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We all have memories of our favorite candy shops from our childhoods. The bright colors, the rush of sugar, the crazy names and recipes. And while going to a traditional candy shop is no longer a regular occasion, there are still plenty of old-fashioned candy kitchens to sate your sweet tooth.

Candy is a great snack to have on vacations. After all, you’re supposed to be relaxing and enjoying yourself, not watching sugar or counting calories. Sure, you could get your candy from the cashier’s rack at Walmart, but vacation is a time to treat yourself. So why not spoil yourself and your family a little bit with some truly succulent treats from these 6 best candy stores in Gatlinburg?

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1. Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen

The Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen is Gatlinburg’s best accident. The story goes that over fifty years ago, the Dychs were on their way to California when they happened to stop and rest in Gatlinburg. After falling in love with the area and recognizing its true potential, they set up shop operating their own traditional candy kitchen. 

The Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen has been drawing crowds of spectators to its patio for decades. Watching the candy making process is something of a tradition at old fashioned candy stores, and the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen is no exception. Come to get your fudge, rock candy or lollipops of any color and then stick around to watch them mould the chocolates. 

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2. Aunt Mahalia’s Candies

If you thought Ole Smoky was old, wait until you see Aunt Mahalia’s. This homemade candy kitchen has been around since 1939. Their specialty is making the finest boxed candy you’ve ever seen. 

A purchase from Aunt Mahalia’s says so much more than a generic box of chocolates ever could. You can’t beat the sincerity of handcrafted chocolates, each one uniquely made. Don’t think that you’re limited to fancy chocolates when you come here, though. You’ll be able to pick up just about any traditional sweet you can think of. 

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3. Fudge Shoppe of the Smokies

You’ve got serious options with Fudge Shop of the Smokies. They actually have two locations, and both of them in Gatlinburg, Tennessee! 

Get ready for more fudge than you can eat, and all of it made with luxurious Dutch chocolate. If you think you know fudge, then you better think again, because the Fudge Shop of the Smokies makes everything from penuche to cookies and cream to even more flavors you’ve probably never tried.

One of the Fudge Shop locations is conveniently right next to Ripley’s Museum, so you can stop in for a nice treat after a day of family fun.

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4. Chocolate Monkey

You might say that all candy shops are inherently for kids, but this one really goes all out. The Chocolate Monkey is a great family destination full of bright colors, fun staff and creative candy concoctions. They’ve got merchandise (including adorable plush monkeys) and rows upon rows of colorful candy to satisfy every child (and sweets-loving adult). 

The Chocolate Monkey is a relative newcomer to the Gatlinburg candy scene (they opened in 2009), but they definitely fit right in!

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5. Sweet!

Truth in marketing. This shop is nothing but sweets. While they’ve got some of their own creations, the majority of this store is everything you remember from your childhood. Classic brands and candies that echo times long gone. There’s something here for everyone, including newer candy favorites, as well. So if you’re looking to recreate that wondrous feeling of being a kid in a candy shop, this is definitely your best bet!

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6. Kilwin’s

Kilwin’s Chocolates has not just chocolates, and not just candies, but ice cream, as well. There’s a little bit of everything here, and their ice cream is their own original recipe! You can watch them make their delicacies every day. Everything is done the traditional way here, no new technology or machines when it comes to creating the chocolate, just old-fashioned marble table paddling and hand-dipped sweets .

There’s no rule that says you can’t hit up each and every one of these sweet shops while you’re in Gatlinburg (although for the sake of your enamel, you may want to space out eating the candies!). So go ahead and stock up. Take some back to the cabin with you after a long day of fun. There’s nothing sweeter than some real, old fashioned candy before bed.