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Black bears have to get their holiday shopping done too! Recently, a black bear was seen doing some window shopping in Baskins Square, and the whole thing was caught on video. You can watch the video of the black bear in Gatlinburg below, and learn more about where to find black bears in the Smokies!
Black Bear in Baskins Square
It’s never too early to start holiday shopping. At least, that’s what this black bear in Gatlinburg thinks! On November 29, Tennessee Jed’s posted the video on their Facebook page of a black bear walking through Baskins Square. The bear was slowly walking through the shopping center before it paused at a trash can near some Christmas decorations. The video ends with the bear standing on its hind legs to see what’s in the trash can. On its Facebook page, Tennessee Jed’s stated it was the second bear they saw that morning!
About Black Bears in Gatlinburg
With more than 1,500 black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s not surprising that some make their way out of the park and into downtown Gatlinburg. Any time you visit the area, there’s a chance you’ll spot a black bear — although, in the winter months your chances of seeing a bear are slim. During the winter, bears in the Smoky Mountains choose a den in hollow stumps, tree cavities, or wherever else they can find shelter. Bears are most active during the early mornings and late evenings in the spring and summer.
Where to Find Black Bears in Gatlinburg
If you visit during the warmer months, your best chances at spotting a black bear are in Cades Cove and Roaring Fork. Take a drive along the Cades Cove Loop Road in the early morning or in the late evening, and you’ll be more likely to see some in the open fields! The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is another common place to spot them — just keep your eyes on the trees! Bears are often seen along this road searching for berries, acorns and nuts.
If you still want to see a bear in the winter, visit the Three Bears General Store! This shop has a live bear habitat with three bears who were rescued from a nearby hunting farm. Each bear has its own den, which is kept warm in the winter!
Safety Tips for Seeing Bears in Gatlinburg
If you do happen to spot a black bear in Gatlinburg while you’re visiting, it’s important to know what to do to keep both you and the bear safe. Some things to keep in mind are to remain a safe distance from the bear, to back away slowly and sideways if you find yourself too close, and to talk loudly or shout at the bear if it follows or approaches you.
For more information on how to stay safe when you see a bear, read our blog, “4 Smoky Mountain Black Bear Safety Tips You Need to Know.”
Where to Go Holiday Shopping in Gatlinburg
We think the bear had the right idea about getting some holiday shopping done! When you visit Gatlinburg, you’ll be surrounded by the best places to shop. Here are the top places to go for holiday shopping:
Baskins Square – Baskins Square is where the bear did his holiday window shopping, and it’s a place you should go as well! It’s Gatlinburg’s most unique shopping center, with everything from handcrafted pottery to candy and toys for the kids.
The Village – Not only is The Village beautifully decorated for the holiday season, but it is home to 26 shops you have to explore. Grab a treat from the Donut Friar before browsing the different stores, like Best Gift Idea Ever, Celtic Heritage, Master’s Editions and Misty Mountain Soap Co.
The Arts & Crafts Community – The Arts & Crafts Community is home to over 100 artists and craftsmen along an 8 mile loop. For holiday shopping, visit Santa’s Claus-et for Christmas decorations, trees and more, or stop by Christmas Eve Gift for handcrafted Old World Santas and special ornaments.
Take a look at more shops in the Smoky Mountains, then plan your visit to do some holiday shopping in Gatlinburg!