Travel

Here’s Why You Should Visit McCall, Idaho

07.21.17

When I’m not a food blogger, I’m a violinist. That’s what both of my degrees are in, and playing and teaching the violin is my “day job.” Each summer, I visit the little mountain town of McCall, Idaho to play with a summer festival orchestra for a week. We do 4 concerts in 7 days.

McCall, Idaho is amazing. When I’m telling friends I’m going to Idaho for the week, they raise their eyebrows… “Idaho?” It’s okay; I had the same reaction initially. But now that I’ve visited, I want to share the word about this lovely little town. Read on so I can tell you why McCall, Idaho is worth a visit! 


It’s almost exactly like Colorado…just a lot cheaper.

Colorado is awesome. We can all agree on that, right? But it’s also getting really popular, crowded, and pricey. So when you’re looking for skiing in the winter, hiking and boating in the summer, and beautiful lakes and mountain scenery, Idaho is nearly the exact same thing as Colorado at a much cheaper price! You’ll get more bang for your buck in Idaho. Ski lift tickets, vacation rentals, boats, and real estate…it’s all a lot more manageable in McCall.

And it’s way less crowded…

Again, this is just a little perk you get in McCall instead of more well-known mountain towns. The streets aren’t quite as crazy in the peak travel months. The mountains aren’t ridiculously crowded during ski seasons. The hiking trails actually provide peace and solidarity instead of being over-populated. It’s an escape.

Idaho has more national forest land than any other state. 

Did you know that? Because I had no idea before I came here. About 40% of Idaho is national forest, which means hiking galore!! There are so many gorgeous hikes near McCall.

Payette Lake and Payette River provide endless summer fun.

One of the most challenging whitewater runs, the North Fork Class V run, is on the Payette North Fork river. There’s a class IV run for whitewater rafting, too. Not into thrills? Payete lake is popular for boating, swimming, fishing, SUPing, kayaking, and jet skiing.

Hello PET PARADISE!

The couple who took me out on their boat have a 5-yr-old black lab, Kirkland. He was in heaven out there on the lake! We stopped on North Shore to let him play fetch in the water for a while, and I swear that I’ve never seen a happier pup. 😉

Ice Cream Alley serves mountain-sized scoops.

Is it ok to include an ice cream shop as a reason to visit McCall? Haha! Because it’s really good! I couldn’t stop going to this place all week long.

First time I went here I asked for two scoops, and I was informed that it would be over a full pint of icecream. So….I changed it to a single scoop, haha. They don’t joke around about portion sizes here.


Woohoo! So those are my thoughts on Idaho. It’s really a beautiful place, and I think that most people don’t realize that. I’m heading back to Austin this weekend. While I’m always excited to be away and see other parts of the country, I’m equally happy to get back to my favorite city in the whole world: Austin, Texas.

Happy weekending, my friends! Talk to you on Monday!

Kelsey