Until recently, I had not been to Gatlinburg TN since I was a child. Just 45 minutes from Knoxville, this tourist destination is the gateway to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. My reason for going was to visit and tour the recently opened Sugarlands Distilling Company. At 805 Parkland, in downtown Gatlinburg, the attractive distillery and tasting room was constructed from the salvaged wood of four East Tennessee barns and houses. Each piece of wood has its own unique history.
The Sugarlands still-house features custom-designed distilling equipment that produces its seven varieties of moonshine. You can view the process through screen windows or schedule a free tour. You can taste their 100 proof Silver Cloud, their 50 proof Appalachian Apple Pie and 40 proof Old Fashioned Lemonade and Butterscotch Gold and three others. It is potent so be careful! It was my first moonshine experience but was fun to try, particularly in the setting where moonshine has such a long history.
In addition to tasting, you can buy their various flavors plus merchandise and apparel. To enhance their experience, guests can enjoy live music, Appalachian storytelling and book outdoor adventure tours in the Sugarlands.
If you want to stay in the area and not drive back to Knoxville, check out the rustic, elegant The Lodge at Buckberry Creek at 961 Campbell Lead Road. It is located on 90 acres next to the National Park.
When visiting Gatlinburg, make sure to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is the most visited National Park in the US. Here you can see wildflowers, beautiful vistas, waterfalls and stunning peaks. I remember seeing many black bears when I was there with my family in the 1960s.