10 Unique Gatlinburg Christmas Gifts

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesYou can get an iPod anywhere! What about something a little more unique! Come to the Smokies to do your holiday shopping, and you can get, not only all those popular gifts everybody wants, but also some things that will show that special someone that you put a little more thought and care into their gift!

Watch Taffy Being Made!1. Fudge and Taffy
Come to one of our special candy kitchens, such as the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, located at the entrance to the Village Shops near traffic light #6, and you can find a variety of fudge, taffy, and other candies still made the old-fashioned way! You can’t beat the fudge they make here! And it’s so fun to watch them making the taffy, you will have to take a video or some pictures of it being made to include with the taffy you give them!

Read about a local photographer!2. A Painting or Photo by a Local Artist
If you can’t take your loved-one(s) to the Smokies with you, bring a piece of that beauty back to them with a painting or photo by a local artist! No one can capture the beauty and grandeur of these mountains like those artists who live here and love the Smokies with all their hearts! There are a variety of talented artists and photographers to choose from!

Chainsaw Bear3. Hand-Crafted Gift from a Local Craftsman
From hand carved knickknacks to handmade furniture, candles, baskets, and even Christmas ornaments, if you can think of something you’d like to get hand-crafted, you can find it here! We have a very large, very talented community of crafts-people here that take great delight in making those special, hand-made items! One popular and unique item is a Chainsaw Carved Bear. Granted, if you’re flying home, this gift may be a little too heavy to check as baggage, but since Gatlinburg is a day’s drive from 1/2 of the US…I couldn’t resist. At Make it Magic in the Arts & Crafts Community in Gatlinburg, you can get your very own “Stump Brother.” These bears are carved with a chainsaw and detailed with an angle grinder. Each bear is signed and numbered and comes with a Birth Announcement, too!

Get beautiful quilts from a local crafter! Or get everything you need to make your own!4. Quilts
This area is well-known for our quilts! We even host the Annual A Mountain Quiltfest each year! Come for the Festival in March! Or, if you want to get one for someone as a Christmas gift this year, just come to our Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts District! There is a super cute little quilt shop out there called Mountain Stitches! Check out their blog to see pictures of some of their quilts and fabrics!

Collect Hard Rock Pins5. Hard Rock Cafe Souvenirs
Yes, there are Hard Rock Cafes all around the world, but you don’t need to go to the one in Fiji to get some Hard Rock souvenirs! Just come to Gatlinburg! Come enjoy our own unique Hard Rock!

See some of our favorite bear pictures!6. Black Bears
Although it may be easier than you think to get a black bear into your car, I find it difficult to believe that you would proceed to get into your car with the bear and take it home with you! You can, however, find tons of Black Bear Collectibles here! If you come stay in a cabin, you stand a good chance of being able to take some of your own pictures of a bear or two! If you’d rather go the safer route, you can find black bear collectibles in just about every craft shop, gift shop, and convenience store in the area!

Teardrop Dulcimer7. Dulcimer Music
The dulcimer is a fretted, plucked musical instrument. Some people think it looks like a violin crossed with a guitar. And, while its origins are suspected to be Persian, the instrument has enjoyed a strong revival in American Folk Music. Smoky Mountain Dulcimers Owner Mark Edelman is certain he can teach you a tune in just 2 minutes, and he sells songbooks and instructional materials to go along with the dulcimers. If you aren’t musically inclined, there’s no doubt that one of your friends or family members will enjoy owning the music on CDs starting at just $10.

Stay in a log cabin during your vacation to the Smokies!8. Moonshine
Moonshining has a long history in Tennessee, and in this country as a whole. Now, some local attorneys have opened Tennessee’s first legal moonshine distillery! They sell a few unaged moonshine products, including corn whiskey moonshine, apple pie moonshine, sweet tea moonshine and peach moonshine. Come to the Ole Smoky Distillery to get your own jar of moonshine, or some to share with a friend!

Rent A Cabin!9. Gift Certificate for a Smoky Mountain Vacation
We know you enjoy it here! Why not get your friends and family addicted too?! Get them a gift certificate for a stay in a Cabin or Chalet! Or maybe a gift certificate for a local restaurant, tickets to a show or Dollywood, or even season passes if you’re feeling generous!

Buy Nat'l Park Souvenirs!10. All Things National Park.
We love the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains Association has been a non-profit partner of the Park since 1953. They are the official source for maps, guide books, and branded clothing. And lucky for you, they have an online store. So even if you forgot to get your uniquely Gatlinburg gifts while you were here just last week, you can simply order online!

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GATLINBURG: Unique Smoky Mountain Weddings

Subscribe to A Day in the SmokiesThe Gatlinburg area is second only to Las Vegas in the number of weddings we host each year! And no wonder, when it is so easy to get married here, with so many options to choose from, and then you’re right here in the perfect honeymoon location as well! There have been some pretty unique weddings around here! Maybe you’d like to try one of these ideas for your wedding!

Get Married at the Bass Pro Shop!Bass Pro Shop Wedding
That’s right… not too long ago, a couple held their camoflauge-themed wedding at the Bass Pro Shop in Sevierville. It was the perfect wedding location for them, and apparently they aren’t the first people to hold their ceremony there, according to the employees. Maybe you are planning a camo-themed wedding, or love the outdoors, but plan to get married in the dead of winter… The Bass Pro Shop may be the perfect fit for you too!

Hold your ceremony at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies!Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Wedding
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers several different wedding packages, depending mostly on the number of your guests. Even if you aren’t a big aquatic life fan, you have to admit that it would be gorgeous and extremely classy to get married before a beautiful backdrop of that deep blue with colorful fish swimming past!

Get Married at Cades Cove!Cades Cove Wedding
If you would like an outdoor wedding, what better place than the National Park! Or maybe you would like to get married in one of the historic chapels at Cades Cove, the most popular section of the Park! All that history in the setting of such beautiful creation sets my heart to longing! And what beautiful wedding photos you would have!

 

Get Married at Patriot ParkPatriot Park Wedding
Another great spot for an outdoor wedding is at Patriot Park, specifically down by the river! If you want to use the gazebo there, you do have to reserve it, but if not, you can just walk right in and have your ceremony wherever you like! Just be aware that you probably won’t have the whole park to yourself!

Have a Drive-Thru Wedding!Drive Thru Wedding
Perhaps you are only interested in BEING married and you don’t care one bit about the ceremony! A Drive Thru Wedding may be just the thing! Quick, simple, and inexpensive! Even with this, various packages are available, including one or more pictures, cake, etc. Just don’t forget, in your rush, that this could be the biggest day of your life… don’t let it pass by unnoticed!

Hard Rock Wedding!Hard Rock Cafe Wedding
Our Hard Rock Cafe here in Gatlinburg has the distinction of being the only Hard Rock Cafe in the world with a wedding chapel! Obviously this is the perfect place to get married if you are a hard-core rock ‘n roll fan, or even if burgers, fries, and rock music in the background sounds to you like the perfect reception! 

A Dollywood Dream Wedding!Dollywood Wedding
Some people get married at Disney World, but personally, I would rather get married at Dollywood! They have a beautiful historic chapel there that you could get married in, and then right outside your door is a wonderful adventure park filled with beautiful gardens, shows, rides, and restaurants with food choices that are sure to satisfied the pickiest child and the more adventurous adults!

Pick out a honeymoon cabin!And if you are looking for somewhere unique to have your rehearsal dinner, visit one of the numerous restaurants or dinner shows in town! A couple of our favorites are the Dixie Stampede and the extremely hilarious Hoot ‘N Holler Dinner Show!

And don’t forget to stay in a cozy cabin in the mountains for the honeymoon! The folks at ERA in the Smokies can set you right up! We could even provide accommodations for your whole wedding party if they all want to enjoy the Smokies for a few days as well!

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

Gatlinburg Rocks – A Rock ‘n’ Roll Vacation

Rock N Roll Gatlinburg VacationGatlinburg is known for being a wholesome, family-friendly little town that loves pancakes, bears, and the mountains.  We are proud of that reputation, and it is well-earned.  However, being family friendly doesn’t mean Gatlinburg doesn’t know how to rock.  If you’re looking for a rock ‘n’ roll vacation, don’t count Gatlinburg out…here are just a few of the many reasons why Gatlinburg rocks:

Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson1.  Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson.  What’s rock ‘n’ roll without a sweet ride?  Whether you’re dreaming of the bike you’ll have someday, ready to upgrade  or finally ready to take the leap, Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson has a bike for you.  Or, if you need apparel or accessories, you’ll feel right at home. Are you just a part time rock ‘n’ roller?  Rent a Harley! If your looking for a cabin with secure, flat parking for your ride, click here. Smoky Mountain Harley is located at 530 Parkway in Downtown Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg Ink2. Gatlinburg Ink – Now that you have a Harley, is it time for a tattoo?  Gatlinburg Ink, ,located at 425 Parkway in Downtown Gatlinburg, has been leaving their mark on folks since 1994.  Big Earl has a reputation for good ink & running a clean shop.  Not sure a tattoo is for you?  Try body piercing.  No extra holes for you?  Try a Henna tattoo.

Founder's Day June 14th!3. Hard Rock Cafe Gatlinburg. Two beautiful ideas: legendary music and a mind-blowing menu. Bring your healthy appetite, and get ready to rock ‘n’ roll because the folks at Hard Rock Cafe know how to rock.  Don’t forget that June 14th is Founder’s Day at Hard Rock Cafe.  2009 marks the 38th anniversary of the opening of the first Hard Rock Cafe in London!  Hard Rock Gatlinburg is located at 515 Parkway in Downtown Gatlinburg.

Hard Rock Wedding!4. Rock ‘n’ Roll Wedding.  A lot of love is born of rock ‘n’ roll.  What better way to celebrate your rockin’ union than gettin’ hitched in the only Hard Rock Cafe in the world with a wedding chapel?  They profess before one & all, their “true intention henceforth to walk the road of life as your #1 rockin’ destination for kicking tunes and great times. [They] also promise now & forever that [they] will always serve up grand portions of [their] amazing food, so forsake all others and come as hungry as you want.”  For special events info, click here.

Rod Runs every September!5. Rod Runs. You don’t have to ride a Harley to find a ride in the Smokies.  Every September (and April), Pigeon Forge is host to “rod runs.”  What is a rod run?  Think of original & custom hot rods, low riders, and vintage cars as far as the eye can see.  Looking is free, and you might even find a deal to good to pass up.  Call us for this years dates at 1-800-309-0277 . For video featuring some of the rods from the April 2009 Rod Run, click here.  Looking for Pigeon Forge accommodation for the next rod run?  Take a look at this great 2 bedroom condo or bring the whole family and stay at the Hillbilly Hilton.

Hellbender Grill6. Hellbender Grill.  Gettin’ hungry?  Hellbender Grill offers a great selection of seafood, steak and sandwiches along with an impressive selection of beer.  Enjoy outdoor dining while enjoy live band rockin’ on the patio!  Wondering about the name “Hellbender”?  It is named for the hellbender salamander.  Native to the Appalachian mountains, it can grow up to 3 feet long.  Hellbender Grill (651 Parkway) makes an effort to use recycled products and sustainable practices to protect our beloved Smokies, home of its namesake.

Buy a Guitar!7. Music Outlet.You don’t have to play Rock ‘n’ Roll to take a rock in roll vacation, but just in case you need strings or can’t resist adding another Gibson to your collection…Music Outlet, located at 1050 Winfield Dunn Pkwy in Sevierville, is just a short drive from downtown Gatlinburg.  They carry a HUGE selection of guitars (and just about every other instrument you can imagine).

Custom Leather Goods!8. Smoky Mountain Leather. Now you need custom leather to complete your rock ‘n’ roll look. Smoky Mountain Leather is Gatlinburg’s newest custom leather shop and makes one of a kind guitar straps, knife sheaths, gun holsters, belts, key chains, wallets, and more on site during your stay in the Great Smoky Mountains.  Ask about having your order personalized. Located at 1360 East Parkway.Rock On!

9. Empire Music & Rhythm Section .  You can’t go without the tunes…remember when you had to buy the entire CD to get the song you love?  Remember how many cool songs you found that way?  Try it again.  Stop in and find the music you crave. Both located on the Parkway in Gatlinburg.

Award-Winning Micro-Brewed Beer!10. Smoky Mountain Brewery. Award-winning micro-brewed beer, phenomenal pizza, great appetizers, calzones, subs, salads, sandwiches and steaks are guaranteed to heighten your pleasure.  For a full menu, click here. Did I mention that the Brewery regularly features live music?  Rock On! Located at 1004 Parkway in Downtown Gatlinburg.

ERA In The Smokies Realty & RentalsThis blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

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10 Great Gatlinburg Souvenirs

Buy Souvenirs Your Family Will Love!10 Great Gatlinburg Souvenirs. Do you ever suspect that people seem more excited to have you back home after vacation when they think you’ve brought them really cool souvenirs–as opposed to shot glasses retrieved from the last gas station headed out of town?  Me too.  I think that may be why they sit through the slide shows and keep telling me how much better my photography is getting.  They’re just buttering me up for the ultimate prize…a souvenir.  Here are some great idea for Gatlinburg souvenirs that are sure to keep your friends & family anticipating your return:

Junior Ranger 125x1.  Junior Ranger Badge from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I agree that most people don’t have to work for their souvenirs…but this one is work it.  Kids—if you’re between the ages of 5-12, you can become a Junior Ranger! Pick up a Junior Ranger booklet for $2.50 at any park visitor center or at the Cades Cove or Elkmont campground. Complete the activities in the booklet then stop by a visitor center to talk to a ranger and receive your Junior Ranger badge.  You can become a Junior Ranger at any time of year, but during spring, summer, and fall, ranger-led Junior Ranger programs are offered especially for children. Read through the schedule of ranger-led programs to find these special Junior Ranger programs.

Gatlinburg Screensavers2.  Screensaver.  There are lots of screensavers available of the Great Smoky Mountains; however, some cabin rental companies like ERA In The Smokies will create a screensaver that includes the cabin where you stayed as well as some personal information like your names and a “Happy Anniversary” or “2009 Family Reunion” message as well.  These screensavers usually cost $10 or less, and the best part is…your screensaver can be taken home on CD or emailed to you at home.  Book your cabin at ERA In The Smokies and ask about getting your screen saver!

Buy Original Art3.  Art.  I cannot say this often enough…art is a great gift.  The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community in Gatlinburg is thriving with shops run by artist/owners.  Many of them will create custom pieces to order and can often have them ready to take with you or can ship them to you.  The cost of shipping is usually offset by not having to pay local sales tax.  So go ahead…have your portrait sketched, your mailbox painted, or buy a pot for your patio.

Collect Hard Rock Pins4. Hard Rock Cafe collectibles. A lot of people like to collect items in series…it used to be matches, ashtrays and shot glasses, and then it became spoons and snow globes.  Lately, we hear of people who choose their vacation destinations by its proximity to a Hard Rock Cafe.  Well, you’re in luck, despite the tiny local population, Gatlinburg is home to its very own Hard Rock Cafe.  Whether you’re looking for t-shirts, purses, or collectible pins…the Rock Shop stocks all things Hard Rock.

Bear Pottery from Pigeon Forge Pottery5. Black Bear Salt & Pepper Shakers.  Okay, you can’t take a real one home, but the Black Bears from Pigeon Forge Pottery at the Old Mill are great gifts and no two are alike.  If you don’t want to buy salt & pepper shakers, they have black bears in virtually every size and shape you can image.  Make souvenir shopping fun by searching for the perfect bears for your family and friends.Teardrop Dulcimer

6. Dulcimer Music.  The dulcimer is a fretted, plucked musical instrument.  My child think it looks like a violin crossed with a guitar.  And, while its origins are suspected to be Persian, the instrument has enjoyed a strong revival in American Folk Music. Smoky Mountain Dulcimers Owner Mark Edelman is certain he can teach you a tune in just 2 minutes, and he sells songbooks and instructional materials to go along with the dulcimers.  If you aren’t musically inclined, there’s no doubt that one of your friends or family members will enjoy owning the music on CDs starting at just $10.

Buy a celtic souvenir!7. Embrace your heritage.  Whether you can boast celtic origins or just wondered how to find the celtic music you always hear on PBS, Celtic Heritage (located in The Village near traffic light #6) is for you.  Celtic Heritage offers quality merchandise from Ireland, Scotland & Wales including jewelry from over 15 manufacturers, Belleck porcelain & the now rare Royal Tara, Scottish &  Welsh Tartan products, hard-to-find Celtic music, prints by Greta Stiles, Phillip Gray & Edmond Sullivan as well as Coat of Arms & Family Name histories.

Chainsaw Bear8.  Chainsaw Carved Bear.  Granted, if you’re flying home, this gift may be a little too heavy to check as baggage, but since Gatlinburg is a day’s drive from 1/2 of the US…I couldn’t resist.  At Make it Magic in the Arts & Crafts Community in Gatlinburg, you can get your very own “Stump Brother.”  These bears are carved with a chainsaw and detailed with an angle grinder.  Each bear is signed and number and comes with a Birth Announcement, too.  Of course, you don’t have to buy a bear, but we they’re our favorites!

Watch Taffy Being Made!9.  Taffy.  A visit to Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, located at the entrance to the Village Shops near traffic light  #6, is sure to please the kid in everyone.  Watch taffy being made through the big picture windows then take home a box for you, the kids, and every co-worker you’ve got.  Candy comes in a huge variety of package sizes, flavors, and style which makes the recipients of these souvenirs feel special…how sweet.

Buy Nat'l Park Souvenirs!10. All Things National Park.  After all of this, you forgot to buy souvenirs, didn’t you? We love the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains Association has been a non-profit partner of the Park since 1953.  They are the official source for maps, guide books, and branded clothing.  And lucky for you, they have an online store…no one ever has to know you forgot…we won’t tell, I promise.

1-800-309-0277

1-800-309-0277

This blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN.  For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277.  ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.