When the temps in New York go from 80 degrees F to 30 degrees with snow practically overnight; I want to travel. Get me out of the cold weather, down South for some Sweet tea and fun in the sun. Who is ready to spend a week in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? We have traveled here many times throughout the years. The list of things to do just keeps getting larger. Each time we do visit there is so much more to experience, do and taste! I hope you find this list a great starting point in booking your visit to the beautiful Smoky Mountains!
Plan a day at Dollywood theme park. “If you see someone without a smile today, give ’em yours.”- Dolly. Did you know you can visit Dolly Parton’s tour bus at Dollywood? It is just inside the main gates, after the hanging décor to your right. I highly suggest a ride around the park on the Dollywood Express. They do have set times so be sure to check when they are to plan accordingly. It was a nice way to see the entire park but also the new additions they are working on. Another great tip is to grab some Cinnamon Bread and watch the Birds of Prey Show (American Eagle Foundation). Great activities for families of all size and ages! We learned so much about conservation and saw different species during the presentation. When you are not riding rides these great little side quests are perfect for little ones in your group or if you are hot and want some shade. The larger rides do fill up fast so arriving early helps beat the crowds!
Spend a day or even just your evening at The Island in Pigeon Forge. We sipped, sampled and shopped our way to these Adirondack seats for a fountain show. They give me all of the Vegas fountain feelings without having to travel there. Timed to the music these fountains were so captivating. Plus, the shops around are great for entertainment from rides to treetop courses. Y’all try the Byrd’s salted caramel cookies while you are there! They give out samples but we sure did purchase boxes for the trip back home, they were that good. Best part? You can score free parking within walking distance. They also have a tram you can hop on when you are done walking for the day or night.
If you do take a day to visit the Island do not forget the Alcatraz East Crime Museum. One of my sons absolute favorite places to visit and rightfully so. Explore crime through the ages of time and even visit different artifacts and cells. To all my fellow Western New Yorkers, we found a little bit of Buffalo Bills memorabilia in the O.J. Simpson section. Make sure to have a look as his White Ford vehicle is really there on display.
Try riding an Alpine Coasters. The thoughts that filtered my head when they all ganged up for us to do this: “What are these kids getting me into now”. Worth it! A new little attraction that was not here last time we visited but so much fun. Yeehaw. The rides typically only last about 7-8 minutes long but they are super popular. There are several different one’s to choose from this just happened to be the one we did. Here is a tip (in case anyone wants to do this) score tickets on Groupon. They were $98 down to $41 for four people!!
Spend some time in the Old Mill Courtyard square in Pigeon Forge. Grab a nice breakfast at the Old Mill and then walk along the shops. We have been to this area but never visit the Forge. My house really enjoys the show “Forged in Fire”. One morning we got up bright and early so the kid could craft a knife at Iron Mountain Metal Craft. Reservations are required. I highly suggest making an early appointment to beat the crowds! They also have some nice seating areas and even live music if you are lucky.
I would be remiss if I did not encourage a day or two trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The Smoky Mountains have so much to offer from hiking to local attractions. One of our personal favorite attractions would be the Ripley’s Aquarium. You can see a Penguin parade, feed the Stingrays to enjoying the indoor play areas. My personal favorite is the tunnel because in the tank, they have a Sea Turtle! If you do visit Gatlinburg and the Aquarium be sure to park in their parking ramp. Perfectly located and reasonably priced.
Stop in the World’s Largest Knife shop, Smoky Mountain Knife Works. Located as you enter Pigeon Forge this is a great place for all ages. They have displays from movies, history and tons of things you can purchase. They even giveaway free fossil or rocks if you present a coupon from the local tourist booklets. We spent hours looking around, exploring and enjoying all they had to offer. Just down the road there are a ton of Antique, thrift stores and even a flea market!
I just love to spend a week in Pigeon Forge whenever we can. No matter how many times you visit the Pigeon Forge area, each time will be different. If you enjoyed this post and want more travel related content enjoy my travel section here. There are guides and also full reviews from Our Visit to the Titanic Exhibit to Hiking the Smoky Mountains.
I received a free tickets to help facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.