In March 2020, my husband and I started our grand adventure to live in Alaska. Since taking this brave step, we have felt our spirits become more and more adventurous. For some perspective we both had lived the majority of our lives in Alabama other than our four years of college that were spent in TN (Alabama’s skinnier older brother). This side of the world is so foreign to us, I feel like we have to put in quite a bit of research and asking around before we go anywhere. So, I love to see what others have found “worth their while” whenever they go on short trips around AK. This helps me be able to choose what we want to fit into our trips.
In mid-June my family flew into Anchorage to visit us for the week. Since we were already an hour south of our home, we decided to extend that trip two more hours south to Seward. This fishing town features an adorable downtown, large campgrounds, and fresh seafood. Though we heard many great things about the SeaLife Center, we decided we would skip it this trip. But, we’ve heard its a great place to visit.
Here’s what we did in our less than 24 hours in Seward:
- Major Marine Sea Life Cruise
- Dinner at Exit Glacier Salmon Bake
- Hiked Exit Glacier
- Gelato at Sweet Darlings
- Lookout at Lowell Point (We saw a humpback whale 25 ft offshore).
- Virgin Falls
- Baluga Point
- Dinner at Sami’s City Diner
- Barbara Falls
We heard many great things about the cruises out of Seward. We booked our 3.5 hour tour through Major Marine Tours. There is no guarantee what you will see on our cruise, but the captain stays in communication with other vessels to try to get you the most sea life sightings possible. Our captain had been with this company for 9 years, so she was very experienced and knew where to go.
We saw orca whales, fin whales, sea otters, sea lions, puffins, and a bald eagle. In addition to the amazing wildlife, we also got to cruise through scenic spots in Resurrection Bay. This was a bucketlist item for me! There were large roomy tables for your family to sit at and complementary coffee and hot tea. We brought a lot of snacks and called it lunch! The captain narrated the trip and let talked to us about the science and history of what we were seeing. The teacher heart in me skipped a few beats!
After the cruise, we checked into our hotel and then drove to dinner. I had done some research and found a place that was doing dine-in seating with sea food for a reasonable price. Exit Glacier Salmon Bake had meals that were between $15-$40, but the servings were large, fresh, and delicious. Tyler and I split a $32 Seafood sampler type meal. My dad got fish tacos and my mom got a salmon dinner. It was a very clean and unique restaurant (we prefer restaurants with some character).
After dinner we went and hiked to see Exit Glacier by the “Edge of the Glacier Trail”. Also known as the Lower Trail. This was a well marked, flat path that even had a wheelchair accessible route. With just a 15-20 minute walk, we were at an incredible lookout over where the glacier used to be, and then the trail took us to a point where we could see where it is now. A unique feature to this trail were the dates posted along the path. These dates represent where the scientist predict the glacier was that year. It was wild to see how much had melted off even since 2005! The pictures make it seem like we were right beside the ice, though it was several hundred yards away from us.
After we finnshed the hike, we were exhausted from the full day. So, we headed to the hotel and unpacked our car. Mom, Tyler, and I walked around town a little, but since it was raining and late we did not get too far around town. We did however make a pit stop at Sweet Darlings for gelato. We split a papa bear cup of hazelnut and cookies and cream.
The next day we made our way back home from Seward. Before we left Seward, we drove to Millers Landing at Lowell Point where many people rent houses or camp in order to have a prime fishing spot. We just wanted to have a better view of Resurrection Bay. Once we got there, dad and saw what seemed to be a whale spouting water out. We jumped out of the car and ran out onto the beach. Though he was crazy close to the beach, we indeed saw a humpback whale. It was dancing about 25 feet off shore. We tracked it for a few minutes until it made its way out of site.
Since we had more time on the drive back up, we scheduled a few small hikes. First on the list was Virgin Falls in Girdwood. Though we only did this hike in Girdwood, we wished we would have explored a little more downtown. It is a super cute area that we plan to go back too! As we walked up to Virgin Falls we saw a couple in wedding attire getting photos made. They had just gotten married in front of the waterfall this morning. It looked simple and beautiful. Though you do have to step up and over some roots, the hike itself is about .25 of a mile and simple.
Another stop was made at Baluga Point. This was a beautiful beachy scene. You can actully easily climb up on the rock to the left. It gave a great view of the ocean.
We stopped in Anchorage to eat dinner at Sami’s City Diner.It was a very large diner with great food! Tyler had a great bacon burger and fries and I enjoyed a French Dip sandwich. Though it made us feel like we were eating at Steak ‘n Shake, the prices were a lot higher than our beloved Steak ‘n Shake of the South. But, everything is a little more expensive in Alaska…and even more so in downtown Anchorage.
We made one last stop at a waterfall before arriving to our home in Wasilla. Barbara Falls is actually on private property, but they allow people to explore their property. There is a short <.5 mile walk along a creek towards a beautiful waterfall. It is always a beautiful walk no matter the weather, but this time we were able to enjoy the sun peeping through the trees. The path towards the waterfall is kinda skinny and you definitely have to maneuver around and over roots.
Have you ever made the trek from Anchorage to Seward? What was your favorite sites/stops? I would love to hear them!
I hope documenting our experience driving from Anchorage to Seward and back can help you as you are planning your future trips! For more Alaska adventures, follow my youtube channel, Addie in Alaska.