Gatlinburg by Junket
Did you know Gatlinburg is where Tennesee's state song, "Rocky Top", was written? Or that it is the second most popular wedding destination in the country? Or that it was named after the most hated man in town?
Gatlinburg's legacy is to be different and unique in every way possible. As a quirky, small-town piece of heaven in the Smokies, it appeals to a motley assortment of visitors with all types of appetites and hobbies, and Junket experiences aim to satisfy them all! From thrill-seekers to nature enthusiasts to weekend road-trippers, there is a place for everyone in this Tennessee paradise.
However, as a town tour after dark will remind you, the nightlife is rife with good times and strange happenings. All throughout its scenic surroundings, this popular vacation destination will never fail to surprise, and that's an understatement when it comes to Junket experiences like the Gatlinburg Haunts ghost tour!
Venture Into a Mountain Town's Mysterious Past
The Junket Gatlinburg Experience will reveal intriguing stories of the people and places that made the Gateway to the Smokies such a mysterious mountain retreat.
Come along with our knowledgeable guides as they introduce you to Gatlinburg's legendary stories and hidden secrets. Choose from one of our popular tours:
Join us for a visit to Gatlinburg and experience true mountain living, with breathtaking views, Appalachian hospitality, and a tale around every tree.
Gateway to the Smokies
Surrounded on three sides by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is an ideal vacation destination for a wide variety of travelers. Throughout its history dating back to frontier days to the present day, it has continued to retain its reputation as a scenic wilderness dotted with vigorous hiking trails and cascading waterfalls- a divine, nature-centric escape for those needing to unplug. Entertainment and thrill-seekers who want to enjoy a bustling downtown full of unique attractions, one-of-a-kind shopping treasures, and a beautiful, interactive night scene will be in heaven in this Tennesee wonderland that has just grown quirkier over the centuries.
From Ancient Footpath to Modern Parkway
the winding highway that takes you through the fog-draped mountain ridge of North Carolina and Tennessee, directly through the heart of Gatlinburg, is known for its historical homesteads and abundant wildlife. It was built about the legacy of an ancient footpath known as Indian Gap Trail. It gave the Cherokee and other Native American tribes access to the wildlife and game hidden in the dense forests of what would one day become 500,000 acres of the Great Smoky Mountains National Forest.
By the 1800s, veterans of the American Revolution and the War of 1812 were awarded land grants of 50 acres each in appreciation for their service.
European fur trappers and traders had been camping in the Smokies sporadically before settlers began to populate the area they called White Oak Flats, after the abundant trees that surrounded them. The self-sustaining community of hardy mountain folk that settled on the ridge changed little in the first 100 years, carving out a life for themselves from the unforgiving terrain.
"The hewing was hard. The dangers were many. The rifle could never be far from the ax. The pioneers stood on their own feet, got their own game and fought off their own enemies. In time of incident or misfortune, they helped each other."
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Like many small Smoky Mountain communities, Gatlinburg would attempt to remain neutral during the Civil War, but with battles raging all around them, the townspeople suffered deprivation and hardship, effects that would linger for decades to come. Railroad expansion and the logging industry would boost the local economy as residents supplemented their meager farming income by providing lodging for the workers from the logging companies, who saw the value of the strong, healthy trees in the region.
The threat of hundreds of acres of dense forest transforming into a barren wasteland due to logging activity alarmed conservationists.
Through heartfelt petitions from wilderness experts, outdoor enthusiasts, hiking and fishing guides, and support groups, the goverment was persuaded to establish an area in the mountains that would be federally protected from industrial devastation. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was dedicated in 1940 and the resulting tourism brought a new era of prosperity to the region.
"The magnificent forest we see today is a pale shadow of the immense original natural blanket which spread before pioneer settlers when they came to farm in ever-increasing numbers in the early days of the nineteenth century."
"Whistle Over the Mountain
Attracted by descriptions of the area's beauty, thousands of tourist streamed into the park each year, and residents of nearby cities began to build vacation homes around Gatlinburg. Popular restaurants and hotels grew to accommodate visitors, resulting in Gatlinburg's development as an all-season mountain resort getaway.
A Haven for Lovers of Nature, Art, and Play
Today's Gatlinburg is a popular tourist destination with big-city attractions and small-town charm. This renaissance of popularity has grown this all-season resort town into one of the most visited cities in America, known as the Gateway to the Smokies.
"When I come here it's a feeling like nothing else. It has grown, as all things must. But the Smokies will never lose their charm and their magic."
Adjacent to downtown Gatlinburg, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to ancient mountains, misty forests, underground caverns, a ghost town, and a medley of curious visitors each year. Hikers, nature enthusiasts, and sightseers are among the many who flock to this area throughout all seasons of the year to immerse themselves in this enchanting segment of the Appalachian wilderness.
Along with its myriad attractions, the city of Gatlinburg is an outdoor enthusiast's dream and an artist's retreat that draws inspiration and creativity from the surrounding mountains.
Get to Know Gatlinburg
Endless options of activities, dining, and socializing are within a two-mile stroll along the Parkway that runs through the center of town, packed with attractions ranging from museums to carnival games to shopping, and so much more. Here are a few of the places you should check off your list:
- Cades Cove: The most visited section of the National Park is a breathtaking valley with sweeping mountain vistas and abundant wildlife.
- Ogle Cabin: The very first log cabin built in Gatlinburg in 1802 still stands at the Visitor's Center.
- Smoky Mountain Brewery: A modern ski lodge and Bavarian beer hall all rolled into one, this microbrewery serves a wide selection of small-craft flavors.
- Pancake Pantry: The oldest pancake house in the area has been feeding visitors since 1961.
- Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Community: The country's largest independent artisan organization, this eight-mile driving loop features over 100 artists and craftsmen.
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