Recently we took a trip up to Gainesville Florida on the hunt for some pressed penny machines. Earlier on our first day, we had visited the Florida Museum of Natural History, then on our way back to our hotel, I found our second stop.
Right off of I-75 was the Celebration Pointe shopping and dining area, which is where the Bass Pro Shop was located.
Over the years I’ve visited a lot of these stores as they almost always have a pressed penny machine inside. Plus I’m completely obsessed with these stores, they are just amazing to me.
The stores are huge and have such a wide array of products. I could spend an entire afternoon just walking around inside.
I’m not much of a fisherman but holy cow this place would be where I went if I needed to stock up on fishing poles or lures.
It’s almost like a museum combined with a store with all the taxidermied animals around, plus numerous fish tanks and did you notice the trees in the above picture.
Even though this store has thousands of items, my favorite area is the BBQ section. With all the different smokers, grills, and accessories it’s a grill masters paradise.
My grilling skills are not so great but this is where I picked up a few things to try and help myself out. They have a huge selection of rubs, spices, and sauces available for pretty much any palate preference.
They also always seem to have a wide selection of Moonshine products. On one of my first visits to a Bass Pro Shop in New York State, I found Moonshine Hot Sauce which was really good. Each location seems to have something different, and this was no exception. Moonshine Peanut Brittle, how could I resist. Quick product review, I did buy the brittle and tried it when we eventually got back home. It was good but didn’t have a moonshine taste so I think I may have been deceived.
After wandering around the entire store I did find the pressed penny machine towards the back near the large fish tank and waterfall. Unfortunately, when I found it they were just getting ready to put on a Grilling class and the machine was blocked. I took this as a sign to sit and watch the class which was not too long and had some interesting information that I will need to try.
Eventually, they did move all the things out of the way and I was able to use the machine.
One thing I thought was really great was this little business card holder that was located on the machine. It was filled with a handful of pennies that were free to SMASH! Over the years I’ve visited hundreds of pressed penny machines and this is the first time I’ve ever seen this and I think it was fantastic! I had a few extra pennies on me so I made sure to add some for other collectors.
The designs on the pennies came out pretty nicely. Each Bass Pro Shop does have similar designs which are almost always a group of animals that would be indigenous to the area where the store is located. The other nice thing about these pennies is that they always list the store location allowing me to distinguish among the different Bass Pro Shop locations.
This was another fantastic trip to my guilty pleasure store, and the pressed pennies will be a nice addition to my collection. We left the store and headed out to get some dinner before retiring for the night at our hotel. Tomorrow we had one last stop to make before we would be heading back home. Stay tuned beacuse the next place is really unique and one of a kind. Keep on Pressing!