Designated a historic pathway on the Tennessee Arts and Crafts Trail, the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community is the largest group of independent artisans in North America. Since its inception in 1937, the community has grown to encompass more than 120 studios, galleries and shops, as well as restaurants, cafes and a tearoom, in its eight-mile loop.

The Arts and Crafts Community (also occasionally known as “The Glades”) is located three miles east of downtown Gatlinburg along East Parkway (Hwy 321 North) and eventually connects to both Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. The drive itself is often picturesque and shows off some of the best views and atmospheres of the Tennessee Smokies we know to date. Those who feel adventurous will be rewarded by venturing off the main road to discover Richardson’s Cove, Pittman Center, Boogertown Road and other intimate settings of life in the mountains.

As far as recommendations go into the shops and stops, this is a good starting list:

Alewine Pottery – Probably the foremost potter artist and one of the best known artists in our area, Alewine Pottery’s been doing great business in the Glades for more than 30 years. Go visit them and see why! www.alewinepottery.net

Blackwolff Knives – Blackwolff Knives is a locally owned company knife production company. Artist Ted Wolff has solely handcrafted each of these knives and sheaths and both production and custom blades are available at Blackwolff Knives. Selections vary from hunting, fishing and novelty to collectible knives and letter openers. www.blackwolff.com

Cliff Dwellers Gallery – One of the more famous buildings in Gatlinburg, Cliff Dwellers was once in downtown Gatlinburg until they literally moved the ENTIRE BUILDING do where it is now. Not only are they well known for that story, but for the variety and quality of the items they sell too. www.cliffdwellersgallery.com

Fox & Parrot Tavern – The only British tavern in the Smokies (either that or the longest-serving in the Smokies), the Fox & Parrot Tavern offer a casual family atmosphere that compliments the magic of Gatlinburg. Authentic British dishes and drinks are served each day of the week. www.fox-and-parrot.com

G. Webb Gallery – G. Webb Gallery is a place where an art lover can begin a collection or supplement an already distinguished one. G’s interests focus on landscapes, mountainscapes, florals, people, historic buildings, and the heritage of the mountains as displayed on limited edition lithographs, giclees, and original watercolours. www.gwebbgallery.com

Glades Soda Fountain – Come and enjoy a blast from the past at the Glades Soda Fountain. This little sweet shoppe offers a variety of snacks, lunches and malts made with authentic vintage soda fountain equipment. One of the few eateries like this in East Tennessee! http://greatsmokyartsandcraftscommunity.com/_shops/sodafoun.htm

Jim Gray Gallery – One of the most prolific painters in the history of the Smoky Mountains, Jim Gray has been a big name in the arts community of East Tennessee for decades. His portraits of the mountains in various stages of the seasons come to life in ways you didn’t think possible. www.jimgraygallery.com

Paul Murray Gallery – The Paul Murray Gallery features unforgettable images of past Appalachian peoples, places, and events in by far the coolest, most rustic looking gallery you’ll find in the Glades. Another famous artist to add to your list of places to visit in the Arts and Crafts Community! http://paulmurray.com/galleries/

Santa’s Clauset – It’s Christmas every day of the year at Santa’s Clauset on Highway 321. This is a very cool store that perfectly brings to mind the spirit and season of Christmas no matter what season it is when you visit. A huge variety of gifts and items and appearances from the big man himself. www.santasclaus-et.com

The Wild Plum Tea Room – Every quiet, dignified cultural community needs a tea room, and The Wild Plum is our place to go for fine delicacies and dishes you may not have ever seen before. This Austrian-style house features Lobster Pie, Kobe Burger, Yellowfin Tuna, wine, the Wild Plum tea that gave the business its name and, yes, more than that just waiting for you to drop by! www.wildplumtearoom.com

See more on the Arts and Crafts Community at www.gatlinburgcrafts.com.