Mar 072013

Glamping at McCall RV Resort & Northfork lodge has many benefits including it’s short proximity to the center of town.

Carrie at the front desk tells me:  “You just walk to the top of the hill and you’ll see the Airport.  Along the fence you will see the maintained pathway that will take you straight into town.  Just 20 minutes and you are there!”

So that is exactly what Oliver and I did.  We  left McCall RV Resort, found that path and made our way to the downtown portion of McCall to explore.

The skies were clear, the sun was shining and even though the temperature was in the 20’s — it felt beautiful . . .

mccall town

This town has so much to offer by ways of shopping, art galleries, coffee shops, restaurants, a bakery and candy store and so much more.  In the summertime I am told the lake comes alive with boating, water skiing, jet skiing, paddle boarding, swimming, fishing and more.

While walking around downtown, I came to discover that the people who live here are not only incredibly proud of their town they are also extremely friendly and willing to help you find your way around should you get lost, which we did, a couple of times.  We finally made our way to the McCall Chamber of Commerce which is conveniently located in the heart of downtown McCall.  I picked up a map and some brochures covering outdoor activities that caught my eye.

As we continued on we spotted the local candy shop.  Their specialty are their candy dipped apples.  I exercised my willpower heavily this day but did buy B some chocolate covered seafoam (his favorite on trips like these).

We took a stroll past Rupert’s restaurant located right along Lake Payette in the Historic Hotel McCall.  Rupert’s is amazing and I am really looking forward to sharing with you all about our dining experience that we had the pleasure to enjoy.  In addition, I felt very honored to meet Chef Gary Kucy of Rupert’s who has been nominated for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards as “Best Chef in the Northwest.”  We were very excited to enjoy Chef Gary’s delectable dinner that he prepared for us that evening at Rupert’s and it is a meal that hubby, B and I are still talking about today.  Once again, another reason to come to McCall if only to enjoy the culinary magic that comes out of Rupert’s kitchen!

Making our way around town we end up at the sweet little knitting shop called “Keep me in Stitches.”  This shop was full of ladies who were busily knitting away at the big table.  I kindly introduced myself and asked if I could take some pictures of the shop (because the colors of the yarns stacked up from the floor to ceiling were so inviting) and they were more than happy to allow me to do that.

“Have you been next door to Stacey Cakes?” one of the ladies asks me as she peeks up through her glasses.

“Oh, I am actually on my way there.  I have heard many wonderful things about it. “

{ This was the point when everyone around the table put down their knitting projects and proceeded to tell me about how wonderful it is next door.  A couple of the ladies even stood up and walked closer to me. }

Taking of her glasses to get a better look at me, one the the ladies proudly declared, complete with hand waving in the air  that “Stacey is a genius baker!  You must try her gingersnaps — you have to get yourself a bag.  I’m not a big fan of gingersnaps but her’s are something completely out of this world.  You will not be able to stop eating them.  Oh and you must try her salted caramel cheesecake – oh, my goodness, you won’t believe how good it is…” (she went on and on…..and I was listening very carefully!)

Another lady told me  “She makes the most amazing savory tarts you will ever taste.  You know, for us here in McCall, we are very lucky to have Stacey here because her treats are a true luxury for us.  People come from all over Idaho and beyond to McCall just to visit her bakery…”

So that was our next stop Stacey Cakes.  But unfortunately, on this day, she was closed :(

I stood there with my hand over my brow, peering through her bakery window, feeling really sad.  **sigh**  When she did open, I fell incredibly ill on our trip and could not make it.   While laying in bed in the Airstream I felt pretty frustrated that I was under “quarantine” until I could feel better.  It really is a huge bummer when you get sick on a trip that you have been looking forward to for months in advance.

I was really looking forward to visiting this bakery because it came highly recommended by not only those sweet ladies in the knitting shop, but by virtually everyone we met in McCall.   But remember when I wrote that the people of McCall are some of the friendliest around and very town proud?  Well Stacey herself found out from a mutual friend how badly I wanted to try her gingersnaps (and why I couldn’t make it in) so she sent me a box out of the kindness of her heart with a special note wishing me well.

stacey cakes

I will tell you, it was like we were having a special celebration in the Airstream back at home when I unwrapped these beautiful gingersnaps.   I took extra care opening the box, removing the bag, carefully opening the envelope — reading the note.  All of it was such a special treat for me.  B was patient with me while I took some pictures of these amazing morsels.   This boy understands my funny ways.

And wouldn’t you know, everyone in McCall was right.

These.  Were.  To.  Die.  For.

{  Soft and chewy, the taste of fresh ginger is there with a slight crunch from the sugar coated exterior and then all of a sudden you find that the buttery, crunchy, chewy cookie melts in your mouth}  Heavens, I have never had anything like this, ever, in my life.

I could probably move to McCall — just to be closer to this Bakery  {This thought, at the moment of my first bite,  did seriously cross my mind}

 A little bit about Stacey:

Stacey is a trained, skilled pastry chef and it has been her profession and passion for over 20 years.   She set up shop in McCall to provide her high quality, original baked goods that she is truly passionate about for the people in this small community.

You will find Stacey sourcing some of the finest ingredients such as apples from local farmers, rhubarb from a friends garden, flour, potatoes, huckleberries from regional growers and it is that, which makes her baked goods the finest they can be.   Nearly everything you will find in Stacey Cakes is baked from scratch, that is, using raw products to create the treats they offer.

Just read for yourself what some online reviewers have said about Stacey Cakes:

“We visited Stacey Cakes over the July 4th holiday week and bought one bag of ginger snaps. These were so delicious that my wife and two kids and I nearly killed the entire bag on the drive to Oregon! If I had only tried them in the store first I would have bought all the bags they had…they are that good! I also had a peach turnover that was delicious as well…This was the best food (or treats) that we had in McCall! This is a must go if you are visiting this area.”

♥ ♥ ♥

“Some of the best pastries we ever had! We had the lemon torte and caramel cheesecake. I like the lemon on the slightly tart side, and I felt the torte was just the right blend of tart and sweet. My wife loved the cheesecake, didn’t want to finish it, but kept eating because it was just that good! We went back the next day to take some home. We would definitely go back when we return to Mccall.”

♥ ♥ ♥

“No mere bakery, this tiny tucked-away shop holds a pastry chef extraordinaire. The delicacy of crusts, the care taken with fillings….an absolute must-go when anywhere near McCall, Idaho. We live a couple of hours away and head there for weekends when we can. My 15 year old son just finished the last of the weekend take-home treats, and piteously asked, “Can Stacey Cakes ship to our home??”

Art galleries are plentiful here as well in the town of McCall.  Just have a look at this interesting display that was on the outdoor entry at one of the galleries.  This display changes often as I learned.  When we first pulled into town,  there was a huge display of pink and purple pom-pom’s of some sort that caught my eye.

While walking around McCall with Oliver on this day, I was approached THREE times with the same question.

“Excuse me?  Were you at Steamers last night??”

“Um, no?  I am sorry, it wasn’t me.”

“Wow!  I could have sworn it was you!!”

Weird.  I wonder what the person I supposedly resembled was doing that made people come up and ask if it was me?   How funny!

So you can see below the restaurant they were referring to:   “Steamers.”  People have told me that it’s a popular place in town for dinner and that if I go (and if it’s available) I should order the Halibut with a Lobster Bisque sauce/topping.  Sounded divine to me!

Well guess what?  We did go and dine there and the food was really good (especially the Halibut).  Talk about an unassuming restaurant with some great food! More to come on Steamers soon ! :)

Located in the heart of downtown McCall is where you will find the Manchester Ice and Event Centre.   With its large indoor ice-skating rink and grandstand seating looking out towards beautiful Payette Lake and the surrounding snow-capped mountains, the Manchester Ice & Event Centre provides a stunning setting for a variety of skating activities and events.  Offering activities from open skating, hockey camps, private parties, ice shows and the McCall Figure Skating Club it’s a joy to know that this venue centrally located in the heart of McCall allowing everyone to walk to nearby amenities after time spent at the Ice and Event Center.   Town proud people have told me, “We could have built this way out of town, but we wanted it here, right in the heart of downtown McCall to bring everyone together.”

I could probably write a book covering  McCall and everything this charming town has to offer.  After spending our mid-winter break here, Hubby, B and I had fallen in love with it, the people and the general overall feeling that one gets when visiting here which I try to describe as warm and welcoming.

Needless to say, we have put a return trip to McCall on our summertime travel schedule and hope that you do too!

McCall Trip Roundup:

Part 1: Arriving ♥
Part 2: McCall Town Guide ♥
Part 3: Skiing Brundage Mountain and Apres-Ski at the Shore Lodge ♥
Part 4: A Snowmobile Adventure to the Burgdorf Hot Springs and Beyond ♥
Part 5: A Day at Tamarack Resort ♥
Part 6: Apres-Ski at Rupert’s in Historic Hotel McCall ♥
Part 7: A Culinary Adventure in the Forest ♥
Part 8:  Brundage Cat Skiing Adventures & Apres-Ski at the Pancake House ♥

  14 Responses to “{McCall, ID} Part 2: McCall Town Guide ♥”

  1. Wonderful guide !!! Those gingersnaps – oh my!!

  2. As soon as Jim reads about the gingersnaps we’ll be packing Ruby for a trip to McCall. Again another fabulous post ! Thanks for sharing so much information .

    • Thank you Sandy — both you and Jim will not be disappointed with Stacey Cakes. I am still upset I could not get in there myself and buy everything I could get my hands on, lol!

  3. What a great blog! Thank you for loving our town as much as we do!

  4. I just wiped a tear from my eye! Thank you so much for taking me on an afternoon trip to my favorite place on earth; McCall, ID! It doesn’t hurt that Stacey is my cousin, and my mother painted the picture on the card she sent you, but the love you showed our tiny town is very worthy! Stacey is truly a genius and her husband, Gary Kucy, is up for a James Beard award!!! Come to McCall for the food, lake and people. You won’t be disappointed!

    • Oh Katy, that is so sweet :) I am happy I was able to take you back xoxo We are planning a return trip in the summer and are really looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing that your mom was the one who painted the picture of Stacey Cakes on the card — she is seriously talented. I have that card on display in my office at home — enjoy it very much. xoxo Monica ♥

  5. When you come back check out the surrounding areas Buffalo Gal in Donnelly is one of the best restaurants in the area . Cascade is McCall’s ugly adopted step child but you can cross the street without an orange flag in your hand . Riggins is cool too . The whole area is really one of the most beutiful uncrowded areas in the US . McCall gets plenty of recognition check the other areas as well .

    • Hi Stan, thanks so much for your recommendations. They are very much appreciated! From what we have seen so far I must agree with you 100% that it’s the most beautiful uncrowded area in the US that we have seen so far. Such a special place it is there and how fortunate you are to be able to live there. We miss it very much!!

  6. Monica, your blog and your artwork is fantastic. Thank you so much for your insightful and delightful post. Please consider us a resource for future trips to Idaho. With a blog example like this I know many others would enjoy rolling out the red carpet for you. We assisted other bloggers this last summer who spent a month in the Cacade area before traveling the rest of the state. Google For 91 Days and enjoy.
    You will find many terrific ideas for your return trip this summer. I would like to chat with you directly about your delightful mapping. I think we should include your work in our state travel guide :)

  7. You have not seen McCall until you experience Payette Lake. Have a free lake tour on me, even bring your friends. Ten years of safe, fun, and exciting cruises on Payette Lake. You will not believe the natural beauty of the “crown jewel” of McCall and Valley county.

    Make sure your cruise uses an insured and U.S.C.G. licensed captain.


    Captain Ray Dupree

    Payette Lake Scenic Cruises LLC

    • Thank you Ray – we will definitely look you up next time we are in McCall. I can only imagine who beautiful Lake Payette is in the summer. Thank you!!

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