Right after the holidays and trying to find the perfect gifts for family and friends, you may not want to think about shopping too much. But after Christmas is the right time to buy a little something for yourself or something extra for your loved one. If you stay at Christopher Place, you will soon discover a unique nearby treasure trove of local artisan creations only found in the Appalachian region, with families who have perfected their craft for generations.
Our inn is just a few minutes up US 411 from Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg – all considered the “major” cities in the area and where most of the best shopping is located. The first two towns have their own large factory outlet malls that include various designer stores and general merchandise. Not surprisingly, these places are best for finding fashion and household item bargains. In Sevierville, you can visit Five Oaks Tangier Outlets, while Pigeon Forge features the Factory Merchants’ Mall and Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet.
Gatlinburg has two smaller malls, the Mountain Mall and the Village Shops, both of which have locally owned businesses offering more one-of-a-kind wares. Be sure to visit Alwine Pottery in the Village Shops, and Mountain Village Décor in the Mountain Mall, both of which sell local hand-crafted items. Nearby, the popular Jonathan’s “The Bear Necessities” has home items, apparel, books and scrapbook supplies with a decidedly mountain theme.
Looking for a truly customized souvenir to bring home? Then head to Wood Signs of Gatlinburg and have them create a lasting personal memento that you can hang up either inside or outside.
Raise a glass
Winery tours are also becoming more popular, the most well-known being the Rocky Top Wine Trail. Although the harvesting of wine grapes has only occurred recently in the area, the climate and terrain are similar to those of other more renowned wine-producing areas around the country. So it’s only a matter of time before the Smoky Mountains becomes a destination wine country in its own right.
Two of our favorite wineries outside the Rocky Top are in Gatlinburg (Smoky Mountain Winery) and over the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville (Biltmore Winery). All of these wineries sell varietals that make great gifts, either for yourself or for others.
Of course, the more characteristic spirit of the region is moonshine. No longer relegated to secret backwoods production, it’s now legally created and distilled in various establishments in both Tennessee and North Carolina. Sample a bit at the Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine distillery and buy some to take home.
Get crafty and artsy
Many visitors to our area search for handmade items such as furniture, household merchandise, foods and other works associated with the Appalachian Mountains. You can find just about anything you might want at the Great Smoky (Gatlinburg) Arts & Crafts Community, which brings more than 120 artisans and crafts people together in one convenient area around town. At Foothills of the Smoky’s Quilt Shop, browse at the intricate stitchery and handiwork found in these masterpieces of cloth and fabric. If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, enjoy some taffy at Pigeon Forges’ Smoky Mountain Candy Makers, made right on the premises.
After a long day of shopping, return to Christopher Place and just relax near the fireplace in our library, or in your own luxurious room with a view of the mountains. Don’t forget to open that bottle of wine and pour yourself a glass.
Photo courtesy of Faungg’s Photos.