The exit ramp off I-95 leads me to an oversized parking lot, I approach a warehouse sized log cabin on the water in Bridgeport, where a large sign plastered on the top of the building read “Bass Pro Shop, Outdoor World.”
Walking through the ornately decorated wilderness-themed department store was an experience out of a movie. Everything that could possibly be bought for the outdoors was here, including the experience of being in the wilderness. As I walked throughout, I encountered hundreds of animal heads, small cabins and fake agriculture, all hanging from the walls, in addition to a floor to ceiling realistic waterfall which included real fish.
Each section of the store was designated to a specific outdoor activity, Fishing, Hunting, Camping and Boating, were a few of the major sections. A large amount of space was designated to each activity, allowing for a wide array of items.
Fishing & Hunting
The same ambiance of camouflage clothing and an overwhelming amount of supplies is felt when walking through the fishing and hunting sections of Bass Pro Shop. Each section has racks upon racks of vests, jackets, jumpsuits, gloves, hats, all camouflage clothing for men and women. The woman’s clothing section even has camouflage purses adorned with sequins and many other accessories for the fishing or hunting fashionistas.
The fishing section had every rod, reel, bait, jig, rig and tackle box that exist. With rows of aisles to explore, getting overwhelmed is easy.
Fishing and hunting are greatly celebrated in the store, the heads of bears, deer, moose, fox and fish are hung on walls throughout, but even more animals are on display in these particular sections.
Nothing says camping more than Bass Pro Shop. With giant tents already pitched on the floor, portable stoves and freeze dried food, everything needed to survive the unpredictability of nature is all here.
As kids ran through the car sized tents while their parents shopped for supplies for their next family adventure, I explored the aisles of camping necessities and accessories. I came across a large variety of preserved foods that any camping lover never dreamed they could eat while enjoying the wilderness. Everything was packaged up in small portable plastic containers, making packing easy.
It’s unusual that bowling could be combined with the outdoors but Bass Pro Shop effectively executed their underwater themed bowling alley.
The bowling alley is essentially an underwater oasis for humans. The whole ceiling painted blue, bowling shoe storage built to resemble the side of a ship, sharks and fish hang from the ceiling and barnacle and coral are plastered onto wood throughout the room. All the accessories made specifically for the room were extremely realistic giving off a relaxing and calm vibe.
Party rooms are also available and wildly popular. While I walked through, every room was filled with a party and each party had people consisting of many different ages. In these rooms the execution of the underwater theme stays vibrant yet there’s room for customization of balloons and table decorations. The rooms stand along the back of the wall where the entrance is located and quite private, despite the few windows.
Bass Pro Shop is wildly popular. License plates were from states all over the country; Arkansas, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, just to name a few, showed that people will drive hours to shop in this specialty department store.
When I said they have anything that you could possibly purchase for the outdoors, I wasn’t kidding and by the popularity of the place, it’s a place I suggest everyone visit.