It’s prime ski/snowboard season. Your friends are heading to tourist-filled spots like Lake Tahoe and Breckenridge, but you’re looking for something different. Somewhere that’s accessible, but off the beaten path. Somewhere that has great food, stunning views, great skiing, but less crowds. Somewhere that truly feels like an ESCAPE. Well friends, we’ve got the perfect place for you.
More specifically, Boise and McCall. But shh… don’t tell too many people. Here’s why we love it:
IT’S EASY TO GET TO
If you’re based in Southern California (like we are), Boise is a dream to travel to. You can find 3+ daily nonstop flights out of LAX that will have you there in just over two hours. We left at 7:10 am, and we were sitting at our favorite Boise pizza spot for lunch (The Wylder - add it to your list). The ease of getting there gives you more time to explore and enjoy Boise!
BOISE IS UP-AND-COMING
Boise is COOL. Mark our words, this city is on the ups! From a thriving craft brewery scene (Woodland Empire, Cloud 9 Brewery, and Bittercreek Alehouse to name a few), to trendy, innovative restaurants (check out Diablo & Sons Saloon, Fork, and Capitol Cellars), to fun coffee shops (Form & Function was our favorite), lush parks (Camel’s Back Park has panoramic views of the city), historic buildings with stunning architecture (the Boise Train Depot is a MUST), and more! We stayed at the Inn at 500 Capitol, a lovely hotel that has comfortable (and quirky) rooms with a ton of great food options within walking distance. We definitely needed more time in Boise to sample more of the restaurants and breweries… next time!
MCCALL IS A SNOWBIRD’S DREAM
McCall is one of those little mountain towns that we’ll be raving about for awhile. It’s quaint and rural and stunningly beautiful… and it’s an easy 2-hour drive from Boise! Because it’s relatively under the radar, it’s rarely crowded, and they have snowboard/skiing terrain for all ages and skill levels at the nearby Brundage Mountain Resort. If snowshoeing or cross-country skiing is more your style, there are plenty of tree-lined trails around Ponderosa State Park.
YOU CAN SNOWMOBILE TO RUSTIC HOT SPRINGS
We went on a full-day snowmobile excursion with Brundage Mountain Resort that might have been the highlight of our entire trip. We rode snowmobiles for over 80 miles of snow-covered hills and trails. It was breathtaking. We stopped at the rustic Burgdorf Hot Springs, which is only accessible by snowmobiles in the winter months. We soaked, we ate, and we marveled at the views… Words honestly don’t do justice to this incredible place, so we’ll let the pictures do the talking.
In our opinion, it’s worth a trip to Idaho just for this experience.
IT’S INCREDIBLY ROMANTIC
I mean, Burgdorf Hot Springs ALONE is incredibly romantic. Beyond that, the Shore Lodge in McCall is perfect for a couple’s getaway. It sits right on Payette Lake, the rooms are spacious and luxurious, and they’re home to one of the best restaurants in Idaho, The Narrows. We had the dreamiest date night there, sipping on craft cocktails, dining on Double R Prime Beef Wet Aged New York Striploin (melt-in-your-mouth delicious), and ended the night with s’mores by the Shore Lodge’s outdoor bonfire. Does it get any more romantic than that?!
Because McCall isn’t commercialized, it’s significantly more affordable than other popular ski towns. You’ll find lakeview rooms at the Shore Lodge for a fraction of the price of other places. When it comes to dining, restaurants in McCall are reasonably priced and almost all are family owned and operated.
Boise too, is just as reasonable - with hotels, dining, and breweries offering cheap deals and incentives. (Take advantage of it before the word gets out!) You can find nonstop flights to Boise out of LAX for under $200, making the whole trip totally attainable.
So, what are you waiting for?! Idaho is calling! Head to visitidaho.org for more travel inspiration, as the options to explore and adventure are endless in this stunning state. Leave a comment and let us know which part of Idaho we should explore next!