Talkeetna may be small, but this Alaskan town is filled to the brim with history, nature and friendly people. It’s also a great stop on your way to Denali National Park. Read on for my top Talkeetna picks!
A stroll through Talkeetna, Alaska, transports you back in time to the late 1900s with streets full of quaint, faded wooden buildings and a simple, laid-back lifestyle.
This small city is an easy stop while enroute to Denali National Park (home to Mt. McKinley); it’s located about three hours south of the Denali Visitor Center. It’s also a popular spot for salmon fishing and rafting.
While Talkeetna is a relatively tiny city — it’s just over 40 square miles with a population of about 800 — it’s worth a day trip, or even a quick stop for lunch. What the city lacks in size it makes up for in culture, and it’s the perfect spot to experience Alaska the non-tour-bus, authentic way.
Denali Brewing Company
A tasting board, lined with four mini glasses of various brews. Sunshine, breaking through the clouds and beating down on those glowing beers. Friendly Alaskan adventurers surrounding the outdoor tasting room. A smell of brewer’s yeast and Alaskan pines wafting through the air.
That, my friends, was an afternoon at Talkeetna’s Denali Brewing Company. And that afternoon, my friends, was magical.
Denali Brewing Company is located on the main stretch in Talkeetna. It has a wide range of craft beers — from the Big DIPA to the Slow Down Brown — along with your everyday bar food, making it a great spot for lunch.
If you don’t happen to have magical sunshine like my family and I lucked into (trust me, this was the only day in Alaska we had sun for an entire hour), then head on inside for some warmer, weather-protected brews and food.
Shop and Stroll
Talkeetna’s Main Street is home to dozens of shops filled with artwork, crafts, music, and home goods made by local musicians and artists.
To experience a real blast from Talkeetna’s past, stop in Nagley’s General Store along Main Street. Founded in 1921, Nagley’s General Store was originally a supplier for miners and trappers. Today, Nagley’s serves up quick coffee, cappuccinos, ice cream cones and an authentic look into Talkeetna’s rich history.
Know before you go
Talkeetna is just a quick, two-hour drive from the Anchorage Airport, and lies smack dab between the Airport and Denali National Park. Given the city’s relaxed vibes and delicious foods (and booze!), Talkeetna is the perfect place to recover from jetlag, especially if you’re preparing for long, active days in Denali. The city has a couple of hotels, B&Bs and hostels, so you can relax and rest up for the Alaskan adventures that await.