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Easily the best known area within Sevier County, Gatlinburg was the first community in our county to become tourist focused. Originally known as White Oak Flats, Gatlinburg was actually named after a local store owner and part time preacher, Radford C. Gatlin, who arrived in 1854 and opened the area’s second general store. Unfortunately, controversy soon surrounded Mr. Gatlin and he was actually banished from the community. Interestingly, the city became known for him despite (or possibly because of?) his unpopularity.
Nearly 75 years ago the then sleepy logging town changed its focus and started to attract visitors instead of loggers. With the creation of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in 1940, Gatlinburg was positioned as the gateway to the beauty of the Smokies which is still the area’s primary claim to fame. With approximately 10 million visitors annually there is nothing sleepy about Gatlinburg anymore! If you are looking for something more like the old Gatlinburg it can however still be found in the Glades Arts & Crafts Community just outside of Gatlinburg proper. Here you can find expert artisans crafting pottery, original artwork, wood carving, and much more.
Being surrounded by the National Park on three sides, Gatlinburg has some of the most spectacular views in the county as well as much of the most mountainous terrain. In fact, the steep mountains are in essence the “price” that must be paid to have the bold views this area of the county is so well known for. The steep lots generally cause larger foundations and more expensive construction is the ultimate result. Because of the desirability of the area and the challenge in building here, Gatlinburg has in general the priciest real estate in the Sevier county area. Interestingly enough, it also may have the area’s best schools.
With attractions like the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and many more, Gatlinburg offers a true playground for visitors but can be a real challenge for folks who intend to live in our community. This is due to the very hectic traffic our community is known for during peak tourist seasons. Best suited for second homes and vacation rentals, it is however still possible to live happily in a few of the communities in Gatlinburg. Most of the areas best suited for full time residents are along the East Parkway, otherwise known as US Highway 321. Nearly all of the developable areas within Gatlinburg have long ago been parceled out and there aren’t many large tracts left although a few do exist.
Gatlinburg is known for some of the area’s best restaurants and I have tried most all of them. Some of our favorite restaurants in Gatlinburg are the Best Italian Restaurant, Calhouns, Bennetts Barbeque, The Park Grill, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and The Mountain Lodge but there is truly something for everyone here when it comes to food.
As of Monday, December 11, 2017 there were 1,475 residential properties listed for sale in our Great Smoky Mountains Association of Realtors® MLS database. The 173 residences for sale in the Gatlinburg area as of the same date were listed at an average price of $304,216.
|All information provided by Jeff Schoenfield, Broker/Owner, All Pro, Realtors, Inc.|