Two Idaho Towns Make List of America’s Most Beautiful Small Towns

Only 55 cities from the entire United States made it to this list, which means these two Idaho cities are part of an elite club!

Over the past few months, we’ve done quite a bit of travelling. First in Seattle. Then to Portland. After each trip, we came home incredibly grateful to live in Idaho. Why? Well, because compared to those two places, the “big city” of Idaho is absolutely stunning. Downtown Boise is clean. It’s dynamic. There are no boarded up windows or graffiti. It’s good.

But we are not comparing big cities today. We compare charming small towns with historic downtowns, breathtaking lakes and dramatic mountains. These are the types of strokes Architectural Summary sought after when putting together their recent list of “55 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America.” They found an abundance of these things in two towns in Idaho.

Which small towns in the Gem State made their list? The first you will find in the Wood River Valley!

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media

We don’t know if Architectural Digest has put their list in any particular order, but if you scroll down to the twentieth image in the list, you’ll see a familiar photo of Ketchum. Choosing Ketchum, they said:

“In the heart of Idaho’s Sun Valley, this town is an outdoor utopia, with snow sports, fishing, rock climbing, and more. Four beautiful outdoor hot springs are nearby and open for soaking.”

We will be honest. We never really did any of these things while we were in the area. Instead, we pounded the pavement and admired the beautiful scenery of the last stages of the sawtooth relay. Coming down from Galena Summit sure hurts your legs, so if the incredibly fun (and challenging) relay race returns in 2023, maybe hitting one of these hot springs afterwards wouldn’t be such a bad idea!

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media

Keep scrolling and you’ll see a beautiful photo of the sunset over Lake Payette when you get to their 34th photo. McCall also ended up on the list. In choosing McCall, the magazine said:

“With year-round outdoor activities ranging from fly-fishing to cross-country skiing, this resort (home to numerous wellness properties) on the south shore of Lake Payette also hosts an annual winter carnival. and, in 2018, launched its first sled dog race.

It’s all true, but we can’t help but wonder how they came across McCall. We want to believe it was local celebrity, Aaron Paul, who presented Architectural Summary how wonderful one of our favorite small towns in Idaho is! After all, they showed his McCall house on their YouTube channel in 2020. Didn’t get a chance to take a look? Looked!

KEEP READING: Take a Look at McCall’s 19 Marvelous Winter Carnival Snow Sculptures

After a year’s absence, the McCall Winter Carnival is back in 2022! These are 19 of the sculptures that the artists have assembled.

McCall’s most expensive home has two huge private beaches

Built in 2002, this incredible home is located on the east arm of Lake Payette (the side with the dirt road.) It costs almost double the price of the second most expensive home on the market in August 2022.

Feel like a millionaire when you stay at this $1,600/night McCall’s Airbnb

Known as “The Seasons”, this McCall’s property is one of the most extreme rental properties we’ve seen in our favorite lakeside town. Sure, the rental price is high, but this indoor pool might be worth it!

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