Alaska scenes promo ad


Alaska Scenes

all rights reserved

Seward, Alaska small boat harbor 

Visitors look out over the Seward small boat harbor, the home port for tour boats that offer cruises of Kenai Fjords National Park. A Coast Guard cutter is visible in the middle distance and the superstructure of a cruise liner can be seen beyond the forest of sailboat masts.

Seward, Alaska

Seward is a popular stop for visitors to Southcentral Alaska. It is the final port for many of the cruise ships to Alaska and it is an easy and picturesque mountain drive from Anchorage. It is dramatically located at the foot of Mount Marathon and at the head of Resurrection Bay.

Mountains and Seward SeaLife CenterSome of the big events during the year in Seward include the Mount Marathon Run on the Fourth of July and the Polar Bear Jump Off in January. The Mount Marathon Race is pretty much what it sounds like: Runners race up the 3,022-foot mountain behind Seward and back down again; the fastest racers can make the roundtrip in less than an hour.

While the Mount Marathon Race comes during the height of the tourist season; the Polar Bear Jump Off comes when Seward is battened down for the winter. It attracts Alaskans -- and only hardy ones at that. The highlight of the activities on the third Saturday in January is when folks dress up in outrageous costumes and plunge into the waters of the small boat harbor, which at that time of year are just above freezing. They jump out again pretty quickly. Proceeds of the event go to the American Cancer Society.

Seward's Silver Salmon Derby, a 9-day event that starts the second Saturday in August, offers more than $200,000 in prizes. Advance reservations are strongly recommended for visitors to Seward during that time. There's also a Jackpot Halibut Tournament from May 15 to August 1.

The SeaLife Center, the large building visible in the photo above right, is one of Seward's newest attractions. It was opened in 1998 as a combination marine science and visitor facility. Visitors can view researchers at work as well as seabirds and marine life in naturalistic settings.

Nearby attractions include Kenai Fjords National Park -- to see it, catch a tour boat in the small boat harbor -- and Exit Glacier, which can be reached via a road that branches off the highway just north of town.

Seward has camping areas along the shore of Resurrection Bay for RVs and the Harbormaster building at the small boat harbor has public facilities that include pay showers.


Seward harbor in winter

Seward's small boat harbor in the winter.

Other interesting Seward facts and information:

Seward facts

It was founded in 1903, making it 12 years older than Anchorage and one of the oldest communities in Alaska.

It has about 4,000 year-round residents.

More than 100 cruise ships visit Seward in a typical year. It is also a stop on the Alaska Marine Ferry system.

Train service on the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage is available daily from May through September. The train arrives in Seward at 11:05 a.m. and departs at 6 p.m.., giving passengers time to take afternoon cruises of Kenai Fjords.

It is 125 miles by highway from Anchorage to Seward. The drive along the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet and through the Kenai Mountains is one of the most scenic in North America; the highway has been designated a National Forest Scenic Byway. Major work has been done on the road in recent years, including the addition of more passing lanes.

The 1964 Good Friday earthquake hit Seward hard; a movie and slide show about the earthquake is shown at 2 p.m. daily during the summer in the Community Library.

Online Design ad