It’s that time of year.
The nip of winter is in the air. Thanksgiving is approaching quickly.
Colorful holiday decorations are beginning to illuminate the nighttime sky.
It’s the holiday season and you know what that means?
Christmas shopping! And we don’t necessarily mean shopping for Christmas gifts or toys for others.
Pigeon Forge and the surrounding area are also filled with shops dedicated to providing the perfect Christmas decorations, knick-knacks and more.
In fact, anything you can use as the perfect holiday gift or help make your own holiday season a little more merry and bright can be found right here in the Smokies.
Still, with so many to choose from, what is the discriminating holiday shopper to do?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with this list of the best spots to do a little Christmas shopping in Gatlinburg and the mountains.
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5. Uncle Bunky’s Christmas Cottage (Bryson City)
This one is a bit further out, but we thought we’d sneak it in.
After all, sometimes your Christmas shopping should come with a little bit of an adventure.
Uncle Bunky’s is located on 44 Fry St. in Bryson City, North Carolina.
It is about an hour and a half drive from Gatlinburg along U.S. Highway 441.
Along the way, you’ll see some of the most scenic views in the mountains. You will have a chance to spot elk, pass two of the parks’ four visitor centers and explore the North Carolina side of the mountains.
Uncle Bunky’s itself is worth the drive. The store is fun and festive and full of tastefully chosen Christmas items. It’s a great place to find the perfect gift. It’s not gigantic, but it’s pretty cool.
4. Christmas & Candle Shop at the Apple Barn (Sevierville)
Candles? Christmas ornaments? Lights?
They have it all.
The 6,000-sq.-ft. store is beautifully decorated with trees and decorations.
Plus, conveniently located in the Apple Barn Village, it’s the perfect place to enjoy some apple fritters or apple wine while you get ready for the holiday season.
3. Christmas & Collectibles (Pigeon Forge)
Located at 2684 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Christmas & Collectibles ain’t quaint and it also doesn’t mess around with trying to create its own Christmas wonderland atmosphere.
There’s a wide selection of fantastic holiday decorations. It’s Christmas shopping in a practical sort of way.
2. Santa’s Claus-et (Gatlinburg)
Located off the beaten path at 1350 Parkway in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community, the pun-tastic Santa’s Claus-et is a one-of-a-kind holiday shop. And it’s certain to help get your family in the spirit of the season.
Also billed as the largest Christmas store in Gatlinburg, the Claus-et features hand-painted ornaments, holiday decor and more.
Personalizations are also available.
But what sets the Claus-et apart is it that Santa spends so much of his time away from the North Pole at this location.
Kids can fill out their wish lists, meet with Santa Claus and pose for pictures with Kris Kringle himself. Although, personal photography is prohibited.
Certainly, it is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.
1. The Incredible Christmas Place (Pigeon Forge)
And finally, the polar opposite – HA! – of Christmas & Collectibles, The Incredible Christmas Place is a handful of rides short of being a theme park.
In particular, it strives to keep the spirit of Christmas going year-round, like a bit of the North Pole located in the Smokies.
Its wide selection of novelty and traditional Christmas merchandise is second to none. Apparel, jewelry, designer-themed Christmas trees, ornaments, accessories and so much more can be found amidst the traditional Christmas lights.
In addition to shopping, Santa keeps visiting hours in his “haus” from 10 am to 6 pm on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 10 am to 9 pm on Saturdays.
Haus? Well, the Christmas Village is Bavarian-themed.
Christmas Place and the shops at Bell Tower Square were founded as a family business by Hurshel and Marian Biggs in 1986, both of whom have since passed away.
The Bavarian-style shopping village has since become one of the top ten Christmas and Collectible stores in the United States. It’s said to be the South’s largest Christmas shopping village.
Over the years, The Christmas Place has been honored for its merchandising and decorating achievements.
For example, among the awards they have received is the “NOEL Retailer of the Year” for a Specialty Store.
Look, it’s a little bit cliché to pick The Incredible Christmas Place at No. 1. In fact, I really wanted to rank the charming underdog Santa’s Claus-et at the top spot. But I can’t deny how awesome The Incredible Christmas Place is if Christmas is your favorite holiday.
The good news?
You can visit both. In other words, decide for yourself and really get in the Christmas spirit.
Christmas Place is located at 2470 Parkway in Pigeon Forge at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
What is your favorite Christmas store in the Smokies? Let us know in the comments below.