Thousands of dragons glitter and glimmer within the Dragon Dreams Museum. So many, in fact, that the museum owner is working on her entry in the Guinness Word Records book for—you guessed it—the biggest collection of dragons on earth. One-of-a-kind antiques and handcrafted figurines made from silver, jade, and ivory highlight the expansive collection. The on-site gift shop can help you start your own collection as well as purchase other items such as jewelry, magnets, ornaments, and posters.
At The Book Gallery's two Nashville-area locations, savvy staff members point readers toward fiction, comics, and nonfiction titles available in hardcover and paperback at discounted prices. Thousands of kids' and young-adult fiction selections provide more educational entertainment for moppets than playing video games or rearranging PB&J sandwiches into alphabetical order.
Perched atop Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau, the family-owned and award-winning Stonehaus Winery has nurtured grapes into their grandest liquid potential for more than 20 years. A complimentary winery tour follows grapes' life cycles from growth to crushing to the 3,000-bottles-per-hour automated bottling machine, with a brief pause when grapes run away to find themselves and form folk combos. Stonehaus Winery's more than 18 varieties of wine include sweet white and red muscadines ($10.95–$14.95), a Moonlight cabernet ($19.95), and a very dry pinot gris with citrus overtones ($19.95) that complement chicken, seafood, pork, and more. Stonehaus's popular Tickled Pink sparkling wine, a fruity, semi-sweet labrusca, won Best of Show at the 2009 Wines of the South competition. Stonehaus Winery also showcases homemade fudge, gourmet foods, and educational toys for children and hosts community events, such as concerts, outdoor movie screenings, and frozen-wine-sculpting tournaments.
Giving gifts is its own reward, but at The Gifted Ferret, get-well cards, trinkets and candles accompany a robust collection of boutique wines so gift-givers can reward themselves as well. The shop's wine racks brim with vino crafted by vintners who treat winemaking not just as a business but also as a passion as well as the best way to teach grapes a lesson. During onsite wine classes, industry experts regale attendees with information while pouring samples from among the shop's dozens of varietals. For those seeking an intoxicant-free fix, the staff brews Newman's Own coffee and Green Mountain Naturals apple cider. In the gift area, patrons peruse handmade cards and Arthur Court pewter home-decor items alongside gift bags and an expanded array of gourmet food items.
Customers choose their own adventures as they peruse the aisles of Book Browser, a literary goldmine where books by classic and contemporary authors open up new pathways for the imagination to wander. The shop’s mission to maintain a quality collection of used books results in a conspicuous lack of torn covers and dog-eared pages among the fiction and nonfiction offerings. Books by local authors highlight the selection of fresh-off-the-presses books, which share their shelves with handcrafted necklaces, Hot Shades reading glasses, and children put to sleep while flipping through the pages of Goodnight Moon.
Since 1964, Guitar Center has paired musicians with guitars, keyboards, drums, Pro Audio gear, and necessary accessories, including DJ and recording equipment to capture newly made melodies. An iPad music-stand adaptor ($39.99) connects an iPad to a music stand, allowing musicians to access online programs and music apps on-stage, or to publicly dedicate a song to their online Scrabble partner. A clip-on tuner ($29.99) keeps notes pitch-perfect, and Guitar Center’s array of sheet music produces a wider variety of sounds than singing from a thesaurus, with options that include the C-surfing The Real Blues Book ($31.49). Stitch tighter harmonies by threading notes onto Slinky guitar strings ($3.79), or use the value of today's Groupon toward a larger purchase, such as the Epiphone Les Paul Special II guitar ($169–$179.99). Guitar Center rounds out its collection of gear with Pro Audio and DJ equipment, keyboards, and drums, allowing every band member or solo cymbal player to stock up on their chosen form of expression.