How to Plan a Pigeon Forge Vacation

How to Plan a Pigeon Forge Vacation
Pigeon Forge is located in the southeastern area of Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This recreation and vacation area has emerged throughout the years as a getaway destination for thousands of people annually. With an abundance of activities as well as a wide variety of food and entertainment options, Pigeon Forge is an excellent venue for family fun.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Road map or GPS unit Reservations (lodging, camping, restaurants, shows)
  • Road map or GPS unit
  • Reservations (lodging, camping, restaurants, shows)
Step 1
Research the Pigeon Forge area thoroughly. There are many activities in which all members of the family may participate. Use online resources and print media such as the Smoky Mountain Living magazine for tips and destination ideas.
Step 2
Plan the travel portion of the trip. Keep in mind that Pigeon Forge is located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, and access is limited to only a few roads in and out of the area. As such, getting there can be half the fun. Travel may take you through Asheville, North Carolina or Knoxville, Tennessee, both of which feature some very interesting sights, including the former World's Fair site in Knoxville and the Biltmore House in Asheville. Remember, the Tennessee Valley itself is home to the Tennessee Valley Authority and its associated lakes and rivers; there are also several Civil War battlefields in the surrounding area. Oak Ridge, which is located nearby, features a museum and exhibit as the birthplace of the first atomic bomb.
Step 3
Plan to take in the beautiful mountains. Pigeon Forge is only a few minutes' drive away from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park features extraordinary views and vistas, wildlife viewing, great trout fishing, hiking, camping and many other opportunities.
Step 4
Make sure to save time for Gatlinburg, which is only a few miles down the road. Gatlinburg is a quaint Swiss-style village featuring specialty shops, great restaurants, the Ober Gatlinburg ski slope and village, and many lodging and camping options.
Step 5
Plan the trip around special events in the area. Christmastime in the Smokies is done right, with thousands of lights decorating the Pigeon Forge area. There are also special concerts and activities throughout the year at Dollywood. This theme park is the brainchild of Dolly Parton, who was born and raised in the area.
Step 6
Leave some time for shopping. The Pigeon Forge area is known for some great shopping deals thanks to several established outlet centers and a multitude of outlet stores scattered throughout the area. Many people venture to the area simply for the excellent deals to be had at such stores as BassPro, Eddie Bauer, and Polo.

Tips & Warnings

Also research the surrounding areas by contacting state and local chambers of commerce and tourism offices. The southeastern Tennessee, northern Georgia and western North Carolina region is beautiful at all times of the year and a wonderful place to vacation.
Keep in mind that peak vacation times such as spring break, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Christmas are huge tourism times in the area. Be prepared for traffic, longer lines at restaurants and more crowds in the popular outlet centers.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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