Seward is my favorite place on earth. We came here on our honeymoon almost 8 years ago, lived here for 5 months back in 2014 (search this blog for lots of posts about life in Seward!), and have made a point to vacation down here multiple times a year ever since. My heart is in this tiny town. So it only makes sense that our first REAL spring camping trip of the year was in Seward. I was lucky enough to snag the Rocket House Cabin on Lowell Point for a weekend and we had a blast! The best part is that it was the first real spring weekend in Seward – temperatures went up to almost 60 degrees (such a huge difference from the Denali trip the week before!) and we had so much sunshine! Those first few days of sunshine and warmth are such a big deal after a long, dark, and cold winter.
I’ve learned that spending two nights camping is so much better than one when you have a toddler, so we drove down to Seward after Andrew got out of work on Friday night instead of driving down on Saturday morning. The cabin is owned by Miller’s Landing down on Lowell Point, so to get there you need to drive past Seward and down a dirt road until you reach the beach. The Rocket House Cabin was right on the beach with perfect views of the bay! And it was the last cabin on the property so we had a bit more privacy than we expected. We got to the cabin around Elliott’s bedtime, which created a slightly stressful moment or two as we tried to quickly unpack everything, start a fire, and get Elliott ready for bed as fast as we could. Luckily we’re getting really good at setting up camp quickly and we were able to get him ready before he became too tired. I had to snuggle with him until he fell asleep, but then I was able to sneak him into his playpen. He once again wore his Morrison Outdoors Little Mo to keep him warm. I stayed up for a bit to watch the alpenglow on the mountains across the bay and to listen to the ocean from our cabin. It was so peaceful and beautiful!
I couldn’t help but remember how hard of a first night we’d had on our last camping trip, but the first night on this trip was definitely better. It was cold in the cabin once the fire went out, so Elliott woke up in the middle of the night and moved to my bed. He had a few moments where he woke up and tried to play with me, but I was able to get him back down quickly and at least he wasn’t crying at all! However, I woke up at 6:00 am to him literally poking me and yelling “Oooooh!” while pointing out the windows. I was slightly annoyed until I rolled over and saw the most beautiful sunrise! I am NOT a morning person and I’d always like Elliott to sleep as late as he usually does at home, but a good sunrise will definitely get me out of bed. And the best part is that I didn’t even need to leave bed to get these views! Elliott loved watching the sun rise, and I loved watching him enjoy something new.
Once we were up, we made oatmeal with our Jetboil and watched the sun rise over the mountains. Our plan for the day was mostly focused around the ocean: visit the SeaLife Center, walk along the coast, and go out on our friend’s boat. We slowly got ready for the day with a few breaks to walk the beach and check out the views. Eventually we made it into town because we all needed some coffee before the adventures we had planned! After a coffee stop at Resurrection Art Coffee House, we were one of the first people into the Alaska SeaLife Center. The SeaLife Center is part aquarium, part research center, and part animal rescue. It’s a really fun place to take kids, and Elliott loves it there! And I’m not going to lie, I’m a big fan of the seals and the sea lions. They are so fun to watch and it always seems like they’re playing with you!
After watching the sea lions for a while, we headed over to Zudy’s Cafe for lunch. We ate outside on the patio right by the ocean which felt so good after such a long winter of eating indoors! It was almost 60 degrees and sunny and we knew we needed to spend the rest of the day outdoors in the sunshine. We decided we would try to get Elliott to take a stroller nap, so we walked up and down the trail by the coast for a while until we realized that he was too excited to sleep. It seemed like everyone was out enjoying the first warm weekend of the year, and we even ran into a few coworkers from our old job there. We eventually gave up on the stroller nap and went back to the cabin to reassess the nap situation. Then we spent an hour trying to get Elliott to sleep in his playpen in a bright cabin with no curtains or blinds. He spent most of that hour talking to himself and playing with Elmo, but eventually he fell asleep and we had a few hours to sit outside enjoying the perfect weather on the beach. Andrew took Ridley for a long beach walk and I spent some time reading on the porch where I could still watch Elliott. I was so happy that we booked a cabin with such perfect views that made it so easy to enjoy the ocean!
After Elliott woke up, we headed to the boat harbor to meet up with our friends for a quick boat ride into Resurrection Bay! They wanted to pull up some shrimp pots they had set up across the bay, and we were excited to get out on the water and catch up. It was really nice seeing them again after a long winter of social distancing. And it was fun taking Elliott out on their boat for the first time in 9 months. He really liked seeing all the birds out there, and we also saw an otter and two humpback whales! As they were pulling up their shrimp we also saw an octopus and a starfish (which they threw back into the water). After the boat ride, we had a super yummy dinner of fresh shrimp and halibut po boys and introduced Elliott to all of the taxidermy they have at their house. He was really into their musk ox head and the bear rug!
That night was luckily much warmer than the night before, and Elliott slept better than he did on night one. I’m definitely noticing a trend with the second night being better than the first! Elliott woke us up for the sunrise again, but once again we didn’t mind. We spent the morning exploring the beach and the old train cars near our cabin before packing up and driving back to Anchorage.
This trip was only one week after our Denali cabin camping trip, but it felt so different! It’s amazing to be able to sit outside in the sunshine instead of being stuck inside a cabin all day due to the cold. Not having to bring so much wood and constantly worry about a fire made it feel like an easier trip. Camping near Seward means you are only minutes away from a supermarket, restaurants, and coffee shops, so you have to do less cooking too. And being able to hang out with friends that we haven’t seen since last summer was a lot of fun! I do love cozy winter cabin trips with just my little family, but it was nice spending time with another family too.
If you’re thinking about visiting Seward, there’s a lot of different places to stay in town! There are hotels, Airbnbs, and camping cabins, as well as campsites and RV sites right on the water at the edge of town. It’s much easier to find a place to stay in the off season. There are restaurants and coffee shops open year round, and the SeaLife Center is open year round too. Plus, maybe you’ll get lucky and catch gorgeous warm weather before summer officially starts!
Do you prefer your beaches rocky and surrounded by mountains, or warm and sandy?