Seward : Alaska


What It Is Like to Retire in Seward

Seward is one of the most interesting and beautiful small towns in the 49th state, Alaska. It is a relatively recent community, founded in 1912 when Alaska experienced the need for a ice-free port. It is a popular cruise ship destination on the Inland Passage. The picturesque setting is hard to beat – a narrow bay ringed on 3 sides by towering, mountains that are snow-capped all year long. Tourism is extremely important to the economy, with fishing, boating, hiking, glacier watching, and camping being favorite activities.

There is an interesting downtown that flows down to the picturesque harbor in 2 directions. Interesting shops and good restaurants offer their wares, with the top-rated Alaska Sea Life Center anchors the scene at the base of the harbor. Photo of Aerial view of Seward, Alaska in the 1990s, looking north. The mouth of the Resurrection River and the base of Mount Marathon are visible, courtesy of Wikipedia and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; photo of Boats in the harbor, with the snow-capped peak of Mount Alice across the bay to the east in the background, courtesy of Wikipedia and 1brownsfan; photo of Seward, Alaska, 1959 courtesy of Wikipedia and Harley D. Nygren, all in the public domain.

Where to Retire in Seward and Home Prices

Retiring in Seward provides an active, small town lifestyle. Cute neighborhoods and homes extend up quiet streets at the base of the mountains above the town. There is at least one apartment complex right downtown.
Prices are relatively low; attractive 3 bedroom homes can be purchased in the low $100’s. According to the median home value was $264,184 in mid-2021. Alaska is complex state from an economic viewpoint. On the one hand everything is very expensive here because it must be shipped in. On the other hand, there are virtually no taxes because of its oil revenues.


What Is Special about Seward

Beautiful location at the confluence of mountains and bay. Attractive downtown with charming residential neighborhoods. Exit Glacier National Park just outside of town. World class fishing boating, hunting, and wilderness opportunities at your doorstep. Salmon fishing is particularly outstanding. Active chamber of commerce. Low (no) tax state

What Is Not Special about Seward

Cold winters. Remote location over 100 miles south of Anchorage. Living in a tourist town.  Food, clothing, and fuel are expensive

Who Will Like Retirement in Seward

If you like the mountains and the sea, a rustic and adventurous environment, you will like Seward. Outdoors people love it here. You have to be hardy to live here, although this is practically Miami by Alaskan standards

Local Economy Is Driven by

Economy is driven by tourism. Downtown parking lots by the harbor are constantly filled with people on fishing charters, fijord and glacier tours, and all types of adventure tourism.

Climate and Physical Environment

Located on the inside of the Kenai Peninsula, south and a bit west of Anchorage in southern Alaska. It is the gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Seward has an active cultural life. A mural society has contributed art to decorate the city-scape. The annual Music and Art Festival provides a boost to the town. There is a library, theatre, and a well-stocked bookstore. The Seward Museum provides information about its history, including a devastating earthquake. The Alaska Sea Life Center is extremely interesting and the most popular tourist attraction.


Crime in Seward is about two thirds the national average.

Medical Facilities

The Providence Seward Medical Center is in Seward. The nearest hospital is about 80 miles away in Seward


A good scenic biway connects Seward with Anchorage and other towns on the Kenai Peninsula. Seward has a busy airport with air taxi connections to other destinations in the state. Water taxis will take you just about anywhere.

Valuable Links

City-Data page for Seward
City of Seward

What people are saying about Seward

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