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Sourdough Sunrise Bed and Breakfast

Sourdough Sunrise Bed and Breakfast

The Sourdough Sunrise Bed & Breakfast is located in the northern section of Seward, Alaska, in relatively close proximity to various glaciers and Resurrection Bay. The property is most known for its sourdough pancakes that are served for breakfast each morning, using a sourdough starter that dates back to the early 1900s. The owners of the establishment are Richard and Sue, who built the property from the ground up in 1985 and have been the sole proprietors of the location ever since. There are three units available for reservation at Sourdough Sunrise, namely the Sockey Room, the Coho Room, and the Chinook Room. The main home's exterior woodworking was done by Richard and offers visitors unique architectural views during their stay.


The B&B lodge known as Sourdough Sunrise Bed & Breakfast is located in the forests north of the glacier that leads into Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska. The property is described as a "B&B lodge" by its owners Richard and Sue due to the fact that they do not live in the main building themselves. Instead, they live in a smaller cabin that rests on the same property as the main lodge. Visitors to Sourdough Sunrise have full access to the three units in the building, which are all located on the second floor. Guests are also able to utilize a common room on the second floor with a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee pot. The main purpose behind the common room is to provide a space for people to socialize and relax, and the space has an adjoining balcony that overlooks the yard and the extensive amount of trees that surrounds the property. Richard and Sue recommend that people use this balcony to do some journaling.  

One of the most defining features of the property, as evidenced by the name "Sourdough Sunrise," is the sourdough pancakes that are served for breakfast each morning. The pancakes are created using a sourdough starter called Beauregard, which is a classic Alaskan ingredient not exclusive to Sourdough Sunrise that has been enjoyed by generations of people throughout the state since 1905. The breakfasts are served with bacon and seasonal fruit, and the owners are able to make accommodations for those who need gluten-free meals or some other kind of dietary restriction or preference. One of the property's traditions surrounding breakfast includes Richard telling stories about his more than 50 years in Alaska while guests eat their food.

The three units at Sourdough Sunrise Bed & Breakfast are named the Sockey Room, the Coho Room, and the Chinook Room. Both the Chinook and Sockey Rooms come equipped with two queen-sized beds, whereas the Coho Room only has one queen bed. Regardless of which unit a guest selects, however, they will have access to a private bathroom specific to their unit, cable television, and free Wi-Fi throughout the building. The other property-wide feature that is frequently used by guests is the deck on the first floor of the buildings, which allows guests to be even closer to the nature that surrounds Sourdough Sunrise Bed & Breakfast. 

While the three units on-site are decorated in a similar fashion, the quilts on each bed vary extensively and showcase multiple different aspects of natural features and animals in Alaska. Apart from this, the most unique decorations at the establishment are found on the outside of the main building itself. Richard spent years as a woodworker and carpenter, and he constructed Sourdough Sunrise with the intent to display some of his talents. This is evident through the art located on multiple sides of the B&B, with things such as orca whales and a massive sun. Many of the guests who have stayed at the property have commented about these decorations, stating things such as, "The house was so unique and charming with all the intricate woodwork that embodied the spirit of the area and was crafted by the host, Richard."

Sourdough Sunrise Bed & Breakfast sits on roughly six and a half acres of land. The overall "log cabin" appearance of the property—in addition to the trees, gravel road, and other outdoor features of the establishment—helps to provide a "rustic" atmosphere and experience. There are a few salmon streams that run through the acreage of the B&B, though Richard strongly discourages that people visit them because they are common "fishing" spots for local bears.


The core experience that Richard and Sue—who own Sourdough Sunrise Bed & Breakfast—want their guests to have is one of peaceful enjoyment of the surrounding Alaskan nature. Additionally, they hope that those who visit their property will feel "like they're staying with family." Large events or activities on the premises of the site do not occur, with the intent of maintaining the desired atmosphere of the establishment. Additionally, the B&B is not pet-friendly, though there are two dogs owned by Richard and Sue that help to patrol the area and "scare off bears." While smoking is not permitted inside of the main house, guests are free to smoke on the deck, balcony, or surrounding area, provided that they clean up after themselves.

One unique aspect of the property's location is that it allows for bird-watching and viewing of other local fauna. One of the B&B's most frequent "visitors" includes the local moose of the area. More often than not, the moose come in small groups consisting of a mother and a few of her offspring. Some of the creatures are so familiar with the premises that they will come right up to the main building on-site. Mothers will even nurse their young near the establishment. Bears are another type of animal that inhabit the area, though most of the time they hang around the nearby salmon streams.

Guests to Sourdough Sunrise Bed & Breakfast include people from multiple demographics: small families visiting with their children, older couples seeking a "getaway" of some kind, and individuals or groups of people that are seeking adventure, to name a few. Richard explains that they encourage the families to visit, and they don't market themselves as a lodging space for groups of hunters or fishers who are prone to stay up late drinking. A fair amount of guests to the business are repeat guests, though where Sourdough Sunrise sees its biggest success is the "word of mouth" reviews that guests share with others after their stay. The furthest place that someone has mentioned hearing about Sourdough Sunrise Bed & Breakfast is in China, which has caused Richard to state that they are "world-famous." One specific review about the property highlighted the following features: "The owners are lovely people, and the sourdough pancakes really are world-famous--never had any others like them. The place is neat, clean, comfortable, warm, and cozy. The B&B itself was built by hand by the owners, and the craftsmanship is unique and beautiful."

The property is described by Richard as a "B&B lodge" because neither he nor Sue actually lives in the B&B itself. Instead, they stay in a cabin not far from the main home. This means that most of the interaction they have with guests is during breakfast, and in Richard's words, it allows for "people to come and go as they please without worrying that they'll wake us up or something."

Sourdough Sunrise Bed & Breakfast is open from May 1st to September 30th of each year. Occupancy typically spikes over summer months, but in the rare cases where it doesn't, the business has been known to stay open into the winter months to make up for it. 


The only owners that the Sourdough Sunrise Bed & Breakfast has ever had are Richard and Sue Schmidt, who have been residents of Alaska since the early 1970s. They met each other in a small mining town to the south named Ellamar but didn't move to Seward until 1979. There, they built a small cabin to raise their family in and "wouldn't think of living anywhere else."

The first progress on an eventual B&B occurred in 1985 when Richard began constructing a more permanent resident for the family, "one board and a dollar at a time." The progress was so slow-going, in fact, that before the project could be completed, the children had already grown up and moved out of the house. Because the extra space was no longer going to be necessary for just Richard and Sue, they decided to adapt their project and create a bed and breakfast instead.

Richard was responsible for all of the woodwork involved in the process, aided by years of experience as a woodworker and carpenter. In a way, he wanted Sourdough Sunrise Bed & Breakfast to be a lasting legacy that would extend into his retirement, understanding that he would be unable to create something so large when he got older. The shingle art located on the sides of the home was done by a close friend of Richard's named Paul Paquette. Finally, after two decades of work, the building was completed in 2005 and opened its doors to visitors from many places. As it stands, Richard considers the B&B to be "complete."

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Mile 0.2 Old Exit Glacier Road
Seward, Alaska 99664
United States


Bed and Breakfast


Richard and Sue

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