Posh Mountainside Cabins in Gatlinburg's Historical Arts and Crafts Community
In 1937, a small group of artisans decided to welcome tourists into their modest log homes in the Great Smoky Mountains so the out-of-towners could watch them hand carve wood, spin yarn, and practice various other traditional handicrafts. The tiny community grew quickly, and as more artists began working there, more people came to watch them work. Eventually, Gatlinburg's Artists' Loop became an 8-mile-long arts-and-crafts mecca bustling with weavers, whittlers, and glass blowers. In the midst of this creative hub rests Elk Springs Resort—a private, 68-acre estate dotted with luxury log cabins outfitted with rustic décor and contemporary amenities.
The two-bedroom cabins sleep at least five guests and nod to the resort's native cedars and hemlocks with woodsy accents such as hardwood floors and bed frames made from finished tree branches. In the Snuggled Inn cabin, a wall of 28-foot windows offers expansive views of the forest, and a heart-shaped jacuzzi adds a dash of romance. The pièce de résistance is an 18-foot rain tower shower with an overhead stream augmented by body-level jets. The Blackjack cabin boasts an enormous home-theater system and a game room equipped with a pool table and complimentary Monopoly referees.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee: Mountainside Adventures and Rustic Village Charm
Girded by mountain ranges on all sides, Gatlinburg rests near Tennessee's eastern border, not far from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The densely forested peaks abound with recreational activities, including ski resorts, hiking trails, and zipline tours through the picturesque canopy. Steps from the resort, the Artists Loop—comprised of more than 100 craft shops—remains a lively spot to watch artisans blowing glass, hand-weaving baskets, and whittling wooden figurines with their front teeth. This rustic charm extends to downtown Gatlinburg, a cozy mountain village filled with old-fashioned ice-cream shops and boutiques purveying homemade jams and decorative gewgaws.