In my last blog post, I gave you a few of my favorite things that money couldn’t possible buy in Gatlinburg. These were the very reasons why we keep coming here every year. Well, I’m going to bring you around to the other end of the spectrum. Of course you’re going to spend some money while you’re here. While I feel Gatlinburg is a place where you can spend as little or as much as you want, here are some of my very favorite things to buy in Gatlinburg with that hard-earned vacation money.
One of a Kind Items
You may think you’re getting one-of-a-kind items wherever you go in Gatlinburg, but if you’ve never been to the Arts and Crafts Community, you’re truly missing out on specially crafted souvenirs. I’ve bought a few standard issue mugs from places I love in town, but nothing beats the kind you can find along this loop. While there are a small handful of potters in the area, our favorite mugs are found at Fowler’s Clay Works. It’s not a big store, (which makes it a lot easier on my indecisiveness) but we love his simple designs that feature his signature, which resembles the mountains on his mugs. If you’re looking for more than just mugs, there are painters, woodworkers, glassblowers, and much more to pique your interest for things you just won’t find downtown.
If you’re a fan of sampling alcoholic beverages, you’ll want to discover what all the fuss is about when it comes to this moonshine mecca. Ole Smoky was the first legal moonshine in town, but now the ‘Burg boasts several more, with wine and cider moving in on the territory too. Sugarlands Distilling Co. is spreading throughout the country’s grocery and liquor stores, so it’s a little easier to find beyond Gatlinburg, but it’s always better to pick some up while you’re there because you have access to their entire selection, which is now quite impressive. That and a growing line of merchandise make this a great purchase for us on every vacation in Gatlinburg.
Yes, it’s true. Some people’s main motivation for visiting the Smoky Mountains is rooted in some superbly fine grub you can’t find in YOUR hometown. Whether it’s at the awesome breakfast places in town or the surprisingly great pizzas offered, you can’t find fault in splurging for food in this tourist town. The amount of candy places also tells you how sweet the desserts are too. You can even take home a piece of some of these businesses’ kitchen creations as well—restaurants included. That way you can savor these flavors long after your vacation concludes.
No, I’m not talking about the Ripley’s attractions. If you enjoy them, I’m not one to judge; however, it’s the epic attractions that should definitely be on your itinerary. Ober Gatlinburg is the original paid epic attraction that has been in business in Gatlinburg for over 45 years. A ski resort in the winter, it also boasts many different activities that keep it bustling in any season. Anakeesta is a newcomer that offers spectacular views and a growing list of activities on the mountain; Gatlinburg Sky Lift Park offers stunning mountaintop gazes of the Smokies, as well as the newest Skybridge. The latter I haven’t done, but it’s probably a pretty good bet it’s definitely worth the money, solely by what it offers visitors.
Of course, you can visit the Smoky Mountains and not buy into any of these attractions and souvenirs. Sometimes a cabin in the mountains is enough for most people. And to that, I say, there’s nothing wrong with doing anything that makes you happy. And nothing makes me happier than spending precious time in the glory of the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg. Thanks for reading, and until next time…happy planning:)