Shopping in Merced

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Almost everything in John Gottschalk's life comes back to music. A french horn player since fifth grade, he earned money throughout his teenaged years working at the Gottschalk Music Center location his grandparents opened in 1951. After graduating from college with a music-education degree and teaching a year of elementary-school band, John rejoined the family business full time.

Under John, the company has not only expanded to two locations, but also grown its inventory from orchestra and band instruments to guitars, amps, and DJ equipment. A team of dedicated technicians fix any malfunctioning equipment in-house, while the store's wide selection of band and orchestra instruments are available for monthly rental. Via a team of expert instructors, Gottschalk Music Center even supplies private lessons in everything from guitar and piano to clarinet and ukulele.

355 W Main St
Merced,
CA
US

At Yogolicious, guests take dessert cravings into their own hands. They swirl frozen yogurt or Italian-style gelato into cups, selecting exactly the right amount before adorning the twisted peaks with combinations of more than 50 toppings. Fresh fruit, cereals, nuts, and syrups sit atop frozen treats, with dollops of whipped cream to crown the entire dessert.

1312 Commerce Ave
Atwater,
CA
US

Bunkers, barriers, and trailers speckle The Paintball Zone’s five themed playing fields, serving as venues for sneaking or sniping. On Saturdays or the last Sunday of each month, players disperse throughout the arenas, marking opponents with random paint splatters or impressionist haystacks. The outdoor facility includes a covered staging area for protection against the sun and rain. The Paintball Zone sells paint and rents markers, ammo, gear, and compressed air tanks and recommends players wear a long-sleeve shirt and shoes that provide good ankle support.

22742 Yosemite Blvd
Waterford,
CA
US

The stockade of new and gently used goods at Hinds Hospice Thrift Store bestows surrounding communities with a multifarious cove of everyday items, collectibles, and hidden treasures. Stock barren bookshelves with paperback books ($0.25+) or stabilize a wobbly house on stilts with the tenacious reinforcement of a hardback tome ($1.50+). Stylish pairs of women’s shoes ($8+) wait patiently for ankle inhabitants, and a wide variety of vintage furniture ($35+) stands by to enliven barren apartments or uninviting human terrariums. Proffering goods for every occasion, season, or made-up holiday, the thrifty store also stocks an expansive selection of kitchenware, sporting goods, and appliances.

1547 Robertson Blvd
Chowchilla,
CA
US