"Gatlinburg: Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains" Top 5 Page for this destination Gatlinburg by Stephen-KarenConn
Gatlinburg Travel Guide: 389 reviews and 653 photos
Most people either love Gatlinburg or they hate it - or both. When I lived and worked in Gatlinburg, I often met visitors who come once or several times a year and think it is the neatest place in the world. Occasionally I encountered first time visitors who expected to find a quaint little out-of-the-way mountain village and were shocked by the congested glare. Gatlinburg is literally within footsteps of the most visited National Park in the United States, and has been in a non-stop boom ever since the formation of the Park, in the 1930s. However, expansion is severely limited by the mountains and surrounding parkland. Not to be deterred, developers just keep tearing down old structures and building bigger and better ones. First the development was to provide accomodations and sell hand-made mountain crafts to visitors to the park. Today, sad to say, many people come for the tourist attractions of Gatlinburg and never give the Park a second look.
Gatlinburg is definitely NOT your typical Appalachian village. It is a small town of just over 3,000 population that draws up to 10 million visitors a year. Take Gatlinburg on its own terms. Enjoy the restaurants, museums, amusements, fudge, and entertainment - knowing that whenever the clamor gets to be too much, you can easily escape into the serene fastness of Eastern America's greatest wilderness area.
- Pros:A fun place: great shops, lodging, and restaruants
- Cons:Crowded, noisy, and totally touristy
- In a nutshell:The Ultimate Mountain Tourist Town
Calhouns of Gatlinburg is one of seven Calhouns restaurants in the area, headquartered in Knoxville, TN. We enjoy the... more travel advice
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