The card shop that I go to is D&P Sports cards in Sacramento. It's a bit of a drive for me (30 mins), but it's worth it every time I go. This might sound weird, but there is a smell associated with unopened cards (and comics for that matter) that I really like. Haha, no, all the card shops that I have ever been too have not smelled like BO - all the owners were very meticulous in keeping their stores in order.
Besides going to the shop for the air quality, the LCS is a great place to meet and hang out with fellow collectors. I actually just went there today to get my box of the new 13/14 Panini Playbook Hockey, and there were a few guys just hanging out opening boxes of cards. It was great to just chat with them and see what stuff they got from their boxes.
Where else can you find actual people to talk to about cards? Well, of course you can hit up the forums over the internet (and those are great), but to find real people in a live environment is completely different and rewarding. One of the things I appreciate about D&P cards is their monthly trade nights. I haven't gone much recently because nobody in the area collects hockey cards, but that night is perfect to find people who have similar interests.
In the past, the hobby store was the place you went to trade and sell your cards. It was the place you could get all the specialized holders and binders. And nowadays, this still holds true. The hobby store is always stocked with things you find out you need when you get there.
I'd love to hear about your local card stores in your area. Do you even have any? Let me know about them in the comments section!