The quiet stillness of lush mountain forestry, the soothing ripples of water gliding over the rocks in nearby streams, and wide-open skies resting over the majestic towering peaks mute the stresses of work and home while simultaneously taking you back to simpler living. These nostalgic feelings and inspiring moments of clarity have brought thousands of visitors through the Great Smoky Mountains since the mid 19th century.
Through the years, cabin living continues to be the choice way to relax and enjoy the Smoky Mountains. From our budget-friendly cabins to our large family lodges, you will quickly understand the peaceful allure of sitting in a rocking chair on the deck, exploring the surrounding woods hiking and horseback riding.
Celebrating a Rich Culture
With so much tourism and the growth in the use of technology, how have the Smoky Mountains managed to preserve so much of her authenticity and rich culture that beckons so many visitors? They celebrate it! Through celebration and sharing their music and artistry, they preserve their way of life and inspire those who see their gorgeous handmade crafts, watch the craftsmen at work, and listen to the soulful twangs of guitars and banjos.
The bi-annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is preparing for another memorable summer show for 2018, and if you are staying in a Pigeon Forge cabin, this is certainly an event you won’t want to miss! Get a front row seat to one of the Southeast’s “Most Popular Events” – the authentic heart and soul of the local artistry creating gorgeous, one-of-a-kind works. Meet and watch the artisans as their jewelry, metalwork, woodwork, and paintings are created right in front of your eyes! Kids will love the opportunity to create their own pieces of art after inspiring artistic displays.
From July 13 – 22, the doors of the Gatlinburg Convention Center (located at traffic light #8) open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. This event is a great price, only $7, while children 12 and under are free! For the price of what some smoothies and coffee drinks cost these days, you get an inside look into the artistic talents of Smoky Mountain locals.
Admittedly, there are tons of really fun touristy attractions in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Thanks to events like the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair, however, visitors to the area are offered a more rich, authentic cultural experience. Let the kids ask questions like, “Why did you start doing this?” and, “How do you do this?” Who knows, maybe your little artist will be inspired to create something at the kids’ artisan table!
A Personal Art Experience
The personal interactions with the artists gives this event so much depth and life, but their artwork will be what has you bragging about this experience! Watch woodworkers carve the intricate lines in walking sticks when, suddenly, they form into the details of a black bear! The flames of the blowtorches will have you mesmerized as the shiny brass gives way under the heat to jewelry and sculptures. Passed down for generations, study the hand movements of the weavers as they move up, over, and around their unfinished basket’s skeletal structure.
Support the local artists and pick up the most meaningful souvenirs you can find in the Smokies while touring the 200+ art booths of the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair! Every gift comes with a story and, unlike plastic or printed items from the numerous tourist shops, you can shake the hand and listen to the story of the person who created your souvenir. Here are some of the handcrafted creations you will find as you peruse the aisles of the fair:
- Organic Soaps
- Beeswax Creations
- Rocking Chairs
- Leather Goods
- Blown Glass
- Bird Houses
- Homemade Jellies
- Oil and Acrylic Paintings
- And SO much more!
The Historical Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Community
If you can’t make it for the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair in July, don’t worry! There is another way you can experience local Smoky Mountain handmade art! Only a few miles from downtown Gatlinburg rests the Tennessee Heritage Arts and Crafts Trail, also known as the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, the nation’s largest and oldest organization of independent artisans with over 120 craftsmen!
The 8-mile loop through the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community was founded in 1937 so that those who sold their goods in the nearby town of Gatlinburg could sell straight from their worktables and studios, rather than renting retail spaces. The original craftsmen included old family natives: Lee Ogle, the broom maker, Noah McCarter, the chair maker, and John Cowden, the woodcarver.
There are a lot of items made by these artisans hidden throughout the cabins nestled around Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, giving these charming abodes even more Smoky Mountain authenticity. Escape to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, where folks tell stories through song, make the rocking chairs they sit in on the porch, and let the beauty of the Smoky Mountains inspire adventures and authentic living!