Everyone is familiar with the Gatlinburg shopping located on the Parkway - air-brushed t-shirts, mass-produced black bear mugs, neon colored hoodies with "Gatlinburg" in bold font. However, few vacationers know that only a few miles away rests The Glades Arts and Crafts Center an area filled with Gatlinburg crafts and unique wares from local artisans. The 8-mile loop of the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community rests in a scenic setting with the rolling hills of the Smoky Mountains serving as a backdrop.
Smoky Mountain vacationers staying in Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community cabins may not want to leave the area at all. With dining, quality shopping, and a quieter location than downtown Gatlinburg, the Glades Arts and Craft Community provides a chance to step back in time to an era when goods where made by hand, meals made from scratch, and life moved at a slower pace.
A Brief History of the The Glades Arts and Crafts Center
Back in 1937, the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community got its start. Known as the Glades, this Gatlinburg shopping district got its start when craftsman John Cowden and a group of his friends decided to invite the tourists to come out to see them make their Smoky Mountain art, often hosting their workshops in their own homes. As the visitors started coming, the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts district grew, adding more and more artists each year. Now, after nearly 80 years, The Glades Arts and Crafts Center has become the largest group of independent artists and craftsmen in America.
The Glades Arts and Crafts Center Shopping Experience
Along the 8 miles of Glades Road in Gatlinburg, TN, there are plenty stores hosting a variety stores with an assortment of Smoky Mountain art pieces: pottery, hand-crafted baskets, furniture, stained glass, jewelry, photography, musical instruments, and more. Plan on taking your time through the Glades Arts and Crafts Community. Some vacationers make this a day trip, spending 6-8 hours to leisurely browse through each shop that interests them.
Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community's Pottery
One of the more popular items in The Glades Arts and Crafts Center, several Smoky Mountain art shops feature quality pieces of handmade pottery. Alewiene Pottery offers may be one of the most popular destinations along Glades Road in Gatlinburg, TN to not only purchase great pottery, but watch as the craftsman shape the clay into wondrous pieces of art.
There are several other pottery stores within the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community that offer their own handmade goods as well as Smoky Mountain Pottery or Treasures in Earthen Vessels.
The Glades Arts and Crafts Center's Unique Craft Items
There are several Smoky Mountain art pieces and Gatlinburg crafts that you won't find anywhere else. These pieces offer a unique take on classic mountain crafts such as pottery and basket-weaving.
- Tim Weberding's elaborate wood baskets make for great home decor items and conversation starters.
- Judy Jones' pottery incorporates mountain motifs in whimsical pattern, providing an novel twist on this artform.
- If you're looking for photography that stands above the rest try the William Britten Gallery, which features some of the most visually striking photography of the Smokies in town.
- Talking Turkey Stained Glass Studio is a the perfect place to pick up a piece of unique stained glass for your home.
Homemade Home Goods at Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community's Pottery
The Glades Arts and Crafts Center offers several shops that feature Gatlinburg crafts and items for your home. From handmade soaps at Misty Mountain Soap Company to an assortment of home decor at places such as The Cliff Dwellers Gallery, you can take a piece of the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community back with you to bring some mountain style to your home.
Dining in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community
With all the Gatlinburg shopping you're bound to do in The Glades Arts and Crafts Center, you're bound to work up an appetite. There are several places to eat in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community, including:
- The Wild Plum Tea Room features light lunches and delicious plum tea.
- Morning Mist Cafe offers delicious sandwiches and plenty of Southern hospitality.
- Cabin Cafe gives diners American classics in a log cabin setting.
With so much Gatlinburg shopping in one place, the Glades Arts and Crafts center can easily fill up a day on your Smoky Mountain vacation. Come find heirloom quality souvenirs and Gatlinburg crafts that will keep the memory of the Smokies alive.
Written by Brittany Tipton