Posted by Leif Palmer in Smoky Mountains
Although we all know good and well what day Christmas is every year, we always seem to fall into the same trap of letting time slip by. For many of us, before we know it, the days have lapsed into weeks, and we're staring Christmas in the face with little progress made in knocking out our shopping lists.
The good news is that even if you're behind on your naughty-or-nice list, you don't have to let a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains slow you down. With just a little more than two weeks left to go before Santa makes his rounds, you can easily work in a tour of the Smokies and sneak in some last-minute holiday gift hunting at the same time. Here are some suggestions for where to shop during the next couple of weeks:
Outlet Malls – These seem to be among the most popular destinations year 'round. In general, outlet malls offer a wide range of brand-name merchandise at factory-direct discounts. The selection is terrific and the savings can be big. One of the more popular sites is the Tanger Five Oaks Outlet Center in Sevierville, which features dozens and dozens of shops and eateries. Also popular is the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall and the adjoining Z Buda mall in Pigeon Forge.
Christmas Stores – Some places specialize in providing a Christmas shopping experience 365 days a year, and the most notable is the Incredible Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. You'll find tens of thousands of square feet devoted to trees, decorations, collectibles, lights, flowers and everything that has to do with the holidays.
Antique Stores – The merchandise may not be brand-new, but at a high-quality antique store, you can find a true one-of-a-kind treasure that can find new life with just the right person. Many of these shops are located along Tenn. Hwy. 66 between downtown Sevierville and Interstate 40. You'll find furnishings, collectibles, glassware and more.
Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community – Located just a few miles from downtown Gatlinburg, this eight-mile auto loop features a collective of Smoky Mountains artisans who continue time-honored craft traditions handed down through the decades. Stop by the shops, galleries and studios and watch the craftsmen at work while browsing their wares. Look for traditional crafts like hand-made baskets, brooms and candles as well as jewelry, pottery, paintings, sculptures and much more. The community also has several places to stop and eat along the way.
Other Ideas – These aren't the only places to shop in the Smokies, of course. Most attractions and music theaters have their own gift stores, which make for unique, specialized merchandise for the fans in your life. Also, don't forget about the hundreds of great restaurants in the area, where you can get gift certificates or gift cards for sharing these delicious flavors with others.
If you haven't already booked your lodgings for your next trip to the Smokies, remember that we have a wide selection of cabins in Gatlinburg, TN, Pigeon Forge, TN, Wears Valley, TN and beyond. Rates are generally lower in the off-season, so now is a great time to sneak in a winter getaway to the mountains. And in addition to the shopping, all the sights and activities of Winterfest are still going strong in the area.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in the Smoky Mountains. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.
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