While Gatlinburg is certainly well known for its stunning mountain scenery, charming downtown area and world class attractions, many folks are surprised to find out that the town is also home to the historic Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Community! This community is the largest group of independent artisans in North America, where they have been creating original collectibles since 1937! Here is everything you need to know about visiting the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community:
1. Location of Community
The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is located on an 8 mile loop road that has been designated as a Tennessee Heritage Arts and Crafts Trail. The loop road is situated just 3 miles from downtown Gatlinburg, where you simply turn at traffic light # 3 and go three miles on Highway 321 North. Along the trail, you will find more than 120 artists and craftsmen creating everything from candles and baskets to jewelry and framable art in their quaint shops! There is plenty of free parking available in the front of every store. Check out the official 8 mile loop road map to find the location of each shop and to plan your day!
2. Craft Trolley
While it is easy to access all of the craft shops by car, another great way to get around the loop road is on the Arts and Crafts Community route on the Gatlinburg Trolley! This mini-trolley service operates from April to December and can be boarded at the Gatlinburg Mass Transit Center at traffic light #5. For a fare of just $1.00 for the entire day, you can enjoy unlimited access all along the route! The trolley completes the entire 8 mile loop road and the route takes about one hour to complete.
3. Hours of Operation
The craft shops are open year round, so feel free to visit anytime to meet the artisans and to browse their unique creations! Most shops open at 10am and close around 5pm, making it easy for you to enjoy an entire day or two of shopping and visiting with the artists. With more than 100 shops and galleries, there is plenty to do see on every day of the year!
Where to Stay
If you want to stay in the best hotel in Gatlinburg with easy access to the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community, check out the Black Bear Inn and Suites! Our beautiful hotel offers incredible panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains and is just minutes from all of the great attractions, shops and restaurants of downtown Gatlinburg. We are also situated just 200 yards from the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park! While staying in our comfortable hotel, enjoy amenities such as a complimentary continental breakfast, indoor heated swimming pool and unlimited access to free high speed wireless Internet!
Take a look at all of our Smoky Mountain hotel rooms today to plan your visit to the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community! We look forward to seeing you soon at the Black Bear Inn and Suites!