Talkeetna, the small town with a cat as mayor!
Downtown is pretty small but super cute and a great place to just grab a coffee and enjoy this calm town.
Before Talkeetna became what it is today it was a place for gold digger after there was gold found in the Susitna River in 1892. 1915 US President Woodrow chose it as a district headquaters for the Alaska Railroad. A post office opened as well as a sawmill, trading post, cigar and donkey store and other business as well as many cabins.
Nowadays downtown is on the register of National Historic Places, with buildings dating from the early 1900s including Nagley’s General Store, Fairview Inn and the Talkeetna Roadhouse.
A Cat As Mayor
It is actually true that Mr. Stubbs was the mayor of Talkeetna from 1997 until his death in 2017. How that is possible you may ask? Talkeetna is not really counted as a town it is more a historic district which is why a cat could actually become mayor for 20 years!
In 1997 Subbs was found with other kittens in a box in front of Nagley’s General Store. The owners decided to give the kittens away except for Stubbs, who got is name because of his missing tail.
Stubbs was elected as mayor by a write-in campaign by voters who opposed the human candidates. Nagley’s General Store was used Stubb’s “mayoral office”.
Stubbs became a tourist attraction and brought tourism to Talkeetna. In his first year as mayor tons of people showed up at Nagley’s asking “Where is the mayor?” or “We have an appointment with the mayor”. As a kitten and young cat Stubbs loved the attention. As he got older all the attention started to wear on him. Which eventually also let to his dead in old age. Due to his old age he started retreat in 2015.
Normally he could have been found in the evenings at a close-by restaurant and drank water laden with catnip out of a margarita or wineglass.
On August 31 in 2013, Stubbs was attacked by a dog from one of the neighbors. He suffered a punctured lung, a fractured sternum and a deep cut in his side. A crowd-funding page was set up to help pay his medical bills and people all over the world sent money to save his life and it worked! He remained in the veterinary hospital, 70 miles away in Wasilla, for nine days before returning to the upstairs room of the General Store. All the spare money from the donations went towards a local animal shelter and the veterinary clinic.
Another time Stubbs was shot by teenagers with a BB gun and he fell into a deep fryer of a restaurant which was luckily turned off and cold. Once he hitched a ride to the outskirts of the town on a garbage truck.
Alaska Bush Floatplane Service
To be honest….we only came here for the view…..I mean….just look at it. The lake, the planes, the mountains….it is perfect. Picture perfect. On our way to downtown Talkeetna we drove by this place and we just had to stop here on our way back.
Obviously the view is not the only thing that Alaska Bush Floatplane Service has to offer. You can also book tours with them. The flightseeing that fly’s you over surreal landscape, with glaciers, ice falls and sheer granite walls, the wildlife hike that brings you to the heart of the Talkeetna Mountains, which are known for its spectacular scenery and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, lodging where they fly you in to a remote Alaskan Lodge where you will be dropped off right at the dock and lastly the Fly-In Fishing, a guided fishing trip with fast-action stream fishing for rainbows or the thrill of hooking a large grayling.
A great place to have the support of experienced people while experiencing the wilderness of beautiful Alaska!
28525 South Talkeetna
Spur Road, Talkeetna AK 99676
907 733 1693
Denali Overlook Inn
By accident we found this beautiful Bed and Breakfast with its absolutely stunning view! Located only five miles south from downtown Talkeetna this great place offers a view of Denali (20,310′), Mt. Foraker (17,400) and Mt. Hunter (14,573).
They have an outdoor deck that faces the Alaska Range, where you can relax and take in the view. They have a fire pit and chairs so you can roast marshmallows and make smores. In winter this is the perfect place to watch the aurora borelis/northern lights.
Not only the outside is beautiful. It features a stunning Great Room which spans 52 feet across and has 10 foot ceilings and a wall of windows!
When we got here we met the owner, Tim, on the outside. Such a nice person!! He gave us tons of insider tips and talked with us about life in Alaska.
29198 S. Talkeetna Spur (Mile 8.5)
Talkeetna, AK 99676
907 733 35555
they have a webcam attached to the front of the house which is displayed on their website:
Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge
Located inbetween the town of Talkeetna and Denali National Park you can find the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. It is a hotel with a view right on Denali/Mt. McKinley. The good thing is you don’t even have to stay in the hotel to enjoy the beautiful view that the building offers. There is parking right next to it and the “Great Room” has access for everybody. The Great Room is a restaurant, lodge, a spot to play board games, a stone fireplace and, the highlight, a view on Denali, either from the inside with floor-to-ceiling windows or from the balcony on the outside.
Milepoint 133 of Parks Hwy, just north of Chultina River Bridge, turn east on Mt McKinley View Drive, head up the hill and find the entrance.
George Parks Hwy Parking
This may sound ironic but this is definitely the parking lot with the best view. We stopped here actually only because of the view. On the way to Denali National Park we could not stop “awwww”-ing the view which made us finally stop in this parking lot.
It is not really hard to find this place since the Highway is pretty long and there are not many places on the way in general.