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 October 20, 2015
Like it or not, the holiday season sneaked up on us when we weren't paying attention, and now we're only a couple of months out from Christmas. That means it's time to get busy with all that holiday shopping so you can start marking names off the ol' list. The good news is, whether your friends and family have been naughty or nice, you'll have no trouble finding plenty of gift ideas here in the Great Smoky Mountains
Last week, we started our Smoky Mountain Ziplines blog series on fall shopping in the Smokies with an overview of all the outlet mall opportunities, primarily in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. This week, we're going to shift our attention to one of the other big retail categories around here – mountain crafts. And for that, we'll be focusing a lot of our attention on Gatlinburg, but we'll tie in some other destinations as well.
Ground zero for arts and crafts in the Smokies is the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, which occupies an 8-mile auto loop outside downtown Gatlinburg. Bordered by Glades Rd., Buckhorn Rd. and U.S. Hwy. 321 East, the community consists of more than 120 working artists and crafts people, making it the largest group of independent artisans in North America.
You'll find just about every art and craft medium you can think of there, many produced by hand, on site, the way the area's early settlers used to. Look for woodwork, paintings, quilts, candles, baskets, brooms, pottery, jewelry, dolls, silver work, leatherwork, stained glass, photography and even a host of restaurants and cafes within the community. You could easily spend days just going from shop to shop, studio to studio, visiting with these authentic craftsmen while they're working.
You can also see a representative sampling of the community's works at two special craft shows coming up at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. The Thanksgiving show runs November 24 through 29, and the Christmas show runs November 30 through December 6, giving you even more opportunities to stock up on gift purchases for Christmas.
Speaking of craft fairs, you have a few days left to catch the fall edition of the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair, which also takes place at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, through October 25. You'll see talented and juried artisans from all over the country participating at this fair, which features more than 200 vendor booths, live craft demonstrations and daily bluegrass music performances.
While you're in Gatlinburg, don't forget to just take a stroll along the downtown Parkway. It's home to numerous shops where you'll find examples of native arts and crafts, many of the stores being satellite operations of businesses in the Arts & Crafts Community.
Another option for finding arts and crafts is at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge. One whole section of the park, Craftsman's Valley, is home to nearly a dozen resident crafts people who display their skills daily at blacksmithing, glass work, candle making, leather work and pottery. Of course, their shops are stocked with lots of merchandise if you see something that catches your eye.
And through the end of this month, Dollywood is still celebrating its National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration, which features even more guest crafters from across the United States.
While you're shopping in the Smokies, we hope you don't forget to zip line in the Smokies, especially if you're passing through Pigeon Forge. We're just a couple of miles off the Parkway, and right now, the scenery and the temperatures are combining to create ideal zipline conditions. Come join us!