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36 Hours in Seward: Treat Yourself or Someone Special

Special events and deals await at Seward’s Second Saturday!

Winter transforms Seward from a bustling visitor hub to an oasis for Alaskans to play and recharge. To celebrate this special season, we’ve launched Seward Second Saturdays, a community-wide event scheduled for the weekends of Jan. 13, Feb. 10, Mar. 10, and Apr. 14. Enjoy quieter trails, fun activities and special discounts before the crowds return!

In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, we’ve developed an itinerary for couples looking for a low-key, luxurious getaway or for individuals looking to melt away stress and rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul.

FRIDAY

Know Before You Go

Seward Highway is generally well maintained, but it’s always a good idea to check the travel conditions before you hit the road. Make sure your winter car emergency kit is well stocked before you leave home.

As you arrive in town, pick up a map of local businesses participating in Seward Second Saturdays. You’ll find them Harbor 360 Hotel, your lodging provider (see more options below). We highly encourage booking spa services ahead of your trip for the best availability. 

Evening – Dinner and a Movie

Kick-off your weekend escape with a meal that you won’t soon forget. Chef Kevin Lane sources local ingredients at The Cookery (209 5th Ave) to design creative dishes that capture the essence of Alaska. Fact: Foodies from around the state have been known to make a special trip to Seward just for dinner at the Cookery!

The Cookery, Seward Alaska, local food, Alaska produce
Whether it’s local seafood or Alaska grown produce, The Cookery’s inventive dishes never fail to impress. Photo courtesy of The Cookery.

Sip a glass of perfectly paired wine while waiting for your appetizer—the mushroom toast and brussels sprouts are local favorites—and take in local artwork. Dinner specials often highlight fresh seafood and other Alaskan delicacies. 

Between courses, check out incredible art by local artists Bethany Waggoner and Justine Pechuzal. Your visit to this popular local eatery wouldn’t be complete without trying Chef Kevin’s cream cheese ice cream. Guild the lily by adding bacon. Yes, to your ice cream. Trust us on this. 

Plan to eat dinner on the early side if you’re interested in checking out one of Seward’s best-kept secrets: The Skip & Marie Fletcher Winter Movie Series. This volunteer-run event features second-run movies for just $2. On Friday, Feb. 9, catch “The Red Turtle” at 6 pm or “Battlecreek” at 8 pm. 

SATURDAY

Morning – The Ultimate in Pampering

First, make like a local and head to Resurrect Art Coffee House to enjoy a lovingly-made espresso or rejuvenating tea. Soak up the light streaming in through the historic windows—the building, formerly a church, celebrated its 100th birthday last year—and browse jewelry, ceramics, and other art made by Seward residents. 

Next, it’s time to treat yourself. The Retreat, Seward’s only full-service spa, offers indulgences from manicures to full-body massages. A relaxing Tulasara facial ($85, 60 minutes) will leave your skin hydrated and refreshed. Many of the facials and massages include complimentary use of the sauna to flush toxins and a shower to energize you before heading out in into the world. 

Been spending too much time on the computer lately, or have a nagging injury? You might opt for a signature hot stone massage at Three Peaks Massage, a tranquil oasis located downtown ($60/hr). Soft-spoken owner Sarah Hermann focuses on a whole-body approach to wellness that will melt away stress.

Afternoon – Shake & Shop

Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska
The shores of Resurrection Bay offer a relaxing retreat to rejuvenate your mind and soul. Photo: @behendrixson

Whether you’re looking for a lighter lunch or something warm and comforting, you’ll find it at Woody’s Thai Restaurant. Named after the iconic SeaLife Center’s playful sea lion, Woody’s offers fresh, nourishing dishes of Southeast Asia. Start with some crisp summer rolls and share some local favorites like the Tom Yum Soup or Penang curry.

From Woody’s, take a leisurely walk along the paved waterfront path. A short stroll downtown offers stunning views of the fjords and peek-a-boo vistas of Godwin Glacier across Resurrection Bay. Here, sea lions and seals spy on visitors near the shore and you’ll often find an otter munching on shellfish from the rocky bottom of the bay.

Located two blocks from the waterfront in downtown, 5th Avenue Fitness (321 5th Ave.) offers a free day pass for visitors on Second Saturdays. Their belly dancing class (1:30 pm) offers guests of all ages a chance to unwind and let loose to the sounds of the East.

Next, head to historic Fourth Avenue to browse the unique collection of shops in our downtown district. Step inside Seward’s newest retail store, Brown and Hawkins Mercantile which offers a selection of handcrafted goods and jewelry made in Alaska. Browse through items such as Tlingit Botanicals health and beauty products or Happy AK headbands in a setting reminiscent of the early 1900s.

Across the street is Seward’s oldest family-owned business, Urbach’s Clothier, which offers unique clothing lines and shoes for men, women, and children. Look for Second Saturday deals inside! 

A few doors to the north, drop into A Flyin’ Skein to browse a variety of colorful textiles and try your hand at a “make-and-take” cross stitch project for $5.  

Need an extra Valentine’s Day gift or two? You’ll find the perfect treat at Frontier Trading Post. Owner Kerry Romig sources delicious chocolates from around the world, all of which are 10% off on Second Saturday. You’ll also find practical and indulgent gifts like JACARA therapeutic skin care, made right here in Seward!

Evening – Get Artsy

Local artist Justine Pechuzal will help you paint your own canvas masterpiece at the Seward Alehouse on Saturday night. 

No need to hop in the car; you’re still downtown. Grab a bite to eat at one of Seward’s legendary family restaurants: Thorn’s Showcase Lounge (try the fried halibut) or Apollo Restaurant (known for hand-tossed pizzas and generous salads). 

Join local artist and art educator Justine Pechuzal as she hosts a “hot date with paint” at the Seward Alehouse from 6-8 pm. For $35, you’ll receive everything you need—include Justine’s helpful guidance—to create a 9×12″ canvas painting. These paint and sip nights have become popular for good reason, so reserve your seat before they’re all gone! Purchase tickets here

Not quite ready to call it a night? Shortly after paint night wraps up, the Alehouse will be transformed into a dance party with DJ GRE. 

In the mood for live music? Just down the block, the Blue Voodoo Band will be rockin’ vintage-y blues at the Yukon Bar. The live show starts at 9 pm. No cover. 

SUNDAY

Morning – Breakfast with Ms. Gene

Start off your day in Hotel Seward’s intimate Victorian lounge by ordering a signature Eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise sauce at Ms. Gene’s Place (221 5th Ave). With mimosa in hand, you’ll be transported back to Seward’s early beginnings while dining on Chef Aaron’s newly updated menu.

On your way out of town, take a scenic drive down Nash Road to the other side of Resurrection Bay. The far side of Seward Marine Industrial Center provides access to a pebbled shoreline known as Fourth of July Beach. Dwarfed by the magnificent Kenai Mountains, this local secret is a great place to lose yourself in reflection before heading back to hustle and bustle of the city.

LODGING

Enjoy views of the small boat harbor while soaking in the hot tub or swimming pool at Harbor 360 Hotel. Winter rates start at $89/night, including free breakfast. Mention Seward Second Saturdays when booking to receive 20% off your stay.  Wake up to specialty espresso drinks for only $2.

Kids of all ages will enjoy taking in the wildlife and history display at Hotel Seward. Located in the historic downtown district, you’ll be steps from many shops, the Alaska SeaLife Center, and the Seward Community Library & Museum. During Second Saturday weekends, Hotel Seward offers a 20% discount on rooms accompanied by 15% off of dinner at Ms. Gene’s Place. An open house with complimentary snacks and drinks will be held in the hotel lobby from 11 am – 8 pm. One lucky open house visitor will win a stay in a deluxe room valid through April.

Watch eagles nesting in the lagoon from your room in the north addition of the Breeze Inn. Classic rooms are a good fit for budget-conscious travelers starting at $69/night. Use code “SSS” when booking to receive 10% off your stay.

Looking for peace and quiet this weekend?  Serenity by the Sea on scenic Lowell Point offers charming private cabins perfect for couples on a romantic getaway.

Rates listed are based on double-occupancy and are subject to change. Contact the hotel directly to make your reservation.

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Have a question about Seward Second Saturdays or other winter activities? Contact the Seward Chamber of Commerce at 907.224.8051. 

Visiting Seward with your family? Check out our 36 Hours in Seward: Winter Fun For Families.

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Feature Image: Resurrection Bay painted with pastels soothes even the busiest of minds. Photo: @toneloke79