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3 Jan 2023
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Arts & Culture

Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains and hidden behind the mountain coasters, moonshineries, and Margaritaville, a thriving and deeply-rooted arts and crafts community calls Gatlinburg home. Don’t mistake its quieter approach to business for a lack of quality; on the contrary, some of the best artisans in the southeastern US can be found here. Their handiwork simply doesn’t need bright lights, catchy slogans, or piped-in music to set it apart, because the art speaks for itself.

Located in a peaceful corner of the otherwise fast-paced city, an eight-mile loop of shops, galleries, and restaurants awaits, begging visitors to slow down, settle in, and stay awhile. From handmade jewelry, woodcrafts, and leather goods to blown glass, pottery, and photography, there’s something to scratch the itch of every art lover. Fascinated by basket weaving? Broom making? Pottery or ceramics? No problem—they’ve got shops for that. There are candle kiosks, quilt studios, and art galleries galore. Makers with different backgrounds, styles, and influences come together here to showcase their wares, and you’ll likely find at least one unique heirloom piece to take home that will last your family for generations to come. 

To top it all off, a tour of the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community tastes good! Grab a coffee and baked good at Gatlinburg Grind Coffee and Bakery as you start your day. Pause at one of our favorites restaurants, Split Rail Eats, for lunch (and tell ‘em Mountain Laurel Chalets sent you). Need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up? Satisfy your sweet tooth with a delicious sweet treat from Wright’s Fudge.

Lastly, as always we invite you to stay at a Mountain Laurel Chalets property, where you know you’ll be treated like family (after all, your family IS our company). Many of our homes feature locally made art and furniture pieces, and all are in close proximity to the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. We would love to provide you with a comfortable place to unwind at the end of your eight-mile tour.

Check out the community's website and see a complete listing of all vendors and restaurants, along with a community map and upcoming event information. It will definitely be worth your time to pay these fine artisans a visit!