Alongside our county’s sensory delights and natural attractions is a unique collection of retail shops featuring a wide variety of gifts – from handmade local crafts to everything you need for your next outdoor adventure. And Calaveras County’s historic downtowns make for a charming, small-town-America shopping experience. With holiday season approaching, we’ve rounded up some suggestions to help you make the most of your Calaveras shopping experience.
Arnold Shopping: sports gear & home décor in the High Sierra.
Billed as the gateway to the High Sierra, Arnold is where you’ll find everything for the outdoor enthusiast on your list. But don’t overlook the great collection of home décor opportunities. Sierra Nevada Adventure Company is the place for technical outer wear and as they say, “Gear for wild environments,” like paddling, climbing and hiking. Head east into Arnold to Ebbetts Pass Sporting Goods if it’s fishing and camping you prefer, as they have an extensive selection of tackle, apparel and they’re also a great resource for the latest local fishing updates. The Trout Spot specializes in everything for the fly fisher. At the Outhouse Collection you can satisfy the quest for the great indoors, with home furnishings, accents and décor with varied themes of rustic, casual and contemporary. Visit the Cedar Center plaza for a variety of places to help accent the home, including Poulson Studios Gallery with its gorgeous glass work, Timeless Home Gallery and Fine Things. Discover wood carved art and furniture at the nearby Rusty Bear. After all that shopping, you deserve a walk in the park – head up to Calaveras Big Trees State Park for a stroll among the giant sequoias. The park’s new visitor center has a well stocked gift shop of books and souvenirs.
Murphys Shopping: the Ultimate small-town-America shopping experience.
Murphys is a town made for shopping, with its pedestrian filled streets and gastronomical boutiques. Visit Sustenance Books for the latest titles, local guides and kids’ selections. Find flavors from around the world at The Spice Tin, taste unique oils and vinegars at Marisolio Tasting Bar, satisfy your sweet tooth at Nelson’s Candy Kitchen and Lila and Sage Cupcakes. Kitchen stocking stuffers abound at Creative Cookware, and of course, Main Street is lined with wine tasting rooms and restaurants to help diversify the browsing experience.
Discover local artisan and hand made treasures, first with a trip to Moon Alley Candles, which are made in Murphys and are renowned for their unique colors and elegant designs. Independent Mercantile sells an earthy blend of handmade body care products, as well as clothing and jewelry by owner Linda Trent. Independent’s sister shop, nd&x, offers more in the way of kitchen and interior décor, but with the same elemental and thoughtful level of craftsmanship. Three miles east of town is one of Murphys’ longest established businesses, Quyle Kilns, with a deep selection of pottery and ceramic art made on site.
Angels Camp Shopping: original Old West architecture.
Historic downtown Angels Camp will take you back to the old west with its authentic Gold Rush architecture and eclectic shops. This side of Texas you’d be hard pressed to find a more authentic Western wear shop than Turner’s Wild West in downtown Angels Camp. Classic brands like Pendleton, Carhartt and Wrangler are here for work and casual apparel, along with the kind of friendly customer service you might expect in a small town. Stay on this side of the street for Stories in Stones, which is a must see for anyone intrigued by gems, crystals and the geologic wonders of the world. You may be lucky enough to hear one of the many stories of international rock and fossil hunting by owners Russ and Pam Shoemaker while you’re there! Across Main Street, be sure to stop into our very own Visitor Center, where you’ll find a nice collection of gifts and collectibles from the county’s past and present. Music lovers should not miss the Aeolian Harp, a cozy place known for its collection of rare and vintage instruments. Just south of downtown, Glory Hole Sports is the place for anyone who loves to fish. Top off the day by catching a movie at the Angels Theater, one of the few classic downtown cinemas left in Northern California.
Copperopolis Shopping: beautiful town square.
This year there’s been lots of talk about the anniversary of the Back to the Future film – but very few places can claim to have a picturesque town square just like the one in the fictional Hill Valley. Copper Town Square has the period clock tower as well as the central park, so if you haven’t stopped into Copper Town Square on your way into the county, now is a good time. Check out Copperopolis Olive Oil Company for a taste of all things olive. Their oil is produced from olives grown in the nearby foothills and they also sell olive woodwork, kitchen gifts and olive body care products. Looking for something to wear? What You Seek Boutique boasts great styles and affordable prices. If it’s local wine and related gifts you’re after, be sure to visit Copper Cellars, they offer tastings and sales, specializing in boutique foothill wineries.
Valley Springs Shopping: a few interesting stops.
If you’re heading into Calaveras on Highway 12, there are a few cool shops right on the highway in Valley Springs worth checking out. Turn left on California Street at the stop sign and you’ll see a new pop-up shop called TAG Your Home, which has a fun selection of rustic, vintage and repurposed items to accent your home. Next door is Fancy Things Boutique, with a huge supply of jewelry and accessories, and juniors, teens and women’s clothing. Back on Highway 12, you’ll find Hoof N Boots Saddlery with its new and used saddles, tack and pack equipment, and a wide range of western gifts. Their custom leather goods include hats, bags, dog collars, and saddles. And if you’re lucky, there may be some cute border collies you can pet in the store, since the owner also breeds dogs.
San Andreas Shopping: history & art options.
Antique lovers can find a wealth of interesting collectibles in the San Andreas Trading Post on the south end of town, and turning off Highway 49 into historic Main Street will take you to The Gallery Store, the flagship of the Calaveras Arts Council, containing the creative handiwork of local artists. Pop next door into the Calaveras County Historical Museum Complex, open 7 days a week, to see some great exhibits including the former county jail and courthouse, and do a little shopping in their gift shop. Kelly’s Drug Store might seem an odd choice, until you see the quality and variety of their holiday gift items and the same is true of the gift shop in Mark Twain Medical Center. If you’re in town for lunch, check out locals favorites The Pickle Patch or Country Cliff’s.
Mokelumne Hill Shopping: a charming Gold Rush town.
If you’re taking Highway 49 south into Calaveras, turn left into historic downtown Mokelumne Hill, a little Gold Rush town so charming that you’ll forgive it for having only one official retail store. Petroglyphe Gallery is located in a newly renovated building, built in 1858, and specializes in contemporary Californian art and jewelry. While you’re here, be sure to stop in to the historic Hotel Léger with its old western saloon for a delicious lunch or dinner. Ask at reception to borrow their ghost hunting kit if you have the courage. An unexpected bonus is the accommodating library on Main Street which sells its excess books on its covered deck on the honor system.
Gift Shops at our county attractions have great gifts.
Don’t forget that many of our attractions also have fabulous gift shops! Check out the natural treasures at Moaning Cavern, California Cavern and Mercer Cavern. Have a golfer in the family? Visit the pro shops at Greenhorn Creek, Saddle Creek Resort or La Contenta golf courses. A nice selection of toys and gifts is also available at the Angels Camp Museum, the visitors center at Calaveras Big State Park and at the Calaveras Visitors Center in historic downtown Angels Camp.
When you’re shopping in Calaveras this year, please consider donating an unwrapped toy, book or stocking stuffer to Toys for Tots. Get full details here: www.gocalaveras.com/2015-holiday-toy-drive.
Download your PDF version of the 2015 Calaveras Holiday Shopping Guide for our entire list of top tips on where to shop in Calaveras this holiday shopping season.