Wow, tons of you enjoyed listening to guest Trisha Costello on yesterday’s Alaska Travelgram Show! I did too, and frankly sat there with my mouth hanging open as she talked about Talkeetna, the precious Talkeetna Roadhouse, and those fantastic menu offerings at her little home-away-from-home up north. With all the interest generated from Trisha’s appearance and my own intrigue with the roadhouse concept and Talkeetna during the winter months, I am expanding on information shared on the show so you, too, can call up to Talkeetna and make your reservations today.
Talkeetna, as Trisha reminded us, sits about 120 road miles north of Anchorage off the George Parks Highway. Smart enough to build the town along a spur road by the Talkeetna River, the town of Talkeetna is easily accessed by a 12-mile spur road that is a delight to bike with kids. Flat and paved (love that), the spur road trail is also plowed during the winter months for skis and sleds to make their way out and back from this delightful community.
Best known as a base camp of sorts for climbers attempting to scale Mt. McKinley (Denali), North America’s highest peak, Talkeetna attracts a wide variety of characters for its charm, funkiness, and utter relaxability any time of year. While summer is definitely the most popular season to visit, playing host to hoardes of Princess Cruise passengers on cruisetours, RV’ers looking for an overnight destination on their way to Denali National Park, or young people looking for an outdoor party, Talkeetna is also making a name for itself during the non-summer months. It’s no coincidence the Talkeetna Roadhouse figures prominently in those plans, either.
Costello and her crew of 20-some staff run a year-round operation at the Roadhouse, serving up the best of the best in Alaskan hospitality. From home-cookin’ to fresh sheets on the beds, Roadhouse staff strive to meet the needs of guests in a no-frills, come-as-you-are sort of way. With a capacity for 27 guests at its peak, the Roadhouse provides bunks, single and double rooms, and an off-site cabin guaranteed to put a little Alaskana in your getaway.
The food? Oh, yes, that. I’m looking at Costello’s “Bread Schedule”, found in the margin of her fantastic web site. Let’s see, today is Wednesday, so Honey Whole Wheat is the featured carb. Yesterday was French, tomorrow, Onion Dill Rye. Costello also makes homemade bagels and cinnamon rolls so decadent you won’t want to eat anything else. True story. The menu offers two concepts, “Breakfast” and “Not Breakfast”. Breakfast is served Saturday/Sunday 8 a.m.-2 p.m., and Not Breakfast is served daily from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The bakery, however, is open daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and really, you don’t need more than that. The coffee is hot, the company hotter, and the view outstanding.
Thinking of a visit during the winter but aren’t sure what to do? Check the Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce web site for some great ideas. Nordic skiing is fast and fun, right from town, perfect for kids wanting to explore. Costello says the Nordic ski club of Talkeetna is also working on a whole new upgrade to local trails, adding to already established trails and creating new ones, due to be completed in a year or so. Look out, Anchorage, Talkeetna may be catching up for total miles.
The Alaska Railroad also offers winter rail packages to Talkeetna, taking some of the stress of driving from guests. The train takes around four hours to arrive in Talkeetna, but what a trip! Winter wonderland? Oh yeah, baby, and then some.
Salmon Berry Tours also offers a Northern Lights package to Talkeetna that includes a visit with Iditarod sled dogs, a soup and bread dinner at Talkeetna Roadhouse, and a look at the famous aurora borealis, complete with a little astronomy lesson. Overnight at the Roadhouse and depart for Anchorage the next morning. Great for those who have visitors coming up for the holidays or to break up the post-holiday humbugs with the kids.
As soon as the podcast arrives in my inbox, I’ll add it to this post so those who want firsthand info from Costello about the Talkeetna Roadhouse can listen in.
Join in Talkeetna this winter!