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.
Click to open a downloadable PDF of the 2016 Calaveras Shopping Guide. Heading to a specific town? Follow these links: Murphys Shopping | Angels Camp Shopping | Arnold Shopping | Copperopolis Shopping | Valley Springs Shopping | San Andreas Shopping | Mokelumne Hill Shopping
Eclectic shops, history and award-winning wine and eateries in a charming family and dog-friendly downtown environment
here’s a reason Frommer’s called Murphys one of the top ten small towns in America. Murphys is a town made for shopping, with its pedestrian filled streets and gastronomical boutiques. Whether you’re looking for gifts for kids, four-legged friends, bikers, vintage and antique collectors, or something for those special women, men and children in your life – Murphys has something for everyone.
Visit the independent local bookstore, Sustenance Books, for great reads for all ages as well as crafts and gifts. Find flavors from around the world at The Spice Tin, taste unique olive oils and balsamic vinegars at Marisolio Tasting Bar, and 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 decor, but with the same elemental and thoughtful level of craftsmanship. Sac-a-Main is a treasure-trove of leather and vegan handbags, wallets and accessories. For the kid in everyone, stop by the Murphys Village Toy Store.
With more than 23 wine tasting rooms in historic downtown, you will find that each offers its own unique retail experience. Twisted Oak specializes in humor (wine and non-wine related) and their trademark rubber chickens, while Locke is stocked with antiques and La Folia with fedoras and other hats. Ironstone Vineyards, just outside of downtown is a destination in itself. The jewelry store with collections featuring bullet casings and gold-bearing quartz (a shout out to their spectacular 44lb gold nugget on display there) are unique offerings unlikely to be found elsewhere. So, even if you’re not a wine aficionado, it’s worth checking out their gift shops. 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 with local clay.
As the culinary center of Calaveras, it’s easy to find good eats here (or great wine for that matter) when you’re ready to take a load off your feet. But don’t forget award-winning coffee from Gold Country Roasters, and delicious baked goods from Aria Bakery.
ANGELS CAMP SHOPPING
Charming shops and quaint eateries with 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. Ranging from Manzanita Emporium filled with locally made goods by various regional artisans, authors and artists to gemstone purveyors, boutique gifts and collectibles, antiques and art.
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. Visit Vino Metate’s newly opened wine tasting room where you can pick up gift baskets of Spanish varietal wines with local dried fruit, nuts, preserves, and olives. Other gift items include art, cookbooks, ceramics, wine glasses and wine accessories.
Across Main Street, Firefall Jewelers run by the Coca family, features custom designs, hand engraving and stone setting. Purchase something unique from the store, or have something custom made with gemstones or diamonds carefully selected on-site for your someone special. Also on this side of the street, another newly opened store just in time for the holidays: Eclecta Boutique. If antiques is your thing, Nellie Lou’s is your spot, while Prestidge Gallery offers framing and framed art.
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, along with the largest collection of frog-themed merchandise you’re likely to find anywhere. 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. For an outstanding collection of Christmas decorations, head to Calaveras Lumber on the north end of town.
Originally built during the silent film era–updated for the 21st century, top off the day by catching a movie at the Angels 6 Theater, one of the few classic downtown cinemas left in Northern California. Or head over to the Angels Camp Museum and Carriage House for an exploration of Gold Rush history. Be sure to check out their history inspired toys and gift items in their gift shop.
Stop in at Sugar Bakery for some delicious baked goods and freshly made coffee. Ready for lunch or dinner? Try Cruscos Ristorante Italiano for authentic Northern Italian cuisine, or Angels Creek Cafe for more traditional American fare.
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 in this picturesque high-country town. But don’t overlook the great collection of home decor opportunities as well.
For outdoor enthusiasts, 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 decor 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 and Fine Things. Timeless Home Gallery is nearby in the Cameo Plaza.
After all that shopping, you deserve a walk in the park – head over to White Pines Lake for a picturesque stroll, or drive 5 minutes to Calaveras Big Trees State Park to enjoy the giant sequoias. The park’s new visitor center has a well stocked gift shop of books and souvenirs. When you’ve worked up your appetite, stop in at one of Arnold’s great eateries or pick up some baked goods from Butter and Cream Bakery. For delicious, hand-crafted beer stop in at Snowshoe Brewery.
Eclectic food, wine, and fun in a beautiful town square
There was lots of talk about the anniversary of the Back to the Future film last year – 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 as you enter 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. For meticulous hand-crafted decor, stroll over to the newly opened Iron Treasures.
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. Or try The Tipsy Frog for local wines and food and selections of the owners’ favorite wines from around the world. For the gamer in your life, stop in at the new Epic Worlds and Games store carrying the best board, card and miniature games. Tables are set up and ready for you to play with other shoppers. Aly’s Attic features cute country and Americana home decor and furniture, while Galerie Copper specializes in local art and art supplies. Spending the day? Enjoy a dinner at Griff’s BBQ, and a handcrafted artisanal ice cream from Yummy Ha Ha.
VALLEY SPRINGS SHOPPING
What not to miss
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 re-purposed 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.
Looking to ad a little quirk to your shopping experience? Then make sure to check out Moon Light Alpacas, a great little alpaca farm that offers tours as well as luxurious alpaca wool and goods. If you have time, check out one of the local restaurants, and Villa Bakery, which gets rave reviews.
SAN ANDREAS SHOPPING
Antiques, History and Arts
Antique lovers can find a wealth of interesting collectibles in the San Andreas Trading Post on the south end of town.
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. If you’re in town for lunch, check out locals favorites The Pickle Patch or Country Cliff’s.
MOKELUMNE HILL SHOPPING
Beloved, 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 two official retail stores.
Petroglyphe Gallery is located in a newly renovated building, built in 1858, and specializes in contemporary Californian art and jewelry. Moke Hill Nuts features nuts, candies and carefully selected gift items. While you’re here, be sure to explore the beautiful historic architecture and old black smith shop before ducking into the much-loved Main Street library which sells its excess books on its covered deck on the honor system.
Stop in at Renegade Winery for the best stocking stuffer of all, a bottle of wine, before heading over 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.
SMALL TOWN CELEBRATIONS
Lighted parades, Open Houses, Christmas Tree Lightings and more
Make your shopping experience even more magical by attending one of our many holiday celebrations from lighted parades to holiday open houses with live street music, and free treats from local businesses, wine strolls, carolling and photo ops with Santa.
Our top attractions stock great gifts!
Don’t forget that many of our wine tasting rooms and 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.
When you’re shopping in Calaveras this year, please consider donating an unwrapped toy, book or stocking stuffer to Toys for Tots at the Calaveras Visitors Center at 1192 South Main Street, Angels Camp, open 7 days a week.
Happy holidays and happy shopping!
Did we miss your favorite shop in Calaveras County? Please include it in the comments below.