McCall is a MOOD

Savoring the simple pleasures of a small town summer

Article by April Thomas Whitney

Photography by McCall Chamber/Case Conti Visuals

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

There's something different about McCall. Time seems to slow down a bit in this two-stoplight town. It's not for a lack of things to do. Rather, the endless possibilities for how to spend a long summer’s day allow time to work differently in this quaint but adventure-filled lake town. While you refresh and recharge, you can make what feels like a month’s worth of memories in a remarkably short amount of time.

As a remote mountain town, McCall lacks some of the conveniences people find at home, but those who’ve fallen in love with the area have found that the slower pace is exactly the point. It gives people the chance to unplug and refocus. And it creates an uncommonly friendly vibe. It’s not unusual for the owner of a coffee shop or artisan bakery to inquire about what you have planned for the day as they hand a delicious scratch-made treat across the counter. They ask because they love it here, too, and they want to share that joy. The enduring and endearing sense of community may just be the most remarkable thing about McCall. 

For the planners among us, there are plenty of reservation-worthy activities to fill out an itinerary. Choose from one of two unique forest zipline experiences or one (or more) of the five golf courses in the area, rent a paddle board and explore the meanders at the tip of Payette Lake, take a two-hour sunset adventure with McCall Lake Cruises, or book a whitewater rafting trip on the nearby Salmon or Payette Rivers.

There’s no shortage of activities for those who like to simply wake up and see where the day takes them. Cruise down to Legacy Park for some spontaneous beach volleyball, play a round of disc golf, join an outdoor yoga practice, or ride your bike to the McCall Farmer’s Market to browse locally-sourced produce, meat and food stuffs.

Imagination and endurance are the only limits on exploring the area’s plentiful trails and pathways. Whether you a choose a cruiser, a mountain bike or your own two feet, the sites and scenery help you disconnect from your regular hectic routine.  

Those who prefer to unwind with retail therapy will find an eclectic collection of coffee shops, cafes, galleries and unique boutiques that offer a mountain-inspired shopping experience with small town flair.

When the sun begins to dip, it’s time to soak up the sounds of summer. The McCall area boasts three noteworthy (and free) evening summer concert series. “Tuesdays on the Terrace” finds music lovers grooving at the Ponderosa Center’s lakefront concert venue. Head to Tamarack Resort on Thursdays for the Sunset Concert Series or kick off your shoes and celebrate the arrival of the weekend with the TGIF Summer Concert Series in Brundage Mountain’s grassy alpine amphitheater.

At the end of the day, no matter what you’ve done, be sure to find a peaceful perch to enjoy an alpine sunset. Because part of the magic of McCall is simply being present in a beautiful place that feels like an adventure – and feels like home – all at the same time. Experience the MOOD this summer and

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