Idaho Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

McCall – Idaho’s Four Season Getaway

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

McCall Hotels / Vacation Rentals

Whether you’re walking down Lake Street, driving along the Warren Wagon road, cruising by the surprisingly busy airport or sipping a cocktail while overlooking the majestic Payette Lake, one thing is never in doubt: life in McCall is pretty sweet.

Boating in Idaho

We only had the opportunity to see the early-fall side of McCall, but the town is a premiere destination in any season. There’s a ski resort just minutes away, a state park within walking distance of the town center, a 27-hole public golf course, and the picturesque Payette Lake. McCall is a playground for the wealthy of the Pacific Northwest, and definitely has the vibe of a well-to-do resort town.

We spent a few days lounging around McCall, sunglasses on and collars flipped up, pretending to be wealthy playboys on vacation. The town is only about 45 minutes north of Cascade, and there are plenty of reasons to visit: cozy cafes like the FoggLifter and Moxie Java, and a wide selection of restaurants such as Chapala (Mexican) and Red Pavilion (Chinese), both of which share an unbeatable view of the lake.

Just past McCall’s marina, a peninsula juts into Payette Lake. This is Ponderosa State Park — an 1000-acre escape which, given its proximity to town, is more wild than you might suspect. In fact, our most exhilarating brush with Idaho’s nature happened within the Ponderosa’s confines.

Highway 55 cuts through town, skirting along the southern side of the Payette. Beautiful, but for an even better view, try taking the Warren Wagon road up the western edge of the lake. You’ll be amazed at how large it is — by the time you’ve reached the northern shore, McCall has completely vanished from view, leaving only a pristine panorama, unblemished by signs of humanity. Complete the loop back to McCall by turning onto East Side Drive, for more incredible views.

Follow us on Twitter

Pance Crash Idaho
Jims Crocery McCall Idaho
McCall Old town
Honey-Boo-Boo
McCall-City-Jail
McCall-Travel-Blog-Idaho
Idaho-Main-Street
McCall-Bear-Statue
McCall-Oldtimer
McCall-Taxi
Biking-McCall
Beautiful-McCall
McCall-Butterfly
McCall-Native-American
McCall-Clouds
Sailing-McCall
Jet Water Skiing
McCall Beach Idaho
McCall-Reflection
McCall-Nature
McCall-Beautiful
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
September 14, 2012 at 12:24 am Comments (0)

The Gold-Rush Town of Idaho City

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Gold Mining Books

In the late 19th century, the largest city between San Francisco and Saint Louis was Idaho City — a boomtown constructed after the discovery of gold in the Boise Basin. With a rowdy population of miners from California, Washington, Missouri and China, Idaho City was the kind of place where whiskey was cheap and lives even cheaper.

Blacksmith Idaho

The Boise Basin gold rush of the 1860s was one of the biggest in American history, and Idaho City was its nexus. Prospectors arrived from around the world, and the city’s story is filled with murder, gun fights, unbelievable wealth and thievery. Over two billion in gold was extracted from the area, and it’s not hard to imagine the scenes which must have played out… especially when you consider the fact that whiskey was cheaper than water in those days. The only thing more unscrupulous than a greedy miner, is a drunk greedy miner.

Today the town is something of a living museum. People still reside and work there, but there’s a definite focus on the past. The first building we visited was the County Council office, which used to be the town saloon. The bar is still in place and looks surreal amid the bustle of current-day office life. One of the clerks took a break from her computer to show us inside the old walk-in safe, where records streching back to the town’s founding are kept on file.

Across the street is the county courthouse, dating from 1873. Here again, one of the office workers volunteered to take us on a short tour of the historic building — locals here are apparently accustomed to tourists. The courthouse was fascinating, and looked much as it did back in the day. Justice was quicker and more vicious back then — after being convicted, felons were immedately hung over the judge’s desk.

Idaho City is so picturesque and atmospheric that it almost seems fake. Mostly, it reminded me of Frontierland in Disney world, and I half expected a gun-totin’ Goofy to come ambling out of the saloon. Almost every building had a story, from the schoolhouse to the Idaho World building, home of the state’s oldest running newspaper. There was a grand two-story Masonic Temple right next to the county penitentiary and, around the corner, the “Pest House”, where sick unfortunates were locked up. The old post office has been converted into a museum, which is supposed to be great, but was closed during our visit. And we saw the Pom Yam house, owned by a rich Chinese merchant — according to local lore, his ghost still floats around.

I suppose it’s a good thing that the lawless, gun-happy days of the gold rush are behind us. But for anyone nostalgic for that era, Idaho City is the perfect place to spend some time.

Location on our Idaho Map

Cheap Flights To Idaho

Back In Time Idaho
Boise-Basin
Chinese-House-Idaho-City-Ghost
Idaho World
Idaho-World-Newspaper
Easy-Rider-in-Idaho
Diamon-Lill
Entering-Idaho-City
Idaho-City-Church
Idaho-City-Jail
Silver-Star-Saloon
Sad-Prisoner
Simply-Fun-Idaho
Pest-House-Idaho-City
Pest-in-Idaho
Mangler Idaho
Idaho-Antiques
Historic-District-Idaho-City
Main-Street-Idaho-City
Cowboy-Bathtub
Barrel-Wheel
Idaho-City-Ice-Cream-Parlor
/Idaho-Kitchen-Tools
Nastolgic-Idaho
Miners-Exchange-Saloon-Idaho-City
Old Saloon Idaho City
Old Safe
Idaho-City-Records
/Idaho-City-Archive
Court-House-Idaho-City
Old-Writing-Feather
Last-Death-Sentence-Idaho-City
Shady Lady Idaho
Stamp-Mill-Mining
Steam-Boiler
Ore Car
Wild Wild West Wagon
Bottle Neck Art
Modern-Photography-Idaho
, , , , , , , , ,
September 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm Comments (3)

Howdy Idaho!

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

After 91 busy days spent in the South Korean metropolis of Busan, we were ready for something completely different. So I grabbed a thesaurus and flipped to the “K” section. It’s a strange and little-known fact, but it turns out that the antonym of “Korea” is “Idaho”. Exact opposites. And just like that, our next destination was set!

Welcome To Idaho

A month before arriving, everything I knew about Idaho could have fit onto a potato. I mean, it would have just been the word “potato” scratched into the side of the thing. But friends had been raving to us about the state, extolling its natural beauty and surprising diversity. If we were looking for something different to a Korean mega-city, they said, we could hardly do better than wild, sparsely-populated Idaho.

And so, after a couple weeks visiting family in Ohio, we embarked on a road trip across America. We needed three full days to arrive at Cascade, Idaho: the tiny, lakeside town in the middle of the state which would be our home for a month. Here, we would fully disconnect from city life, and begin taking advantage of some of the outdoor adventures available in Idaho, such as whitewater rafting, zip-lining, hiking, kayaking, and even hot air ballooning.

After four weeks in Cascade, we got on the road. Idaho is massive, and the only way to adequately explore it is by car. We spent six weeks driving into every reachable corner of the state, resting for no more than a few days in any one spot. Our reward was an appreciation for how diverse Idaho truly is. We saw gold mines, canyons, forest fires, hidden lakes, and hot springs, and had some exhilarating encounters with wildlife — of both the human and animal varieties.

We wound up our 91 days in Idaho with a few weeks in Boise, the state’s capital and by far its biggest city. For such an unheralded spot, Boise has a lot to offer. It’s large, but not overly so, and green; with a river running through the town center, it’s not uncommon to see deer. Our time here was blissful; with great restaurants, strange and fascinating history, beautiful buildings and a young, hip population, it’s no wonder that Boise is often touted as one of the USA’s most livable cities.

Idaho proved to be an incredible home. For 91 days, the state did its best to wear us out, bombarding us with one unforgettable experience after the other. At times, it was almost overwhelming, but we persisted. (“A 15-mile bike ride, the day after zip-lining and visiting a gold mine? Bring it on!”) By the time we left, we were exhausted, but had succeeded in seeing most of the highlights, as well as some hidden gems unknown even to most locals. Please enjoy reading about our adventures in this amazing state, starting with the three-day trans-American journey that brought us there.

, , , , , , ,
August 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm Comments (17)

Newer Posts »

McCall - Idaho's Four Season Getaway Whether you're walking down Lake Street, driving along the Warren Wagon road, cruising by the surprisingly busy airport or sipping a cocktail while overlooking the majestic Payette Lake, one thing is never in doubt: life in McCall is pretty sweet.
For 91 Days