If you’re looking for some Smoky Mountain souvenirs to take home from your vacation, a visit to the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is an absolute must! This 80-year-old community is the largest group of independent artisans in North America. Situated off of the East Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN, the Arts and Crafts Community consists of an 8-mile loop that is lined with wonderful galleries, studios, and shops (not to mention some great places to eat). Whether you’re in search of fine art or handcrafted products that you can use around the house, you are guaranteed to find just what you’re looking for in the Arts and Crafts Loop.
To help you make the most of your next getaway, Hearthside Cabin Rentals has put together a handy guide to eight of the best shops and restaurants in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community.
Cliff Dwellers Gallery showcases the eclectic work of around 60 local artists. Visitors to the gallery will have the chance to see watercolors, stained glass, pottery, tapestries, rugs, and many other beautiful items. Our favorite artist at Cliff Dwellers is Louise Bales, who paints breathtaking nature scenes onto gourds. The chalet-style Cliff Dwellers building was originally constructed in downtown Gatlinburg back in the 1930s, but it was moved to the Arts and Crafts Community in 1995.
2. Santa’s Claus-et
Santa’s Claus-et is a little slice of the North Pole right here in Gatlinburg! At this unique shop, it’s Christmas all year round. Guests will find ornaments, holiday decorations, toys, games, and specialty food items. True to its name, the shop regularly hosts St. Nick himself. Santa loves to give out samples of hot cocoa, talk to kids about what they want for Christmas, and pose for professionally taken photos.
The Tennessean newspaper recently named The Wild Plum Tea Room one of the top 10 restaurants in the state. Open for lunch, this beloved cafe serves delicious homemade food in a charming natural environment. Highlights of The Wild Plum’s menu include the chicken salad, lobster pie, Norwegian salmon burger, blackberry cobbler, and, of course, the wild plum tea. Due to the restaurant’s immense popularity, it is recommended that guests make reservations at least 24 hours in advance.
4. Misty Mountain Soap Company
Misty Mountain Soap Company has two convenient locations in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. Owned and operated by a mother-daughter team, this hugely successful business specializes in soaps and body products made from natural ingredients. Trust us, your skin will thank you for visiting Misty Mountain Soap Company!
Alewine Pottery has been an institution in the Arts and Crafts Community for over 30 years! This nationally recognized shop has built a reputation for its handmade pots, bowls, mugs, pitchers, and other ceramics. Many of Alewine’s products feature the impression of a maple leaf, which is the shop’s signature design. Offering free popcorn and regular live bluegrass music, Alewine Pottery is just plain fun to visit.
6. Tim Weberding Woodworking
Tim Weberding is a fourth-generation woodworker who makes some of the very best gifts in Gatlinburg. Guests at Tim’s shop will find a variety of hand-carved products, including baskets, ornaments, boxes, frames, coasters, inspirational signs, and so much more. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see Tim at work while you shop!
The Paul Murray Studio & Gallery displays the work of one of Gatlinburg’s most accomplished artists. After dropping out of school at age 13, Paul Murray became a professional painter and sketch artist. Murray’s work focuses on the rural residents of the Appalachian mountains. We highly recommend stopping by this gallery and chatting with Paul and his wife Kati-Jane.
8. Glades Soda Fountain
Anyone with a sweet tooth will love the Glades Soda Fountain! This old-fashioned ice cream parlor serves delicious sundaes, milkshakes, malts, floats, and phosphates. Visiting the Glades Soda Fountain is like stepping out of a time machine, as the shop boasts a vintage look complete with a crank-operated cash register.
When you stay with Hearthside Cabin Rentals, you will be just a short drive from all of these awesome shops and restaurants in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 18 bedroom lodges, we are sure to have the perfect property for your vacation. To start planning your escape, browse our selection of cabins in Gatlinburg!