Just when you think you've got Gatlinburg all figured out, you stumble upon new information — a tidbit of knowledge, a piece of history — that adds to one's appreciation of the city's charm and singularity. To that effect — and to show that we at the Space Needle have every reason to be proud of our city — here are some facts that highlight what makes Gatlinburg a special place, not only in Tennessee, but in the entire United States and, in some cases, the entire world. In case you aren't already aware, here are some of Gatlinburg's claims to fame:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in the United States, with over nine million visitors a year, which is more tha
n twice the annual attendance at any other park.
- The Park may be known better for its black bear population, but did you know that it is also considered the “Salamander Capital of the World?” The Park is home to 24 species of lung-less salamanders.
- Gatlinburg hosts more weddings than any other American city with the exception of Las Vegas, Nevada, according to the Gatlinburg Department of Tourism & Convention Center.
- When it was settled in the early 19th century, Gatlinburg was initially known as “White Oak Flats” for the profusion of white oak trees in the region.
- Ober Gatlinburg is Tennessee's only ski resort.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of only two locations in the world where you can witness the synchronous fireflies phenomenon.
Are you privy to an interesting fact about Gatlinburg lore? We never tire of learning more about our city, so please share your insight with us in the comments below!