Seward, Alaska Employment and City Information
The historic fishing town of Seward is located on the Gulf Coast side of the Kenai Peninsula, at the foothills of Mount Marathon. It is one of Alaska’s oldest townships, and some say it’s one of its most beautiful with its mountain vistas, the sprawling Harding Icefield, and the trails of Kenai Fjords National Park and Chugach National Forest.
The town’s name honors William H. Seward, the United States Secretary of State who served the country under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. He was instrumental in the United States taking Alaska from Russian rule in 1867, and so is a key figure in the state’s history.
While charter boats and cruise ships dock in the commercial hub of Seward, travelers should walk a little further to discover the real nature of the city. Away from the fine dining restaurants and tourist targeted stores, you’ll discover Miller’s Landing, Lowell Point, and the quainter side of Seward.
Many of the buildings here date back to the turn of the 20th century. Today they’re filled with art galleries and quirky gift stores selling handicrafts. Golden jewelry, jade and ivory carvings, and local artworks make great souvenirs of your visit to Seward. Strolling around the city limits is a perfect warm-up to some of Seward’s more athletic pursuits.
Seward’s waters are perfect for sailing, kayaking, and sports fishing. Fishing enthusiasts regularly catch halibut, rockfish, ling cod, and several species of salmon at Thumb Cove State Marine Park, Caines Head State Recreation Area, and the famous Kenai Fjords National Park. When those waters freeze over the people of this Alaskan city don’t simply hide themselves away indoors. The icy winter weather is perfect for cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and taking a dog sled tour.
It’s not just amateur anglers taking advantage of Seward’s large seafood population. Seward is rated amongst the top ten richest fishing ports in the United States. Around $50 million worth of fish and shellfish are retrieved from its waters each year, and the industry provides plenty of opportunities for seasonal travelers. Tourism is also big business in Seward, so its visitors can expect to enjoy plenty of creature comforts on their vacation.
RV parks and camping grounds make the most of Seward’s wilderness, while boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts cater for guests who’d prefer a little more pampering. Seward Beach is one of the most popular spots for fishing enthusiasts to pitch a tent, as it’s only a short walk to the water’s edge and the next big catch. Few of the coastal sites are powered, but the showers and dump station make the campsite feel a bit more luxurious. And you’d normally spend a lot more on accommodation with an ocean view!
Seward’s coastal location means it can get chilly when the ocean winds blow, especially if you’re staying at the beach campground. A pleasant summer day can quickly turn cold, so tourists are advised to dress in layered clothes, such as a heavy coat with a lightweight top underneath.
Cruise ships regularly drop their anchor in Seward. For a more extended stay though, visitors are best served making their journey by road or rail. Some suggest the journey from Anchorage down the scenic Seward Highway is just as important as the destination. The 127-mile freeway travels past rivers and glacial fjords, through rainforests and snowcapped mountains, before reaching the township. Shutterbugs won’t be able to resist capturing the landscapes and wild animals they spot along the way. If you don’t have a vehicle of your own you can make the journey on one of the local motor coaches.
It’s more expensive, but a trip on the Alaska Railroad will leave you feeling much more rested. Relax in the plush seats and treat yourself to a hearty meal as you travel from Fairbanks, by way of Anchorage. Many local hoteliers are happy to meet their guests at the station and provide complimentary shuttle service into town. Such warm hospitality is simply the Seward way!