What began as Gatlinburg’s small artists’ loop became an 8-mile-long arts-and-crafts haven for weavers, whittlers, and glassblowers. Elk Springs Resort sits in the midst of this creative hub. It’s a private 68-acre estate dotted with luxury log cabins offering rustic decor and contemporary amenities. Two-, three-, four-, and five-bedroom cabins each sleep at least two guests. Furnishings nod to the resort’s native cedars and hemlocks with woodsy accents such as hardwood floors and bed frames made from finished tree branches.
Spy on the Smokies: Most units have good views of the mountains, including some with outdoor decks and patios.
Mountain luxury: Depending on the unit, you may spend some time soaking in a hot tub, playing games on pool tables, or enjoying other amenities.
Party time: Four- and five-bedroom cabins can accommodate up to 14 guests.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee: Charming Artists’ Village amid Great Smoky Mountains
Gatlinburg rests near Tennessee’s eastern border, less than 3 miles from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here, you can hike more than 100 trails that wind past waterfalls and pioneer-era log cabins tucked deep within densely forested mountains. Or, take a bicycle ride on the 11-mile loop through Cades Cove, a broad valley of open meadows where you can see deer, black bears, and wild turkeys. Clingmans Dome, the park’s highest point of elevation at 6,643 feet, is a great place to catch the sunset.
Gatlinburg’s main attraction is probably the artists’ loop. It comprises more than 100 craft shops, studios, and cafés, and you can watch artisans as they hand weave baskets and whittle wooden figurines. Downtown Gatlinburg itself is a mountain village filled with old-fashioned ice-cream shops and boutiques selling housemade jams and decorative gewgaws.