After attending the McCall Winter Carnival this past weekend, I felt inspired to write about some of my favorite go-to activities to do in McCall. My grandparents have had a cabin, my favorite place on earth and my own personal heaven, since 1998 in McCall and I honestly feel like it is a place that everyone should go to in their lifetime. The town is quaint and offers great variety while still giving that small-town feel. The people are welcoming and ready for visitors, and the town honestly throws the best parties in Idaho, in my opinion.
So here are 8 things you should try when you plan your next trip to the beautiful snowy, mountain town of McCall, Idaho.
Start out your day with your morning coffee from the Fogglifter Cafe’ right in the heart of downtown McCall This place has great coffee, space for outdoor seating (if you’re into the cold), and a cozy indoor complete with cafe tables and couch seating. On top of that, when I was in McCall last weekend I found a nice snow mound to plant my butt into to nurse right outside of this cafe and the sweet shop owner came out with a chair, brought it over to me, and said, “This might be more comfortable for you, I’ve been there, done that!” How sweet?! With customer service like that you’ve got my business 100%.
You can drink beer in the morning if it’s coffee flavored right? Head over to Salmon River Brewery for a Buzz Buzz Coffee Porter. This beer has an amazing coffee taste for a porter that has the perfect smoothness to it. They also have a great selection of food and other beers, if you aren’t into porters (and happiness).
Take the whole family over for a fun day of tubing at the McCall Activity Barn. This tubing hill is no joke, but, it’s also not quite as intense as skiing or snowboarding on the big mountain if you can only take baby doses of the snowy cold like me. The best part about the hill? You get all the fun without the work as they’ve got a tube-tow that’ll take your frozen buns right back up to the top.
You don’t want to miss homemade soup and sandwiches at Stax. They make their bread fresh each morning and it’s to die for. This Stax is one of three Stax restaurants in Idaho with the original being in Moscow, so obviously I’m a big fan. Pro tip: get the Vandal Club, you can thank me later.
Did I already mention beer? Oh well, you’re on vacation. Go check out the Hell Canyon Jalapeño at Broken Horn Brewing. This one has a bit of a kick with the best jalapeño flavor and you’ll get the true brewery atmosphere at this friendly establishment. Want to take one for the road? Ask them to can your favorite draft. They’ll fill and seal a 26 oz. can right there in front of you and send you on your way.
The Payette Lake sits right in the middle of McCall. In the winter it is covered with a thick layer of ice. You’ll find tons of people out for a walk, even in the middle. This can be such a fun way to get a lake view of the town in the winter time. That is if you don’t have an irrational fear of falling into the frigid icy waters below, like I do. If so, you can watch the crazy people from the safe shores which is fun too.
Check out The McCall Candy Company for their giant caramel apples. These things are made in-store and topped with various treats, nuts, and candies. If you catch them at the right time you can watch them being dipped and created from the store front window. These bad boys are share-sized. Or, save some for later to share with your self-sized.
Finally, last but the most eventful, head to McCall on one of two weekends in late January (sometimes early February) that make up the Annual McCall Winter Carnival. The Winter Carnival has something for everyone. There’s food vendors down by the lake, a parade on Saturday morning where Mardi Gras beads are essential, hockey games to attend, snow races, and of course the magnificent snow and ice sculptures made (for over a month) by various businesses in town. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a summer girl, but, this is one winter party that I can always get behind!
Did I miss your favorite McCall go-to? Drop it in the comments below! PS All my summer sistas… I have a post on Summer McCall activities comin’ your way as soon as the season feels right.