Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a small city stuffed with huge surprises. From a 150-acre theme park to a 522,000-acre nationwide park, this well-liked Smoky Mountain trip vacation spot is bound to delight your entire household. Listed below are 7 Issues You Should Do on a Pigeon Forge trip.
In the event you simply checked out a map, you would possibly think about Pigeon Forge, with its inhabitants of 6,000, to be a sleepy East Tennessee city that vacationers merely cross by way of on their solution to close by Smoky Mountain adventures. However, a fast go to to the My Pigeon Forge Facebook page is a simple solution to clear up that false impression. The web page’s greater than half 1,000,000 followers go wild for all issues Pigeon Forge, from the announcement of Dolly Parton’s new dinner present to a photograph of the favored themed resort The Inn at Christmas Place.
Because it seems, this mountain city is a vacationer magnet that final 12 months alone attracted 3.7 million in a single day guests. I not too long ago spent per week exploring this little trip vacation spot that would, and realized that Pigeon Forge shouldn’t be underestimated!
Pigeon Forge Trip: Dollywood
Dolly Parton hails from Sevier County and is essentially credited with spurring the realm’s transformation from impoverished coal mining area to the bustling vacationer haven it’s immediately. No go to to Pigeon Forge could be full and not using a go to to Dollywood or its sister water park, Dollywood’s Splash Nation, a night at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede dinner attraction or her upcoming Smoky Mountain Adventures dinner theatre present, and, in case you can swing it, a keep at Dollywood’s dreamy DreamMore Resort or its rustic counterpart, Smoky Mountain Cabins.
I cherished spending the day strolling by way of Dollywood, in any other case generally known as “the friendliest city within the Smokies.” A nostalgic nod to Dolly’s Appalachian heritage, this beautiful theme park options first-rate exhibits, dwell music, southern cooking, a coal-fired steam engine, thrill rides, picket curler coasters, river rafts, and even a bald eagle sanctuary. It’s a particular place that a number of generations can get pleasure from collectively — the proper combine of pleasure and tranquility. Nestled within the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, with tree-lined trails weaving by way of iconic sights, Dollywood takes company again to an easier time of one-room schoolhouses, mountain cabins, craftsmen, county gala’s, and good quaint household enjoyable.
If you’re a real fan, make plans to see Dolly herself, as she makes her annual look in Pigeon Forge on the Dolly Homecoming Parade.
“Pigeon Forge is so appreciative of all that Dolly does for our neighborhood, and Dolly’s Homecoming Parade is our metropolis’s means of claiming ‘thanks’ to this exceptional lady,” stated Leon Downey, government director of the Pigeon Forge Division of Tourism, which organizes the parade. “We additionally love giving Dolly’s many followers an opportunity to see her, too.”
Pigeon Forge Trip: Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park
You could recall nationwide information protection of the wildfires that swept by way of Sevier County final November. If that’s the case, the Nationwide Parks Service has a message for you: “You could make a go to to Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park a part of your trip plans for 2017.” The plush, inexperienced forest didn’t burn down, and continues to face tall as a testomony to the resilience of its ecological neighborhood. Guests would possibly nicely discover some charred timber within the mosaic sample of footprints the fireplace left behind, however lower than 2% of the 522,000-acre park suffered injury. The remainder is prospering and stays the ecologically various pure treasure that final 12 months made Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park America’s most visited national park.
Pigeon Forge Trip: Out of doors Enjoyable
I’ve pushed all the way in which from Texas to Tennessee simply to see the Nice Smokies — as one of final 12 months’s 11.Three million guests to the nationwide park — so, I used to be stunned to study that not all guests to Pigeon Forge make it the additional 15 minutes to the mountains. However, after per week stuffed with continuous journey and leisure throughout my Pigeon Forge keep, I might actually see how fun-loving households would possibly run out of time!
Need to fly down a mountainside in your private, speed-controlled Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster? In Pigeon Forge, you can! Choose to roll down an outsized impediment course in an inflatable ball stuffed with water? No worries, Outdoor Gravity Park has you lined! There are distinctive experiences round each nook in Pigeon Forge. Whether or not you’re racing go karts round a three-story spiraling picket observe at The Track or hovering 200 ft within the air aboard The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, you’re certain to have an incredible time!
Pigeon Forge Trip: Museum Enjoyable
If in case you have teenagers making an attempt to distance themselves from the household trip, Pigeon Forge will rope them again in. After letting huge youngsters be human pinballs at Out of doors Gravity Park, head to the Hollywood Wax Museum the place they will take foolish selfies with their favourite celebrities. Then, cross the car parking zone for a very terrifying 5D zombie expertise at Outbreak – Dread the Undead. Or, in the event that they aren’t into screaming, take your tweens and teenagers to The Escape Sport, a staff problem that includes fixing puzzles to flee a locked room in lower than 60 seconds.
When climate rains in your parade, head indoors to the Titanic Museum. Guests to this ship-shaped attraction in Pigeon Forge obtain a passenger card previous to entry, with particulars about an actual one that sailed on Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage in 1912. Assuming this persona makes museum exploration extra memorable, as you’re taking within the fascinating reveals and work together with costumed crew members. It’s not till the top of the attraction that you just study your assigned passenger’s destiny, whether or not she or he survived or perished within the Atlantic.
One other indoor attraction I discovered fascinating was the model new Alcatraz East Crime Museum, which not too long ago relocated from Washington, D.C. Stuffed to the brim with details about the historical past of crime in the US, this museum presents a maze of exhibit areas lined with placards about actual life criminals, strategies of punishment, and updates in crime scene investigation. There are interactive reveals, together with a capturing gallery, attention-grabbing artifacts like Bonnie and Clyde’s getaway automotive, and actions for “Junior Detectives.” Be suggested that if in case you have littles in tow, there are some sections you would possibly want to breeze previous.
In the event you’re in search of 100% kid-centric wet day amusement, WonderWorks is the place to go. This hybrid science heart – leisure advanced has all of it: experiments, laser tag, optical illusions, an indoor ropes course, bubbles, a mountain climbing wall, you title it! Youngsters of all ages will love this upside-down museum of enjoyable.
Pigeon Forge Trip: Thrilling Exhibits
Pigeon Forge is famend for its dynamic leisure scene, providing every part from comedy and selection exhibits to theatre and dinner sights. After trip days stuffed with thrilling actions, don’t miss the prospect to get pleasure from a night of breathtaking Broadway scenes and aerial acts on the spectacular Smoky Mountain Opry, or Nation classics and hymns on the Country Tonite present.
Sudden negative effects of healthful all-ages exhibits are all of the feels. If the basic American songs and conventional hymns don’t get get you, the honoring of veterans within the viewers absolutely will. I left every present in Pigeon Forge feeling somewhat extra related to my roots, grateful to those that have served our nation, and extra patriotic than once I walked in.
Pigeon Forge Trip: Memorable Meals
My absolute favourite exhibits in Pigeon Forge have been those that stuffed me stuffed with nation cooking, then let me play alongside. Within the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, half the viewers was adopted into the Hatfield clan and the opposite half turned honorary McCoys. We cheered for our kin as they clogged in glad dance-offs and pitted their greatest pickers in opposition to one another onstage. With feisty Bluegrass and lots of spirited play combating, household feuding has by no means been a lot enjoyable.
Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede
Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, too, delighted me lengthy earlier than the present started. Upon arrival, company can go to with the equine stars of their stables. Then, 50 minutes previous to showtime, seize a seat within the Dixie Belle Saloon to benefit from the Opening Act with Bluegrass band Mountain Rukus. One of many trio, Gary “Biscuit” Davis, is a four-time Nationwide Banjo Champion and he’s simply unbelievable to look at. This expertise alone is definitely worth the ticket! However the night time solely will get higher with a four-course feast and an interactive present the place you cheer to your assigned facet as you eat. We hooted, hollered, and devoured our complete chickens because the energetic competitors performed out within the enviornment earlier than us. Our facet didn’t win, however we left glad and full!
Are you sensing a theme right here? Go to Pigeon Forge hungry and also you received’t be disillusioned! This was the journey the place I fell in love with all issues fried. Fried rooster, fried inexperienced tomatoes, and even fried corn on the cob. At one level, after a number of rounds of mouth-watering southern fare, a buddy tried to order a wise breakfast and ended up with an outsized bowl of oatmeal as huge as her head. Don’t resist! Eat all of the meals! For probably the most scrumptious eats, head to the Previous Mill Restaurant for breakfast and Pottery Home Cafe for lunch. Then repeat.
In between meals, remember to wander by way of the Previous Mill historic district to see 200 years of Tennessee custom in motion. Friends could make a knife out a railroad spike on the native blacksmith store, take a tour of the outdated water-powered gristmill alongside the banks of the Little Pigeon River, watch quaint sweet being made, and buy pottery that was crafted onsite utilizing supplies from the area.
Pigeon Forge Trip: Enjoyable Resort Stays
As you could have realized, Pigeon Forge is much from the tiny city I used to be anticipating. And I haven’t even lined The Island but! Three million folks a 12 months cross by way of this new procuring / eating / moonshining leisure advanced encircled by the Little Pigeon River, and I had the good pleasure of staying proper in the midst of all of it, at The Margaritaville Island Hotel.
With a village-view room, I used to be steps away from every part: pampering within the Margaritaville St. Someplace Spa (I went twice – how might I not?), the rooftop pool (which had the perfect night time views of the color-changing 200-foot Nice Smoky Mountain Wheel), and the Bellagio-style fountain lights and music present on the primary plaza, which occurs each half hour. Add to the combination retailers, eating places, bars, dwell music, sweet and fudge shops, rides and sights…. Effectively, it’s exhausting to imagine I had time for anything.
After per week of residing in luxurious, and consuming all of the deep fats fried corn on the cob I might get my fingers on, I left Pigeon Forge already dreaming of my return. I hear the city’s annual WinterFest celebration is to not be missed and that the entire exhibits — together with these featured in Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration — change for the vacations. I believe I’m going to want to witness that caliber of Christmas merriment for myself!
For extra info on Pigeon Forge, remember to go to the My Pigeon Forge website and observe the web page on Facebook. You will discover me there, one of many latest followers including my enthusiasm to all of the posts!
I used to be invited to tour Pigeon Forge. No compensation was obtained to write down this text and all opinions are my very own.