Seward is a charming coastal town 127 miles south of Anchorage. It is one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic communities. Abrupt mountain slopes cloaked in shaggy summer greens and snow form an impressive backdrop for this progressive city of 2,700 people on the Kenai Peninsula. Tourism, shipping and fishing are the mainstays of Seward’s vibrant economy.
Known as the “Gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park,” Seward is home to a number of world-class boat tours that explore the stunning scenery and abundant wildlife of the National Park. The Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the most visited areas in all of Alaska because of it’s incredible natural wonders and the popularity of Seward as a cruise ship destination. As the first or last port of call for many cruise passengers, it’s easy to add a day or two of activities in this beautiful town.

Seward is at the head of Resurrection Bay, named by explorer Alexander Baranof, in the 18th century, when he took shelter in the bay over Easter. This is also one of the northernmost ice free ports in North America making it an important connection between sea and rail. Resurrection Bay’s rugged scenery and variety of wildlife can be enjoyed by water taxis, rented kayaks or taking a guided, all-inclusive, boat tour.

Nearby Exit Glacier is one of the most visited glaciers in the State and is the only part of the Kenai Fjords National Park that is accessible by road. The area around the glacier is great for a hike.
Seward is most famous for two summertime events. First is the famous 4th of July Mt. Marathon Race, one of the oldest mountain races in North America. The total length of the race is three miles, with an elevation gain of 3,000 feet.

Excellent accommodations, restaurants, RV parks, and tent camping are available in Seward, and you’ll always find friendly hospitality from the residents. Seward was voted All American City in 1963, 1965 and 2005.

Seward Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center is open daily in the summer at mile 2 of the Seward Highway (on the right as you enter town). Ask the helpful staff to recommend their favorite spots in town for wildlife viewing, hiking, and paddling. They will also help in organizing any of the tours available in town or nearby Kenai Fjords National Park. 907-224-8051. www.seward.com

Seward Community Library Museum, 6th & Adams. A film on the 1964 earthquake is shown daily at 2pm.

Kenai Fjords National Park Visitor Center next to the Harbormaster Building in the small boat harbor on Fourth Avenue. This is an excellent place to visit and learn about the incredible natural features of this National Park. It is ideally located to stop by before or after a boat tour of the Kenai Fjords. Park Rangers are avaialable to answer any questions visitors have about the area. 907-422-0535

Exit Glacier Nature Center Has exhibits and information about Exit Glacier and the Harding Icefield. Mile 8.4 of Exit Glacier Road.

 

 

 

Seward became a town-site in 1903 when it was decided a railroad would need to be constructed to connect the Interior of Alaska’s rich resources to the coastline. Seward’s, large, ice free port was chosen as the ideal location. Construction of the railroad’s southern terminus was started by private enterprise, but the 70 miles of completed track was purchased in 1915 by the Federal Government’s newly formed Alaska Railroad Corporation. When completed in 1923, the Alaska Railroad would connect the 470 miles between Seward and Fairbanks.

The town of Seward is named for William H. Seward, who was a former Secretary of State during the Lincoln Administration and a key figure in the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.

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