This week, my mom and I had the pleasure of driving through the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. This wonderfully scenic driving loop, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is lined with shops from over 100 local artisans. Creations include blown glass, pottery, paintings, photography, wood working, leather shops, natural beauty products, country crafts, antiques, gift shops and so much more.
Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Driving Loop
The Arts & Crafts Community is my favorite spot in all of Gatlinburg. It really is a quiet place to get away form all of the hustle and bustle of the main Gatlinburg strip and the parkway in Pigeon Forge. The loop itself is heavily wooded, which makes for a beautiful drive. And, with over 100 different vendors, there really is something for everyone.
Throughout the beginning of the loop there are many individual artists scattered along the route. Although, we hope to visit each and every one, one day, we were short on time and decided to stick to the many vendor clusters and shopping complexes set up along the driving trail. This is also a great strategy for any first time visitors, becasue there are really too many vendors to visit them all in one day.
Wherever you stop first, be sure to pick up a loop map. All the artisans, have free pre-printed maps that list all of the different vendors and their locations. This includes eateries in addition to the arts and crafts vendors. You can also view the map online, if you’d like to plan your individual stops in advance.
Since we got a late start, our rumbling bellies forced us to eat at the very first complex. Lucky for us, that meant lunch at the Wild Plum Tea Room. Their signature tea is, of course, wild plum. My mom and I both chose the iced tea and it was absolutely delicious, as was our lunch. My mom is
more than slightly obsessed with the rustic look of weathered cabins, so the decor was really what lured her in.
After our delicious eats, and a bottle for baby A, we were off to continue our shopping adventure. Our next stop was The Glades. This is a newer shopping complex, but the vendors are excellent. They even have the most adorable covered bridge that leads into the parking lot. Amazing! Here, it poured for 20 minutes or so, which obviously rained on our parade (hehe). But, we were able to visit so many amazing vendors that we didn’t leave until almost 4:30. Yikes!
By then, we really had to skedaddle. But, I so look forward to my next visit. So many artists, so little time. Happy exploring!