Check off your Christmas list in Gatlinburg
Words by Ashley Locke
As the road winds into Gatlinburg, the hazy mountain fog lingers over the evergreen forests dusted with snow. Visitors stroll the downtown streets under twinkling lights, with steaming hot chocolates in mittened hands. You would be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported to the North Pole—Gatlinburg captures all of the joy of the holiday season.
One of the most cheerful parts of the holiday season is picking out the perfect gifts for family, friends, and loved ones. There’s nothing sweeter than the smile on someone’s face when they unwrap a gift given with love. These meaningful gifts aren’t something you can just order online—there’s something magical about window shopping, scouring the shelves, hunting for the present that deserves that special spot under the tree. The streets of Gatlinburg are lined with specialty shops, handmade goods, and delicious treats—there are 9 different shopping malls in the city. With just one visit, you can find something for everyone on your list.
Downtown, you can walk to The Village, a European-inspired shopping center with 27 unique boutique shops and storefronts. The architecture makes window shopping almost as fun as perusing the stores themselves. Inside, you’ll discover gourmet olive oils and balsamic vinegars for the home chef at Zi Olive, stunning silver jewelry for the fashionista at The Silver Tree, and collars and toys for the pet lover at Bonediggity Barkery and Gifts. You could spend a full day exploring all the shops at The Village.
From downtown, you can take the Gatlinburg Trolley to the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, an 8-mile loop that features over 100 artisans and crafters, making it the largest independent organization of artisans in the United States. It’s a hidden gem in Gatlinburg, and full of one-of-a-kind items that you can’t find anywhere else. Painters, basket-weavers, woodworkers, ceramicists, and even broom makers show off their skills, and the makers are always happy to share the stories behind their crafts. Some of the makers even offer classes so that you can make your own candles, pottery, and more to bring home.
The Smoky Mountains have a long history, including the famous Appalachian spirit, moonshine. If you’re shopping for a cocktail enthusiast, you can pick up moonshine straight from the source. The Holler, Ole Smoky’s Gatlinburg distillery, offers samples of their unique moonshine flavors. Butter Pecan, Pumpkin Pie, and Shine Nog are holiday crowd pleasers, and you can also find goodies like moonshine cherries and pickles. At Sugarlands Distilling Company, you can find moonshine, whiskey, and spirits like Dark Chocolate Coffee Sippin’ Cream. Tennessee Shine Company sticks to their roots, using a family recipe to make their spirits. Grab a jar of moonshine, and get the holiday party started.
Moonshine isn’t the only spirit you can find in Gatlinburg. Tennessee Cider Company was Gatlinburg’s first ever cidery, crafting delicious flavors like caramel apple hard cider. Pick up a bottle of southern sweet wine at Tennessee Homemade Wines. At Elkmont Winery you’ll discover modern flavors like Peach Cobbler Moscato and Blueberry Fruit Wine. At Sugarland Cellars, each wine carries a piece of East Tennessee history in its name. A unique bottle is a great gift for your holiday party host.
In Gatlinburg, shopping is a full holiday experience. You’re not just finding a present—you’re making a memory. Good times, good cheer, and great gifts await you in Gatlinburg.
Only Made in Gatlinburg Shopping List:
When you visit Gatlinburg, there are a few shops and handmade goods that you can’t find anywhere else! Make sure to visit these unique places before your Smoky Mountain trip is over.
Smoky Mountain Farms Jelly House
Zi Olive at The Village
Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen
Misty Mountain at The Village
Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
- Ownby’s Woodcraft
- Alewine Pottery
- Cliff Dwellers