Located at the head of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward's approximately 2,800 permanent residents mostly work in the fishing and tourism industries. Since the area was first settled by Russian fur traders in the 18th century, its residents have lived off the land, earning their way by exploiting the local resources and wildlife.
Following the purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire in the 19th century, the nascent trading outpost was renamed for the U.S. Secretary of State, William H. Seward, who was instrumental in making the purchase occur.
During World War II, Seward became an area of vital strategic importance. An army airfield constructed during the war played a key role in protecting America's strategic interests. After the war, the airfield and other military facilities were shuttered. Fortunately, Seward's fishing industry underwent a post-war boom and is now a major contributor to the local economy.
Whatever draws you towards Seward, in order to get the most out of your stay, you need to find a hotel fitting for such a wondrous backdrop.
When Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Seward, Alaska?
The months of May to September, when the temperature is at least 40 degrees, are when most people choose to visit. Outside of this tourist season, many lodgings and other businesses in the city remain closed. Commercial fishing and seasonal tourism are the two big industries in Seward and much of what is on offer locally reflects this.
If you are planning on making your trip outside of the usual tourist season, you will have much less choice when it comes to hotels, many of the main attractions are only open at certain times of the year. In fact, for much of the year, most of Seward's businesses remain closed. Restaurants, shops, and hotels will all shut down once the tourist season is over.
The May to September season is when Seward experiences its mildest temperatures, but you can still expect things to remain in the low-40s for the most part. The city experiences nice, warm days during the summer months, but there's no getting around the drop in temperature that evening brings. As long as you pack plenty of layers, you shouldn't find the temperatures to be intolerable.
If you plan on setting out to see some glaciers or explore the fjords, you are going to want to wrap up extra warm. If you're brave enough to visit in the off-season then be prepared for sub-30 temperatures.
Visiting in the off-season requires a little extra preparation, and some additional flexibility when you arrive. There will be fewer attractions open and services available during the long Alaskan winter. However, the lodgings that are available during the off-season are much more affordable than the rest of the year. There are also plenty of indoor activities available during the off-season, many of them operate a reduced timetable rather than closing altogether.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Seward, AK:
Seward, AK: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below we've posted 3 graphs illustrating avg. nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Seward, AK. Browse these charts to calculate the best time period to make a reservation in Seward during the year.
What Are the Best Hotels Near Seward, AK for Luxury Stays?
Not every traveler is tightening their purse strings. If money is no object and your main concern is securing the best accommodation that you possibly can for the duration of your stay, Seward has plenty of more upscale choices.
Bell in the Woods Bed and Breakfast is a stunning location featuring a modern Scandinavian design that gives the whole place a homely feel. Guests can enjoy a complimentary three-course gourmet breakfast every morning, whose menu includes thins like Alaskan blueberry friands, fresh fruit, Danish pancakes, and a selection of homemade jellies and jams.
Travelers who are looking for a hotel that is relatively secluded and away from the hustle and bustle of local life should consider the Seward Windsong Lodge. Located just a couple of miles from Seward airport, outside of the city itself, Windsong Lodge is a luxury retreat to suit the modern traveler. While enjoying the quiet and secluded Alaskan landscape, guests can kick back and relax in comfortable rooms that feature private paths and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout.
The Windsong Lodge also stands out thanks to not one, but two renowned on-site restaurants. The Resurrection Roundhouse serves guests with an irresistible breakfast buffet to start their day and continues to provide excellent food well into the evening. The Goliath Bar & Grill has also proven popular with both locals and guests. In addition to the usual dishes you'd expect from a bar and grill, The Goliath has an impressive array of local Alaskan beers on offer.
What Are the Best Budget Hotels Near Seward, AK?
3 Star Average Prices: $160.45
Despite its relatively remote location, Seward, Alaska, is home to a number of affordable hotel options.
The Breeze Inn is an elegant little hotel with an approach to its decor that wouldn't be out of place in a much more upmarket hotel. Located near to the Port of Seward Ship Terminal, guests at the Breeze Inn will be able to experience some of the most breathtaking sights Alaska has to offer. Not only is the surrounding landscape beautiful but there are patrolling sea lions, nesting eagles, and a host of other wildlife on display. A complimentary shuttle service between the hotel and the airport. Once you're at the hotel, you will find free Wi-Fi, a gourmet coffee maker in every room, and comfortable, stylish furniture throughout.
Another affordable option that doesn't compromise on quality is the Holiday Inn Express, sometimes known as Seward Harbor 360 Hotel. Depending on when you make your reservation, a stay at the Holiday Inn Express can be an exceptionally good-value proposition. Like The Breeze Inn, Seward Harbor 360 is located on the harbor and comes packed with amenities. There is a heated indoor pool, as well as a spa tub, both of which are ideal for a relaxing dip. A complimentary breakfast will be available every morning, as is free coffee throughout the day.