Gatlinburg recently made TripAdvisor’s list of “Beautiful Little Mountain Towns across America.” If you’ve been there, you are SO not surprised right now. Neither are we. Readers of this blog have witnessed us singing the Smoky Mountains’ many praises.
White Oak Lodge and Resort is one of Gatlinburg’s gems, of course, but here are some other reasons we think Gatlinburg is simply the best.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
TripAdvisor describes “those iconic misty mountain ridges” that define the Smoky Mountains. Not only is the park just minutes from White Oak Lodge and Resort, it’s among the very top most popular national parks in the country (beating even the Grand Canyon in yearly visitors by a long shot).
Outdoor Person’s Paradise
The Smoky Mountains are a hot bed of outdoor adventure: hiking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, ziplining and many others. In winter, ski the slopes at Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s only ski resort.
Its deep roots in Appalachian culture and music makes Gatlinburg a favorite destination for people who are passionate about bluegrass and gospel. In its 5th year, the Songwriter’s Festival draws talent from all around. As you visit various areas of downtown, bluegrass artists are everywhere and music is always in the air.
Arts & Crafts
Even if you don’t think you care about crafting, the sheer amount of art in the Craftsman’s Loop or anywhere in the arts & crafts community can yield unexpected treasures you will want to bring home. Interactive events like Hands on Gatlinburg let even novices try their hand, and Quiltfest is paradise for quilting buffs.
While it’s known for moonshine distilleries like Ole Smoky (who also recently acquired Davey Crocketts whiskey distillery), Sugarlands, and Doc Collier, Gatlinburg is home to great beer, wine and spirits. Check out Smoky Mountain Brewery, Bootleggers Homemade Wine and Sugarland Cellars.
Oh, honey, no one does breakfast like this mountain town. Down-home cooking is plentiful, and the pancake houses are, too. Great little spots like Carver’s Orchard & Applehouse are worth a visit.
There’s so much more we’ll have to do this again soon. Everyone has their favorite things about Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. What are some of yours?