Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
Eleven tidewater glaciers that spill out of the mountains and fill the sea with icebergs of all shapes, sizes and shades of blue have made Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve an icy wilderness renowned worldwide. When Captain George Vancouver sailed through the ice-choked waters of Icy Strait in 1794, Glacier Bay was little more than a dent in a mountain of ice.
The Seward Hwy is a road-trip-lover’s delight, with smooth, winding turns through mountains that have you craning your neck around every corner. The 127 miles of highway is all Scenic Byway, and there are plenty of turnoffs for gawking and snapping photos. Keep in mind that the mileposts along the highway show distances from Seward (Mile 0) to Anchorage (Mile 127).
Kenai Fjords National Park
Seward is the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, created in 1980 to protect 587,000 acres of Alaska’s most awesome, impenetrable wilderness. Crowning the park is the massive Harding Ice Field; from it, countless tidewater glaciers pour down, carving the coast into dizzying fjords.
Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
This 2812-sq-mile preserve, which covers the southern two-thirds of Kodiak Island, all of Ban and Uganik Islands, and a small section of Afognak Island, is the chief stronghold of the Alaska brown bear. An estimated 3500 bears reside in the refuge and the surrounding area, which is known worldwide for brown-bear hunting and to a lesser degree for salmon and steelhead fishing.
Denali National Park
For many travelers, Denali National Park & Preserve is the beginning and end of their Alaskan adventure. And why shouldn’t it be? Here is probably your best chance in the Interior (if not in the entire state) of seeing a grizzly bear, moose or caribou, and maybe even a fox or wolf.