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Talkeetna is the kind of place that makes you feel good about the world. Lightheartedness reigns here—it's beautiful, it's far and it's full of people who are living out their dreams. There's a sweet mixture of heritage, artistic expression, natural wonders and good coffee, too.

Talkeetna's a small spot—everything listed here is within a few blocks. In a leisurely afternoon, you can explore this gem of a village and get to know some of its friendly people.

From the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, complimentary shuttles run into town throughout the day.

Here are some of our favorite stops and secret spots:

  1. Susitna Salmon Center (13512 E 1st St): People in Talkeetna have a rich connection to the rivers that surround them, and to the fish that swim in them. This colorful museum, gallery, library and interpretive center offers a chance to learn and connect with the salmon and their rivers. It's an avenue to explore what this place is all about.

Aurora Dora Gallery

Photo: Aurora Dora Gallery

  1. Aurora Dora's Gallery (22229 Talkeetna Spur Rd): It's hard to imagine anything more majestic than the Aurora Borealis over the peaks of the Alaska Range. Photographer "Aurora" Dora Miller has a cute little old cabin that serves as her gallery, where the stunning colors in her images shine bright. She's friendly and loves to talk about the Northern Lights. Aurora Dora's images are also on sale in the Tokosha Gifts shop at Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.

Conscious Coffee

Photo: Conscious Coffee

  1. Conscious Coffee (13521 E Main St.): There's lots of good coffee in Talkeetna, but we love this cozy little heritage cabin for its good vibes. Their crepes make an ideal snack. It's a good place to meet some locals.
  2. Talkeetna Roadhouse (13550 E Main St): For 100 years, the Roadhouse has been a go-to spot for legendary baked goods and savory pies—locals recommend the salmon pie. Pop in for a look at the walls coated with paraphernalia relating to Denali mountaineering history—world-class alpinists are regulars. If you pull up a seat next to the fireplace with a cup of tea and a scone, you never know who you'll meet.
  3. Talkeetna Waffle Pops (13500 E Main St.): From savory to sweet, Talkeetna Waffle Pops are full of surprises. For example, the "Any Fin is Possible" waffle features smoked Alaska salmon, scallions, pickled jalapenos and teriyaki sauce. And "The Talkeetna" uses local birch caramel to go with vanilla whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Or go for the "Sweet Moose's Tooth" that pairs local wild berry jam with rhubarb-raspberry coulis and local birch caramel.

Walter Harper Talkeetna Rangers Station

Photo: Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station

  1. Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger station (22241 B St): See who is tackling what routes on Denali on any given day in the Alaska Range at the National Park Service headquarters. There are historic artifacts, an extensive library, small film theater and enthusiastic and experienced rangers eager to share the many stories of Denali here.
  2. Dancing Leaf Gallery (13618 E Main St): In a town loaded with handicrafts, this gallery stands out for its tasteful, original art - ranging from jewelry and home decor to pottery and painting. All artisans are Alaskan.

Talkeetna Artisans Market Vendor

Photo: Talkeetna Artisans Open Air Market

  1. Talkeetna Artisans Open Air Market (in front of Sheldon's Community Arts Hangar): Count yourself lucky if Ed Wick is at his wife Mary Ann's stand, where she sells lovely jewelry made with porcupine quills under the Stokonu label. Ed and Mary Ann are true Talkeetna gems - their stories are as colorful as her jewelry!
  2. Base Camp Bistro (Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge): There is no better view of Denali than the one from the deck in front of the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. The entire Alask Range spreads out across from you, and you can watch planes come and go high above town. Enjoy the wide patio with a cocktail or local microbrew pint from the Base Camp Bistro, or from a table inside the upscale Foraker Dining Room.

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