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Old Mar 31, 12, 9:25 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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2 nights in Idaho - Sun Valley? Ketchum? Stanley?

I will be flying to Boise before a rafting trip on the Salmon and will have two nights before i need to be in McCall for the night before the trip. Looking to see some of Idaho but stay in interesting places with a nice hotel (does not have to be fancy or expensive; nice with some character is fine), good restaurants etc. Have considered Ketchum, Sun Valley, Stanley, Idaho City etc. but really know nothing about them and after a while of looking online in all of my usual and favorite places for information, have turned up very little. Can anyone give me a little on the differences among these cities and where you would pick to stay??
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Old Mar 31, 12, 11:01 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by mstraveler View Post
I will be flying to Boise before a rafting trip on the Salmon and will have two nights before i need to be in McCall for the night before the trip. Looking to see some of Idaho but stay in interesting places with a nice hotel (does not have to be fancy or expensive; nice with some character is fine), good restaurants etc. Have considered Ketchum, Sun Valley, Stanley, Idaho City etc. but really know nothing about them and after a while of looking online in all of my usual and favorite places for information, have turned up very little. Can anyone give me a little on the differences among these cities and where you would pick to stay??
Hey you're going to love your trip down the Salmon! McCall is only a 2 or 2.5 hour drive from Boise. You could have a great time spending a night in Boise then doing an extra night in McCall before the trip. There are some great restaurants and hotels in downtown Boise. Angells, Bardenay, Berryhill & Co., and Lock Stock and Barrel just to name a few. Hotel 43 is a boutique hotel that has been getting great reviews. There's plenty within walking distance from downtown Boise: Shopping, several museums and spectacular parks lining the Boise River. The drive up to McCall is quite beautiful, I'd recommend taking some time after passing the town of Banks to stop and enjoy the scenery along some wild stretches of river. McCall itself is a scenic town right along Payette Lake. There's a great sushi place within a stone's throw of the lake where we always stop for dinner, and the Pancake House serves a delicious breakfast. Last time I was there we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express which was up to expectation. There are also some nice lodging options such as Hotel McCall and Shore Lodge.

If you're willing to drive further, grab a car in Boise and take off for Sun Valley and Stanley. Ketchum and Sun Valley are really both one and the same. Sun Valley is the name of the resort located in the town of Ketchum I'm sure tripadvisor would give you a better feel for hotels there than I could, I've only ever stayed in cabins there or camped. Since it sounds like you will be there during the summer, you could rent mountain bikes and explore the area. You can bike around the ski resort or ask at a bike shop and they can direct you to some good trails. Once you're in Sun Valley, you'd be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime if you didn't cross Galena Summit and head into Stanley, about an hour away. A sunset at Redfish Lake is among the most awe-inspiring sights in the world. They rent kayaks and boats so you can explore the lake. In Stanley, you could stay at the Mountain Village Lodge or at Redfish Lake Lodge. Both will be fairly spartan and dining in Stanley will be pretty basic but you can't beat the views. Be sure and check out Stanley Lake also while you are there. You'll be amazed at the beauty of the Sawtooth area but also how uncrowded and unspoiled it is.

From Stanley, you can drive through Lowman, back to Banks and catch ID-55 to McCall to meet up with your rafting group. If you don't mind driving a bit, Sun Valley and Stanley are your best options. The scenery is life-changing. You're looking at about 3 hours from Boise to Sun Valley, an hour from Sun Valley to Stanley and then 3 more hours back to McCall. Idaho City is an old mining town. It's a fun day trip from Boise but there's really nowhere to stay.

It can be difficult to find good info on the Sawtooth area. We like to keep it our secret to avoid such a magnificent area becoming crowded and congested. If you have any questions, just ask! Hope you have a great trip, you're certainly going to be glad you planned a couple of extra days to sight see!

Last edited by PacWN; Mar 31, 12 at 11:16 pm.
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Old Apr 1, 12, 9:50 am   #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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It can be difficult to find good info on the Sawtooth area. We like to keep it our secret to avoid such a magnificent area becoming crowded and congested. If you have any questions, just ask! Hope you have a great trip, you're certainly going to be glad you planned a couple of extra days to sight see!
Thank so much PacWN. Just what I need to know! I don't mind driving and will plan on heading to Ketchum straightaway after I land at BOI and spend a night there and then another in Stanley. Then the night before the rafting trip will be in McCall. Appreciate your thoughts on Boise too. We decided based on that to drive to Boise the night of the take out rather than spending another night in McCall. Timing also works out better for the return flight the next morning, but nice to know that downtown Boise a good option. Hotel 43 looks perfect; is it close enough to good restaurants to walk? We will get in on a Sunday night a little later than I would like possibly (depending on take out which is reported to be 4-6 pm at McCall) and will not want to navigate any more driving!
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Old Apr 1, 12, 10:40 am   #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by mstraveler View Post
Thank so much PacWN. Just what I need to know! I don't mind driving and will plan on heading to Ketchum straightaway after I land at BOI and spend a night there and then another in Stanley. Then the night before the rafting trip will be in McCall. Appreciate your thoughts on Boise too. We decided based on that to drive to Boise the night of the take out rather than spending another night in McCall. Timing also works out better for the return flight the next morning, but nice to know that downtown Boise a good option. Hotel 43 looks perfect; is it close enough to good restaurants to walk? We will get in on a Sunday night a little later than I would like possibly (depending on take out which is reported to be 4-6 pm at McCall) and will not want to navigate any more driving!
There is a steakhouse, Chandlers, on the ground floor of Hotel 43. I've never eaten at Chandler's so I can't personally vouch for them (although everything I've heard has been positive). My favorite downtown restaurant is Angell's. It is just across Grove St. from Hotel 43 and the Salmon is spectacular. You'll also be within walking distance of everything downtown if you are looking for something more casual. For more casual dining, I love Bardenay. It may be a little further than you will want to walk or drive, but Boise Fry Company is a truly unique Boise experience. There you choose from several types of potatoes and cuts of fries. Then you order your burger "on the side." When your food is finished, you have a choice of at least 10 different ketchups and at least as many varieties of salt to adorn your fries. If you have time in the morning, there's no better breakfast in town than Goldy's.

I've lived in Boise for most of my life, and love it here. It's a beautiful city year round. I've yet to find a place that allows access to the outdoors like Boise does. In high school, I would keep my snowboard in the trunk of my car. I'd look up at the ski hill and if conditions looked good, I'd cruise up there and be snowboarding within 45 mins. Summer allows for quick access to miles and miles of mountain biking trails, wild rivers for rafting, and fly fishing just a few blocks from downtown. Hope you enjoy Idaho as much as we do!
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