Posh Mountainside Cabins in Gatlinburg's Historical Arts-and-Crafts Community
In 1937, a small group of artisans started welcoming 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 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 haven for weavers, whittlers, and glass blowers.
Elk Springs Resort sits in the midst of this creative hub. It's a private 68-acre estate dotted with luxury log cabins, each outfitted with rustic decor and contemporary amenities.
The two-, three-, and four-bedroom cabins each sleep at least four 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 four-bedroom Creeksong cabin, meanwhile, has a screened-in porch and sits at the front of a large trout stream that winds through the Great Smoky Mountains.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee: Mountainside Adventures and Rustic Village Charm
Girded by mountain ranges on all sides, Gatlinburg rests near Tennessee's eastern border, less than 3 miles 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 you'll find Gatlinburg's main attraction, the Artists' Loop. It's comprised of more than 100 craft shops, studios, and cafés, and it remains a lively spot to watch artisans at work, 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.