According to Forbes.com: “With its charming, quaint old buildings in the center of town, its dramatic mountain backdrop and the only ski resort in Tennessee, Gatlinburg has become a popular tourist destination for regional fun-seekers. Located on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg benefits from its location as a tourist draw and reinforces it with attractions such as an aerial tramway, an aquarium, whitewater rafting, hiking, and even a haunted house. But let’s not kid ourselves: as pretty and irresistible (as) the town is, the real draw in this part of Tennessee is the nature. ‘The wildflowers around Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are absolutely spectacular in the spring as they burst with wildflowers at their peak,’ says Zain Habboo, National Geographic’s director of travel.”
“We are very thrilled with this honor from Forbes,” said Gatlinburg City Manager Cindy Cameron Ogle. “We are blessed to live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and we take pride in being the gateway community to the country’s most-visited national park. It truly is a wonderful place to enjoy.”
Forbes says Gatlinburg ranks among the best cities to look at along with such places as Newport, Rhode Island; St. Augustine, Florida; Taos, New Mexico; and Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. The magazine says the rankings were created with input from sources such as National Geographic and The Travel Channel.
The City of Gatlinburg is completing the sixth phase of its Underground Utilities and Streetscape Project. Since the late 1990s, Gatlinburg has been burying utilities underground and improving the aesthetics of the downtown area, something that City Manager Cindy Ogle says takes the cooperation of the City, the business community and residents.
“Of course, it has taken a lot of people doing a lot of good things to allow us to earn this lofty recognition,” said Ogle. “It’s been a great public-private collaboration of dedication that has dramatically improved the aesthetics of the Parkway and helped us blend in with the Smokies.”
Come to Gatlinburg and see for yourself!