Talk about an authentic pioneer town. Time seems to have stood still on McCarthy's Main Street, which is unpaved, only a few hundred yards long, and lined with classic buildings and memorabilia.
Some visitors walk through McCarthy and complain that there's nothing to do—and that's exactly why folks like living here. But while you may not find much activity, you will find a lot of history: In the town's heyday there were several hotels, brothels, hardware stores, barber shops, movie houses, pool halls, and boutiques. Two big fires (in 1919 and 1928) have removed much of the evidence of that era, but there's enough still standing to make McCarthy interesting, including Ma Johnson's fully renovated hotel on Main Street, the old Hardware Store, the Powerhouse, and the Alaska Hotel. Several of the little old houses have been renovated—you'll know them when you see them. There's a store with snacks (and often ice cream) and a big deck to kick back and pass the time on. But whatever you do, focus on what's here—and not what you think is missing.