’Tis the season for stocking stuffers. Still, there’s no need to go too far out of your way in order to check everyone off your list (and not have to think twice): Get on the gift-giving train with help from these local businesses conveniently located a quick walking distance from Capitol Corridor stations. Any time of year, you can make a convenient pit stop without foregoing quality.
Here are some favorite gift purveyors, from Sacramento to San Jose, that are home to myriad thoughtful gems befitting all kinds of interests. These 10 easy gift ideas won’t break the bank or break your back, but they will put a smile on your recipient’s face.
Where would nonna shop? Baia Pasta in Jack London Square is where you’ll find artisanal Italian goods to bolster any pantry. Bottles of their Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO is a signature item known to sell out) and the chili-infused Gunpowder Olive Oil for the more adventurous are perfect for coating plenty of tasty pasta dishes. (Approx. $15)
Normally, having any body part in the mouth of a shark would cause distress, but these are hilarious conversation-starting socks we’re talking about. Unlike the ones out at Ocean Beach, these sharks will lighten up your sock-wearer’s mood every time they put them on this winter. (Note: These are winners for your favorite surfer.) But have no fear for the sea wary there’s an assortment of fun finds that span from lemurs to Rosie the Riveter. ($12)
You have to admit, a wine bottle already has the perfect shape to fit your beloved’s stocking. Coterie Cellars in San Jose houses limited-release wines packed with delectable Coterie flavors to keep the glass happily half full. A major bonus gift for you—enjoy a five wine tasting, complimentary with any purchase. You’re taking the Capitol Corridor and don’t have to drive, so why not? ($28-38)
Already a favorite of many UC Davis college students and music aficionados of all ages, Armadillo Music is a go-to independent record store. Just ask John Cusack: The gift of tunes is always a surefire way to one’s heart. Vinyl may stretch that stocking, but a cassette or CD can easily do the trick. (Costs vary)
Classy farmhouse-chic goods prevail at this gift shop curated by owner Tami Donrad. Our pick at this adorable spot proves to be both eye and nose candy: Island Memories fragrant soy candles are locally hand poured with essential oils. Alluring scents in the current holiday collection will have you feeling like the islands never smelled so near. ($13-24)
Adhering to our state’s typical weather and fashion trends, this lightweight viscose scarf is tastefully dotted with gold Californias and will be a welcome addition to your friend’s wardrobe, whether or not they work in the capital. Plus, it’s elegant, distinct, and easy to carry back on the train. ($29.99)
Old Sacramento Station | Walk to 126 J St., Sacramento
Grizzly Waters: Kayaking Gift Certificate
Give the experience of outdoor adventuring with a gift certificate to pick up a paddle and a kayak. Whether it’s a $20/hour single kayak rental or a trip package, Grizzly Waters helps patrons launch out into scenic local terrain. Make it a date and join your friend in getting up close and personal with nature. (Costs vary)
Convert Collection: Shwood Sunglasses
Shwood unisex sunglasses at Convert Collection will make your special someone swoon. Made with renewable materials and plenty of fashion sense, these accessories are a standout in the shop’s line of eco-minded products. Feel good knowing a portion of Convert’s sales benefit the Global Fund for Women to help protect women in the apparel industry from violence. ($129)
Stop into Levi’s Stadium to nab the gift of 49ers Museum tickets for your football fanatic. This Bay Area sports must-do is jam-packed with classic scarlet red and metallic gold memorabilia leading visitors down local sports history memory lane with insights into players, Bill Walsh, and Super Bowl moments. ($15 ticket, $10 for Santa Clara residents)
Santa Clara Station | Walk to 4900 Marie P DeBartolo Way, Levi’s® Stadium, Santa Clara
Using your money to support animal rehabilitation and fund the preservation of local land is no small thing. An individual Suisun Marsh Natural History Association membership gets your friend free admission to special events and a subscription to “The Otter Chatter,” a quarterly newsletter with nature articles and reports. ($15/yr)