Local Area Guide - Gatlinburg, Smoky Mountains
Curious as to what to do when you're staying in one of our beautiful Gatlinburg Condos or Chalets?
Gatlinburg, Tennessee is known for its Southern hospitality, beautiful mountains, and a heritage rich in music, arts and crafts, and story-telling. The mild climate, central location and low cost of living attract people from all over the US...we'd like to introduce our area to the rest of the world. Whether you love hiking, horseback riding, fishing, wildlife, history, music, dancing, arts, theater, theme parks... well, its all here! You could spend days, or weeks and still not do it all. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the US National Park System and is unsurpassed for the beauty of its virgin forests, waterfalls, and layers of mountains. Clingman's Dome in the park, is the highest point in TN, and third highest in the Eastern US. The Appalachian Trail, a 2400 km hiking path that passes through 14 US states, runs along the state-line between Tennessee and North Carolina in the Park. The Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Community, less then 5 km from downtown Gatlinburg, is the largest enclave of independent artisans in North America. You can visit the shops and watch artisans and craftsmen at work, some carrying on skills passed through generations of their families: candle-making, wood carving, painting, photography, jewelery making, pottery, weaving, spinning and many more. Dollywood, Splash Country, Ripley's Aquarium, and Ober Gatlinburg skiing, all beckon for your attention with hours of family-oriented fun and entertainment. Douglas Lake in northern Sevier County is a big draw for bass-fishing, boating, jet skiing and all that! Cherokee, North Carolina is a town rich in the history of the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans and also offers a full casino outing.
The biggest festival of the year is the Fourth of July/Independence Day Celebrations in Gatlinburg. 12:01 am is the beginning of the first Independence Day Parade in the United States, with floats from local businesses and municipalities, bands, military, balloons, clowns...it's wonderful! At noon on July 4 is the River Regatta in the Little Pigeon River in downtown Gatlinburg, and the day culminates in a SPECTACULAR fireworks display one hour after sundown.
October is the time for the wonderful fall colors, as the leaves change to golden yellows, vivid reds and brilliant oranges before winter sets in. The beautiful mountain vistas become breath-taking as the year wanes. Summer warmth fades, and there is a brisk freshness to the air!
The Winter Festival of Lights begins just before Thanksgiving, around mid-November and lasts into February. Not only Gatlinburg, but all of Sevier County is decked out like a winter wonderland. The shops are filled for holiday shopping, and the theaters and parks have special holiday events. The annual Christmas Parade is the first weekend in December.
April and May decorate the mountains in a splendid array of colorful wildflowers! Suddenly, the bareness of winter gives way to lush greenery and flowers, the freshening that new life brings.
The Craftsmen's Fair is held twice a year, in mid-July and in October. Artisans and craftsmen from all over the area display their wonderful creations for sale to the public. There are also craft demonstrations, live music and food!
June holds a rare and wonderful surprise as the synchronous fireflies appear in the National Park for their annual display of flashing lights.
No matter what time of year you visit, Gatlinburg has so much to see and do! Come join the fun, and when you've done it all, retire back to your Gatlinburg Condo or Chalet at Oak Leaf Lodging and enjoy the relaxing views from your front porch or balcony. We think we'll soon become your favorite Smoky Mountain Vacation getaway for good reason!