The Ultimate Guide to Thrift and Vintage in Grass Valley and Nevada City

The Ultimate Guide to Thrift Stores and Vintage in Grass Valley and Nevada City

Grass Valley and Nevada City have a shocking number of thrift and vintage stores. Maybe we’re cheap, or maybe the quantity of elderly folk just keeps that steady supply of mothball-scented sweaters coming. In any case, for fifteen bucks you can be on your way home with an immaculate set of Russian nesting dolls and a pair of nice Levi’s — if you know where to go. We’ve created a comprehensive directory of where to find the treasures you think you’ll cherish forever, but will probably donate right back.

(Additional research for this article provided by Joe’s girlfriend)

Thrift

Sammie’s Nifty Thrift Shop 
535 E Main St, Grass Valley
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10AM-5PM
Donations: Monday-Saturday 11AM-3PM

Watch out for roaming cats inside! Run by local animal shelter Sammie’s Friends, Sammie’s Nifty Thrift Shop has an extensive selection of furniture, and some of it is even cool. They also have clothes, kitchen wares, and knick knacks. Prices are high compared to other stores, but there are frequent sale days. On Wednesdays Sammie’s offers half off all clothes. 

Best finds: “I climbed the Great Wall” t-shirt, hexagonal coffee table with bird talon feet
$$$

Lots of furniture at Sammies Nifty Thrift

Goodwill 
1145 Sutton Way, Grass Valley
Hours: Every day, 8AM-7PM
Donations: Every day, 9AM-7PM

Bigger than all the rest, the recently-opened Grass Valley Goodwill is the best place for clothes simply because of its quantity of inventory. It’s easy to lose yourself in the aisles, so give yourself time. The furniture selection is lacking, so don’t plan on finding your dream bed frame here.

Best Finds: Brand new pair of Dansko clogs, black leather jacket ala Tom Cruise in the movie Top Gun
$$

Enchanting aisles of clothes at Grass Valley’s Goodwill

AnimalSave 
520 E Main St, Grass Valley
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10AM-5PM
Donations: Monday-Saturday, 10AM-4:30PM

What AnimalSave lacks in clothes, it makes up for in an eclectic mix of housewares and collectables. High-quality walkers, crutches, and frilly pillow cases are also regularly in stock. Located just across the street from Sammie’s Nifty Thrift, it’s fun to hit them both.

Best Finds: Art Deco-style reading lamp, yellow sixties-inspired glass ashtray
$$

Hospice Gift & Thrift of Grass Valley  
762 Freeman Ln, Grass Valley
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10AM-6PM
Donations: Tuesday-Saturday, 10AM-3PM

Another store with a stagnant clothing selection, Grass Valley’s Hospice Gift & Thrift is popular for its wide selection of small appliances. Need a nice and hardly-used coffee maker? How about a microwave without any chili splatters? This is the spot. Hospice Gift & Thrift also has a good selection of picture frames, pig figurines, and vintage vinyl. 

Best Finds: Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s debut album in great condition, small vacuum cleaner
$$

Cancer Aid Thrift Shop 
317 S Auburn St, Grass Valley
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10AM-3:30PM
Donations: During business hours

Staffed by women who all seem like the perfect grandma, Cancer Aid Thrift is a quirky store with endless treasure hunting potential. Its warren of rooms are stacked to the ceiling with goods. It also has one of the better men’s and kids’ selections in town, with shoes that don’t like they’ve been sitting in grandpa’s closet for 50 years, and newer toys. Looking for furniture? Ask to be taken down into the basement.

Best Finds: 2004 Shaquille O’Neal Jersey, intact Candyland board game
$

Cancer Aid Thrift in Grass Valley

LivingWell Thrift Store
504 Whiting St, Grass Valley
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10AM-5PM
Donations: Monday-Friday, 10AM-1PM

Located just off the freeway by the fairgrounds, LivingWell has a broad selection of all types of items, with proceeds going towards helping families in need. However, don’t expect to find a Slayer shirt from the eighties — staff blasts Christian rock in the store. Are you an expecting mom? They may cut you a deal.

Best Finds: Original Chicago Tribune newspaper clipping from attack on Pearl Harbor, 90s grunge-style floral mini dress
$$

Hospice Gift and Thrift of Nevada City 
754 Zion St, Nevada City
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10AM-6PM. Sunday 11AM-4PM
Donations: Tuesday-Saturday 10AM-3PM

Books, books, books! Nevada City’s Hospice Gift and Thrift has an ever-changing curated selection of intriguing books such as How to Pass a Weed Test. This large store also has a wide selection of 70s and 80s style women’s dresses, an excellent mug selection, and oversized reading lamps. 

Best finds: Tony Soprano-inspired Adidas polo shirt, whiteboard
$$$

Book curator Peter Murphy at Nevada City Hospice Thrift

Mount St. Mary’s Thrift Store 
410 S Church St, Grass Valley
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10:30AM-4PM
Donations: During business hours

An easy-to-overlook thrift grotto, Mount St. Mary’s Thrift Store is tucked away next to Mount St. Mary’s Catholic School. Its housewares and clothes are nothing to write home about, but they have a wide-ranging book selection. You can find everything from eastern religion to eighties fantasy. 

Best Finds: Reference book about drug use in the Bible, pair of late 80s-era men’s Levi’s jeans
$$

Sweet Life Thrift
144 Hughes Rd, Grass Valley
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10AM-5PM
Donations: During business hours

Across the street from Sierra Cinemas, Sweet Life Thrift is a new maze-like store crammed with a dense selection of clothes, collectables, jewelry, and some furniture. Claustrophobia may cause you to exit before checking out every room. Check out the “curiosity corner” near the entrance, a higher-priced, select collection of bizarre finds such as a pencil holder where your pencil stabs a figurine of Julius Caesar in the back. 

Best finds: Immaculate rattan coffee table, shiny black leather men’s boots
$

Rescue for Pet Sake 
120 Bank St, Grass Valley
Hours: Friday-Saturday, 11AM-4PM
Donations: During business hours

If you can make it during their limited hours, Rescue for Pet Sake is a valuable stop. Be prepared to sort through heaps of clothes and items, as the store is small and disorganized. Prices are low, so treasure hunters with time and a keen eye are likely to score.

Best Finds: Purple fleece jacket, horse head bookends
$

Nevada County Pets in Need 
434 Colfax Ave, Grass Valley
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10AM-4PM
Donations: During business hours

Located by Memorial Park, everything at Nevada County Pets in Need costs only a dollar. It’s cleaner and more organized than most other shops on this list, and in its clothing-dominated inventory, the shoe selection stands out. Staff is friendly and talkative, so introverts may consider wearing headphones.

Best Finds: Black men’s Guess Jeans belt, pair of snowshoes
$

Vintage

Tiger Alley 
400 Broad St, Nevada City
Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 12PM-6PM 

Owned and curated by Leslie Dilloway, this small store reflects a mix of sixties, seventies and eighties-wear. If you want to look like Stevie Nicks on your next night out, Tiger Alley has the dress and boots you need. New and used vinyl records are also sold here, and the small men’s section has a small but quality collection of kitschy button up shirts and trucker hats. Pricey, but worth it.

Best Finds: New pressing of Neil Young’s Harvest, fruit company trucker hat 
$$$

Tiger Alley’s fun rainbow decor

Cosmic Shark Clothing
129 Neal St, Grass Valley
Hours: Wednesday-Monday, 11AM-5PM

Owned by two artists, Cosmic Shark Clothing sells curated men’s and women’s vintage, and also original screen printed sweatshirts and t-shirts with concert poster-inspired designs. There is a small but solid collection of vintage jeans from the 90s, and 80s-90s t-shirts.

Best Finds: Light wash women’s Wrangler jeans, Black Sabbath t-shirt
$$

Lost and Found
107 S Church St, Grass Valley
Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 12PM-6PM

This new store evokes the late 1960s flavor of Gram Parsons-in-Joshua Tree with its earth toned collection of clothing, found art, and household decor. It’s a small space, but packed with enough Instagram-worthy finds, you’ll need some time. Prices are reasonable for things like oil paintings of outer space, faded serapes, moccasins, and Terance McKenna-inspired ephemera. 

Best Finds: Blue and white checkered men’s western snap shirt, stained glass lamp that looks like flower petals
$

Sunchild’s Parlour 
126 W Main St, Grass Valley
Hours: Wednesday-Monday, 12PM-6PM

Equal parts seventies and eighties vintage and burner bum outfits, Sunchild’s Parlour is an ideal pre-festival stop. If feather and leather isn’t your thing, there’s also a broad selection of vintage jackets, jeans, and colorful button up shirts. After shopping, check out Clock Tower Records next door so you can listen to the Grateful Dead and look like them at the same time. 

Best Finds: Death Row Records t-shirt, women’s knee-high leather boots
$$

Sunchild’s Parlor in Downtown Grass Valley

Rose Market 
100 N Pine St, Suite C, Nevada City
Thursday-Saturday, 11AM-6PM

Owner Hannah Simmonds sells hand-picked seasonal women’s vintage clothes with an 80s-90s leaning. She also carries cosmetics and a selection of accessories that are ethically and sustainably-sourced. The store is a bit hard to find, located down a corridor on the second floor of a downtown storefront. But the hunt is worth it.

Best Finds: Spaghetti strap tropical print maxi dress, watercolor-patterned mini dress
$$

Solstice 
104 N Pine St, Nevada City
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11AM-6PM, Sunday, 11AM-5PM
Buy Hours: Monday-Friday, 2PM-4PM

This consignment store reflects all the oddity of Nevada County. Where else can a guy find a three piece suit and a sailor costume in one place? Women’s and men’s clothing encompass a range of styles, from psychedelic to drag queen to steampunk. Don’t forget to pick out a hat, and make sure to investigate the jewelry and gemstones at the counter.

Best Finds: High-end leather wallet, cheerleading outfit in size large enough for a man
$$

More to explore

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