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Off the Beaten Path



Have you visited the Great Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts Community in Gatlinburg?

No one planned the development of the community. It just happened. Artists and crafters often practiced their specialty in Downtown Gatlinburg. Passersby could watch them develop their creations. However, weather, increase in traffic, and high commissions to the shop owners caused the artists and crafters to move their creations to The Glades, where many of them lived.

They soon realized the move was beneficial in many ways. Not only were they closer to their homes, but they also had easier access to their tools and supplies. Around 1937, John Cowden was the first to make the move from Downtown Gatlinburg to The Glades. Soon, dozens of other artists followed.

As word spread, locals and visitors began visiting The Glades for locally made pottery, furniture, candles, instruments, carvings and more.

In addition to the 100 artists and craftsmen, The Glades also boasts eateries, lodging, chapels, and free parking. All of the members of the Arts and Crafts community are located in an 8-mile loop. The Glades is a must-see on your next trip to the Great Smoky Mountains!

For a complete members list, community map, brochure, events, history and more, visit their website at



The owner and founder of The Smoky Mountain Life, Kim Hunt, is a lifelong resident of southeast Tennessee and lover of all things Smoky Mountains. 

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