The City of Gatlinburg rests on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along Highway 441. In 1856, Gatlinburg got its name from Radford Gatlin, owner of the general store in the area, which housed the post office. Around 1900, extensive logging operations erupted as lumber companies were forced to push deeper into the mountain areas. Loggers were joined by their families on the weekends, hence beginning the tourism mecca. Gatlinburg eventually became more tourist-oriented with the establishment of specialty shops. Today, major attractions, luxury hotels and cabins, fabulous restaurants and state-of-the-art convention centers make up the heart of downtown Gatlinburg. Many large conventions, annual festivals and other special events are held in Gatlinburg each year. This romantic city falls second, only to Las Vegas, as the most popular place to get married. Many people travel from all over the world to experience the beauty of the area that includes magnificent wildlife, vegetation, waterfalls and streams that make for some of the most outstanding natural backgrounds the eye has ever seen.
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