Visiting Gatlinburg’s eight-mile loop of artisans located on the Craft Trail is like stepping back in time. Log cabins, stone cottages and wide pavilions lead shoppers from one unique store to the next, with the plethora of products as differentiated and unique as their creators. A day spent drifting from cozy store to niche boutique while occasionally popping into one of the restaurants, cafes, or the tea room is a day well spent. A varied experience awaits just three miles from downtown Gatlinburg.
What kinds of experiences await you? From whittled wood to paintings of locally favored spots by locals themselves, the diversity of locally crafted goods is at your fingertips. Shop owners, often the artisans themselves, often give demonstrations. You can see these crafters sew, paint, whittle, weave, carve, cast and spin to form: Baskets, Brooms, Candles, Clothing, Dolls, Jewelry, Leather Working, Paintings, Photographs & Art, Pottery, Quilts, Scrimshaw, Silver-Smith Designs, and Stained Glass.
The Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Community was founded in 1937, and is the largest concentration of artists in the United States. The community was formed when local artists such as John Cowden, Lee Ogle, Charles Huskey, Dick Whaley and others decided to live near the source of the materials they used for their art. Gatlinburg’s tourism industry provided customers for their work, allowing them to live and work in what is now the craft loop.
The Arts and Crafts Trolley will provide a tour of the community for a one-time fee, while frequently stopping to allow visitors to spend time in the many shops. There is also ample, free parking: a rarity in such close proximity to downtown Gatlinburg! This eight-mile loop has also been designated as a Tennessee Heritage Arts and Crafts Trail.
Handmade products make excellent gifts. From hand-spun wool yarn for the knitter in your life to a vintage style quilt for the antique lover you know, the Arts and Crafts loop is an excellent place to do your holiday shopping. While you’re there, be sure to stop in at the genuine soda fountain, candy shops, tea room, or one of the cafes. Regardless of when or why you visit this wonderful crafting community, you’re sure to enjoy yourself and learn a few things along the way.
Do you want to live near this treasure trove? The Terrell Team can show you real estate in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville so that you have the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful community. From a cabin as unique as you to a distressed home, there’s something for everyone in the Great Smoky Mountains.