Pigeon Forge is a scenic town outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Every year, millions of tourists flock here from all over the US to experience its history, stunning landscapes, and iconic attractions.
Pigeon Forge offers a variety of exciting outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, jet skiing, white-water rafting, and fishing, as well as opportunities for relaxation and shopping.
However, it is important to remember that a vacation is a limited and precious opportunity to relax, recharge, and have fun. That is why it is crucial to plan effectively to ensure your trip fulfills its purpose. Here are some tips and ideas on how to make the most of your vacation in Pigeon Forge.
Where to stay?
When researching your accommodation options, it is important to consider how far the rental is from places and attractions on your itinerary, amenities, and the cost. There are often discounts available for booking in advance, longer stays or booking a package deal that includes airfare entry passes. You can find the best accommodation for your needs and budget by doing research online.
However, renting a cabin is a good idea if you want an experience that captures the outdoorsy, southern country vibe. You can browse several Pigeon Forge cabins that are like a home away from home. These cabins include several amenities, such as hot tubs, fireplaces, and fully equipped kitchens, which can add to the comfort and convenience of your stay.
Check the weather
Pigeon Forge experiences a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions throughout the year, so it is a good idea to check the forecast and pack accordingly.
In the summer months, temperatures can reach into the high 80s or 90s Fahrenheit, with high humidity. So, you need to pack lightweight, breathable clothing and bring plenty of sunscreen. In the cooler months, temperatures can drop into the 30s and be quite chilly, especially at night. Be sure to pack warm clothes and a coat or jacket to stay comfortable.
What attractions should you see?
Pigeon Forge has a variety of attractions for people of all ages. These include theme parks, live comedy shows, museums, and outdoor adventures. So plan a detailed itinerary before arriving. Some of the must-see places include the following:
- Dollywood – This theme park, named after the country singer and Pigeon Forge native Dolly Parton, offers a variety of rides, shows, and attractions for kids and adults. The park has several themed areas, such as the Wilderness Pass, which has thrilling rides, and Craftsman’s Valley, where you can watch artisans demonstrate traditional crafts.
- The Island – The Island is a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex that features a variety of stores, restaurants, and attractions, including a dancing fountain, a giant Ferris wheel, and a ropes course.
- Hollywood Wax Museum – This museum features life-size wax figures of Hollywood stars. You can take a picture with Dolly Parton, Will Ferrell, Brad Pit, And Elvis Presley, among others.
- Pigeon Forge Gem Mine – This mine allows visitors to look for gems and minerals. It is a fun activity for all ages and a great way to learn about geology. You can get your hands on some amethysts, topaz, emeralds, and corundum if you’re lucky.
Since Pigeon Forge is close to the Smoky Mountains and the Little Pigeon River, there are plenty of outdoor activities you can indulge in. These include the following:
- Go white water rafting
- Take a scenic drive along the Newfound Gap Road, which runs through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Visit the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, which offers guided nature hikes and other outdoor programs
- Consider taking a guided tour or renting a horse and exploring the trails while enjoying horseback riding
- Try your hand at rock climbing at the Obed Wild and Scenic Rivers
- Go boating and fishing at Douglas Lake
- Go ziplining to see the beauty of Pigeon Forge from above
What to eat?
Here are some popular restaurants in Pigeon Forge and their specialties:
- The Old Mill Restaurant – This restaurant is known for its hearty southern comfort food. Some of their specialties include fried chicken, pot roast, and country-style steak.
- Mama’s Farmhouse – It is a family-style restaurant that serves classic southern dishes like fried chicken, pork chops, and mashed potatoes. They are also known for their homemade biscuits and gravy.
- The Old Mill Pottery House Cafe – It is a charming spot for breakfast and lunch. The place serves various dishes, including omelets, sandwiches, salads, and baked items like muffins and scones.
- Maddog’s Creamery – This is a popular ice cream spot that offers a variety of flavors, including classics like chocolate and strawberry, as well as seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice and peppermint.
Relax and recharge
While it is great to see and do as much as possible during your trip, taking breaks and allowing yourself some downtime is also important. These ideas will help you relax:
- Book a massage – Several spas in Pigeon Forge provide massage services, including a Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and hot stone massage. You can also get facials, manicures, and pedicures. Visiting a spa can be a great way to pamper yourself and unwind during your vacation.
- Take a stroll – Pigeon Forge has several parks and gardens perfect for a stroll. Some options include the Patriot Park and the Little Pigeon River Greenway, both of which offer scenic walking trails and picnic areas.
Tips for saving money
Here are a few tips for budgeting and saving money during your stay in Pigeon Forge:
- Combo tickets – Some attractions in Pigeon Forge offer combo tickets, including admission to a theme park, a dinner show, and a magic show. Scour the internet to get your hands on these to save a pretty penny if you’re vacationing with family.
- Multi-day pass – If you plan to visit several shows or attractions during your vacation, consider purchasing a multi-day pass. These passes often offer discounted admission to multiple shows or attractions and can save you money in the long run.
- Travel during the off-season – Pigeon Forge is busiest during summer, so consider visiting during the off-season (spring or fall) or winter. Not only will you find lower prices, but you will also encounter fewer crowds.
Riding the Pigeon Forge trolley system
The Pigeon Forge trolley system is a convenient and affordable way to get around the city and visit popular attractions. This trolley system has several routes that run throughout the city, including routes to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Dollywood, and other popular attractions. Fares are between $1-$3, and children under three years old ride for free.
Pigeon Forge offers a wide variety of exciting activities for travelers of all ages. From adrenaline-pumping thrill rides to peaceful nature walks, there is something for everyone to enjoy. By planning and budgeting wisely, you can make the most of your vacation and create lasting memories. So, pack your bags, grab your cameras, and head to Pigeon Forge for a vacation you will never forget.