One of our favorite Alaskan stops - Seward, Alaska! She's on the coast, she has so much to offer, and she's just a 6.5 hour drive away!
On this trip, we traveled with our brand-new-to-us camper!! It's a pull-behind and is a great addition to our summer travel. Last year, we got stuck in the rain camping in our tent (while I was 36 weeks pregnant, mind you..) and I'm really grateful for a camper for our family to be in for when (not if) the weather turns sour!
Our first stop after setting up at our campground, Forest Acres, we headed to the Seward docks! I don't know about you, but I LOVE walking along the docks and looking at the interesting names of boats, seeing people taking care of their vessels, and perhaps seeing a load of fish coming in from the ocean.
Before you head down to the docks, there are quite a few little restaurants, shops and tours along the oceanfront. Because we visited in the days of the coronavirus outbreak, most tours were shut down simply due to either safety or not enough visitors to justify opening for the summer. Still, walking along the storefronts and along the docks brought us a lot of joy! Our favorite shop along this strip is Harbor Street Creamery. We're big ice cream fans!
There is row upon row of boats!! We had our two girls with us and our baby was safely buckled in our stroller. Our toddler on the other hand, made use of these free Kids Don't Float lifejackets that they have at each entrance down to the dock. Free to use, and LOTS of sizes to choose from (also relatively clean!) these life jackets were this mama's lifesaver for peace of mind. I recommend grabbing one for your kiddo before you walk down the ramp to check out the boats!
Speaking of fishing, we let our daughter fish off of the docks! We didn't put an actual hook on her pole, and there's not much to catch right in the bay there, but it was still a really fun experience for her! We did get to see this barrel full of fish come in after a day at sea.
The next morning, we headed to Exit Glacier! There were close to 30 family members traveling with us, and we were excited to get out and get all of the teens and kids moving - plus take in some beautiful sights along the way.
There is helpful signage along the way, as well as these really cool markers. Each dated marker, which begin even as you drive up to the visitor center, marks where the glacier ended in that year. This image shows the end of the glacier in 1926. My parents lived in Seward in the early 90's, and they've noticed a significant shift in the glacier since then.
Because our family can't go anywhere without something terrifying/exciting happening (no really, we were on a beach when a shark attack happened and were on the last Carnival Cruise before they shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak!!) we were only slightly surprised to see these signs posted. If you've ever played a game of "telephone" as a child, where you start with one phrase and whisper it to each kid until the last kid says the answer, this was much like this. Instead of "Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear" turning into "I would like to eat a pear", this game of telephone on our hike was something like this:
"Someone shot a bear and they didn't kill it and it's running down the trail!"
"Someone shot a moose but didn't injure it and a bear is stalking it!"
"Someone shot a moose calf and the mom is charging people on the trail!"
"No one shot anything, go hike."
After a brief visit with a park ranger, it turns out that the true story was somewhere in between. A family that had been hiking that day, much like ours, and had been carrying a gun (which is legal in National Parks to use for self defense) shot a cow moose, who did have at least one calf. The family claimed that the cow was charging them and they shot in order to get back to headquarters safely. National Park Rangers on scene were interviewing them appropriately, directing hikers to come back from the glacier, and preventing new hikers like us from starting out on our adventure. SO we found a new place to hike!!
We headed to the Resurrection River Trail just down the road. You can see Exit Glacier from this photo, taken at the trail head.
It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon perfect for a hike through the forest like this. We crossed several little streams, tiny waterfalls, and open vistas with pleasant views of Exit Glacier. The trail was semi-rugged, not what I would consider stroller accessible, but not extreme. The entire hike was 18 miles, and we did about a mile out and back.
If you do head out to do the entire trail, you need to sign into this log so that NPS Rangers know who is on the trail! But for a small hike like ours, it was the perfect amount of being in nature... without the excitement of a bear mauling.