McCall is a mountain town in Idaho with only 2,000 residents—a town too small for me to live in. I promised a friend, however, that I’d check it out for him on my way down to Boise. It turned out to be a very nice town with quite a few recreational opportunities, though it was certainly catered to the large retiree population (average age of the residents: 42.4 years). In many ways, it reminded me of the town of Sisters, OR.
The crown jewel of McCall is Lake Payette. This runs along downtown, with boat docks just about 2 miles from downtown. McCall (at 5031 feet in elevation) is basically in the middle of a forest, with the air smelling clean and crisp.
Recreational opportunities include skiing (with 3 resorts within a 15-mile radius, I think), hiking, camping, and boating.
The cost of living here is high for Idaho. Starter homes begin in the mid-200s (in August 2005) with the sky being the limit for the numerous estates that are present with views and acreage. A glance at some real estate guides revealed several homes that cost in the millions of dollars.
Downtown has a number of rustic shops. I got the impression that Sisters had more art galleries and was somewhat more touristy than McCall. I got the impression that Sisters had more affordable housing. Those interested in moving to McCall should really check out Sisters, which also has the advantage of being just 25 miles away from a city with over 65,000 people (that being Bend). In contrast, Boise is 108 miles away. I think McCall also gets quite a bit more precipitation than Sisters, which is in the high desert.