The Dulcimer Shoppe: Dulcimers, autoharps
You can watch McSpadden dulcimers and autoharps being crafted through the big picture windows at the back of the store, then pick out an instrument to take home. There is also a bountiful supply of music books and recordings, as well as lots of better quality mementos on sale.
What to buy: Nancy had often thought she might like to have a dulcimer, so we picked out a beauty - walnut with a redwood top - as a wedding anniversary present. An accomplished musician, she started picking up on playing the instrument almost immediately.
What to pay: Upper $200 dollar range and UP.
There are a number of fine stores around the town square in Mountain View.
I particularly recommend the Arkansas Craft Gallery at 104 E. Main Street, less than a block from the square. All items are handcrafted in Arkansas, chosen from a 250 member juried cooperative.
NOTE - These stores all close at 5 or 5:30 in the afternoon. These storeowners have their priorities straight. Time with family and friends in the evening (and making music) is far more important than making a few extra dollars. I salute the people of Mountain View.
What to buy: Antiques, art, musical instruments and recordings. I was particularly impressed with the beauty and quality of the pottery we saw, but don't remember seeing many (if any) paintings that I cared for.
What to pay: I'm certainly no expert, but I didn't feel like the prices were overly inflated in most of these shops, especially compared to other tourist areas I have visited.
Mountain View Music & Gift Shop: All kinds of musical instruments & accessories
Large old gray house on the square also plays host to porch musicians on its porch. There's an attached ice cream and bbq carry out shop with a deck.
What to buy: Guitars, banjos, dulcimers, autoharps, fiddles, sheet music, recordings, misc. gifts.