Gatlinburg: tourist trap or a terrific time?

Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 1:00am

Everyone views things differently.

And when you open discussion about Gatlinburg and what it represents, you open a can of worms about the mountain town that sleeps then bustles for alternating six-month periods.

Just 30 miles southeast of Knoxville, Gatlinburg to some is an open fire hydrant of gaudiness and glitter and a disturbance to mountain tranquility. To others, the resort area is the gateway to some of the best scenery in the country and a hoot and a holler. Perhaps both camps have good points, and it's certainly fun to kick the can.

With a new aquarium, the Space Needle, ski lifts, and putt-putt golf, energetic children have many entertaining outlets.

The city comes alive from late spring through October. Families from all over the Eastern United States cross the main drag in town in slow motion across innumerable walkways, bringing traffic to a near halt. If you like

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