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The Best of Downtown McCall, Idaho

The Best Rental Cabins, Homes, Lakefront Estates and Romantic Getaways in McCall, Donnelly, Cascade & New Meadows

If you are looking for a beautiful place to explore in Idaho, then you should definitely check out the quaint town of McCall. Lots of people enjoy exploring Boise, but be sure not to overlook the numerous family-friendly opportunities in the city of McCall!

Even though this is a small town, the backcountry is an amazing location, and you need to make sure you don’t miss out on these opportunities during your Idaho travels. Regardless of whether you are looking for shopping on kayaking, lake cruises, live music, or mountain biking trails, there is something for everyone in the McCall area.

Use this handy travel guide to plan your trip to McCall and see what we love doing downtown and in the surrounding area.

Where To Stay in McCall, ID

If you haven’t yet booked a place to stay, you’re in luck, there are great vacation rentals in the area. It’s very easy to find beautiful condos and homes you can rent out during your visit. You can find vacation rentals of all shapes and sizes, and many of them come with amazing amenities.

If you’re traveling with a large group, my favorite place to stay is in the Park Street Penthouse East. With 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, there’s plenty of space for up to 12 people. The lakeview from here is especially great!

For a smaller option, the Cottage Inn is a cute 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom that’s perfect for a couple’s weekend away.

Without further Ado, let’s take a closer look at some of the activities you need to check out if you are visiting the McCall area.

1. Grab a Delicious Bite To Eat in Downtown McCall

Don’t forget to explore some amazing opportunities in the downtown area. You can find some of the best restaurants in downtown if you visit N 3rd St. and E Lake St. before branching out from there. At this intersection, you’ll get a beautiful view of Payette Lake and Legacy Park.

There are several amazing restaurants you may want to explore. I highly suggest you visit Crusty’s Pizza, Ice Cream Alley, and My Father’s Place. If you are looking for the best steakhouse in the area, then you may want to visit Steamers Steak & Seafood. If you want to enjoy some live music during your visit to the downtown area, then be sure to swing by Lenora Street to see what is going on!

Don’t worry, if that’s not enough options, there are plenty more great restaurants in McCall to curb your cravings.

2. Swing By the Hot Springs

If you are looking for a way to rejuvenate your mind and body during your trip to the area, then be sure to check out the hot springs. There are plenty of options in the local area, including commercial facilities and primitive hot springs. All of them are a short drive from the city center, so you can take advantage of everything they have to offer. All of them have different amenities, but many of them feature concrete pools and locker rooms.

Some of the best locations you may want to check out include Gold Fork Hot Springs, Zims Hot Springs, and Rocky Canyon Hot Springs. It depends on how far you are willing to drive, but be sure to check out hot springs along the north fork and middle fork as well! This is an amazing opportunity that you will not want to miss.

3. Visit Payette Lake

If you are looking for some amazing scenery, then you should check out Payette Lake. This is a body of water that was covered by a glacier, so there are numerous swimming, fishing, and boating opportunities. Then, you can relax on the beach and enjoy the sun when you are done.

You may also want to try rafting, kayaking, or renting a paddleboard on the shores of Payette Lake.

In addition, this area is bordered by Ponderosa State Park. This is one of the largest state parks in the area, and you can take advantage of a wide variety of activities there. For example, you may want to check out some hiking trails, boat docks, or other recreational opportunities. If you want to spend the night, there are campgrounds in the area as well.

If you are looking for a unique way to explore the water, then you may want to explore McCall lake cruises as well. There are numerous adventures from which to choose, and you can talk to a tour guide who knows a lot about the local area. If you time your trip right, you may even catch the local Regatta, which takes place in June.

4. Go For a Hike in the Bear Basin

Given the numerous mountains in the local area, it is easy to see why this is one of the best locations to go hiking. There are numerous amazing hiking opportunities, and you will definitely want to check out the Bear Basin Trailhead. This is a massive network of trails that meanders through the massive landscape. This is a great place to go hiking with the whole family, and there are plenty of route options. This is also a fun place to go mountain biking, and there are even opportunities to go cross-country skiing during the winter.

This is only one of the numerous locations you can go hiking in the local area. If you want to check out some of the local lakes, you may want to swing by Deep Lake, Lake Cascade, or Josephine Lake to explore some other hiking opportunities in those areas.

5. Check Out the Wildlife

If you enjoy hiking, be sure to keep your eyes open for wildlife sightings. There are plenty of locations to check out the unique wildlife in the area, including Ponderosa State Park, Payette Lake, and Lily Marsh. Some of the most common animals you may spot include mallards, Canadian geese, and bald eagles.

If you visit the local state park, you can sign up for a guided tour to help identify the local plants and animals. If this is something you really love, you may want to consider spending the night at one of the local campgrounds. You may want to visit the Northwest Passage Campground or the Peninsula Campground.

6. Don’t Miss the Winter Carnival

You might be swinging by to do some skiing or snowboarding at the Brundage Mountain Resort or the Tamarack Resort, but you will definitely want to check out the winter carnival if you visit during this time of year. This is one of the top winter celebrations in the state, as there are thousands of visitors who come from not only Idaho but also Montana, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and other locations to check out the festivities of the winter carnival.

During the past 50 years, the festival has grown significantly. Now, there is live music, fireworks, a parade, and even a snow sculpting competition. If you feel like you know how to build an amazing snow sculpture, then why not put your skills to the test? There is also snowshoeing, family bingo, and pancake breakfasts.

This is a festival that typically lasts for at least two weekends, so be sure to check your calendar to see if you want to visit the winter carnival!

7. Go Skiing at the Brundage Mountain Resort

When people think of Idaho, they usually think about skiing or snowboarding. With numerous ski resorts in the area, it is easy to see why. One of the top locations is the Brundage Mountain Resort. This is one of the largest ski resorts in the local area, with more than 2,000 acres accessible by a ski lift. Furthermore, there are 18,000  backcountry acres you can check out as well, as long as you are willing to jump on a snowcat to access them.

This is a ski resort that has 46 trails, countless glades, and more than 300 inches of snow every year. There are also plenty of other activities to do if you swing by the McCall Activity Barn. This is a place that is fun for the whole family, so if you love to ski, this is definitely a place to check out.

8. Ski at the Tamarack Resort

Of course, there are multiple ski resorts in the local area, so you may want to check out Tamarack Resort as well. This isn’t quite as large as the Brundage Mountain Resort, but it is still an attraction that you need to visit. This ski resort has more than 1,100 skiable acres, and it has a wide variety of other amenities. It has some of the best restaurants in the area, a daycare for young children who might not be skiing, and some seasonal festivities that take place throughout the year.

This is also a great place to go if you want to take lessons. There are instructors who can teach kids of all ages, and you can tackle everything on the mountain in no time! If you’d like to ski, consider swinging by this resort as well.

Don’t forget that you can also try some awesome snowmobile activities at the winter ski resorts!

9. Check Out the Central Idaho Historical Museum

If you want to learn more about the local area, then you should swing by the historical museum. You can find it near the South Shore of Payette Lake, and there are several impressive structures you can explore once you enter the area. Many of these buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, so you know you are looking at something special.

This is a location that gives you a glimpse back into the history of the country. The most famous building in this area is the Fire Wardens House. This is a log cabin structure that shows you exactly what it was like to live in the area during the 19th century. Be sure to check out some of the other structures as well. This is a beautiful museum that you do not want to miss.

10. Go Mountain Biking

Photo Credit: qtrull via Instagram

There are plenty of amazing opportunities to go mountain biking in the local area, but one of the best locations is the Jug Mountain Ranch. This is a location that is also known for its championship golf course, but it also has plenty of mountain biking opportunities.

This is a spacious network with amazing trails that explore the forested areas, and all of the paths range widely in difficulty. Therefore, you can tailor it to meet your needs. Regardless of whether you are an experienced mountain biker or simply looking for an activity you can do with your kids, this is a great place to go.

If you are looking for some fun activities in the local area, these are just a few of the most popular options from which to choose. Make sure you get the most out of your visit to McCall, ID!

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