The old-fashioned Seward Museum (336 3rd Ave., 907/224-3902, daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. May–mid-Sept., Sat.–Sun. noon–4 p.m. mid-Sept.–Apr., $3 adults, $0.50 children) houses Native Alaskan baskets and carved ivory, equipment from the original Brown and Hawkins store, the cross-section of a 350-year-old Sitka spruce, and photographs from the 1964 earthquake that dropped parts of this country by six feet.
Downtown’s Brown & Hawkins Store (205 4th Ave., 907/224-7313) is Alaska’s oldest family-owned business. It’s been here since 1900 and still houses the old bank vault and cash register.
If you have kids along, give everyone a break at the new Seward Community Playground just south of the campground at Ballaine Boulevard and Adams Street.
Parking is a challenge in Seward, particularly near the harbor, where you’ll need to pay $5 per day. (Boat tour companies provide free lots with shuttle buses back to the harbor.)
For Seward maps and brochures, start out at the Seward Chamber of Commerce (907/224-8051, www.seward.com, Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. mid-May–mid-Sept., Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. mid-Sept.–mid-May), located two miles north of town. It’s one of the first places you pass as you’re driving into Seward from Anchorage.
Adjacent to the harbor, Kenai Fjords National Park Information Center (1212 4th Ave., 907/224-2125, www.nps.gov/kefj, daily 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m. late May–early Sept., Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. the rest of May and Sept., closed late Sept.–Apr.) has videos of the park, along with maps and publications of local interest.
The staff at Chugach National Forest Seward Ranger District office (334 4th Ave., 907/224-3374, www.fs.fed.us/r10/chugach, Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.) can tell you about all regional hikes, campgrounds, and cabins.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition