Gatlinburg, TN - how do you like this town?

Old Mar 21st, 2023, 12:15 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 120
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gatlinburg, TN - how do you like this town?

Never been there, thinking of going there in July. I understand it has European vibe to it. What do you think about Gatlinburg? Yay or nay?
andyg5056 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 02:31 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
European vibe? Ummmm maybe Tennessee kitsch.
Really, if you want to visit the Great Smoky Mountains choose another town to stay in--Townsend is often mentioned here.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 02:53 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you enjoy nature and outdoor activities, Gatlinburg can be a great destination to explore. However, it's worth noting that it can get quite crowded during peak tourist seasons like summer, and some people find it too touristy or commercialized.
cezannezadzisai7460 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 03:58 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 120
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, outdoors and the Smokies is the destination. Thanks all for the pointers, I need to do more research on Townsend.
andyg5056 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 09:06 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 47
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You say "outdoors and the Smokies" are the primary areas of interest. If so, then you should avoid Gatlinburg at all costs.
It is a wasteland of tasteless consumerism and traffic gridlock.
Only go there if you enjoy putt-putt golf, saltwater taffy, airbrushed t-shirts, fake moonshine and hoards of dumb consumers.
bluegrass1 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 09:22 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,390
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would love to know who described Gatlinburg as having a European vibe!
AustinTraveler is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 04:50 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 12,031
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bluegrass1
You say "outdoors and the Smokies" are the primary areas of interest. If so, then you should avoid Gatlinburg at all costs.
It is a wasteland of tasteless consumerism and traffic gridlock.
Only go there if you enjoy putt-putt golf, saltwater taffy, airbrushed t-shirts, fake moonshine and hoards of dumb consumers.
I had not commented because I hoped things had improved from the time I was in Gatlinburg many, many years ago. It was so bad, we vowed never to back. Sounds worse now than then. There are some places in Europe that are also filled with tacky, usually imported, disposable, plastic junk. Maybe that is the European vibe, LOL.
Sassafrass is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 06:11 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 120
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AustinTraveler
I would love to know who described Gatlinburg as having a European vibe!
A girl from Europe said that at a party when someone brought up Smokey Mountains.
The kids nowadays...

Last edited by andyg5056; Mar 22nd, 2023 at 06:13 PM.
andyg5056 is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2023, 07:20 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by andyg5056
Never been there, thinking of going there in July. I understand it has European vibe to it. What do you think about Gatlinburg? Yay or nay?
Really depends what type of vacation or vibe you're looking for. If more outdoors/chill vibes, definitely go for Townsend or Wears Valley. Think less tourist traps, less congestion, less high-end amenities...but more picturesque views, and slower pace. Gatlinburg (and Pigeon Forge) are known for block after block of family entertainment and attractions. You'll find wax museums, alpine coasters, mini-golf, dinner shows, unique experiences, and the list goes on.

SmokyMountainsLife is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2023, 07:22 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 333
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The French Quarter in New Orleans, Old Quebec City and the Santa Fe Plaza have a European vibe. Also see:

St. Martinville, Louisiana. Martinville has a unique Acadian (French Canadian) and Black Creole history. Some of the residents in the region still speak Colonial French, one of the dialects of French Creole. The Evangeline Oak Park centers on an ancient live oak tree (with hanging Spanish moss) on the Bayou Teche. The tree is named for the heroine of the poem Evangeline, written and published by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1847. There are still some buildings built in the French colonial architecture style. Eat Cajun food.

Natchitoches, LA this town within the Cane River National Heritage Area celebrating Colonial, Antebellum and Creole history is an exquisite historic gem (with a 33-block National Historic Landmark district) that was founded in 1714—four years before New Orleans—and is recognized today as the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase territory. French Creole homes make up this fascinating collection of buildings that help give Natchitoches its undeniable charm. Check out the 1863 Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile store and Oakland Plantation, known as the most complete Creole plantation in the South. Eat Cajun or French Creole food.


Natchez, MS. The charming city dates back to 1716, making it one of the oldest settlements along the Mississippi River. By the 19th century, it was home to a bustling river port and more millionaires than any other city in the nation. More than 1,000 structures in this river town are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including homes dating to the late 1700s. They help preserve the city’s storied past while providing space for cutting-edge cuisine. There is the Natchez National Historic Park with three locations which preserves the Old South King Cotton heritage. This is a premiere Southern destination.

New Paltz, NY. New Paltz has the oldest street in America dating from the early 1700s. "Historic Huguenot Street is a national treasure, a National Historic Landmark District situated on the banks of the Wallkill River, in the picturesque and eclectic college town of New Paltz, NY." The downtown is lively when school’s in session. Of interest are Monhonk Preserve, Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and Monhonk House. Check out the food at Huckleberry’s.

Little Italy (Federal Hill), Providence, RI. The Federal Hill section of Providence is also known as Little Italy. In the early 1900s, a large group of Italian immigrants took up residence on Atwells Avenue and Spruce Street. As the Italian population expanded, it spilled over into all of Federal Hill. Rhode Island's Little Italy is an authentic community. As you stroll through the area, you will often overhear the Italian language in many conversations. You will find many authentic Italian businesses including restaurants, bakeries, butchers, and more. Settle in for an Old World Italian meal or shop for goods imported from across the Atlantic.

Frankenmuth, MI. Founded by German Lutheran immigrants in the 1800s, this town is known for its old-fashioned European ambiance with its Franconian-inspired architecture. Known as Michigan’s “Little Bavaria” eat German food at one of its high-quality restaurants. Be sure to cross the covered Holz Brucke Bridge (Holz Brucke means wooden bridge in German). Heritage Park, located off of Weise Street, hosts many festivals and community activities throughout the year. Check out the town’s100 unique shops and boutiques, many in the historic downtown. Many people still speak an antiquated dialect of German. May be too touristy for some visitors.

Spring Grove, Minn. The Spring Grove settlement has retained the language and customs of Norway longer than most of the other towns in America. An archaic dialect of the Norwegian language is still commonly spoken on the streets, and business continues to be transacted in both English and Norwegian. Eat Norwegian foods such as Lutefisk, Lefse and Rømmegrøt, a butter-soaked cream pudding. Ride bikes on the Blufflands State Trail through forestlands and fields and explore the Dorer State Forest. Twenty-five miles south is Decorah, the Norwegian capital of Iowa.

Hermann, Missouri. This is a wonderful town with 1830s brick buildings built by Germans. There are two downtowns! There are several bed and breakfasts there plus a winery on a hill north of the river. Along the north side bank of the river lies the famous 238-mile Katy Trail. Rent bikes and have a blast on this scenic trail. The residents celebrate their German heritage with festivals such as Maifest and

Baie-St-Paul— Founded in 1678, Baie-Saint Paul is one of Quebec's oldest municipalities and features narrow streets lined with charming boutiques and art galleries. It’s a little Old Quebec City without the cobblestones.
PrairieHikerI is offline  
Old Jun 6th, 2023, 06:57 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 654
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow, Prairie! What a great list, thanks!
coral22 is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2023, 01:48 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,305
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There's a chapter about Gatlinburg in Bill Bryson's well-written book about hiking the Appalachian Trail, "A Walk in the Woods". “Gatlinburg is a shock to the system from whichever angle you survey it, but never more so than when you descend upon it from a spell of moist, grubby isolation in the woods. It just sits outside the main entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and specializes in providing all those things that the park does not - principally, slurpy food, motels, gift shops, and sidewalks on which to waddle and dawdle - nearly all of it strewn along a single, astoundingly ugly main street.” — -Bill Bryson, "A Walk in the Woods"
bakerstreet is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2023, 01:52 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,305
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A better quote from the book (I think there were errors in the foregoing):

“Gatlinburg is a shock to the system from whichever angle you survey it, but never more so than when you descend upon it from a spell of moist, grubby isolation in the woods. It sits just outside the main entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and specializes in providing all those things that the park does not — principally, slurpy food, motels, gift shops, and sidewalks on which to waddle and dawdle — nearly all of it strewn along a single, astoundingly ugly main street. For years it has prospered on the confident understanding that when Americans load up their cars and drive enormous distances to a setting of rare natural splendor what most of them want when they get there is to play a little miniature golf and eat dribbly food. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular national park in America, but Gatlinburg… is more popular than the park.

Walking in an unhurried fashion up and down the street were more crowds of overweight tourists in boisterous clothes, with cameras bouncing on their bellies, consuming ice-creams, cotton candy, and corn dogs, sometimes simultaneously… throngs of pear-shaped people in Reeboks wandered between food smells, clutching grotesque comestibles and bucket-sized soft drinks.”
bakerstreet is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2023, 02:47 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,876
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
He does have a way with words!! LOL
I've said it before but--I went to camp just outside Gatlinburg in the 40's. The Gatlinburg Inn was the only hotel and it really WAS a beautiful mountain town.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2023, 01:54 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 858
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The only thing Gatlinburg has going for it is a good location for reaching nearby natural attractions. It’s such a pity the town itself is a congested, charmless, unattractive place with overpriced old motels.
aggiegirl is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2023, 06:30 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29,756
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Loathe to disagree with any of the above, but after years of driving to Western Kentucky from Maryland in snow and ice for Christmas, we (7 of us) decided to have Christmas in October and met in Gatlinburg. We (actually the Kentucky side) rented an amazing house in the mountains. We went to Dollywood but never returned. We simply enjoyed the incredible view from a three-story, 3-bath "cabin". Despite the consumerism, it's a pretty area. Not a single European vibe though.
​​​​​​
TDudette is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2023, 06:44 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 83,238
Received 46 Likes on 17 Posts
But so much of eastern TN, western NC and north GA has all of the good stuff going for it that you liked - but none of the Gatlinburg mess.

I wonder what the OP decided for his July trip.
starrs is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2023, 06:29 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 29,756
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agreed, starrs. Yes, I wondered the same...and told the OP about the vibe!
TDudette is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Danielle
Europe
9
Sep 1st, 1998 06:12 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -