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Gatlinburg Overview

Gatlinburg, a city located in the eastern section of Tennessee, is a popular vacation spot known for its breathtaking surroundings just minutes away from the famous Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While the town Gatlinburg was named after Radford Gatlin in 1856, the first known man to settle in the area was William Ogle, whose family built the cabin he dreamed of after his death from malaria in 1803. This first cabin still stands today near the heart of Gatlinburg.

The most well known aspect of Gatlinburg is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which was designated as a national park around 1926 when 76,000 acres of land were purchased from the Little River Lumber Company for the purpose of preservation. In 1916, Andrew Huff opened the first hotel in the area, the Mountain View Hotel, and the park was finally opened in 1934. This area of Gatlinburg quickly became a popular vacation spot for tourists because of writers like Mary Noailles and Horace Kephart who wrote of the Gatlinburg area’s natural beauty, drawing guests to see for themselves what natural wonders Gatlinburg holds.

The city of Gatlinburg gained national attention in 1992, when a devastating fire burned down an entire block due to a faulty wiring in a light fixture. Consumed in the fire were the famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, as well as a few other attractions. The entire block in Gatlinburg, known as Rebel’s block, was rebuilt and reopened to visitors in 1995.

Attractions and Events
In addition the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, some of the most popular attractions in Gatlinburg include a ski resort, an amusement park, and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies (featuring special exhibits covering fascinating topics like the Titanic, pirates, and the planet Mars). Music and family-oriented theaters can be found here as well, including the well known Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre, hosting musical comedy. Designed with a rustic, mountain theme, tourists will also find loads of specialty shops to do their shopping in Gatlinburg.

Due to its amazing natural beauty, Gatlinburg is a popular area for many photographers, and even glamour model photographers hold national events and shoots in the area, for waterfalls in Gatlinburg hold amazing natural beauty.

Gatlinburg’s beauty has to do with the fact that it is surrounded by high ridges on all sides. The La Conte and Sugarland Mountain massifs rise to the south, while in the west you’ll see Cove Mountain, in the northeast Big Ridge and Grapeyard Ridge in the east.

Travel easily in Gatlinburg using the free shuttle buses that pass through the city every half an hour. So, come and enjoy a weekend in Gatlinburg to see what the city holds for you!

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