Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on December 4, 2018
Here we are. Down to just the last few weeks before Christmas Day. If you haven't gotten serious about your holiday shopping yet, then now is the time. All hands on deck! This is not a drill! (Unless you just bought someone a new power drill, in which case, it IS a drill…) The good news is that if you're going to be hanging out in the Smokies any time during the next few weeks, you might find Christmas shopping to be easier than ever thanks to the wealth of retail shopping opportunities you'll find in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. In case you're not sure how to get started, read on, and we'll lay out a few guidelines for you.
Who doesn't like to save money? (That's a rhetorical question; NO ONE doesn't like to save money…) Around here, outlet malls are great places to get some shopping done and save a little dough in the process. Destinations like Tanger Outlets in Sevierville and the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall are just two of the stops you can make in your search for the ideal Christmas presents. For starters, there's the pricing. Outlet mall stores are typically operated by manufacturers, so you save a little money because there's no middle-man mark-up. Sometimes, the prices are lower because of small imperfections in the merchandise (usually clothing), but these are often cosmetic only and usually not even detectable to most consumers.
Outlet malls also make for efficient shopping. You can make one parking stop and have access to dozens and dozens of retailers at one location, and the selection of goods is wide. You'll typically have access to multiple manufacturers of clothing and shoes as well as jewelry, books and music, home décor and housewares, tools and sporting goods, electronics and much more. You'll usually find food vendors and/or restaurants at outlet malls too, so if you plan to make a full day of it, you can take a lunch break or a snack break without having to travel to another location.
The Smoky Mountains have a rich history of arts and crafts, dating back to the handiwork of the area's earliest native and Appalachian settlers. Those craft traditions morphed into a commercial endeavor in the early 20th century, and these days, those traditions are still going strong thanks to the skilled work of the hundreds of crafts people who call this area home. That's good news for Smoky Mountain shoppers in search of unique, one-of-a-kind creations that could never be purchased from any retail store.
There are several places to find these skilled artisans around here. One is at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, where one section, Craftsman's Valley, is home to a number of shops where potters, glass blowers, blacksmiths and the like practice their crafts and sell their wares on site. The area's largest crafts hub is the Great Smoky Mountains Arts & Crafts Community in north Gatlinburg. This community is made up of more than 100 shops, galleries and studios, where craftsmen work on site and display their merchandise. You can always stop in and browse their inventory and maybe even get to see the artisans at work. The range of craft forms is immense, and most of it is truly hand-made. Look for potters, metal workers, broom makers, candle makers, soap makers, jewelers, wood workers, leather crafters and much more. The community also has restaurants and coffee houses where you can take a break from your shopping bliss to sit down to a hearty meal or rejuvenating cup of joe.
All these shops are easily accessible by car. The community consists of an 11-mile loop formed by the U.S. Hwy. 321, Glades Rd. and Buckhorn Rd. It is also serviced by the Gatlinburg trolley system, so if you don't want to drive, just hop a trolley downtown.
It's hard to avoid gift shops in the Smokies. You'll find them all along the Parkway and side streets of our communities. You can't even exit an attraction without walking through one. If you're there just to visit the attraction, having to exit through a gift shop may be a slight annoyance, but if you're doing so during the holidays, look at this as a unique shopping opportunity. Places like Dollywood, the Titanic Museum Attraction, Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and most of the area's music theaters have such gift shops, so take a little time to browse the merchandise. You'll find something unique to that location for sure, and if you have someone on your list who happens to be into Dolly Parton or country music or history or fish, then you've just struck paydirt!
At some point, you'll want to take a break from shopping, and when that time comes, pay us a visit at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. For the next few weekends and Christmas week (except for Christmas Day), you'll find that ziplining Sevierville in winter is a whole new experience!