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McCall, Idaho: Weekend Escape

Winter means powder-covered slopes, snow sculptures, and soul-warming eats in this timber town turned laid-back lakeside resort.

  • Gallery Fifty-Five in McCall Idaho, image
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    Browse local artists’ works at Gallery Fifty-Five.
  • glasses of beer at Salmon River Brewery, image
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    Seasonal beer selections are on tap at Salmon River Brewery.
  • interior of the Pancake House in McCall Idaho, image
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    The Pancake House lures breakfast guests with rustic charm.
  • Pueblo Lindo serves Mexican classics, image
    Photo caption
    Pueblo Lindo serves Mexican classics.

To Do and See
Activity Barn Whoosh down a 700-foot snow-tube run served by a rope tow, then warm up with hot cocoa beside the wood-burning stove in a little red yurt. 141 Moonridge Dr., 634-2222, Brundage Mountain Resort Upward of 325 inches of fluffy powder each season draws snowboarders and downhill skiers to groomed runs and backcountry adventures. 3890 Goose Lake Rd., 634-4151, The Cove Treat yourself to a pedicure, facial, or hot-stone massage, or simply loll in outdoor and indoor saline pools kept at a toasty 102 degrees. 501 W. Lake St., 630-0280, Manchester Ice & Event Centre Enjoy an ice show or strap on a pair of skates and glide across the rink of this indoor arena. 200 E. Lake St., 634-3570, Ponderosa State Park Nearly 16 miles of snowshoe and groomed Nordic ski trails crisscross this forested, 1,500-acre peninsula jutting into the sparkling waters of Payette Lake just north of downtown. 634-2164, Winter Carnival McCall’s annual cold-season bash—Jan. 24 to Feb. 2 this year—features fireworks over the lake, live music, parades, and a long-beard contest. Past entrants in the snow sculpture competition have included giant dragons and a Lord of the Rings Hobbit house. 634-7631,

Bella Kitchen Colorful aprons, gleaming copper skillets, Idaho-shaped cookie cutters, and other kitchen goods fill a pocket-size shop housed in the town’s former train station. 401 E. Lenora St., 634-4730, Gallery Fifty-Five Browse watercolor landscapes, whimsical ceramic fish, sterling and turquoise necklaces, and other works by local artists. 317 E. Lake St., 634-6313, Granite Mountain Nature Gallery At this cornucopia of Earth’s treasures, you’ll find everything from glistening amethyst chunks, intricate rose-quartz carvings, and tiny trilobite fossils to framed butterflies, spiders, and beetles. 305 E. Park St., 634-1111,

Evening Rise Bread Company There’s good reason people line up at this bakery where bulging sandwiches are assembled on ciabatta, nine-grain, and other house-baked breads. 303 Sunset St., 634-5031. Pancake House In this pinepaneled eatery with a year-round Christmas shop, the namesake flapjacks come lumberjack size and fluffy, made with your choice of sourdough or buttermilk batter. 209 N. Third St., 634-5849, Pueblo Lindo Stop into this family-friendly spot for enchiladas, chicken in mole sauce, slow-cooked pork chile verde, and other Mexican classics. 1007 W. Lake St., 634-2270. Rupert’s Take in a fine view of the lake and mountain as you dine on seasonal dishes such as venison meatballs with juniper-infused cabbage slaw and a roastedbeet salad brightened with citrus, hazelnuts, and feta. 1101 N. Third St., 634-8108, Salmon River Brewery Pair an elk burger, Baja fish tacos, or a grilled smoked brat with a pint of hoppy Salmon River Shiver IPA or crisp Udaho Gold ale at a cozy brewpub where kids are welcome. 300 Colorado St., 634-4772, Stacey Cakes Think you can resist the chewy gingersnaps, apple pie brioche, chocolate crackle tart, or salted caramel cheesecake at this bakery with a small eat-in area? Think again. 136 E. Lake St., 634-2537.

Photography by Kirsten Shultz

This article was first published in January 2014. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.