View of mountains from boat

Best Things to do in Seward, Alaska

Visiting Seward, Alaska is a must-see on any trip to Alaska. When visiting, here are the top things to do in Seward!

There are many great things to do when visiting Seward, Alaska. If you are only visiting for a short time and need some options of things to do in Seward, here’s my favorite list of things to do.

Ride the train to Seward

If you can ride The Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic from Anchorage to Seward, it will be a train trip you won’t forget. It was named one of the great train journeys in America for good reason!

Between wildlife, magical mountain views, breathtaking glaciers, The Coastal Classic leaves you in awe.

Be sure to stand in an open car and feel the air blow in your face, catch a picture of the train in a bend and watch as it enters a tunnel.

Cost: (Anchorage to Seward one-way) Adventure class: $110/$55; GoldStar service: $218/$128

The Coastal Classic train ride to Seward, Alaska
The Coastal Classic train ride to Seward, Alaska

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Getting around Seward

Getting around Seward, Alaska is very easy and walkable. Most of the Seward tour companies offer shuttle and transportation to their respective offices, but you can also just walk from one point to another.

This map shows it is a 30 minute walk from the northern most of Seward where the Alaska Railroad arrives to the Alaska Sealife Center on the southern most point. What it doesn’t show is the scenery, which you won’t get tired of seeing.

Map of Seward, Alaska
Map of Seward, Alaska

The northern part of Seward is home to some of the bigger hotels, a few restaurants, Major Marine (Kenai Fjords cruise) and small shops.

The downtown area hosts more restaurants along with some of the other main Seward attractions.

Map of downtown Seward, Alaska
Map of downtown Seward, Alaska

Go dogsledding

The first best thing about dog sledding or mushing as it is known in Alaska, are the puppies! Being able to play and love on the puppies was all it took for me to include it on this list. All were cute and playful!

Let’s go mushing! Speeding around the glacier at speed over thirty MPH something to experience. You also get a feel for how much the dogs enjoy it and are excited to go mushing.

Dog sledding was one of our favorite Seward activities!

Cost: (Seward Helicopter Tours) $519 (adult)

Dogsledding on glacier
Dogsledding at 30MPH on a glacier

Helicopter ride to see the glaciers

Someone from Alaska told me before my trip, see Alaska by air, boat and train. Seeing Alaska from the air is something to not miss. Catching a glimpse of the glacier or better, walking on one is even better. Seward does have Exit Glacier which can be hiked to walk on it, but if you aren’t the hiking type, getting to one by air is the best way.

Cost: (Seward Helicopter Tours) 30-minute flight without glacier landing: $319 per seat

Helicopter tour in Alaska
See Alaska by air!

Go salmon fishing

If there is one thing I wished I had done in Alaska, it was go salmon fishing. I can only imagine the feeling of reeling in one of these magnificent fish.

Don’t make the same mistake I did, go salmon fishing!

Cost: varies based on group size and length of trip.

Salmon catch
Salmon catch

Read more about our 2 week adventure in Alaska here!

Cruise to Kenai Fjords National Park

Cruising around Resurrection Bay watching the whales flip in and out of the water along with the sea lions, puffins is just the beginning. Once you cruise up to one of the glaciers within the park and possibly witness the calving of one, your life will be forever changed.

This fjord cruise and Seward tour is also enhanced by having a National Park Ranger on board narrating the tour.

Another favorite of our Seward activities!

Cost: (Major Marine) 6-hour cruise: $159/$79.50

Aialik Glacier
Aialik Glacier from Major Marine Kenai Fjords Cruise

Hike Mt. Marathon

During our visit, it was the annual 5K, which has been named the toughest 5K on the planet by Outside magazine. If you visit over Fourth of July, sign up for the race. If not, just take a hike on your own.

Cost: free

Mt Marathon
Mt Marathon – home of the hardest 5K on the planet

Visit the library – watch historical movies on Seward

The Seward Community Library and Museum is a library but also has a museum preserving the history of Seward.

The library typically shows rotating movies on the history of Seward in addition to the museum. Movies currently showing are Iditarod National Historic Trail: A History and Waves Over Seward which chronicles the events around the 1964 earthquake.

Check the website for possible movie changes and schedule.

Cost: Museum $4

Seward Library and Museum
Seward Library and Museum

Watch wildlife

Seeing wildlife while visiting Alaska is one the most exciting things you can do during your stay. While in Seward, take a cruise (see cruise to Kenai Fjords National Park) or just walk along the waterfront searching for some playful otters near the shore.

Definitely a favorite of all our Seward activities!

Cost: free

Watching whales in Seward, Alaska
Watching whales

Alaska Sealife Center

The Alaska Sealife Center primary focus is on research and education for marine life. However, they are also the only permanent rescue and rehabilitation facility for marine mammals in the state.

Stop in to see the otters, sea lions, seals or other marine life. It is also a great place for kids to learn about the marine ecosystems of Alaska.

The Alaska Sealife Center is one of the more popular and recommended Seward attractions.

Cost: $29.95/$17.95 (non-Alaska resident)

Visitors at Alaska Sealife Center
Watching the seals at the Alaska Sealife Center

Go sea kayaking

Want to see Resurrection Bay while also getting some exercise. Check into one of the several kayaking groups in town for a kayaking tour.

Cost: check websites for group size and length of trip.

Hike or visit Exit Glacier

Exit Glacier is one of the Alaskan glaciers which can easily be seen via the road and a short walk. If you are more adventurous, sign up with Exit Glacier Guides to glacier trek where you can actually walk on a glacier with crampons and all.

Going on a Seward glacier tour should be high on your list if this is your only chance to get up close and personal with a glacier.

Cost: (hike) $139

Entering Kenai Fjords National Park
Visiting Exit Glacier

Visiting Alaska? You may also want to consider a trek to Mendenhall Glacier.

Walking tour

One of the best things about Seward is it’s a very walkable town. Walk from the harbor along the historic Iditarod Trail for views of the water all the way to the shops downtown.

Cost: free

Walking around Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska
Walking around Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska

See the murals

Do this on your own or connect with The Painted Whale Seward Mural Walking Tours. The history of Seward is depicted in these murals all around town. Anything from flowers, birds, notable people, Iditarod Trail and many other important things to Seward. They are all unique and worth finding to have a little better understanding of the area. 

The murals are one of the more unique Seward attractions.

Cost: free

Seward mural of the fishing industry
Seward mural of the fishing industry
Seward mural of the Iditarod Trail
Seward mural of the Iditarod Trail

Eat amazing food

Seward has some of my favorite restaurants in Alaska.

  • Try Chinook’s near the marina
  • The Cookery and Seward Brewing downtown
  • Zudy’s by the water

Cost: varies

Beer at Seward Brewing Company
Beer at Seward Brewing Company

Whatever you decide to do in Seward, it will be a winner!

Read more about the top things to do in Alaska during the summer.

15 thoughts on “Best Things to do in Seward, Alaska”

  1. Alaska has been on my list of places to do for a very long time and I cant wait to check out the state. however i have never heard of Seward and now after reading this and seeing the photos, I want to check out the scenery there. Also looks like a great place for children to visit as well which is handy for me as I got a young daughter who keeps me on my feet all day long. 🙂

  2. Alaska has always been on my bucket list! What a list of activities to do in Seward. I ‘m sold! I might have to stay awhile because every activity you mentioned interests me! Fabulous photos!

  3. Ok, after reading that, I definitely have to go to Alaska! A great report with great ideas, thank you! I would also like to see whales in the wild and sledges with sweet sled dogs.

  4. Wow, so many awesome things to do in Alaska. I definitely want to go dog sledding. That has always been a dream especially since I love Husky’s and used to have one. I also love the idea of riding the Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic from Anchorage to Seward. I imagined that the prices would be high, but they are surprisingly reasonable!

  5. Going dogsledding looks like so much fun. The whale watching is a must for me to do in Alaska, so cruising around Resurrection Bay as you’ve suggested would be fantastic. The views of Alaska from the helicopter look amazing too. Putting Seward on my list.

  6. I haven’t been to Seward yet, but it looks amazing! I did go to Mendenhall Glacier though, and will check out your post on it, too. I would want to go dogsledding (you are in short sleeves with the snow all around…brrrrrr) and ride the Coastal Classic. Fun! I’m also good with getting new stamps in my National Parks Passport. 😉

  7. Alaska is everybody’s dream, and your photos are tempting me to take a trip right now. I love mountains and therefore this place is for me. Another good thing about Seward is that it is equally colorful too as I love those street art or murals and I would definitely take that Painted Whale walking tours to know more about this place. Aialik Glacier really looks stunning.

  8. While I’ve heard of Anchorage I’ve never heard of Seward. It’s lovely! The Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic train would be an incredible way to see more of Alaska’s natural beauty. It actually reminds me a lot of Switzerland. I’d also love to visit the fjords and see some local wildlife. How great it would be to go for a walk and see sea otters in the wild!

  9. Wow, what a great guide! I’ve had friends and family go to Alaska but I don’t think any of them made it to Seward. I love train rides so I’d be sure to take The Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic to get there. I also like how you include a number of free things to do around town. The library and museum building looks really beautiful in addition to being an ideal spot to learn about the history of the town. Thanks for sharing!

  10. This looks like such a great trip! Doesn’t “dog-sledding on a glacier in Alaska” sound like some crazy adventure you’d think up to impress someone? It’s too cool to be true!
    I love how colorful the Seward Library is; I’m sure it stands out in all the snow. Everything in your post looks so fun – helicopter, boat, and walking tours – not to mention sea-kayaking! Every day on your trip to Alaska must’ve been an adventure!

  11. Pingback: Top Things To Do in Talkeetna, Alaska - Checking It Off the List

  12. Pingback: The Coastal Classic from Anchorage to Seward - Checking It Off the List

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Nancy Williams

Nancy Williams

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