Miller’s Landing in Seward Takes Advantage of a Snowless Winter

Miller's Landing Resort in Seward, Alaska.

Miller’s Landing Resort in Seward, Alaska.

Miller’s Landing is typically a summer hangout for Alaskans. Known as the place to whoop it up after spending a day fishing, hiking, kayaking, or beachcombing Resurrection Bay, Miller’s provides families with the sort of laid-back atmosphere to which many of us have become accustomed. Folks mingle on the front porch overlooking the busy bay, watching for humpback whales, otters, and boat after boat of curious tourists eager for a glimpse of Alaska’s famous glaciers and wildlife. Fishermen and women toss their salty catch on the deck after a windblown day on the bay, hoping to angle a halibut or salmon. Kayakers call to each other as they shoot for a landing on the beach. Slightly cachophonious, Miller’s Landing bustles all day and all night, May through August, and is not for those seeking a particularly serene camping or cabin experience.

That concept has shifted slightly this winter, however.

 

So, Seward - you got any snow for us?

So, Seward – you got any snow for us?

You see, Seward is missing snow, lots and lots of snow, leaving highways relatively clear and access to this little Kenai Peninsula town much easier than is typical in January. Taking advantage of this, Miller’s Landing owners have decided to open up a cabin or two, and keep the power on at the RV park in the hopes of attracting folks like us who are scratching our heads at the lack of snow-related activities.

So we went.

 

The scenic Seward Highway near Turnagain Pass.

The scenic Seward Highway near Turnagain Pass.

Downtown Seward as seen from Lowell Point.

Downtown Seward as seen from Lowell Point.

Seward is 125 miles or so from Anchorage, and on a good-weather or traffic day the drive takes around 2.5 hours. Visitors wind their way along scenic Turnagain Arm and up over Turnagain Pass, glorying in vistas they’ve only seen in photographs, or, as is our case, a beautiful reminder of our home state. Winter travel can be tricky, and many families simply pass on the pass until spring break-up season (usually April or May). But with 2014 proving to be the warmest on record, and 2015 shaping up to follow a trend, Seward and other Kenai Peninsula destinations could very well become worthy wintertime destinations.

Miller’s Landing is actually located just outside of town on Lowell Point, reached by a narrow dirt road that stretches along rocky cliffs south of downtown. Lights of the city twinkle at night, eagles chatter from treetops, and gentle waves splash up on the rocky beach. Winter brings a certain serenity to this otherwise busy place, and the property did well to allow others the opportunity to witness it firsthand.

 

The Corner Cabin at Miller's Landing.

The Corner Cabin at Miller’s Landing.

Bathroom/shower house at Miller's Landing for those staying in the corner cabin, or camping.

Bathroom/shower house at Miller’s Landing for those staying in the corner cabin, or camping.

Two cabins are available this winter. One, the Corner Cabin, sits literally on a corner drive that separates Miller’s Landing from the surrounding neighborhood, and during the summer would be noisy. Tiny – at maybe 300 square feet – the cabin is nonetheless constructed with thoughtfulness, featuring a double bed upper-loft (watch your head, tall people!), corner wood stove, table, and another double bed down below. While the cabin has electricity and a ceiling fan to keep warm air circulating, there is no heat, so bring firewood, kindling, newspaper, and a lighter. Some wood is also available from the caretaker.

 

Interior of the Corner Cabin, from the loft.

Interior of the Corner Cabin, from the loft.

A bathroom/shower house are located just across the street from the cabin, and are a bit rough, but since we approached this whole weekend as a ‘roughing it’ sort of experience, it was all good. This was camping, but better. Rates can be found HERE

 

Admiral's Cottage at Miller's Landing.

Admiral’s Cottage at Miller’s Landing.

The second cabin is about 100 yards from the first, and is called the Admiral’s Cottage. Larger (sleeping up to 12, in fact), this is more of a group house, with bedrooms, full kitchen, bathrooms, and parking for everyone. Have a hankering to grab some friends for a long weekend? This is the place. Rates can be found HERE

 

How's this for a campsite view?

How’s this for a campsite view?

Staring at the RV, wishing it were summer? Miller’s has opened the campground and turned on the power, making this one of the best off-season seaside spots in Alaska. Contact the resort for current rates HERE.

 

Walking Seward's waterfront area yields historical landmarks, like this memorial to Alaska Railroad crew.

Walking Seward’s waterfront area yields historical landmarks, like this memorial to Alaska Railroad crew.

 

Alaska Sea Life Center is located in downtown Seward.

Alaska Sea Life Center is located in downtown Seward.

But what will your family do in Seward? Turns out, quite a bit, if you’re an outdoor-loving group.

Take a walk along the beach at Miller’s Landing, or the nearby Caines Head State Park, especially at low tide.

Head to town and visit the Alaska Sea Life Center, FREE for Alaska residents on Wednesdays through the winter months.

Bring your bike and ride the local trail that winds from the Sea Life Center all the way to the Small Boat Harbor a few miles away.

Play on the amazing playground downtown (after checking for icy conditions, of course).

Hike just about any trail in town; here’s a great LIST.

Stay up late. Sleep in. Read stories. Play games.

Now, doesn’t that sound positively dreamy?

 

Caines Head State Park

Caines Head State Park

A full story about Seward with best bets for kids will be appearing in the Alaska Dispatch News soon.

~EK

Posted in Kenai Peninsula.