Gatlinburg, TN : Interesting Facts, Famous Things & History Information | What Is Gatlinburg Known For?

Gatlinburg, TN : Interesting Facts, Famous Things & History Information | What Is Gatlinburg Known For?

History & Information About Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, located in the beautiful state of Tennessee, is a charming city known for its stunning natural surroundings and rich history. Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg has become a popular tourist destination, offering a wide range of outdoor activities, breathtaking scenic views, and a vibrant cultural scene. Let's delve into the fascinating history and some interesting information about this captivating city.

Early History:

The history of Gatlinburg traces back to the early 1800s when the area was primarily inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee. The first European settlers arrived in the late 18th century, and among them was Radford Gatlin, a Revolutionary War veteran. Gatlin and his family became one of the prominent families in the region.

Founding of Gatlinburg:

In the mid-19th century, Gatlinburg began to flourish as a community. In 1856, the city was officially established and named after Radford Gatlin. The establishment of a post office in 1857 further solidified the city's growth.

Economy and Industry:

Throughout its history, Gatlinburg has relied on various industries for economic sustenance. Initially, the logging industry played a crucial role due to the abundance of timber in the surrounding mountains. However, this industry declined over time due to unsustainable logging practices.

In the 1930s, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established, providing significant opportunities for tourism. Gatlinburg embraced this opportunity and gradually transformed into a thriving tourist destination. Today, tourism is the backbone of the city's economy.

Tourism and Attractions:

Gatlinburg is famous for its countless attractions and natural beauty. The city is surrounded by the breathtaking Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering endless opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting.

Ober Gatlinburg, a well-known ski resort, attracts visitors from all over the country during the winter season. The resort offers skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities for both beginners and experienced enthusiasts.

Another popular attraction is the Gatlinburg SkyLift, which provides visitors with a stunning panoramic view of the city and the surrounding mountains. The SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, is an exciting addition to this attraction.

Culture and Festivals:

Gatlinburg also boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous art galleries, museums, and theaters. The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is a renowned institution that offers workshops and exhibitions, showcasing the work of talented artists.

The city hosts several annual festivals that celebrate its rich heritage. The Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair, held in July, showcases the work of local artisans, including pottery, woodcarving, and glassblowing. The Gatlinburg Festival of Lights during the holiday season brings the city to life with dazzling light displays and festivities.


Gatlinburg, Tennessee truly shines as a unique and remarkable city with a captivating history and a plethora of attractions. Its breathtaking natural surroundings, vibrant cultural scene, and warm hospitality make it an ideal destination for both nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Whether you are seeking outdoor adventures or cultural exploration, Gatlinburg offers a little something for everyone.

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Interesting Facts About Gatlinburg City

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a charming city nestled in the heart of the United States. While it may not be as well-known as some other American cities, there are plenty of interesting lesser-known facts about this hidden gem.

  • Mysterious Origins: Gatlinburg's origins are shrouded in mystery. It is believed that Native Americans first inhabited the region thousands of years ago, and evidence of their presence can still be seen in the form of ancient burial mounds.
  • Gateway to the Smokies: Gatlinburg serves as a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the United States. The park is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and numerous hiking trails.
  • A Town Built on Moonshine: During the Prohibition era, Gatlinburg became known for its moonshine production. Bootleggers took advantage of the city's remote location and abundance of fresh mountain spring water to produce illegal alcohol.
  • An Arts and Crafts Haven: Gatlinburg is home to a thriving arts and crafts scene. The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, located just outside the city, is considered the largest independent organization of artisans in the country. Visitors can explore numerous studios and galleries showcasing traditional Appalachian crafts.
  • A Quirky and Unique Museum: Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum in Gatlinburg is a must-visit attraction for those seeking oddities and curiosities. It houses an extensive collection of bizarre artifacts, including shrunken heads, vampire killing kits, and rare animal skeletons.
  • A Tribute to American Heroes: The Gatlinburg Veterans Memorial is a touching tribute to the men and women who have served in the American armed forces. The memorial features a granite plaza with bronze plaques honoring veterans from various wars.
  • The First Ski Resort in Tennessee: Ober Gatlinburg is the first ski resort in Tennessee. It offers winter sports activities such as snowboarding, skiing, and tubing, along with an amusement park, ice skating rink, and wildlife encounter.
  • A Paradise for Wildlife Enthusiasts: Gatlinburg has a rich biodiversity and is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Visitors can spot various species, including black bears, elk, deer, foxes, and more. The city's location next to the national park provides ample opportunities for wildlife observation and photography.
  • Home to the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum: Yes, you read that right! Gatlinburg is home to the only Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in the world. This unique museum features over 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers from around the globe.
  • Festivals Galore: Gatlinburg hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from bluegrass music to chili cook-offs. These festivals attract both locals and tourists, offering a vibrant atmosphere and a taste of the city's lively culture.

So, whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, art lover, history buff, or simply someone looking for a unique and memorable experience, Gatlinburg, Tennessee has something to offer. Explore this lesser-known city and uncover its many hidden treasures!

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What Is Gatlinburg City Known & Famous For

Gatlinburg is a charming city located in Tennessee, USA. It is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and exciting opportunities for outdoor activities. Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is widely recognized as a popular tourist destination.

One of the main attractions that Gatlinburg is known for is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As the most visited national park in the United States, it offers incredible scenic views, diverse flora and fauna, and countless trails for hiking and exploring. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking waterfalls, drive along scenic routes, spot wildlife, and immerse themselves in the serenity of the mountains.

Gatlinburg is also famous for its charming downtown district. The city center is filled with unique shops, galleries, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Visitors can stroll along the streets, shop for arts and crafts, taste delicious local cuisine, and enjoy live music. The town has a vibrant atmosphere that appeals to both locals and tourists alike.

For adventure enthusiasts, Gatlinburg offers a wide array of outdoor activities. The area is known for its excellent opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, rafting, and horseback riding. Whether you want to embark on a scenic hike or experience thrilling white-water rafting, Gatlinburg has something for everyone.

In addition to its natural beauty, Gatlinburg is home to several popular attractions. One of the most famous is the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort, where visitors can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and other winter sports. The Gatlinburg Space Needle offers panoramic views of the city and the mountains, while Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies delights visitors with its fascinating marine life.

Gatlinburg also hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, attracting visitors from all over. The Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair, Winterfest, and Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales are just a few examples of the exciting events that take place in this lively city.

All in all, Gatlinburg, Tennessee is known and famous for its breathtaking natural landscapes, vibrant downtown area, outdoor recreation, popular attractions, and lively events. It offers a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and entertainment, making it an ideal destination for individuals and families seeking a memorable vacation experience.

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Living in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

Gatlinburg, located in the beautiful state of Tennessee, is a charming city renowned for its picturesque landscapes and friendly community. Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, living in Gatlinburg offers a unique and tranquil experience.

Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities

Gatlinburg is a haven for nature enthusiasts. The city is surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty, with stunning mountain views, lush forests, and winding rivers. Living here provides countless opportunities to explore and appreciate the great outdoors. Residents can embark on exhilarating hiking trails, go fishing in crystal-clear streams, or simply enjoy a peaceful picnic with loved ones in scenic parks. Nature truly thrives in Gatlinburg, making it a paradise for those seeking a peaceful and serene lifestyle.

Thriving Tourism Industry

Gatlinburg is well-known for its thriving tourism industry. The city attracts visitors from all around the world who come to experience the beauty and charm it has to offer. With this steady stream of tourists, the local economy greatly benefits from various business opportunities. Residents can find employment in the tourism sector, ranging from hospitality and service industries to outdoor activity providers. The tourism industry also lends itself to a vibrant cultural scene, with art galleries, theaters, and local festivals adding to the city's unique personality.

Tight-Knit Community

Gatlinburg is known for its warm and welcoming residents. The city fosters a tight-knit community where neighbors become friends, and a friendly smile is never in short supply. Living here means experiencing a strong sense of belonging and the support of those around you. The community often organizes events, festivals, and gatherings that bring people together, contributing to the overall sense of camaraderie and friendship among residents.

Laid-Back Lifestyle

Living in Gatlinburg offers a laid-back and relaxed lifestyle. The city exudes a calm and peaceful atmosphere, allowing residents to escape the hustle and bustle of larger metropolitan areas. Time seems to slow down, creating an environment that encourages leisurely strolls downtown, cozy evenings by the fireplace, and moments of tranquility surrounded by nature's splendor. Gatlinburg provides a serene escape from the fast-paced world, enabling residents to enjoy life at a more relaxed pace.

Affordable Cost of Living

Gatlinburg offers an affordable cost of living compared to many other cities in the United States. Housing prices, utilities, and everyday expenses are generally reasonable, allowing residents to make the most of their income. Whether you are a young professional, a family, or a retiree, Gatlinburg provides an opportunity for a comfortable life without breaking the bank.


Living in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, offers a unique and tranquil experience. Surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, residents can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and appreciate the wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains. The city's thriving tourism industry brings opportunities for employment and adds vibrancy to the community. With a tight-knit community, laid-back lifestyle, and affordable cost of living, Gatlinburg provides a welcoming and peaceful haven for those seeking a different, slower pace of life.

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What To Do In Gatlinburg City

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a beautiful city located in the United States. There are plenty of fun and exciting activities to do while visiting this charming destination. Here are some wonderful things to do in Gatlinburg:

  • Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Gatlinburg is surrounded by the stunning Great Smoky Mountains, offering endless opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, and breathtaking scenic drives.
  • Visit Ober Gatlinburg: This premier ski resort offers year-round fun. You can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, and even a thrilling mountain coaster.
  • Take a scenic drive: The roads around Gatlinburg are incredibly scenic, with picturesque views at every turn. Some popular drives include the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the Newfound Gap Road.
  • Go on a hike: The area boasts numerous hiking trails suited for all skill levels. You can hike to stunning waterfalls, climb to breathtaking overlooks, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll through nature.
  • Experience the Gatlinburg SkyBridge: Go for a walk on the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. This incredible bridge offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
  • Visit the Gatlinburg Space Needle: Enjoy panoramic views of the city and the mountains from the observation deck of the Space Needle. This iconic landmark is a must-visit attraction.
  • Explore downtown Gatlinburg: The downtown area is full of unique shops, delicious restaurants, and entertainment options. Be sure to check out the local arts and crafts scene as well.
  • Go on a whitewater rafting adventure: If you're craving some adrenaline-pumping action, head to nearby whitewater rafting spots and experience the thrill of rafting down the rapids.
  • Visit Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies: This incredible aquarium is home to a wide variety of marine life. You can marvel at colorful fish, playful penguins, and even watch live dive shows.
  • Enjoy the local cuisine: Gatlinburg offers a wide range of dining options, from traditional Southern fare to international cuisine. Don't forget to try some homemade country-style breakfasts.

These are just a few of the many activities and attractions you can enjoy in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or prefer more leisurely pursuits, this charming city has something to offer for everyone.

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Travel Guide for Visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

Gatlinburg, located in the beautiful state of Tennessee, USA, is a charming destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and exciting attractions. Whether you are a nature lover, adventure seeker, or looking for a relaxing getaway, Gatlinburg has something for everyone. Let's explore this stunning place together!

1. Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Gatlinburg is situated on the doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is one of the most visited national parks in the United States. The park is renowned for its breathtaking mountain views, diverse wildlife, and numerous hiking trails. Be sure to explore Cades Cove, Clingmans Dome, and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail for an unforgettable experience.

2. Enjoying Downtown Gatlinburg

When in Gatlinburg, take a stroll through Downtown Parkway, the heart of the city. You'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and attractions to explore. Visit the Gatlinburg Space Needle for panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. Don't miss out on the delicious southern cuisine and local specialties offered at the various eateries.

3. Dollywood: An Amusement Park Extravaganza

Located just a short drive from Gatlinburg, Dollywood is a must-visit destination for thrill-seekers and entertainment enthusiasts. This world-class amusement park offers a wide range of exciting rides, live shows, and delicious food options. Explore Dollywood's Splash Country for a refreshing water adventure during the summer months.

4. Discovering the Arts and Crafts Community

Gatlinburg is famous for its vibrant arts and crafts community. Take a scenic drive along the Glades Road Loop to discover a variety of local artisans showcasing their skills. From handcrafted pottery to intricate woodwork, you will find unique souvenirs and one-of-a-kind pieces to take home.

5. Outdoor Adventures Galore

If you're an adventure enthusiast, Gatlinburg won't disappoint. Try your hand at whitewater rafting in the Pigeon River, embark on a thrilling ziplining adventure through the lush forests, or go horseback riding in the picturesque landscapes. The options are endless, and the adrenaline rush is guaranteed!

6. Wildlife Encounters in Gatlinburg

With its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg provides ample opportunities for wildlife spotting. Keep your eyes peeled for black bears, elks, deer, and a variety of bird species that call this region home. Remember to maintain a safe distance and observe them in their natural habitat.

7. Unforgettable Scenic Drives

Immerse yourself in Gatlinburg's natural beauty by taking scenic drives along the Newfound Gap Road or the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. These winding roads offer breathtaking views of the mountains, waterfalls, and colorful foliage, especially during the fall season.

Get ready to embrace the charm of Gatlinburg and create memories that will last a lifetime. Plan your visit to this incredible destination to experience the best of Tennessee's beauty, hospitality, and adventure!

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About me

Hello,My name is Aparna Patel,I’m a Travel Blogger and Photographer who travel the world full-time with my hubby.I like to share my travel experience.

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