Welcome to Alaska Attractive Maps – the most talked about art maps in Alaska!

Endorsed by the Seward Chamber of Commerce, who announced, “remember the maps everybody loves”, these unique maps were drawn out by acclaimed artists to present warmth and character, as well as a guide to local businesses.

Find hotels, restaurants and services for your favorite activities.  Delight in the local color.  With Alaskan Attractive maps, you’ll gain a familiarity with the town you love to visit, or hope to visit some day.

Beautifully detailed, these maps are included in brochures and are available as laminated 11″ X 17″  place mats.  Businesses are proud to place a 17 1/2′  X 22 1/3′ ‘  Alaskan Attractive map poster on their wall or directly on the counter  to help their guests find their way around town.

They make great souvenirs, too!  Guests love to take these beautiful maps home to show their friends the details of the town they visited.  Thousands of dollars are spent each year by businesses on advertising that is soon forgotten, but Alaskan Attraction maps only increase in value over time.

Established for seventeen years, Alaskan Attraction maps give businesses their place in history.





I rarely travel the Cook Inlet in autumn. For Alaskans, it’s a time of putting away your fishing gear, your camping equipment, your yard tools and your lawn mower, and dusting off your snow blower. It means preparing the harvest and putting it away in the freezer or into jars. It means repairing roofs, fortifying sheds and changing over the tires on the automobile. Thoughts become more concentrated on the homes that had been neglected all summer in a season of endless daylight, warm temperatures and the urge to go out and enjoy the wilderness landscape.

When the Pace Slows

Seward in Autumn is a different sort of creature. During the summer, the town is bustling with activity. The streets are over-flowing with tourists, cooking smells tumble out from the restaurants, charter boats roar in and out of the bay.

The campgrounds in and around Seward are so full, they bulge out at the seams. Combat fishermen stand elbow to elbow, watching the passengers disembark from the cruise ships, hoping this did not mean more competitors. The savvy fisherman swings around to lesser known sides of the bay, looking for that elusive salmon hole that didn’t already have ten lines trying to feed from it.

In the autumn, the long rows of public campgrounds set up close to the docks and down the long water front, parallel with the town, are nearly empty. A few motor homes and trailers settle down in small clusters; there for one reason only; they love the beauty and tranquility of autumn in Seward.

High Energy Level

Seward, however, is not a sleepy town at any time of the year. As one of Alaska’s oldest towns, with some of the earliest histories, Seward has always had an industry in fishing, mining, trapping, farming and commerce. Autumn means a time of year when the young people give up their summer jobs in tourism and go back to their studies and after-school activities. It’s a time of year when the fishing crew begin spending more time at home and taking in the local entertainment. Live bands make their circuits of night clubs, taverns and music halls. Lounging around coffee shops and diners, you can hear the locals greet each others, tell jokes and fill each other in on the local gossip.

The docks also remain busy in autumn. The fishing boats continue to rock in their ports alongside the pier, while a cruise ship broods over its return home. Tug boats, cargo boats, sail boats and other assorted craft drift out into the bay our churn their way slowly back into port.

There is an added feel of friendliness. After all, if you’re visiting Seward in the autumn, you must not be a tourist, but a guest. You have a private look into a town that had reaped most of its yearly earnings in a few short months and is now settling down to the hard crunch of winter. They are making the most of their autumn.

The Shortest Season

Autumn is such a short season in Alaska. Within one month after the leaves turn yellow, the frost is crackling on the bowed brush and ice skims over the lakes, the ponds and the inevitable mud puddles. The first snow settles. The “termination dust” as the locals call is, is creeping down from the mountain tops, announcing daily the steady infiltration of winter.

Unless your sole desire is to take part in the salmon run, autumn is perhaps one of the most rewarding times to visit Seward. The black-green rain forest marches down from umber and rust coated hill tops and small mountain peaks. Behind them, the tall, craggy range cuts blue and white edges into the sky. The glaciers spill and retreat is recorded in the pockmarked ridges, silt filled basins slowly being overtaken with vegetation, and the chaotic surge of boulders, gravel and sand left behind.

The day is sparkling, although the wind is blustery. Only the more rugged of the sea-faring crowd set out to fish. Even without the salmon, Seward fishing is legendary among the Cook Inlet community. Despite choppy waters and a wind carrying the glacial bite of winter, these determined fishermen would bring back cod, halibut, rockfish and sea bass. Grills will light up and back yard cooks will experiment with their newest recipes. The real chill hasn’t hit yet, and just a few miles from the docks, the landscape is still sparkling gently under the cool but pleasant temperatures of autumn.

The Battle with the Artist

Autumn in Seward is an excellent time to visit Lowell Point. Just a few miles from the hub of Seward, on a gravel road swinging southwest of the Sea Life Center, Lowell Point is sheltered from all but the most insistent of Seward’s perpetual winds. The stilted houses face the azure aisle of small islands bumping their way out to the sea.

We have an encounter with an artiste. We both favor the view from a quaint house stacked sturdily on pillars with an even more quaint fishing boat resting next to it. He indicates with his expensive camera equipment that he needs this exact angle and sunlight to catch the paint peeling back from the boat and the roped life saver beside it. Our very presence is ruining his inspiration.

We drive around a few minutes to watch a family playing with their small children in a meadow, and a group of hikers urging each other up a mountain trail. When we come back to our beach entrance, the artist was still there, but two other vehicles had also arrived. A group of teenaged girls had shrugged past, intent on their own beach combing aspirations, as well as a retired couple, complete with their own cameras. The artist gives up, packs up his equipment, and returns to his car, but not without glaring back now and then at the intruders.

Kicking Back

Time grows incredibly lazy. Although we are all awake by nine a.m., we putter unhurriedly through breakfast, exchanging pots, pans and food stuffs between two campers, eventually compiling a feast of bacon, eggs, pancakes and stirred fruits. Three hours later, we are still chatting while listening to the vibration of the wind prying at the windows. It’s time to leave, and our footsteps are dragging.

Traveling in or out of Seward means going through a mountain pass. Although the Chugach is moderate by Alaskan mountain range standards, it still has its challenging moments. As you climb up into the softer, more rounded contours of the foothills, the jagged peaks of the more imposing mountains leap up in front of you. It is a world bathed in color as golden hills shift to brushed orange points above the timberline, and snow covered caps rear solidly in the distance. It is a world of thundering rivers and creeks, deep cut gullies and crystal clear lakes.

The highway is tame in autumn, its broad sides cutting a swath of yawning curves through carefully moderated elevations, but it’s a highway that could become suddenly hostile with the first winter storm or a torrential downpour. When autumn blesses it, the highway is dry, the bumper to bumper traffic that characterizes it in the summer, is gone. All that you’ll find is the occasional local on his way to one community or another, and a few motor homes still squeezing out a few last days of vacation before battening down for the winter.

There is no season quite so short as the golden days of autumn in Alaska. Often times, the fall season is accompanied by long, drizzling rains that turn into snow as the weather becomes colder. But when Alaska blesses its residents with a dry autumn, there are few trips as satisfying as traveling the Tournagain Arm and arriving a few hours later in the town of Seward. The scenery is spectacular, with clear views of the wildlife. The bears have begun their migration to their winter homes, but the moose continue to occupy the surrounding brush, foxes sling among the trees and an occasional porcupine ambles along close to the road.

It is the perfect season for those who crave the solitude of wilderness spaces and the warm companionship of friends warming their feet in front of a fire, drinking hot beverages and recounting their adventures. It is the perfect time to feel the communion of a society that had worked hard and played harder all summer and was now ready to rest and prepare for winter activities. With the busy industry of tourism stripped away, Seward is revealed in its full splendor; a quaint little town with a vigorous people building their lives around the history of their past, the modern influences of their present and their hopes for the future.


Fishing Season Opens

There is a magic about Homer that’s difficult to resist. There is the call to the fishermen that set out in their boats in early spring, anticipating long days of sparkling summer floating among the coves, islands and into the wide ocean. There’s the close-up view of the volcanoes, Redoubt and Iliamna on the mainland, and Augustine, rearing up in triumph out of the ocean.

Even if you’re not on a boat, the view of Cook Inlet’s crown of volcanoes punctuating the ocean horizon is awe-inspiring. More so to realize you’re in a ring of fire and ice, with the plummeting fjords girdling the pastoral town of Homer.

That’s where the true charm begins. Homer has one of the sunniest coastal climates in Alaska. Located on the southwestern tip of the Cook Inlet, Homer’s summers are made up of long, sparkling hours. The spirit of festivity begins with the first welcoming days of spring. Shops that had slumbered through lazy trade all through the winter in a town with 5,000 year-round inhabitants, begin sprucing up their aisles, cleaning their windows to a sparkling finish, and setting out pots filled bright-colored flowers. Young men and women begin signing up for work on the boats or in the canneries. The first caravans of motor homes, campers and tent campers arrive from Anchorage, the smell of cod, halibut, salmon and shellfish in their nostrils. Within a few weeks, every camp ground, every parking spot will be full and bustling with an International flavor.

Where the Arts Flourish

Homer is much more than a town offering world class fishing. Deep in its embrace beats the heart of an artist. Those hands that aren’t busy tying fisherman knots are earnestly crafting from the gifts graciously handed up by Homer’s long beach front. Driftwood accumulates into yard ornaments, bright colored shells decorate center pieces and jewelry. Exquisite Native Alaskan carvings in ivory delight the eye of both window shoppers and buyers.

There are galleries filled with the paintings of Homer inspired artists. From modern impressionism to classical Alaskan landscapes, the images cling to you, filling your mind as deeply with the spirit of Alaska’s wild adolescence as with the magic of the volcano dotted coastline.

A Contrast of Lives

The town of Homer is a delightful mix between the rustic and modern. Gleaming supermarkets, fast food drive-through’s, stately banks mix casually among bed and breakfast’s, wood lodges, small cafes and quiet boutiques. Even on main street, many of the houses and establishments are set far enough apart for rolling lawns to sweep out in front of them, and comfortable hedges, blossoming with flowers to border their edges.

There is a mesmerization of quaintness. Children play in a grassy park. From a wooden inn tumbles the sounds of country music. Pedestrians walk casually, lingering at corners to chat with their neighbors. Ribald laughter sometimes spills from a doorway. Paved road breaks away to gravel roads and sweet farms or tucked away resorts and hostels.

Life on the Homer Spit

Leaving Homer to travel the four and a half mile long spit places you in a different world. The town of Homer is sheltered, the ocean winds muffled, turning the town into a warm, bright, tranquil environment on a sunny day.

The Homer spit begins with tide pools and the upended trunks of trees tossed around by the ocean, then left on the scouring sands. In the narrow elbow, float planes rock gently, tethered to their decks. Lifeless boats rest on their sides, rusted from sea salt. The prairie grass flattens under a constant wind.

The end of the spit is windy. You are basically four miles out to sea with nothing more than a narrow strip of land keeping you above water. At land’s end, there is less than a hundred yards separating you from the green waters of the Port of Homer and the rolling blue water of the ocean.

Up On Stilts

The spit is the liveliest part of Homer in the summer. Here, the rows of restaurants offer some of the finest marine food cooking in Alaska. Here, the charter boats are busy gathering clients for a day of halibut casting. Here the tourists gather in droves to spend the day looking out at the spectacular view, or visit the local shops.

The shops filled willed with bakery goods, ice cream parlors, hand crafts and art are primarily set up on stilts, with a boardwalk running between them. Bands begin playing in the early evening, their rock and roll sounds floating down to the beach loungers settled down with a picnic among the driftwood logs.

Crowded on the opposite end are the campers utilizing their tiny spaces to pitch tents, grill salmon or plug in their motor homes. The atmosphere invites a party. Cook Inlet residents, out for a few days fishing, find each other and gather around a campfire. Stories are swapped and tips handed out as to where the big schools are hiding. The young cannery workers meet up and unwind for the evening, playing on the beach or gathering together to listen to music. Eagles and seagulls screech overhead, competing for the thrown away scraps of fish or someone’s left-over dinner.

The Salty Dawg

If you don’t have hair on your chest nor ever really relished the thought of letting your hair down, the Salty Dawg Saloon may not be right for you. Homer’s oldest landmark, the rollicking, fun-loving bar could feature fishermen doing a jig or crack shot lady pool shooters. Who even knows the number of dollar bills pinned up on walls right now, each one scribbled with the note of someone who had been there and left their green calling card. Other items, as well, sometimes become attached to the wall’s trophy list, but it’s all in the spirit of Alaskan humor.

You take the humor in stride. If you sit long enough, you begin to feel both the history and culture. The cabin was one of Homer’s first constructions. Built in 1897, it has served as a post office, railroad station, grocery store and coal mining office for its first twenty years. After the 1964 earthquake, the historical building was moved to the spit and a light-house mimicking top was added to cover a water storage tank.

With its sawdust floor and low ceiling, you are transported into the still thriving spirit of the wild, wild north. Certainly not a place for vacationers to bring their children, it reels with the tales of Alaskan adventures, spiced with the appetites of the most daring and remains essentially a local retreat from the slick newness and busy bustle of the tourist oriented community on stilts.

The Beat Goes On

Creating International attention when the musical artist, Jewel, claimed Homer as her stomping grounds, it continues to be a place where music pours from every window and cries whimsically in the wind. There is an energy between the balance of a sleepy hamlet and an industrious spit that wakes to a new evolution of tourists and fishermen each spring. It’s an energy that stays with you long after you’ve packed your bags and wandered off to another destination or left for home. You don’t forget it; the sights, the sounds, the spontaneous laughter, the excitement of the big catch, the awe of the ring of fire, and it carries on inside that part of your mind that is always hearing the tunes of nature’s music.


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