Gatlinburg Attractions, Shopping and Restaurants Even the Locals Love

Posted by Darryl Payne in Gatlinburg, TN

Let's take a closer look together at Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which lies just north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The town's proximity to the National Park rightfully helped to earn its early reputation as a source of outdoor recreation opportunities and authentic arts and crafts. Gatlinburg was the first tourism destination here, beginning in the 1930's and 40's.

Today, Gatlinburg continues to attract millions of visitors each year. Th main entrance to the National Park literally begins just after the south end of town on Highway 441, which leads to the Sugarlands Visitor Center and through the Park over the mountains to North Carolina and Cherokee. Stop at the Sugarlands Center to discuss with Park Ranger experts about hiking trail details, trailhead locations, and other Park attractions that would best suit your family. Some local favorites include Andrews Bald, Little Grier Gap/Walker Sisters Cabin, Abrams Falls, Rainbow Falls, Walker Sisters and Mt. Leconte/Alum Cave Bluff trails. But if you ask five people, you will probably get five different personal answers! Gatlinburg's Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community offers over 100 artist workshops and galleries of handmade items for purchase in all forms of media. There is nowhere else with such a high concentration and variety of professional artists found in one small area.

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts downtown keeps craft traditions alive by bringing both art novices and professionals together from around the world, to study and create art with workshops and curriculum offered throughout the year. Arrowmont's Sandra J. Blain Gallery on campus in the heart of town vends creations made onsite, along with displaying ever changing exhibitions.

A favorite Parkway shopping venue is The Village Shoppes complex. Styled as a quaint European hamlet, there are unique retail gift stores and more to explore. Fortify yourself at the Donut Friar before beginning. Gatlinburg guests also make memorable vacations with world-class attractions like Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort, Ice Skating Arena and Amusement Park. Dozens of other attractions and Convention Center events like the semiannual Craftsmen's Fair have helped shape Gatlinburg into a well-rounded vacation destination.

Gatlinburg restaurants offer much variety To finish your trip with a celebratory meal, whether hearty or highbrow, you will find locals and tourists alike at restaurants such as Log Cabin Pancake House, Parton's Deli, the Peddler Steakhouse, the Melting Pot, the Park Grill, and Buckhorn Inn Restaurant.

Remember to explore lodging options when planning your stay, and check out the many Gatlinburg cabin rentals available through this website.



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