Alaska – Explore Seward
Seward is a delightful small town at the top of Resurrection Bay. It’s about 2.5 hours outside of Anchorage and its pronunciation is not sexy (not SEEward, it’s SEWard (ew sound, like in sewage)). But do not let the pronunciation or distance stop you, the scenery is absolutely stunning with wildlife abound. But Hanna, what is there to do in winter, when you cannot reach the glaciers and the whales are not visiting? There are plenty of ways to explore Seward, which are not touristy or expensive! Let me tell you about it…
Black Sand Beaches
If you take a little drive down to Lowell Point, you can find a lovely black sand beach. Our hotel was located in Lowell Point, so we took daily walks down to the beach at the end of the road. Living in southern California, we were highly amused by the frozen puddles each morning as we watched the sunrise at roughly 8 am. On our last morning, it was snowing large juicy snowflakes. We went to the beach one last time to have a brief dance party. This has got to be the first time I have seen the snow on black sand and ocean. The contrast was stunning. It’s the little things.
When the weather isn’t so great, head indoors to explore Sewar’s great coffee shops. There is a Starbucks, which is a very consistent choice. I might have had a Starbucks from inside the Safeway, while we were grocery shopping – no shame there. If you want to switch it up, I loved Resurrect Art Coffee House. This coffeehouse is located in a renovated church (I think?) and has a fantastic upstairs nook with views. I also had a chance to stop by Sea Bean Café, which is right on one of the main cute-sy tourist streets. I wish I had more time to pull out one of the games at Sea Bean or read a book at Resurrect, welcome activities in these establishments.to
Boyfriend and I were in a competition of who could see the most wildlife and I was beat by a considerable margin. One of the best spots for wildlife spotting, we found was on our drive to and from our hotel at Lowell Point. There is a portion of dirt road that is right next to the water, where we saw seals and the most adorable animal in the entire world: sea otters!!!! (!!) !!! Sea otters have up to a million hairs per square inch, which means they are a million times cuter than other, less furry animals. Science. On this drive we also saw the most majestic bald eagle perched in perfect view. This is when I wish I had a fancy style camera with all of the lenses to take the perfect shot. Or, if the weather is not cooperating, you can always stop by the Alaska Sea Life Center. The hours didn’t quite line up for us to spend time at the Alaska Sea Life Center, but the location and state of the art facility was incredibly impressive. See next section about moose!
exlpore Seward by car
The drive from Anchorage to Seward is on another level, it’s so beautiful. On one of the clear afternoons, we took a drive to the other side of the peninsula, toward Kenai. I think we made to Sterling before turning around. I couldn’t believe how different the topography was on the other side of the peninsula! It was really neat to experience this drive in a calm and collected manner because as we were heading out, it was snowing and we needed all faculties to focus on the road. For our afternoon drive, we kept our eyes peeled for any sign of moose. Even though he was driving, boyfriend spotted ALL of the moose. They were HUGE, but also blend right into their surroundings. We saw about 5 different moose – two singular moose and three in a group. They seemed to like the flat areas around the rivers.
WALK ON A LAKE
Before we even begin, don’t be dumb.
I am not sure how we found Bear Lake, which is just north of Seward. I think Adventure 60 North must have recommended that we go check it out, since it is a picturesque small lake. We pulled off on Old Saw Mill Road and as we were parked at the end of the street, we saw another couple with their cute pupper get out of their car with spandex speedy suits and 2 sets of mini skis with poles. They made their way down the bank and walked out onto the lake. I was in stunned silence and couldn’t look away. The woman placed the dog in a harness with leash. Once everything was in place, they guy took off speed skiing on the lake (??? Is this a sport I have no idea about???). Upon seeing its owner take off, the dog jumped after him, pulling the woman along for the ride. We watch them speed away on top of the frozen lake. Perhaps they are training for downhill skiing or ice skating?
Regardless, we decided to test walking out on the lake. I went first gingerly. It was terrifying, but amazing. When closer to the edge of the lake, I could hear crackling sounds, which was not encouraging. Boyfriend then took a quick walk around and we headed back. Exhilarating because it was so scary, yet there is no way we would have done it without having watched that couple go first. In retrospect, we should have ran back to Adventure 60 North and rented some ice skates! But honestly, if you are like us and are not accustomed to cold weather conditions, use your brain.
Did I miss any other ways to explore Seward?