Looking for the ultimate winter trip to McCall? You came to the right place. We just took a week off work and did a staycation in McCall, and loved every minute of it. I have all the details for places to stay, the best spots to eat, what to do, and where to go! I am so excited to share my personal favorites and hope that they become yours too!
We got married in McCall so it holds a special place in our hearts. It is the cutest town with the most gorgeous Payette lake and mountains to enjoy all year round. We make a handful of trips up to McCall from Boise to enjoy everything McCall has to offer during every season. Keep a watch for more McCall, Idaho blog posts. Trust me, by the end, I will have you covered no matter when you travel to McCall.
How To Get To McCall, Idaho
If you are flying into Boise, McCall is about a 2 – 2.5 hour drive from the Boise airport, depending on road conditions and driving speed. The road to McCall is very windy as it goes through the mountains and along the river. It is a gorgeous drive and one that shouldn’t be missed. During the winter months, I highly recommend renting a 4×4 or all-wheel drive vehicle to ensure your safety on the winter roads.
What To Do & Where To Go
I am so excited to get to the what to do and where to go part of this ultimate winter trip to McCall guide. I have to admit that I am an outdoors kind of person and I have a lot of things to recommend to you! Getting outside and enjoying the season you are in is the best way to stay healthy and happy all year round. Let me share some of my personal favorite places to visit while in McCall. You can also search Visit McCall, their website is a wealth of information and has a lot of options to book right on their page.
This is one of my favorite places to ski. We have a ski pass to this resort each year because we just love the mountain, snow & location so much. On a clear day, the views from the top over Payette Lake and McCall are breathtaking. You have to at least ski one day here to see what I am talking about.
Brundage Resort also offers a lot of other activities in case resort skiing is not your thing. Here are all the options for you to choose from.
- Backcountry Skiing
- Terrain Parks
- Snow-Cat Adventures
- Snowmobile Adventures
- Snow Tubing McCall
- Sleigh Rides
We love being able to take a break skiing and grab a hot beverage or a cold beer along with some food to help us keep skiing, Smokey’s is always packed with other skiers needing a break and a good place to join friends. Highly recommend sharing a big basket of their nachos. They pack these to the brim with all the ingredients you could ever want.
Tamarack is another ski resort about 30 minutes outside of McCall. It offers another chance for you to hit the slopes and enjoy the Idaho snow.
“Tamarack is an independent, all-season destination situated on 3,500 acres, located 90 miles north of Boise in Tamarack, Idaho. From on-site lodging, dining, and event space to the full range of outdoor recreation in the Idaho mountains, there is an adventure for any season. The winter brings 2,800 feet of vertical on 2,000 mountain acres for skiers and snowboarders, along with Nordic and snowshoe trails. During the summer, the resort is home to mountain biking, ziplining, hiking, rafting, and watersports on Lake Cascade. Tucked away in the rugged Idaho mountains, our pristine wilderness is off-the-beaten path, making visitors feel like they’ve found a well-kept secret.
Here you will find small crowds, few rules, and boundless opportunities to be a trailblazer. Whether it’s your first time here, or you’ve been coming since day one, you’ll find the people are friendly, kind, and quick to welcome all with open arms. We’re always up for an adventure and eager to have a good time with others, regardless of their ability level. The Village Plaza boasts luxury condos, dining options, retail shops, and more! All are just a stone’s throw away from mountain access. We invite you to experience the brand-new alpine village at the heart of Tamarack Resort.”
No matter who you are, where you come from, or who you know, we’re quick to invite you to join the Tam Fam. Be Free And Belong!
“The McCall Winter Carnival, a celebration of all things winter! The McCall Winter Carnival was inspired by the Payette Lake Winter Games, first held in 1924 when a train from Boise brought 248 visitors to McCall, Idaho. The official McCall Winter Carnival started in the 1960s and over the years, the Carnival has grown into an iconic Idaho event bringing more than 60,000 people to McCall each year.”
I have had the opportunity to attend the McCall Winter Carnival once and it was so much fun! Each year there is a theme for all of the ice sculptures to follow. I am always blown away by their creativity and sheer talent to be able to create the sculptures they do.
McCall can get pretty crowded during this time so we tend to stay up on the mountain and ski most of the time. But you have to experience the carnival at least one time to see what it is all about.
I LOVE hot springs & I live in a state that has TONS of them! Did you know that Idaho has 130 soakable hot springs? Wild right? There is nothing better than being able to sit and relax in a hot pool of water. Here is a list of 5 that are in and around McCall to soak in.
- Gold Fork Hot Springs
- Burgdorf Hot Springs
- Mundo Hot Springs
- Trail Creek Hot Springs
- Council Mountain (Laurel)
Best Spots to Eat & Drink in McCall, Idaho
Knowing me you had to know that I would be including food and drinks in this ultimate winter trip to McCall. I honestly think that food and drinks can make or break a trip. That is just me personally. I know there are a lot of people that could care less about food. If that is you, skip over this next section because I have a lot to share! If you are like me and love food and good drinks, this section is for you!
Coffee Shops & Breakfast Spots in McCall
I absolutely love a great cup of coffee, tea, and baked goods and there are a ton of incredible spots in McCall, Idaho. Here are some of my favorite cute spots to pop in and enjoy.
“We are a small counter service cafe specializing in serving good eats and local Idaho coffee. Wrapped up in a cozy and unique atmosphere; Cafe 6 three 4 is a great place to enjoy your moments in between your adventures here in beautiful McCall!”
This was a new place for me to visit on our last trip. I had passed it a couple of times on our way into McCall. We finally had a day to go check it out and we were so glad we did. It is the cutest little cafe serving up great food. I highly recommend you pop in for a coffee, breakfast, cocktail, or lunch. No doubt in my mind you will enjoy it.
Oh! Where do I even begin with Stacey Cakes? We LOVE everything that Stacey makes. She actually made our wedding cake & all our wedding desserts! This tiny little bakery is busting at the seams every single day with freshly baked items. Some of my favorites are the pecan roll, and cinnamon roll, & you HAVE to get the ginger molasses cookies. She also makes savory items that are incredible as well. You really can’t go wrong with anything you order at Stacey Cakes.
North Fork Coffee Roasters is a small-batch organic coffee roasting company born in the small mountain town of McCall, ID. Our central principle is that fresh coffee sips best, and thus we aspire to enhance your morning coffee ritual. We take pride in ethically sourcing seasonally-available beans, mainly from Central and South America and Africa. Every batch is carefully crafted to highlight its full flavor potential and sold to you fresh. To please practically every palate, we offer roast levels from light to dark, of a wide variety of high-quality beans. Allow our coffee to inspire you to Follow Your True North. “
I absolutely love this darling women-owned coffee shop in downtown McCall. It is so welcoming and they make some of the best lattes, teas, and baked items in town. Be sure to stop by and enjoy all this place has to offer.
Relaxed spot with a huge menu of American breakfast & lunch fare & coffee drinks, plus a patio. I love visiting Fogglifter cafe for a great London fog or grabbing one of their breakfast burritos to go.
“The Brunchette family of restaurants arises from the search for new & improved ideas of traditional breakfast fare by inventing high quality & tasty recipes using local & ethically sourced products from small family farms and specialty vendors in the area. Our goal for the Brunchettes is to guarantee the best brunch for you at the best price while focusing on bringing our small local vendors and farmers to market & showcasing their work.”
I love visiting Brunchette on the lake and their other Idaho locations. They have so much to offer and serve up great food in a fun setting.
Dinner Spots in McCall
We absolutely love the Sushi Bar. I know that it sounds weird with Idaho being a land-locked state but this place is legit delicious. They have so many options on their menu as well, so anyone can find something to enjoy. They have sushi, pho, salads, bowls & the honey toast is a MUST! You haven’t lived until you’ve tried this block of goodness!
The Shore Lodge has three different offerings when it comes to food and beverages. We personally love popping into the bar after skiing or for a light snack and drink before going out on the town. The Narrows Steakhouse is a fancy, higher-priced dining experience and Cutwater on Payette Lake is a more casual budget-friendly option.
Chef Topple has two restaurants in McCall and one right outside in Donnelly, Idaho. I had the pleasure of dining at Ragazza di Bufalo in Donnelly recently and oh my goodness it blew me away. The flavors of every item we ordered were better than I had expected. I am so looking forward to having the opportunity to dine at the other two. Here are all three restaurants for you to check out.
“The Blue Moon Yurt experience combines an exciting outdoor activity, whether it be cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, or biking with a global gourmet meal that rocks your flavor zone, all served in our rustic yurt! Nestled under majestic pines, our warm cozy yurt is a welcoming site. As the doors open and festivities begin, step inside with your newfound friends and enjoy the unique yurt experience. Let us create an adventure you won’t forget!”
I got to go to Blue Moon Yurt for my birthday dinner celebrations and I was blown away. Every single thing was phenomenal! The yurt was decorated perfectly and candlelit creating an unbelievable ambiance. The food was fabulous and I licked every single plate clean during the five-course meal. I can’t wait to be able to book again and get to experience this culinary adventure once more. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this deliciousness.
Grabbing a beer post-ski day might be one of my favorite things to do and luckily you have three breweries right in McCall to choose from.
I recently learned that there is a McCall Ale Trail & Visit McCall host a friendly competition. You pick up your Ale Passport and then make your way around to get it stamped. Once your passport is complete you submit your passport & grab your beer koozies and hope to win more prizes.
Here are the breweries you will find in McCall
Places To Stay In McCall
We are lucky and have a couple of friends who have homes in McCall, so we stay with them most of the time. But, on the odd chance we don’t, we have found some great places in and around town to stay. Check them out below.
The Shore Lodge is one of my favorite places to stay for two reasons. They have a gorgeous spot right on Payette Lake and they offer multiple dining and drinking options within the hotel. Second, I live for the Cove Spa which is based inside the Shore Lodge. It is the dreamiest place and should not be missed while visiting McCall. The spa has two heated pools, one inside and one outside. A full menu to order drinks, snacks, or full meals while lounging in their comfy chairs. They also offer a handful of spa treatments to leave you feeling your best after hours of being pampered. The Shore Lodge is definitely more of a luxury place to stay but one that is worth it in my mind.
See the Reel that I created all about the dreamy Cove Spa. Trust me, book your spa reservation NOW!
There are a ton of Airbnb’s in McCall. They range from studio apartments to luxury mountain cabins. There is a place for every person, budget, and trip desire. See all the options HERE.
“The McCall Hideaway awaits your next adventure. We are only 2 blocks from charming downtown McCall. Easy access to the beachfront, restaurants, shops, and nightlife. You will love this perfect location, cozy townhouse and lots of amenities to enjoy all that McCall has to offer.
The Space is Light, airy, and cozy. Private and spacious upstairs master with king bed. The second bedroom has bunk beds with full and twin beds.
No Pets, Smoking, or parties.
Upscale, cozy, and inviting new townhouse. Private and spacious master bedroom with king bed and on suite bathroom with tub. The second bedroom has a bunk bed with a full and twin bed and a suite bathroom. Downstairs has 2 couches, a kitchen, a balcony, and a 1/2 bath.”
We recently got to stay at the McCall Hideaway House & WOW! Let me tell you this is the place you want to stay. It is decorated so well and is positioned right in town. We loved staying in this new Airbnb. Highly recommend checking it out and booking your next stay here.
“Have fun with the whole family at our stylish place. Our condo is newly renovated and refurnished. McCall has so much to offer in way of outdoor activities and charm and we would love you to have somewhere just as memorable and peaceful to stay. We are within a mile from downtown, and within walking distance to Ponderosa State Park, Davis Beach, and the Golf Course. Easy Drive to Brundage Mt. for an adventurous day on the mountain. Amenities include pool, gym, sauna & more.”
We stayed at this darling Airbnb for my birthday & it was absolute perfection. Located close to downtown McCall and offers so much to its guests. A spacious spot to stay with a nice playroom and big screen tv upstairs. The condo complex also has a community center with a full workout room, heated pool, sauna, and pickleball courts. The perfect place for the whole family, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
We got to stay at this darling boutique hotel for a weekend getaway in McCall and it had the cutest rooms. The views out of every window are astounding and the overall feel of the place is inviting. They have so many rooms to choose from, see them here. They also offer great packages to stay at their hotel and have some adventures while in town. Check out the packages and adventures
McCall Yurts To Book:
You can also book a Yurt trip if you are feeling adventurous & wanting something out in the wilderness. Here is a couple that I found that looked amazing!
That is it, my friends! My Ultimate Winter Trip to McCall Guide! I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post and go check out some of my other published posts! Be sure to leave a comment or message me when you do go and enjoy McCall. I love hearing from you and getting feedback on the places I recommend.