McCall is an extremely special place for me and one of my all-time favorite spots in Idaho in the winter. It’s also super fun in the summer.
Every year when I come to McCall I get a little giddy inside because of the small-town charm and beautiful scenery. Plus, there is so much to do and so many ways to relax, it’s hard not to have a good time. The best part? It still hasn’t lost its small-town vibes yet like Vale or Aspen and is the perfect mountain getaway.
Heading up for the McCall Winter Carnival? Read more about that here. Also, let’s be friends on Instagram while you’re at it!
What to Do In McCall, Idaho In the Winter
WHERE TO STAY
The Shore Lodge
This is McCall’s most famous resort. It’s located right on the Payette lake and has gorgeous views, great amenities, and wonderful restaurants. If you’re looking for a bit more of a luxurious stay, then hands down stay at the Shore Lodge! I’ve loved it every time I’ve stayed. See most recent prices here.
Airbnb Cabin Rental
I highly recommend booking a cabin if you can find one close to the lake or close to town. Use my link for $40 off your rental! My grandparents have a cabin in McCall, so I’ve always gotten lucky to get to stay with them, but I’ve also rented a few different cabins in McCall and it’s always been so much fun. See all of the open cabins here.
Rent a Yurt
Jack and I rented a yurt one weekend, this one to be exact, and it was an adventure. It’s not quite in McCall, but close to Jug Handle Mountain and we had a blast. We even had to melt our own snow! Use my code for a discount on your first Airbnb.
SEE & DO
McCall Winter Carnival
This was a first for me this year and so much fun! Yes, it’s one of the most crowded times to come up to McCall, but it’s so fun and the ice sculptures truly are amazing. Check out my weekend guide to the McCall Winter Carnival.
Go skiing or snowboarding at Brundage Mountain Resort or Tamarack Resort
Brundage Mountain Resort is super fun! The lodge is a little janky, but I grew up going here so there’s a bit of charm, plus it’s really close to McCall. Tamarack Resort is south of McCall and closer to Donnelly, Idaho (I haven’t been here yet, but heard it amazing).
Go on a sleigh ride to see reindeer
Aching to see some wildlife? This sleigh ride is magical with Hap and Florence Points sleigh rides. I’ve done it a few times and every time I just love it because it takes you right to where all of the reindeer (elk) actually live! You can see them in their natural habitat and it’s just a super cool family-friendly activity and so exciting to be so close to them!
Hit the trails on a snowmobile
Rent snowmobile’s at Cheap Thrills and go snowmobiling to Burgdorf Hot Springs or McCall’s backwoods.
Go to the McCall Activity Barn for tubing, or fat mountain biking
I’ve been to the Activity Barn to go snow tubing a few times and it’s always a blast! I’ve also always wanted to try fat mountain biking. Check out the Activity Barn for all of these fun adventures.
Try cross country skiing or snowshoeing at Jug Mountain Ranch
Jug Mountain Ranch is a golf course in the summer and a perfect nordic sports location in the winter. I recommend cross country skiing or snowshoeing here or through Ponderose State Park!
Take a dip at the local hot springs
There are a few hot springs around McCall, but some of the ones that you can actually pay to go to are Burgdorf Hot Springs and GoldFork Hot Springs. They both can get crowded during this time of year, especially during the Winter Carnival, so just be conscious of this. Remember to be respectful of these hot springs and don’t trash them! Idahoans take their hot springs really seriously. 🙂
Have a night out on the town
McCall brings out all sorts of wild and fun crowds depending on when you are there. Head over to Foresters or Yacht Club for some interesting nights. If you’re looking for something more casual, go to Salmon River Brewing or McCall Brewing Company.
Have a spa day at the Shore Lodge Cove Spa
Looking for some luxury inside? Go to the Shore Lodge spa for a relaxing and delightful spa day on the water.
EAT & DRINK
The CutWater @ ShoreLodge – I love eating here for lunch. It’s so peaceful and has a view of the water, plus their food is amazing.
My Father’s Place – Go here for the perfect down-home burger, fries, and a shake. Don’t forget to get fry sauce!
Stax – This is a great spot to grab an awesome sandwich and soup.
Salmon River Brewing – Need a liquid lunch? Come here for a beer flight and great pub food.
Bistro 45 – This is a great spot in the summertime because of its outdoor area and bocce ball. I haven’t been here in the winter, but their food is great.
Frenchies on 3rd – This is a newer Creole/Cajun restaurant that serves lunch and dinner. Try a po-boy!
Rupert’s – This is one of the most popular spots for a nicer meal and beautiful lake views.
The Sushi Bar – I haven’t been here yet because every time I go the wait is over an hour! People love this place which is surprising because it’s sushi in a mountain town, but there’s something good about it!
Ragazza Di Lago – This is a newer spot by a chef that’s opening up multiple locations in Idaho because people just love his food. It’s right on the water and in the perfect location for dinner!
I hope you do get to visit McCall in the winter and get to experience some of the fun winter activities I’ve listed above. Let me know if you’ve discovered any other really fun activities to do there in the comments below!
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The Ultimate Girls Weekend in McCall Idaho
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The Ultimate Girls Weekend in McCall, Idaho
Hi Katie! Wanted to quickly write you and let you know how helpful I found your blog for my first trip to Idaho. We did a night in McCall and a night in Boise. We fell in love with McCall! A night at the Shore Lodge with the mineral pools, dinner at Cutwater, drinks (and views) at their bar, and breakfast in bed. We rented snowmobiles from Cheap Thrills and had the incredible (once in a lifetime like surprise) of getting to wander through the trails and end up at Burgdorf hot springs. We couldn’t believe the hot springs were nestled for far back into the back country only accessed by snowmobile, truly incredible. The sleigh ride to reindeer was equally incredible. Couldn’t agree more that they are must-do activities even for 24 hours in McCall. Thanks again!
Awww thank you! This type of comment really makes my day! I’m so glad you fell in love with it. It’s definitely one of my favorite places! I’m so glad you got to do all of those things!! Makes me so happy 🙂