Aerial view of the Port of Seward
Photo by: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library, Creative Commons
In 1867, then-US Secretary of State William H. Seward brokered the deal to acquire Alaska from the Russian Empire as part of the government’s plan to expand United States presence and influence in the Pacific. Many scoffed at the purchase because of the region’s barrenness, even openly mocking the newly acquired territory as “Seward’s Folly” and “Seward’s Icebox.” No one could have foreseen that more than 30 years later, Alaska would serve as a gateway to the Klondike gold fields that would figure prominently in US history.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the small coastal city located 125 miles south of Anchorage is named after Seward. Seemingly small and unassuming, the city of Seward is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, one of the most majestic parks in the state of Alaska. Here you can view the natural of beauty of Alaska like the park’s abundant glaciers and marine wildlife through various Kenai Fjord boat tours. Seward also features spectacular scenery comprised of impressive mountain slopes and the crystal clear waters of Resurrection Bay and the Fjords.
Tourism is particularly high during the summer season. Some of the popular summer celebrations that attract scores of tourists every year are the 4th of July celebration and the August Silver Salmon Derby. Aside from the fireworks display on hand, Seward’s 4th of July festivities include a footrace to the summit of Mt. Marathon just behind the town. By the time August rolls around, the halibuts and salmons make their presence felt in the waters of Seward. This might be your only opportunity to witness seeing a more than hundred pound heavy halibut in the flesh!
Other notable points of interest include Lowell Point where you can go kayaking and encounter eagles, harbor seals, and sea otters; Caines Head, a five-mile trail along the coast and widely regarded as one of the top 10 hiking trails in Alaska; and the Alaska Sea Life Center where you can get a closer view of the marine wildlife in their natural habitat.