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Friday, August 16, 2013

Plan Your Trip to Gatlinburg

The Great Smoky Mountains is such a beautiful area in America. Visitors get the chance to explore, learn and experience a different way of living. The gateway into the Great Smoky Mountains is the spectacular community of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. With the many recycling methods that is offered throughout Gatlinburg, including a State-of-the-art composting plant and wonderful recycling center, up to 70% of municipal waste that is collected in the area does not find it's way into a landfill! Being the welcoming community of Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg holds the task of preserving and protecting the wildlife and everything surrounding it. Even their annual Winter Magic Holiday Celebration of Lights has went green bu switching every light bulb to LED lights to use less electricity! To make things ever better, The Chamber of Commerce's Gatlinburg Goes Green program has over 75% of local businesses working together to help keep the environment safe and clean. All of the hard work that's put into keeping the Great Smoky Mountains preserved for all time, has allowed the mass history of Gatlinburg to shine bright and take center stage.
Throughout the area of Gatlinburg, you can find many historic sites that are still standing today, including Martha Jane Huskey Ogle's cabin which was the first home to be built in Galtinburg in 1807,  which was then known as White Oak Flats. The name if Gatlinburg came much later. Martha Ogle was not the first one to come to White Oak Flats, it was her husband, William Ogle, who first came to the valley in 1803 and described Tennessee as "The Land of Paradise" to his family in South Carolina, east of the Smoky Mountains. He passed away in 1803, before he could bring his family to "The Land of Paradise". His widow settled in White Oak Flats in 1807 with her 2 daughters and 5 sons, along with her brother and his family. Martha's cabin was built out of logs that her late husband had collected for their future cabin, before he passed, becoming the first home built in the vally. Many years later, in 1856, a man named Radford C. Gatlin arrived in town. He was known as a very controversial man due to his political views and later got banished for those views, but not before he built the area's 2nd General Store and a Post Office. After a while, the area of White Oak Flats started being called Gatlinburg, which was the name of the post office. After Radford C. Gatlin was banished, his name stayed behind, labeling the once known valley of White Oak Flats, Gatlinburg. Once the U.S. Government purchased thousands of acres of land, which they stripped of most vegetation,  The Great Smoky Mountain's National Park was born, in the 1930's. It wasn't long after that tourism started booming! Throughout the years, Gatlinburg has grown into a four-season resort as well as a wonderful family and friend destination. Even though the tourist industry has been welcomed into Gatlinburg, Appalachian culture is still thriving today. More that 100 small shops and restaurants are tucked into an 8-mile loop in the Smoky Mountains who are proudly known as the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Established in 1937, Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is the largest group of independent artisans in North America! Visitors are taken back in time when they visit this Artist's Paradise. 

Historic Sites in Gatlinburg:
  • Martha Jane Huskey Ogle's Cabin (1st home in Gatlinburg) - Now homes a Community Center
  • E.L. Reagan's Custom Furniture, Established in 1910 - The oldest operating site of it's kind in Gatlinburg.
  • Pi Beta Phi Settlement School, Established in 1912 - Now an Educational Center
  • Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Established in 1945 - Now an Educational Center

If you thinking of traveling to Gatlinburg, I can promise you that you'll never find yourself being board as long as you take advantage of everything Gatlinburg has to offer! They have many events happening often and the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is not something you want to pass by!

Upcoming Fall/Winter Events:
August 15 - 18
  • Smoky Mountain Song-writters Festival
September 13 - October 31
  • Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival
October 4-6
  • Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival at Arrowmont
October 10 - 27
  • Gatlinburg Craftsman Fair
November 13
  • Gatlinburg Winter Magic Kickoff and Chilli Cookoff
November 13 - February 28
  • Gatlinburg Winter Magic
November 13 - December 30
  • Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights
November 26 - December 8
  • Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Holiday Shows
November 26 - 30
  • Gatlinburg's Festival of Trees
November 29 - 30
  • The Nutcracker "Sweet"
November 29 - December 21 (On Friday's and Saturday's)
  • Winter Magic Tunes and Tales
December 6
  • 38th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade
December 31
  • New Year's Eve Fireworks Show & Ball Drop

Vacationing in Gatlinburg can be such an adventure and transform your normal vacation into a an everlasting trip to remember! With live entertainment, special events, golf courses, and tons of amazing attractions including Ripley's Believe It Or Not World Records Museum and the Amazing Mirror Maze, you'll find yourself enjoying every second that your in town. You may even want to stop by one of three wineries, a brewery and the 1st legal Moonshine distillery in Tennessee, that call Gatlinburg their home. Not to mention the many place to stop a grab a bite to eat. From Ethnic to Steak to Southern Cooking... Your sure to find the perfect plate to cure your food cravings, no matter how crazy they may be! And no one can overlook the many stores and shops that allow you to shop-till-you-drop! From specialty foods to photography to clothing to homemade goods, Gatlinburg gives you a wonderful shopping experience including a mall or two.
Did you know that Gatlinburg is the Wedding Capital of the South? It's true! Saying "I do" among the breathtaking scenery and picture-perfect chapels, Gatlinburg is the place to go to make lasting memories on your special day. 
The possibilities in Gatlinburg are endless! If your heading South and want to make sure you have a great time, then add Gatlinburg to your destination list and make lasting memories that your family will be talking about for many years to come.

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