Have you been to a Bass Pro Shop? No? You should make it a point to do so. There are not too many of these around, but if you can get to one, don’t hesitate to do so.
I first heard of Bass Pro Shop on a tour at Warner Brothers Studio of all places. We were going through the prop shop, and at the prop shop they were building a set of bears for the Bass Pro Shops. It seems that all of their stores feature bears. Trust me, these were really BIG bears.
In California, there are two Bass Pro Shops. I live near the one in Manteca, California so off we went to look for our bears. Bass Pro Shops are not exactly just a store. They are more of an adventure.
Our trip started outside the store where there was a great looking fish pond/stream, a bridge, and a play area for kids full of animals (not live) but very life like. Absolutely cool. Then, you have to cross the bridge to the store entrance.
The store entrance is enchanting. It contains lots of rock, a high ceiling and a giant redwood tree. In fact, the store looks like you are living in a giant redwood tree when you first enter. Having seen real giant redwoods, these reproduction is just awesome. Your tree-store contains two levels of shopping.
First of all, it is hard to figure out where to go first. Any area is just great. There is a huge camping and outdoor area. They will demonstrate to you any equipment you want to learn how to use, including putting up a tent. They have the standard camp type chairs, and what must be the Cadillac of camp chairs for around $100. My husband wants to put a set of these in the living room.
A large section of the first floor is devoted to sailing and boats. Think mini-yachts in some cases. If you want to buy or see any kind of sailing craft, including canoes, kayaks, sail boats, you can find your choice here. Even at a boat store, I have never seen so much in one place.
Don’t want to sail? Well, there is the hunting section. They have clothes and endless equipment to assist you. Of course you can purchase your hunting or fishing licenses here too. I had to drag my husband away from the rifle and shotgun area. He is not a hunter, by the way.
He left the guns behind only to get lost in the fishing and archery areas. There are row and rows of lures, fishing poles and anything else you need to land a fish. The archery area goes on for rows as well and features both crossbows and regular bows. The store has an archery range where you can take lessons and try out the stuff you might want to buy right inside the store.
The store has additional fish ponds inside the store, set up like an oriental garden. Very cool. Bass Pro Shops has sections of compasses, night gear, field books, binoculars, and even ATVs. There was one I really wanted to take home.
They also feature an arcade spaced out throughout the store. Bringing some quarters would not be amiss on your Bass Pro Shop visit.
I should also point out, this is an outdoor and hunting store. There is a collection of mounted animals, but they are hung high so one can avoid these if you want. Also, throughout the store there is local wildlife in its habitat. Some of these are “fakes,” some are stuffed animals. The animals are found throughout the store, so you won’t be able to avoid these. I have to say that I didn’t really find a problem with these, but I point this out if you are someone who might.
And oh yes, the clothes. They don’t only feature hunting clothes. They have cool “normal” clothes as well for great prices, even some fairly formal togs. My son totally enjoyed the men’s section of slacks, shirts, tees and jackets. He will be going back. The women’s section is just as well stocked, and I found it even more enjoyable. They just feature outer wear for the most part, but their look is modern and distinctive. They also have some jewelry, and other personal items such as watches and wallets. They also have a huge shoe section upstairs that really has all the shoes you could want for both men and women. They carry boots, sandles, athletic shoes, hiking shoes, heels for women and every variety of action type shoe. This store will make you tired.
They also have good access for handicapped persons and readily provide vehicles for them to ride around it. There is an elevator if you can’t you the stairs, and the building is very comfortably air conditioned. You really can’t miss with a visit here. I will definitely be adding Bass Pro Shops to my vacation outings when they are present.
The store is also located near restaurants and a movie theater, so you can easily make a complete day of your shopping tour. The Bass Pro Shop is located on Bass Pro Shop Lane off of highway 120. There are signs from the highway directing you there. Just keep driving for Manteca. California has a second store at Rancho Cucamonga and there will be a third in Bakersfield. There are also stores located in the midwest and the south. There is a great website about the stores at www.basspro.com where you can find their stores, see and order their stuff. Now, go and shop! This store deserves your support.