee House.
- Hiking — there are quite a few world-class trails around here to explore and travel about. With everything from high alpine lakes to very lush rain forests, you will have plenty of trails to hike. The Exit Glacier trail gives you the opportunity to check out an actual glacier. There is also Lost Point and Tosina Point which have interesting trails, but the Mt. Marathon Trail is quite legendary as it attracts the top flight trail runners each year from around the world. If nothing else you can take a casual walk along the waterfront and pick up some sea shells.
- The Harbor — this is a fun place to hang out as you can view the otters swimming around the fishing boats as the fisherman come in with their latest catch. There are also the cruise ships as well, so there is always a lot of activity around there.
- The Drive from Anchorage — this is a very scenic drive which is about one hundred and twenty-six (126) miles (202 km) and it takes about two and a half (2 1/2) hours.
- The Wildlife — in the mountains or on the coast the wildlife around here is plentiful. Checkout the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, and also Kenai Fjords National Park will provide a wide variety of wildlife viewing. There are bears in the mountains as well as a bald eagle who spends time flying over the harbor. The waters are filled with sea lions, otters, gray whales, Orcas, and Humpbacks. Puffins can also be sighted along the coast.
- The Seafood — since commercial fishing is a main industry around here you will not be at a loss for enjoying fresh and delicious seafood. At the Seward Windsong Lodge, the Resurrection Roadhouse has a great Creole Bouillabaisse consisting of cod, salmon, King Crab, scallops, and Alaskan halibut. The Cookery has fresh oysters as well as numerous vegetarian options. A nice place overlooking the harbor is Ray’s Waterfront where you can get some killer King Crab.
- Resurrection River — this river begins in the Kenai Mountains and runs down into Resurrection Bay which is just north of Seward. In fact, you can get great views of the River from the deck of the Resurrection Roadhouse while you enjoy a nice meal. You can also get nice views of the river from the Goliath Bar and Grill while enjoying a micro brew.
- Lowell Point — at the end of the road just south of Seward you will find this interesting little town. Beneath the massive trees you will discover a number of hobbit-like dwellings. Each home has its own individual character and connection with nature. It is an area well worth checking out.
- The Locals — last but not least are the people who live around here. Like other parts of the world with a high level of community bonding, you will find an aura of authenticity among the local folks who display a genuine love for this area. These people take pride in where they live and work, and they value their natural environment. It is a vibrant community with a lot to do. There is plenty of arts and culture, as well as marine science non-profits and athletic clubs.
What I Personally Like About This Area
Aside from the obvious beauty of the area, I really appreciate the sense of community with people who really care about each other and their environment. It is a nice change of pace from the hectic pace of most metropolitan areas.
This is a place you can just relax and enjoy the scenery and take part in as many activities as you desire. The food is above average and the people are welcoming and friendly.
Also the weather for Alaska is not as severe as other parts of the state because of the Gulf of Alaska which I mentioned earlier. There are actually seven (7) golf courses in the area between Seward and Anchorage, which is an important consideration for folks like me who enjoy the game. The only thing is that golf season is limited because of the weather.
All in all this is a great place to visit and even consider living. Each to his own, but this is definitely an area I will consider spending some time.
May you always enjoy your travels,
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