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Seward highlights life by the water

Fishing, sea mammal viewing, cruises to calving glaciers among attractions

Posted: Monday, April 05, 2004

Killer whales leaping out of the water, porpoises playing in the wake of tour boats and sea otters munching on clams are among the teeming sea life visitors to Resurrection Bay in Seward may see.

Seward, known as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, is a picturesque town on the bay and is the embarkation port for boats carrying passengers on day trips to see the many sea birds and mammals inhabiting the area.

A popular destination for tourists, the town is on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula, about 95 miles from Soldotna and features quaint shops and eateries along its bustling small boat harbor.

Visitors can reach Seward by way of the Seward High-way Scenic Byway, the Alas-ka Railroad, bus, air or cruise ship.

The Alaska Marine High-way ferry system, an airport and the highway make Seward easily accessible. A visitors center at Mile 2 of the Seward Highway is open year-round.

The Alaska SeaLife Center, a state-of-the-art aquarium on the waterfront, focuses on education, research and marine life rehabilitation.

The center brings visitors of all ages close to Stellar sea lions, seals, sea birds and fish. Get nose-to-nose with sea lions, watch live video of the remote Chiswell Islands or touch sea stars, anemones and other tidal creatures in the touching tanks.

The center is open all year. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from May 1 through Labor Day.

Downtown, the Seward Mu-seum is open daily in summer with information on history, the Iditarod Trail which originally began in Seward and the 1964 earthquake. Visitors may browse art galleries and gift shops downtown or near the harbor. A trolley gives rides.

Seward offers many outdoor activities with stunning views of surrounding mountains.

Embark for the rich waters of Prince William Sound and the rugged coast of Kenai Fjords National Park. Boat tours take people whale watching, up to calving glaciers, past haul-outs for sea lions and rookeries for colorful puffins and other sea birds.

Other boaters angle for silver and king salmon, halibut, lingcod, rock fish and black bass. The halibut derby runs from May through August, and the silver salmon derby is Aug. 7-21.

Landlubbers can walk right up to Exit Glacier, explore the Chugach National Forest trails, visit World War II military installations at Caines Head or take a summer dog mushing tour.

Runners can sign up for the Exit Glacier Run in May. There's also the vertical challenge of the Mount Marathon Race, which is part of the town's famous July 4 festivities.

Winter highlights include the December Holiday Train and the Seward Polar Bear Jump-off Festival, when dozens of people take an icy plunge into the bay in January to help raise funds for cancer research.

Killer whales leaping out of the water, porpoises playing in the wake of tour boats and sea otters munching on clams are among the teeming sea life visitors to Resurrection Bay in Seward may see.

Seward, known as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, is a picturesque town on the bay and is the embarkation port for boats carrying passengers on day trips to see the many sea birds and mammals inhabiting the area.

A popular destination for tourists, the town is on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula, about 95 miles from Soldotna and features quaint shops and eateries along its bustling small boat harbor.

Visitors can reach Seward by way of the Seward High-way Scenic Byway, the Alas-ka Railroad, bus, air or cruise ship.

The Alaska Marine High-way ferry system, an airport and the highway make Seward easily accessible. A visitors center at Mile 2 of the Seward Highway is open year-round.

The Alaska SeaLife Center, a state-of-the-art aquarium on the waterfront, focuses on education, research and marine life rehabilitation.

The center brings visitors of all ages close to Stellar sea lions, seals, sea birds and fish. Get nose-to-nose with sea lions, watch live video of the remote Chiswell Islands or touch sea stars, anemones and other tidal creatures in the touching tanks.

The center is open all year. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from May 1 through Labor Day.

Downtown, the Seward Mu-seum is open daily in summer with information on history, the Iditarod Trail which originally began in Seward and the 1964 earthquake. Visitors may browse art galleries and gift shops downtown or near the harbor. A trolley gives rides.

Seward offers many outdoor activities with stunning views of surrounding mountains.

Embark for the rich waters of Prince William Sound and the rugged coast of Kenai Fjords National Park. Boat tours take people whale watching, up to calving glaciers, past haul-outs for sea lions and rookeries for colorful puffins and other sea birds.

Other boaters angle for silver and king salmon, halibut, lingcod, rock fish and black bass. The halibut derby runs from May through August, and the silver salmon derby is Aug. 7-21.

Landlubbers can walk right up to Exit Glacier, explore the Chugach National Forest trails, visit World War II military installations at Caines Head or take a summer dog mushing tour.

Runners can sign up for the Exit Glacier Run in May. There's also the vertical challenge of the Mount Marathon Race, which is part of the town's famous July 4 festivities.

Winter highlights include the December Holiday Train and the Seward Polar Bear Jump-off Festival, when dozens of people take an icy plunge into the bay in January to help raise funds for cancer research.



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