Exit Glacier is the only part of the Kenai Fjords National Park accessible by road. Here you can stroll the trails, walk very close to an active glacier, or take a ranger-led walk. It is a place where you can witness up close how glaciers re-shape a landscape and learn how plant life reclaims the barren rocky land exposed by a glacier’s retreat. Exit Glacier is open year-round. Upon the arrival of snow, usually in mid-November, the road is closed to cars but open to a wide-range of winter recreation - from snow machines to dogsleds and cross-country skiers. The road often remains closed through early May so be sure to check current conditions if you are visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring or fall).
Brown & Hawkins
The oldest continually operated business in Seward and the oldest store under the same ownership in Alaska. Charles E. Brown and W. T. Hawkins came to Seward in 1903 and started the Brown & Hawkins Company to serve as bankers and merchants for the building of the Alaska Central Railroad. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, a complete history of the founders is on display in the store. Open to the public.
Alaska SeaLife Center
Alaska SeaLife Center Opened in 1998, Alaska’s premier public aquarium, featuring exhibits, education, rehabilitation and research. Alaska’s only permanent marine mammal rehabilitation facility is located on the shores of Resurrection Bay in Seward. Hours vary seasonally. Exhibits also vary. Call for hours and admission fees: 907-224-6300 or 800-224-2525.
Alaska State Flag Raising Site Monument
On the National Register of Historic Places, can be viewed in from of the shell of the historic Jesse Lee Home.
Area Hiking Trails
The Kenai Peninsula has one of the most impressive trail systems in the country. Trails accessed from the Seward area are the crowning jewel of this system and offer hikers of varying skill levels the opportunity to explore this wild and beautiful country.
Many Trails are in the nearby Chugach National Forest. Before you hit the trailhead, visit the Seward Ranger District office at 334 Fourth Avenue, or call 907-224-3374 for maps.
Jesse Lee Home for Children
Is a former orphanage on Swetmann Avenue. The orphanage was operated by the United Methodist Church from its opening in 1926 until the building suffered damage from a 1964 earthquake and operations were relocated to a new building in Anchorage.
Kenai Fjords National Park
At the edge of the Kenai Peninsula lays a land where the ice age lingers. Nearly 40 glaciers flow from the Harding Ice Field, Kenai Fjords’ crowning feature. Wildlife thrives in icy waters and lush forests around this vast expanse of ice. Native Alvtiiq relied on these resources to nurture a life entwined with the sea. Today, shrinking glaciers bear witness to the effects of our changing climate. The Park is open year-round; however, the road to Exit Glacier is closed to cars for the winter months and much of the spring. The Park’s coastal backcountry is also inaccessible late fall through early spring due to rough seas. Hours: May 12 - 25 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; May 26 - September 3 8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.; September 4 - 16 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Resurrection Bay Historical Society/Seward Museum
The museum presents the chief points of Seward’s history through photographs, artifacts and documents. There is also a fine collection of Native baskets and ivory carvings on display. During the summer there are evening programs consisting of two slide/tape shows: The History of Seward and The History of the Iditarod Trail. A special open house is held every August 28 in honor of the founding of Seward in 1903. Museum shop carries books by local authors and other items relating to local area. Hours (subject to change): May- Sept.: Daily 10 a.m. 5 p.m. Adults: $2; Children: $ .50; Pre-school children: Free.
Seward Waterfront Park
Located along Ballaine Boulevard, right on the beach of Resurrection Bay. The south end of Waterfront Park includes the Alaska SeaLife Center, Founders’ Monument, Mile ‘0’ of the historic Iditarod Trail, and the Old Railroad Depot.
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
On the corner of 2nd and Adams Street is a quaint church completed in 1906. It is noted for its famous mural “The Resurrection”, with Resurrection Bay in the background. Dutch artist Jan Van Emple painted the mural in 1925, using Seward residents as models. The key for viewing the mural is available at the Museum. St. Peter’s is on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Red Light District”
University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Marine Science, Seward Marine Center and the K.M. Rae Building are located in this area that was once Seward’s “Red Light District”, where some of the “shady ladies’ had colorful names like “Dutch Emma”, “The Spanish Queen” and “Gypsy”. “Alley B” ran north & south down the middle of the block and the 21 houses located there had their heyday during WW II when 5,000 GI’s were stationed here. After the war, business dropped off and pressure from reformers finally closed down “The Line” in the mid 1950’s. 125 Third Avenue, Seward.
January - The Polar Bear Jump
Daring individuals dressed in costume brave the frigid waters of Resurrection Bay and jump into the small boat harbor. Whether breaking through the icy crust on their way in to the water or rushing to their blankets on the way out, their smiles can’t be beat – it is for a good cause, after all.
APRIL - Whale Migration
Over 22,000 California Gray Whales embark each year on a 5,000-migration from Mexico’s Baja coast to their feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi seas. Get an up close view of these mammoth travelers as they pass Resurrection Bay.
MAY - Military Appreciation Week
Seward is home to the only military recreation camps in the state of Alaska and our patriotic spirit runs deep. From Armed Services Day through Memorial Day, Seward businesses come together to offer special activities, events, and discounts to our fellow citizens in uniform. We honor you with a special picnic kickoff, a combat fishing tournament, and other special activities for you and your family. It’s the least we can do to say “thank you”.
Harbor Opening Weekend
Get ready for the summer season with a family friendly weekend in May. The weekend features special events including the Parade of Boats, Boat Decorating Contest, Yacht Club Open House & Breakfast, Sidewalk Sales, and Prize Drawings around town.
JUNE - Halibut Tournament
The Seward Halibut Tournament tradition draws anglers to the waters beyond Resurrection Bay vying for that “big fish”. Plan your fishing trip during the month of June to get in on the action.
JULY - July 4th & Mt. Marathon Race®
On the Fourth of July each year, the population of Seward swells from around 2,500 to over 30,000. Main Street is completely blocked off to traffic and the streets fill with people. According to folklore, the tradition of the Mt. Marathon Race began when two sourdoughs argued about the possibility of climbing and descending the mountain in less than an hour. “Impossible” one said. To settle the argument, and the resulting wager, a race was held, with the loser to furnish drinks for the crowd.
August - Seward Silver Salmon Derby®
August - Seward Silver Salmon Derby®
The annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby draws anglers from around the world who try their luck at catching silver salmon and winning prizes totaling over $100,000.
December - Holiday Weekend
The annual Holiday Bus excursion arrives in Seward at Noon on Saturday and departs Seward the following day at Noon. Take in Seward’s Old Fashioned Christmas festival, spend the night, and enjoy the scenic ride home.