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aerial view of downtown Gatlinburg

Top 5 Interesting Facts You Need to Know About Gatlinburg TN

Do you love visiting Gatlinburg TN? Then you’ll love learning some facts you need to know about the gateway to the Smoky Mountains! From how it was named to some surprising facts, you will get to learn a little more about one of your favorite towns in Tennessee. Here are the top 5 facts you need to know about Gatlinburg TN:

1. Gatlinburg was named after the most hated man in town.

aerial view of downtown gatlinburgBefore it was named Gatlinburg, the town was called White Oak Flats. A man named Radford Gatlin moved into town in 1854. He built a general store, the second one in town. Gatlin didn’t exactly get along with people in the town. He was involved in several lawsuits, and the prominent family in town, the Ogles, were not big fans of his. The Ogles originally founded the town. Gatlin opened the only post office in the city in his general store, and people nicknamed the area Gatlinburg. Eventually, Gatlin was run out of town and the name of the town was changed to Gatlinburg.

2. Gatlinburg is the 2nd most popular wedding destination in the United States.

A pretty surprising fact about this beloved city is it is the 2nd most popular wedding destination in the United States, with the first being Las Vegas. More than 25,000 couples get married in the area every year. Gatlinburg is probably so popular for weddings because of the incredible mountain scenery. Plus, there are chapels, event centers, and even a few places in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where you can have your ceremony and reception. And, it’s a great place to spend your honeymoon!

3. It is home to the only ski resort in Tennessee.

Ober Gatlinburg SignDid you know there is a ski resort in Tennessee? Ober Gatlinburg is the only ski resort in the entire state. The skiing and snowboarding season lasts from mid December to mid March. During this time, you can rent equipment and enjoy riding the slopes and even go snow tubing down the hill! One really cool thing about this ski resort is they use snow machines to supply snow when it is cold and it hasn’t snowed recently or there wasn’t enough snow. Don’t worry though; if you visit during the off season for skiing, you still have plenty of activities you can enjoy! There are water slides during the summer, a rock climbing wall, the alpine coaster, and many other activities you can enjoy.

4. The first log cabin built in Gatlinburg is still standing.

One of the coolest facts about Gatlinburg is that the first cabin that was built in the town is still standing! A man named William Ogle came to the area and decided to move his family there. He started building his cabin in 1802. Unfortunately, Ogle ended up passing away in 1803. However, his wife, Martha Ogle, ended up taking their family back to the area and finished the cabin. She is actually the first settler of Gatlinburg! While the cabin isn’t in its original spot anymore, you can see it at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center.

5. Moonshine was legalized in Gatlinburg TN in 2009.

ole smoky moonshine in gatlinburgMoonshine is a Smoky Mountain traditional that stood the test of time through Prohibition and the years afterwards. Farmers would take leftover corn and make whiskey to help make more money for their families. However, it wasn’t legal to make moonshine in Gatlinburg until 2009! In 2010, Ole Smoky Moonshine opened its doors in Gatlinburg as the first licensed moonshine distillery. There are quite a few moonshine distilleries in Gatlinburg now, and for just a small fee of $5, you can actually taste moonshine at any of them!

It’s fun to learn about Gatlinburg TN! Want to know even more about this popular city near the Smokies? Learn more here!