Alaska's Point of View Reservation Service (www.alaskasview.com; tel. 907/224-2323) is a Seward lodging- and tour-booking agency. The website has a handy search function for B&Bs, cabins, hotel rooms, and all other lodgings. You can get a list of B&Bs from the chamber of commerce visitor center.
Seward has several hotels beyond those I can list here; in fact, I'm not aware of a bad hotel in Seward. The Holiday Inn Express Seward Harbor (www.hiexpress.com/sewardak; tel. 800/HOLIDAY [465-4329] or 907/224-2550) stands right on the small boat harbor wall, with its ramp down to the floats, and is only steps from the railroad depot. The hotel has a charter-booking office and a tiny pool. The well-equipped rooms have red carpets but otherwise are typical of a national chain. Summer rates are $219 to $269 double, with the lower-priced units facing the parking lot instead of the harbor. Breakfast and Wi-Fi are included in the price.
Equally attractive to the Holiday Inn is the downtown Best Western Hotel Edgewater, 200 5th Ave. (www.hoteledgewater.com; tel. 888/793-6800). The unique building near the SeaLife Center looks across streets to the ocean on two sides. Rooms vary in shape and size and are decorated in bold colors. All were renovated in 2008 with pillow-top mattresses, flatscreen TVs, and other amenities. Summer rates are $199 to $289 double, including continental breakfast and Wi-Fi.
Save over either of those choices at Murphy's Alaskan Inn (www.murphysmotel.com; tel. 800/686-8191 or 907/224-8090), near the boat harbor, which has attractive, well-equipped rooms with views in a newer building and good budget rooms remodeled in 2009 in an older building. Summer rates are $129 to $169 double, winter $59 to $79, including Wi-Fi.
A Hostel, Camping & Cabins
A friendly, multilingual family that lives in a remote area in the winter runs the Moby Dick Hostel in summer. It's at 432 3rd Ave., PO Box 624 (www.mobydickhostel.com; tel. 907/224-7072). They charge $20 for a bunk, $64 for private hostel rooms, and $75 to $80 for kitchenette rooms. The brightly colored hostel has Wi-Fi and is centrally located downtown. There is no lock-out or curfew, and the office is open 9 to 11am and 5 to 10pm.
The best campgrounds near Seward are those in Chugach National Forest, especially Primrose Campground on Kenai Lake. The only campground in Kenai Fjords National Park is near Seward, the Exit Glacier Campground, at mile 8.5 of Herman Leirer Road (also known as Exit Glacier Rd.). The campground is on willow-covered gravel ground that plants haven't yet reclaimed from the retreating ice. Sites are far apart and almost completely private but lack any amenities -- no picnic tables, fire grates, or anything. Use the food lockers and central cooking to keep bears away. Snow lingers into early June; later in the summer, the campground often fills by early evening. There is no fee for the 12 sites, and reservations are not taken. It's open for tents only and has pit toilets and hand-pump water.
In the town of Seward itself, the seaside Waterfront Park on Ballaine Boulevard is good for RV camping -- units stand side by side like townhouses facing the ocean -- but the tent sites are too noisy and exposed for my liking. Seward has tried to crack down on drinking and rowdiness in its campgrounds with partial success. The fee is $10 for tents, $15 for dry RV sites, $30 for RV sites with electricity and water; showers are $2. It's operated by the city parks and recreation department (www.cityofseward.net/parksrec; tel. 907/224-4055). A quieter town campground is Forest Acres Park, among the spruce trees at Hemlock and Sealion Boulevard, just off Seward Highway near the Army Recreation Center. Fees are the same. Neither campground accepts reservations. RVs are welcome at Forest Acres, but there are no hookups.
The Alaska Division of Parks maintains two cabins for rent in the Caines Head State Recreation Area, south of town, and two in Thumb Cove State Marine Park, across the bay from Caines Head. These cabins are in high demand and difficult to reserve, but there are good areas for camping in both parks. It's possible to hike to the Caines Head cabins, but to get to Thumb Cove, you need a boat. Water taxi service is offered by Miller's Landing. The Thumb Cove cabins lie in an impossibly steep bowl of mountains, a grand and lovely setting that, along with the excellent salmon fishing nearby, explains their popularity. Camping is permitted along the same beach without a permit, with plenty of space and an outhouse for campers' use.
Cabins in Chugach National Forest and Kenai Fjords National Park are mentioned in those guides.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.