The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is unlike anywhere else in the world! This 8-mile loop located off of the East Parkway is considered America’s largest ground of independent artisans. Visitors to the Arts and Crafts Loop will find about one hundred studios, galleries, and shops that are filled with handcrafted items produced by local artists. If you plan on doing any souvenir hunting during your vacation, this is the place to do it!
To help you make the most of your next getaway, Visit My Smokies has put together a guide to five of our favorite spots to visit in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community.
1. Alewine Pottery
For over 30 years, Alewine Pottery has been a can’t-miss stop in the Arts and Crafts Community. This shop is famous for its beautiful and functional ceramics, which include bowls, mugs, bacon cookers, pitchers, and plates. Most of Alewine’s products are emblazoned with a maple leaf design, which is the artist’s signature motif. As they shop, guests can enjoy free popcorn and coffee and listen to the excellent bluegrass bands that frequent the store.
2. Paul Murray Gallery
The Paul Murray Gallery is filled with paintings and drawings that depict the traditional way of life in Appalachia. According to Murray, his work is meant to capture “the character and depth of the people of yesterday…something that is almost lost – fading fast.” The gallery is operated by Paul and his wife Katijane, so visitors can chat about the art with the people who know it best.
3. Santa’s Claus-et
Santa’s Claus-et is another one of the best shops in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. Located near the entrance to the loop at Traffic Light 3A, this unique store is a Christmas wonderland all year round. Visitors can purchase personalized ornaments, one-of-a-kind gifts, and a variety of jellies, jams, salsas, and dip mixes. Young guests (or the young at heart) can even have their pictures taken with Santa himself!
4. Tim Weberding Woodworking
As a fourth-generation woodworker, Tim Weberding is a master of his craft. People come from far and wide to buy Tim’s gorgeous pieces, which include inspirational signs, picture frames, wood baskets, coasters, and custom ornaments. Tim Weberding Woodworking is the perfect destination for anyone in search of affordable gifts for friends and family members back home.
5. Misty Mountain Soap Company
Boasting two locations in the Arts and Crafts Community, Misty Mountain Soap Company is one of Gatlinburg’s most successful family businesses. This popular shop sells soaps, lotions, and bath and body products made with all natural ingredients. If you’re not sure what to buy, you can sample a variety of creams and lotions right in the store!
In addition to all of the wonderful studios and shops, the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is also home to some of the area’s very best places to eat. If you get hungry during your shopping spree, be sure to check out one of these 6 amazing restaurants in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community!