When we found out a long time ago that the guys were going to be in Korea for 4-6 weeks during June, my friend Stacy and I decided that it would be fun to take a little road trip in Alaska to break up the monotony of the time they were gone. (Her husband works with my husband so they were both out of town). We originally were going to take a trip to Homer, Alaska, which unfortunately didn’t work out, but Stacy found a great Airbnb in Talkeetna and I am so glad we did end up going there! It was an awesome trip and a fun way to discover a new town in Alaska.
I had heard of Talkeetna originally because the town’s standing mayor is a cat named Stubbs. Stubbs is 20 years old and a complete beast, and I was on a mission to meet that cat. (Read about Stubb’s noble reign both here and here).
Talkeetna is also known for being the starting spot for climbers who are planning to climb Mount Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley), the highest peak in North America.
Talkeetna is about a 4-4.5 hour drive from Fairbanks, and so we drove out on a Tuesday and drove back on a Friday. It is the perfect town for a 2-3 day trip. We both loved Talkeetna and really enjoyed our trip. It was so fun to spend time together, and also to discover a new place.
I will start off by saying that the food in Talkeetna was overall really good. Fairbanks food scene is disappointing at times, and so it was fun to go somewhere where there were quality restaurants. There wasn’t a lot, but what there was was really good!
- Wildflower was the best food we had in Talkeetna. Absolutely delicious with a great atmosphere.
- Mountain High Pizza Pie was okay, but we ended up getting our meal paid for by a kind retired Infantry Colonel who was thankful for supportive Army wives and ironically was an alumni of the same school as Stacy! He was seated next to us (family style seating). I will take free okay-pizza over good let’s pay for it pizza. Hooah!
- Denali Brewing Company – great lunch. Sweet potatoes fries were excellent!
- Roadhouse – this place was a super fun brunch. This is famously the last place people eat before they head to base camp to climb Denali, so there is some fun history there. They serve pancakes that are larger than your plate.
- Susitna River Tour – this was an amazing tour! Our tour guide was born and raised in Talkeetna and he spent the whole time telling us interesting facts about the town and the river. It basically felt like an NPR story for five hours and the time flew by. We loved it.
- Ziplining – it was a little chilly and cloudy, so we couldn’t see Denali and the tour was a little long, but it was a good thing to experience! Neither of us had ziplined before and we were glad we did it.
- Talkeetna Historical Society Museum – really interesting history of the Alaska railroad, climbing Denali, and also mining in Talkeetna. Didn’t spend a ton of time here.
Since I know you are all dying from the suspense, I did NOT meet Stubbs the cat and I was slightly crushed. Basically the man at Nagley’s (store where Stubbs is allegedly living) said he is super old and doesn’t take visitors. Blah blah blah. Give the people what they want! Stacy held my hand and let me out as I quietly wept. (Kidding).
All in all, it was a really fun trip and a great way to break up the time that the guys were gone. It was fun to spend time with my friend, and also discover a new place together. I am so thankful for the friends that the Army has given us. We have been able to meet and connect with people from all over the country, and it has been such a joy.
If you are ever in Alaska, check out Talkeetna! It’s such a cute little town, and we loved it.