Seward is a pocket-size (pop. 3,000) port town on a sparkling bay surrounded by snowcapped peaks, and is the only large settlement on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula. It’s connected by bus, ferry, and plane and has a maritime climate and a seafood industry, just like a half-dozen other places you’ve visited so far, but with a difference: Seward is right on the doorstep of Kenai Fjords National Park.
Kenai Fjords National Park contains some of the most inhospitable visitable country in Alaska. Harding Ice Field—a prehistoric frozen giant with three dozen frigid fingers—rivals Glacier Bay National Park for scenery and wildlife but is decidedly less expensive to visit.
Getting to Seward
An Alaska Railroad Coastal Classic train (907/265-2494 or 800/544-0552, www.alaskarailroad.com, $75 one-way, $119 round-trip) leaves Anchorage daily during the summer at 6:45 a.m. and arrives in Seward at 11 a.m., then returns to Anchorage at 6 p.m., arriving at 10:15 p.m. Passenger service to Seward is only available mid-May–mid-September.
Located seven miles north of Seward, Bear Lake Air (907/224-5985 or 800/224-5985, www.bearlakeair.com) offers flightseeing trips over the Harding Ice Field. Scenic Mountain Air (907/224-9152 or 800/478-1449, www.scenicmountainair.com) operates out of the airport.
Seward Bus Lines (907/224-3608 or 888/420-7788, www.sewardbuslines.net) has daily year-round bus service to and from Anchorage. Homer Stage Line (907/362-3644, www.homerstageline.com) provides daily service all summer (and six days a week in the winter) to Anchorage, plus connections to Cooper Landing, Soldotna, Kenai, and Homer.
Alaska Park Connection (907/245-0200 or 800/266-8625, www.alaskacoach.com) has summertime buses connecting Seward with Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali. Girdwood Shuttle (907/783-1900, www.girdwoodshuttle.com) provides daily summertime vans connecting Seward with Anchorage.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition