The holiday season brings out the shopper in everyone — and especially in the Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, in particular, are home to several cute stores that make it easy to check essentials off the annual holiday shopping list. We’ve compiled a list of our favorites below, along with some tips on the best dining and attractions nearby in case you want to turn your shopping trip into an all-day affair.
The Mountain Mile Mall
Drop the kids off at the Mountain Monster amusement park and explore over two dozen different shops, ranging from Nike and Coleman to Cream & Sugar Sweet Shoppe or Old Time Pottery. If you need to take a break from all that shopping at this Mountain Mile Mall, then head over to Junction 35 for a drink and some delicious barbecue. Put a bow on the day by visiting The Listening Room Cafe — a live music venue where local and national artists perform in front of a supper club-style audience.
The Shops of Pigeon Forge
While there’s not much in the way of gifts to be found at the Shops of Pigeon Forge (unless someone on your list is asking for a hot tub), this charming strip mall more than makes up for it with its proximity to excellent attractions. Cooter’s Place is a must-visit for anyone who grew up watching the Dukes of Hazzard — and it’s right next to the Red Skelton Tribute Theater, where comedian Brian Hoffman brings the legendary entertainer back to life with his hilarious show. If that’s not enough entertainment, the Microtorium’s roster of micro wrestlers puts on a show for all ages Wednesday through Saturday.
The Shops at Lumberjack Square
Make some progress on that holiday shopping list by visiting The Shops at Lumberjack Square. Begin by picking up something for the baseball fan in your life at The Dugout. Next, stuff some stockings with gourmet popcorn from Smoky Mountain Popcorn Company. Feel free to complete your friend’s wardrobe with a snazzy hat from Fruit Jar Alley. If you’re accompanied by people who aren’t particularly interested in shopping, hit up The Forge Cinemas or check out a lumberjack face-off at Paula Deen’s Lumberjack feud show.
The Island in Pigeon Forge
There’s so much to do at The Island in Pigeon Forge, you may need to make it a two-day event. Kids will love a gift from RideMakerz, where you can custom design a remote-controlled car. Art lovers will be blown away by Master’s Edition. Foodies should get a kick out of hot sauce from Pepper Palace or samples from The Beef Jerky Experience. Other favorites include Southern Charm Boutique and the Tennessee Sock Company.
After a full day of shopping, you’ll be craving a good meal. Several restaurants are located at The Island, including the surly staff at Dick’s Last Resort, Mellow Mushroom pizza, and Timberwood Grill, just to name a few.
The Old Mill Square
The Old Mill Square provides a charming shopping experience with plenty of unique options. For example: The crazy cat person in your life will be purring with delight when you provide a gift card to Smoky Mountain Cat House. There, you’ll find all kinds of feline finery on display. The Old Mill Square is also home to favorites such as Old Mill Candy Kitchen and Stardust Candle. Hit up Espresso Yourself for a drink to power you through the rest of your holiday shopping — or get an energy boost via delicious ice cream at Old Mill Creamery.
Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall
Stretch those holiday dollars to the limit at the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall. If tacky holiday gifts are your specialty, there’s surely something to fit that style at Shirt World and Souvenir World. A more serious shopper will want to head over to The Veteran’s Store — a fantastic place to shop for patriotic friends and family members.
Another essential? Old Tyme Portraits by Treadway. There, you can score memorable family photos that will be perfect for the annual Christmas card. Complete your visit with a stop at The Axe House, where you can — you guessed it — toss axes around while enjoying loaded timber taters, pine knot mushrooms, and other lumberjack-themed eats.
Three Bears General Store
This general store is just right! Three Bears General Store is two stories of fun, packed with souvenirs, gifts, jewelry, clothes, an arcade, antique cars, and even a live bear! There really is something for everyone at this must-see location, including a relaxation station perfect for those feeling run down from so much holiday shopping. Feel free to pick up gift cards for the spa so you can treat loved ones to an amazing experience.
The Antique Mall on Wears Valley Road
Located on the western edge of Pigeon Forge, the Antique Mall on Wears Valley Road may not have an impressive name —but what it lacks in identity it makes up for in sheer selection. A wide assortment of folksy goods are available. You’ll encounter everything from old gas station signs and sports programs to delicate china and jewelry items. Take a load off and enjoy an old-fashioned cheeseburger at the diner inside the mall — or head a half-mile up the road and pig out at Boss Hogg’s BBQ Shack.
Shopping is always an adventure in the Smoky Mountains. Set aside a generous budget, because you will want to buy something cute, kitschy, or awe-inspiring from nearly every store you visit.