Gatlinburg Offers Retail Therapy on Many Levels
While most of the 12 million visitors the Gatlinburg area welcomes each year come to revel in the great outdoors, the area’s vibrant and exciting shopping scene make the indoors a pretty great place to be as well. Shopping in Gatlinburg Tn is an adventure every bit as fascinating as the natural beauty that surrounds it: From quaint boutiques and shops selling authentic, one-of-a-kind handmade crafts to modern malls and the best outlet shopping in Tennessee, the area offers a plethora of retail options for bargain hunters, souvenir shoppers and savvy sophisticates alike.
Gatlinburg’s shopping scene is probably most famous for its unique artisan boutiques and specialty shops, many of which are located along the picturesque Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Trail. This historic eight-mile loop, established in 1937, features original works from master carvers, weavers, painters, whittlers, quilters, potters and other artists showcasing the best craftsmanship the region has to offer. Visitors meandering along the rustic, mountain-themed trail can pause to watch talented artisans at work and buy their wares, including quilts, candles, dolls, jewelry, brooms, leatherworks, hand-woven baskets, stained glass, oil and watercolor paintings, professionally silver-smithed goods, ceramics and original design fashions. Located in an area affectionately known to locals as “The Glades” just north of Gatlinburg off U.S. 321, the trail features more than 50 businesses and studios in one compact, scenic area.
Fans of arts and crafts will also want to head to Old Mill Square in nearby Pigeon Forge, also in Sevier County, to check out its renowned pottery, quilts, woodworking and jewelry. A few miles away, downtown Sevierville is another artisan’s paradise with its plentiful pottery shops, galleries and establishments selling finely-crafted handmade saddles and furniture. All three communities host numerous craft shows throughout the year, attracting collectors from around the country. Among the largest and best-attended are Gatlinburg’s Easter Arts & Crafts Show and Christmas Craft Show and Pigeon Forge’s A Mountain Quiltfest in March.
If crafts don’t satisfy your shopping itch, Gatlinburg offers plenty of retail alternatives. Downtown Gatlinburg, along the Parkway, is chock-a-block with specialty shops selling everything from souvenir trinkets to Tiffany glass, hundreds of varieties of hot sauces, tea, cheese, original clothing and nearly everything else near and dear to the true shopper’s heart. With more than 450 shops, downtown Gatlinburg has something to appeal to everyone. Don’t miss the Village Shops, a collection of 27 businesses and eateries set in a quaint European-style village environment complete with brick-laid streets, bubbling fountains and peaceful, serene landscaping offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of the Parkway. The Village styles itself as a haven for unique, independent eateries and retailers and features shops selling everything from gourmet olive oils and vinegars to fun, one-of-a-kind socks, and gifts imported exclusively from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The downtown area is also filled with art galleries where the works of well-known Smoky Mountain painters and photographers can be admired–and purchased as a remembrance of your time in one of America’s most beautiful regions.
The Mountain Mall, also located along the Parkway in Gatlinburg, offers another unforgettable shopping experience. Billing itself as “Gatlinburg’s premier indoor shopping experience,” the Mountain Mall houses dozens of independent retailers and restaurants in a mountain-themed facility featuring cedar walls, authentic “mountain folk” displays–a moonshine still, millstones and a full-size bear trap–local Appalachian mountain music on tap, and local touches aimed at delighting visitors, all the way down to authentic Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey-barrel trash cans. Enjoy homemade candy, hand-drawn caricatures, specialty tobacco products, sports memorabilia and even specialty-forged knives and swords at this unique shopping venue.
Shopping in Gatlinburg Tn is so varied that even if you’re on a Smoky Mountain high, there’s a retailer for you. The Shops at Ober, set atop Tennessee’s only ski hill, promise the best in footwear, outerwear, accessories and outdoor clothing. The Galleria Gift Shop serves up skiing, snowboarding and Great Smoky Mountain-themed T-shirts, hats and sweatshirts while Slopeside Apparel and Gifts features outerware, casual ware and accessories for the serious sportsperson, featuring gear from CandyGrind, Helly Hansen, Mountain Hardware and 686. The Shops at Ober even includes a shop for its youngest customers, Obears Playhouse. Obears sells toys, games, books and other items to ensure that even the youngest retail therapist leaves the hill happy.
Finally, if you’re in the mood for more conventional retail therapy–at a bargain price–skip on over a few miles to the Tanger Outlets in Sevierville. With more than 100 popular brand-name outlet stores, shopping in Gatlinburg also means dressing for less. Tanger Outlets features high-end retailers like Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Vera Bradley, Brooks Brothers and Lucky Brand Jeans along with traditional mall favorites such as Forever 21, Gap, Levi’s and Banana Republic. Tanger Outlets also hosts an array of specialty shops, including Bath & Bodyworks, Swarovski and Toys R Us.
Whether you’re an arts and crafts fan, a lover of unique boutiques, a fashion maven or a bargain hunter, Gatlinburg promises you a shopper’s dream. Visit us today.