Wood Signs of Gatlinburg

People come to Gatlinburg for all kinds of reasons be it for a honeymoon or a vacation getaway to the Smokies, or just to get away and go shop Gatlinburg’s parkway. The downtown area sees thousands of shoppers every year due to its unique collection of stores like Wood Signs of Gatlinburg.

Since 1971, Wood Signs of Gatlinburg have been making custom wood signs to commemorate all kinds of special occasions, and add to your home or business’ decor. They’re family owned and operated.

Wood Signs of Gatlinburg make their signs out of the finest wood including a number of South American hardwoods, California Redwood, Eastern Red Cedar, and Western Red Cedar. All these types of wood that go into making some of the most beautiful signs imaginable are weather resistant and durable. Each is built to last whether you choose to display it indoors or outdoors.

Their holiday signs are especially popular, so if you’re currently downtown you can find Wood Signs of Gatlinburg near the Smokyland Motel and Riverside Motor Lodge. And it doesn’t take long at all for Wood Signs to develop your own personal sign while you shop or eat downtown. Most signs, depending on how busy the shop is take about an hour and a half.

If you’re looking for a wonderful, custom-crafted wood sign to finish off your home’s decor, or give to a friend, drop by Wood Signs of Gatlinburg and have their staff personalize an attractive wood sign that is sure to be a conversation piece for years to come.

Wood Signs of Gatlinburg
715 Parkway
Gatlinburg TN 37738
866-436-9640, 865-436-9640

Zi Olive

Here is something a little different:  Zi Olive.  Zi Olive is home to the best olive oils and balsamic vinegar that you will find in the Smokies.  Located in The Village, in Gatlinburg, TN, this store allows you to sample some of the most beautiful and best tasting olive oils that you will ever encounter.  Infused oils and Balsamic vinegar are available for tasting, then for purchase and finally to take home with you to use as marinades and in recipes to add that little extra bit of flavor.

Olive Oil is one of the most amazing cooking tools ever created.  Pressed from olives at the peak of their ripeness, Zi Olive takes extra virgin olive oil and infuses it with extra flavors   These extra flavors add flavor and punch to your recipes.  And what’s more, you have the opportunity to taste before you buy.  From oils with a citrus appeal to oils that have been infused with herbs like basil and garlic, these olive oil creations are good when tasted by themselves and of course will take your next meal to new heights.

Village_logoThen of course you have their selection of balsamic vinegars.  The same way that the olive oil has been infused with other flavors, the balsamic vinegar has gotten the same treatment.  Balsamic vinegar is produced from grape juice and has become one of the ingredients of choice in vinegar and oil dressing for salads all over the countryside.  Of course, when added to other recipes, it is a wonderful addition and brightens the flavor of any stir fry.  The balsamic vinegars from Zi Olive has additional flavors to change the flavor palette of those recipes you are already using in your recipes.  Flavored with such ingredients as cherries, chocolate, garlic and figs, these infused balsamic vinegars will make every recipe you use them in take on a new life.

And speaking of recipes, you need to pay a visit to their website.  There website contains a plethora of information and recipes.  Their recipe section changes on a regular basis and will give you ideas on how to use their products and get the most out of the oils and vinegars that you purchase.  Pay a visit to Zi Olive in The Village in Gatlinburg.  As you are browsing through the shops you will spot them and you will be transported to the wonderful world of infused oils and vinegars.  Try some of them.  Taste the various flavors and imagine the recipes you already use olive oil in with a complete different flavor set.  Try Zi Olive.

Zi Olive
The Village
634 Parkway #6
Gatlinburg, TN

Life According to Jake

Life is Good

Life According to Jake is Gatlinburg’s local Life is Good neighborhood shoppe.  They have all of the Life is Good paraphernalia that you could possibly want and plenty of their own items as well.  Life is Good is not only an optimistic outlook on life but a great way to show your optimism and your vest for the brighter side.  In Life According to Jake, all of the items feature the Life is Good ideas and you walk out a billboard for a better outlook on life in general.

Life is Good is a New England based apparel company that started in 1994.  It is known for its Life is Good t-shirts and lifestyle items that make you feel good about the saying on your shirt.  The smiling stick figure on most of the shirt is named Jake and thus, that is why the shop in Gatlinburg is known as Life According to Jake.  The Life is Good company expanded their product line and now they are seen in more then 4,000 retail locations around the country and in 30 other countries worldwide.  Since brothers Bert and John Jacobs started the company (in a booth at a street fair), they have made this company into a nationwide phenomenon.

Life According to Jake has ll of the Life is Good apparel and gift concepts along with those that are themed for the mountains:  hiking in the Smokies, backpacking, kayaking the Smoky Mountains and the like.  You can pick up all of those Life is Good gifts that you need for those folks back home or get your optimism on and grab yourself some Life is Good gear.  Walk through the streets of Gatlinburg feeling that Life is Good, that life is better then it was before you went through the door of Life According to Jake.

Life According to Jake
634 Parkway #9
Gatlinburg, TN

The Day Hiker

In my opinion, there is no better find in a small mountain town then a good outfitter.  In Gatlinburg, one of my favorite places to pick up those things that I need while I am on the trail is The Day Hiker.  Located in the The Village, The Day Hiker is easy to find and always a pleasure to visit.  The walls are filled with all the necessities for a hike and somethings that you might not have thought you would find in a shop this size.

The Day Hiker is at the front of The Village in the center of Gatlinburg.  As you walk in, you will pass Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen and then The Day Hiker is immediately on the right.  When you step inside you will begin to explore all of the things you would need to spend a day on the trail.  Here is the funny thing though, the shop is called The Day Hiker but you could get gear to spend much longer on the trails in the Smokies here.  Backpacks to boots, food to trail fashions, literally everything you need for a day hike or a week long stay in the mountains.  But the best thing is that the staff is made up of hikers.

Unlike a lot of the outfitters in the Smokies, this shop is staffed by people that know their stuff.  If you are a novice and you are looking for a nice, quick hike with the kids, they will be glad to answers questions for you.  Maybe you are about to take your first serious hike and you need to pick up a pair of boots that will get you from hear to there.  The good people at The Day Hiker will be glad to make recommendations and point you in the right direction.  Or maybe you are getting ready to start a week long journey into the mountains and you know that your backpack or sleeping bag is not up to the trials of the trail you are going to be on.  Let the staff at The Day Hiker give you the tips you need to have a good time on the trail and not end up shivering in your sleeping bags during the cold nights.

They also have some of the best hiking t-shirts in Gatlinburg.  Funny, thought provoking and well made, you can find that t-shirt for those that could not make the trip.  You can find that shirt that let’s everybody know you spent some time hiking or just grab it for a souvenir of a great trip to the Smokies.  Either way, the selection of t-shirts at The Day Hiker is extraordinary.

If you are planning to hike while you are in the Smoky Mountains, it is always best to be prepared.  Make sure that you have the right gear for the trail you are hiking and of course if you have questions you need to find someone that hikes to ask.  The Day Hiker’s staff certainly has the knowledge and gear to help you have a great time while you are hiking.  Stop and tell them hello.  Ask them some questions and get them talking about the hikes they have taken. You might get a tip or find a trail that you would not have thought to hike otherwise.  The Day Hiker is one of the best outfitters in the Smokies and needs to be on your list of places to shop while you are in the mountains of East Tennessee.

The Day Hiker
634 Parkway #1
Gatlinburg, TN

Celtic Heritage

Our goal is to link You with your own Celtic Heritage

The people that settled the mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina were primarily of Scottish and Irish descent.  If you are trying to rediscover those roots in yourself you can always step through the doors of Celtic Heritage in The Village shopping center in Gatlinburg, TN.  Each and every inch of this quaint shop is covered with Scottish and Irish merchandise from the mother land.  Food stuffs to clothing, accessories to music, Celtic Heritage has a little bit of it all.  And in this shop if it is not Celtic it is not displayed.

As you walk in your eyes will be buffeted by the sheer number of items that they have packed onto the shelves.  At the very front of the store are two display cases that are filled with ornate, traditional Celtic jewelry.  Wedding bands with a Celtic theme, Claddagh rings for both men and women and of course, necklaces and earrings decorated with Celtic knots and trinities.  These pieces of jewelry range from sterling silver to gold and fit every budget.  There are other pieces of jewelry on racks in the rest of the store as well.  These include kilt pins and badges that are designed after the clan crests of the various clans of Scotland.

If jewelry is not your thing start looking through the clothes.  T-shirts proclaiming your favorite nationality (Scottish, Irish or even those from Wales are represented).  Glengarries for those that want a pipe band feel, bonnets and plaid ivy caps for those that would like to keep their heads warm.  You can also get a tie, scarf or a pair of socks in the tartan of your family.  The tartan is the color and design of the kilt plaid that the various clans started wearing to designate themselves from each other.  If you are having a hard time picking out the right tartan for yourself, they also have a book that might help you make a choice based on your last name.

Among the other pieces of the merchandise on the shelves are foods from over the pond.  Shortbread cookies, sweets and drinks that have been imported to give you a taste of the motherland.  Candy bars that never see the inside of a vending machine on this side of the Atlantic are there for the purchasing.  You can try something new, something that you and your kids might never get a chance to try again.  One thing that I can recommend is the Irn Bru.  Irn Bru is known as the traditional drink of Scotland.  Think of it as a mountain Dew mixed with an Orange Crush.  Plenty of caffeine and plenty of sugar in this drink to keep you going all day and it is a decidedly Scottish beverage.

Pay a visit to Celtic Heritage.  They are located in The Village.  This shopping center has more then its fair share of shopping and dining possibilities.  If you go through The Village to the very last shop on the right you have found Celtic Heritage.  Spend some time at this unique, wonderful shop.  Get in touch with the Celtic side of things.

Celtic Heritage
634 Parkway #26
Gatlinburg, TN

A Jann Peitso Art

Jann Peitso is a watercolorist and a lover of all things East Tennessee. She uses the mountains, the cities and the people as a stepping off point to create art.  She uses vibrant color to produce paintings and characters that warm the heart and delight the soul.  She has characters like Bootsie and Gussie Mae covering the walls of her gallery and of course her other works of art including her renderings of quilts are just as original and perfectly befitting this artist of the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community.

Gussie Mae and Bootsie are probably the two most memorable works that Jann Peitso has ever produced.  Gussie Mae is a personified flamingo.  She is the personification of all the women that survive the bumps of life and come out on the top.  Jann’s humor and wit really shine through in the Gussie Mae works and she has become a bit of a collectors piece for those that have been drawn to her long-legged antics.  Bootsie is another character all together.  Bootsie is the angle in your family that helps you keep up with all those important dates, wonderful people and helps us all to plan ahead in that time so that we can reach out to other that are in need. These are two of Jann’s most wonderful creations but they are by no means her most wonderful art.

It is in Jann’s ability to capture the beauty in nature and mix that with an artists ability to add the abstract that really sets her work apart.  She can take every twist and turn of a leaf or a tree and then add these vibrant colors to the image that make it leap off the page.  Her ability to take the trees and pieces of flora from the mountains of the Smokies and make them something even more spectacular, to put on paper her feelings when she sees a simple leaf and the colors that might just be her interpretation of fall is striking and lights up any room.  Jann is also fond of quilt blocks and she uses her watercolor abilities to re-interpret these age old country creations into wall hanging pieces of art that will compliment any decor.

A Jann Peitso has a gallery in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community on Glades Road.  If you head out of Gatlinburg on the way to Cosby, you will pass Glades Road about 11 miles from traffic light #3 on Hwy 321 or Parkway East, whichever you want to call it.  Usually she is in the gallery so while you are shopping and browsing you can actually talk to the artist that produced the art that decorates the walls and might, decorate your home as well.  Stop by and say hey to Jann.  Tell her how much you love Bootsie the Angel and Gussie Mae.  Pick up some prints and take a little of this wonderful artist home with you.  They might help you remember a special trip to the Smokies.

A Jann Peitso Art
170 Glades Road
Gatlinburg, TN

Sugarland Cellars

Sugarland Cellars is one of the newest wineries in the Smoky Mountains.  Located near the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg, TN, Sugarland Cellars delivers amazing wine and an equally compelling story about the region through the wines that they produce.  Made on site, their wines are crafted to reflect the beauty and the people of the Smokies.  From wines named from the people that helped to flesh out the GSMNP to those that are named after some of the most popular trails, they are making wines that are above average in every way.

Before we dig into the location and what to expect, let’s look at the selection of wines they are offering now – and remember all of these are made on site.  These wines and the names that have been given to them have been crafted to reflect the region and the majesty of the Smokies.  They have chosen the type sof wines and the ingredients to make these wines with the area in mind, with the mythos of the Smokies in mind and of course, when you get to look out the front door of your business each day at the National Park, it is easy to remember why your business is in Gatlinburg, TN.


Dry Wines

  • 1802 – burgundy style red wine
  • Trillium – floral and tropical white wine

Semi-Sweet Wines

  • Martha Jane Rose – blending of red and white muscadine
  • Baskins Creek Blanc – honey and citrus flavors in this white wine
  • Elkmont – made from loganberries ( a cross between a blackberry and raspberry)

Sweet Wine

  • Wiley Oakley – Concord grapes and blueberry wines make up this sweet wine
  • Mountain Laurel – muscadine sweet table wine
  • Cherry-Kee –  this one will remind you of your Grandmother’s cherry pie
Stepping into Sugarland Cellars, you will notice that the winery is telling the story of the area.  They have tried to gather local items and pieces of the local history to decorate the winery itself.  You will also find yourself in a working winery.  You can take a tour and even meet the people that are making the wines you will taste.  And yes, they will let you taste the wines they make – provided that you have the proper ID.  Check out what they have to offer and taste until you find the exact wine that you are looking for.  The good people that work there will even help you with pairings for food and direct you to what you are looking for to match your next big meal.
Sugarland Cellars is located across from the Park Grill right on the Parkway in Gatlinburg.  If you are headed through town toward the GSMNP, you will see Sugarland Cellars on the right almost to traffic light #10.  When you see the Park Grill on the left, look to the right and you should see their parking lot.  Pull and and take the tour, do some tasting and of course shop in their gift shop.  Take hoe some wine.  Take home some wine themed accessories and get ready to enjoy the newest winery in Gatlinburg.

Sugarland Cellars
1133 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN

Christmas Gift Ideas You Can Find in Gatlinburg

We know, we know, you’re still trying to find that perfect Christmas gift for a loved one, friend, or even a co-worker. Well, if you haven’t tried Gatlinburg, what are you waiting for? There are plenty of specialty and unique stores to get some quality shopping done in the old town.

So how about some ideas? Ask and you shall receive. Here is a list of a few of the most attractive items to be found this holiday season in Gatlinburg in no certain order:

  • Tickets to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – You can’t come in to Gatlinburg without running straight into Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. This popular aquarium is home to over 10,000 sea creatures and was rated the No. 1 aquarium in the country by Tripadvisor. There is no better attraction outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park around here, but the Aquarium runs a close second. Just the look on a child’s face or the expression of someone entering Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies for the first time is reason enough for this to be considered a great holiday gift.
  • Ole Smoky Moonshine – Stop by a pick up ajar of some of the best and 100% legal moonshine around. You can purchase a slew of varieties in a number of flavors. For those of you who aren’t in to moonshine, their store offers other gift items including dips and salsas, and each have their own local flavor and twist.
  • Sweets for your sweet – The Country Candy Kitchen offers some of the best in chocolate and sweet treats in Gatlinburg. Candy and fudge are some of Gatlinburg’s greatest exports, and what better time of year is there to give sweet treats like dark chocolate, chocolate covered strawberries, etc? Besides the Country Candy Kitchen, there are many fudge and candy shops along the Parkway. Some of them even offer online purchasing.
  • Santa’s Claus-et – What’s better this time of year than a personalized or local Christmas ornament? It’s something friends and family can bring out every year and remember their time in Gatlinburg. Santa’s Claus-et in the Smoky Mountain Arts & Crafts Community is the perfect place to start your search. They offer everything Christmas and if you can’t find what you’re looking for they probably know where you can find it.

We hope that this condensed list gives you a good start or a great finish to your Christmas shopping in Gatlinburg this year. Maybe you know someplace that has great gifts that we’ve passed over? Leave us a comment below and we’ll consider adding it to ours. Happy holidays!

Santa’s Claus-et

There might be no other place more appropriate to visit in Gatlinburg this time of year than Santa’s Claus-et, found in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. Not only are they 364 days a year Christmas, they make sure you know it when you come by.

Recently, Santa’s Claus-et took home this year’s Craftsmen’s Award in the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Decorating Contest. The award goes to the best decorated business in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community every year as part of the town’s Winter Magic festival of lights.

Santa’s Claus-et itself is a store that offers everything Christmas-y you could want in the Smoky Mountains. From gourmet holiday food to ornaments, all kinds of Santas from the collectible to the decorative, to holiday videos and ornaments as far as the eye can see.

You can see people’s eyes and noses perk up when you say something like “gourmet foods,” and for good reason. We’re talking about the best in mixes, fruit butter, jelly, preserves, pickles, syrup, honey, salsa, relish, salad dressings, and so much more.

As mentioned, ornaments run the gamut of the eclectic to the eccentric to the exotic. You’ll see Santas lying on the beach on one shelf and sports ornaments on another. Looking for a Smoky Mountain ornament? Santa’s Claus-et has lots of local, personalized gifts and ornaments that will put a smile on any child or adult’s face. They also offer videos, as well as local Christmas music, that you just won’t find at many other places.

So stop by the store next time you’re in Gatlinburg and stock up for this Christmas or the next. Santa’s Claus-et is open Monday through Sunday from 10 am till 5 pm in Gatlinburg’s Arts & Crafts Community. Happy shopping and have a Merry Christmas!

Santa’s Claus-et
608 Glades Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

More Than A Candle

A great place to stop while you are shopping in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community is a little place known as More Than a Candle.  This shop is in the Covered Bridge section of Glades Road and is just a brief trip down the road from Hwy 321 and downtown Gatlinburg.  For 9 years now, More Than a Candle has been bringing their mix of handmade soy candles and soaps to people visiting the area and locals and the people that shop with them have loved their wares and have taken them places near and far across the country.

More Than a Candle makes soy candles right in their own shop. Soy candles, if you are not familiar with them are made from soybean wax.  Soybean wax is all natural and is a renewable resource. It creates jobs and keeps hard working farmers working.  Another nice thing about this style of candle is that due tot he soybean wax and oils that are used, these candles burn cleaner and stay smelling good for much longer then a regular candle.  All of their candles are made on site.

Their handmade soap is made on site as well.  Their natural soaps are made of natural products and do not contain dyes of any kind.  They make two different kinds of soap:  Tea Tree Oil Soap & Lavender Soap.  The tea Tree Oil soap is a natural antiseptic, helping to heal cuts and scraps.  This soap can even help with the treatment of acne, dermatitis and eczema.  With these factors in mind, it is a great soap for people that are dealing with wound treatment or for everyday use.  Lavender soap is known for its ability to ease stress with its aromatherapy properties and it is also used to ease the itching of dry skin.  Of course, with its anti-fungal properties it can help with skin disorders like acne, wrinkles and psoriasis.

Along with these two main products, More Than a Candle also produces gift baskets, the sell candle accessories and of course they have lots of home decor items.  Being able to buy those items to give your house the country or primitive look you can’t do much better then a place that allows you to buy a candle to make your home smell better and the items you need to make your home a cabin away from the Smokies.  More Than a Candle is a one stop shop to give your home a country style facelift, to buy a candle to make your house take on a different olfactory feel and of course you can even pick up some soap, made by hand, like the people used to make it here in the Smokies, decades ago.

More Than a Candle 
849 Glades Road
Gatlinburg, TN