Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a small mountain town bursting with charm, natural beauty, and a rich artistic heritage. Among its many attractions, one gem stands out as a testament to the enduring tradition of creativity: the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community, often called the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community.
In this article, we will take a journey near the outskirts of Gatlinburg to discover the crafts community loop.
This post is sponsored by the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. All opinions are my own.
What is the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community?
Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is often referred to as the largest group of independent artisans in North America, and for good reason. Situated just outside the downtown area of Gatlinburg, the community is a testament to the time-honored skills and talents of local artisans. This historic 8-mile loop road, known as the Crafts Community Trail, is home to a diverse array of craft shops and studios, each offering unique pieces that tell a story of the region.
The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is more than just a collection of craft shops – it’s a thriving hub of artistic talent. Here, you can meet skilled woodworkers like Tim Weberding, a fourth-generation craftsman, who creates intricate hand-carved handles and wood crafts.
You’ll also find Cheryl Fowler’s pottery at Fowler’s Clay Works, where the shop’s signature maple leaf design is emblematic of the region’s natural beauty. Local artists are more than happy to share the history of their craft, making your visit an educational journey as well.
What can you find along the Gatlinburg craft trail?
As you ride along the crafts trail on Glades Road, you’ll find numerous independent artisans displaying a large array of mostly handmade crafts. Here’s what we found along our afternoon journey:
A Diverse Array of Crafts
As you explore the community, you’ll discover a wealth of artistic creations. From the fine photography of the Smoky Mountain Dulcimers, capturing the scenic beauty of the area, to hand-carved woodcrafts at Tim Weberding Woodworking, there’s no shortage of original collectibles and frameable art. This is the place to find unique pieces you won’t see anywhere else.
Shopping and Dining
Wandering the historic 8-mile loop, you’ll have unlimited access to cozy shops and a great range of crafts, but be sure to take a break and enjoy a meal at a local restaurant. The area boasts some amazing food options, from Split Rail Eats to the Wild Plum Tea Room, where you can savor delicious dishes while surrounded by the crafts that make Gatlinburg so special.
One of the great attractions of the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is that it’s open year-round, so no matter when you visit, you’ll be able to explore the crafts and artistry on display. Whether you’re shopping for handmade memories of your visit, victorian ceramic pitchers, wearable fashions, or bath bombs, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
We took a painting class with Steve Hampton, owner of Black Bear Crafts. It was a fun experience and we now have the cutest Christmas ornaments to add to our tree.
A Tradition of Excellence
The community isn’t just a place to shop – it’s a living testament to the history of the Great Smoky Arts. The local artisans take pride in their crafts, many of which have been passed down through generations. The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community embodies a commitment to preserving the heritage of the region, and it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in the culture and history of the area.
How do I get to the crafts community area in Gatlinburg?
To explore this artistic treasure trove, you can hop on the Gatlinburg Trolley’s yellow route, known as the Crafts Loop. The route takes you through the heart of the arts and crafts community, and you can enjoy plenty of free parking at the Gatlinburg Mass Transit Center. With easy access to the community area, your visit will be a breeze.
The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community offers an experience like no other, where you can immerse yourself in the rich history, artistry, and culture of the region. From the moment you step onto the historic 8-mile loop, you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of handcrafted wares, all created by talented artists who are passionate about their craft. So, make sure to explore this artistic wonderland on your next trip to Gatlinburg, and you’ll leave with more than just souvenirs – you’ll take home a piece of the Smoky Mountains’ artistic soul.
Frequently asked questions about the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community
1. What is the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community?
The Arts and Crafts Community is an 8-mile loop road featuring an extensive collection of craft shops, studios, and galleries showcasing the work of local artisans and craftspeople. It’s often referred to as the largest group of independent artisans in North America.
2. Where is the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community located?
The community is situated just outside the downtown area of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, on an 8-mile loop that takes you through the historic Arts and Crafts Trail.
3. What can I expect to find in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community?
You’ll find a wide range of crafts, including pottery, woodworking, paintings, jewelry, textiles, and more. The community is known for its hand-carved woodcrafts, handmade pottery, and unique art pieces.
4. Are the crafts sold in the community all made by local artisans?
Yes, the crafts and art pieces in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community are all handcrafted by local artists and craftspeople. It’s a fantastic place to support local talent and take home unique, locally-made souvenirs.
5. Is the community open year-round?
Yes, the Arts and Crafts Community is open year-round, making it a great destination for visitors during any season.
6. What makes the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community special?
The community is special for its commitment to preserving the heritage of the region and the tradition of craftsmanship. The craftspeople here often have a deep family history in their respective crafts, creating a unique and authentic experience for visitors.
7. Are there annual craft shows or events in the community?
Yes, the community often hosts annual craft shows and events, showcasing the talents of local artists. These events are a great opportunity to see a wide variety of crafts and meet the artists in person.
8. Can I watch artisans at work in the community?
Many of the shops and studios in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community allow visitors to watch artisans at work, providing a fascinating glimpse into the creative process.