9 Travel Tips to Visit Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

9 Travel Tips to Visit Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

Are you planning to visit the east end of Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains of the Appalachian Mountain range? It is a beautiful majestic setting for all kinds of fun activities for adventure lovers and theme park thrill-seekers. The mountain range offers an unparalleled experience of the magnificent beauty of a natural setting with wild streams and rivers to liven up the scene. See the highest mountain in Tennessee and the highest point, the Clingman’s Dome, visit the historically rich valley of Cades Cove or catch a glimpse of the wildlife, elks, black bears, deer, turkey, and more strolling through the live forest. And yet, the experiences don’t end there.

 The two major towns in the Great Smokies are Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and they have something for everyone. They are great places to enjoy some southern charm and some great entertainment venues.   

Two Towns: Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge 

Located in the east of Tennessee, Gatlinburg is a mountain town that serves as a gateway to 520,000 acres of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. The town features the only ski resort in Tennessee. Apart from that, the key attraction of this town includes the Space Needle Tower. The Tower offers stunning views of the breathtaking Smokey mountains that wrap the town. 

On the other hand, Pigeon Forge is filled with all the fun and lively attractions for tourists from around the world with its fantastic theme parks and numerous shows. The top live shows Pigeon Forge has to entertain visitors include the Comedy Barn, the famous Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Pirate’s voyage, the Lumberjack Feud, and more. Each of these performances and dinner options promises to liven up every minute of your stay.

Here are a few tips that will help you plan an exciting trip to these beautiful sites with many enticing activities for everyone all year round.

Tip # 1: Choose Your Activities & Your Base:

Before you decide to go to Tennessee, you had better choose where to stay. If you wish to experience fun and unusual activities, Pigeon Forge is the way to go. You can share the most delightful and amusing theatrical experiences, like the Comedy Barn Club or some live dinner shows. Whether it’s a visit to a museum or taking a ride on the comedy bus, Pigeon Forge has a lot to offer, including some exciting hiking trails. 

On the other hand, Gatlinburg has thrilling attractions like the aerial tramway, which gives a magnificent view of the town nestled in the mountains. Additionally, you can enjoy the zip line that passes through the mountains, the white-water rafting, and the 800-mile-long hiking tracks, which make Gatlinburg a true tourist spot for adventure-seeking tourists.

Tip # 2: Know which season suits you the best to visit Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg:

Each season has its appeal, and the weather changes in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg may seem quite subtle most of the year. However, it is best to visit these places during the peak seasons of Summer and Fall. July is the busiest month of Summer. In comparison, you will find October filled with tourists enjoying the beautiful Autumn foliage, which enhances the charm of these towns during the Fall. In contrast, the mountains bloom with flowers during spring and turn the mountain range into a heavenly sight. Winter turns the towns and the Smokey Mountains into a view straight out of a fairy tale. 

Tip # 3: Pack some Layers

The winters are cold, but the rest of the year, it gets chilly but not to the degree that it is unbearable. However, one cannot walk around without feeling cold, so pack some sweaters and jackets. The summers are usually hot but not humid. It may get cold at night, so you do need to pack some warm clothes, just in case! 

The ideal strategy is to pack layers. You can pack summer fabrics and styles for day wear and add on a full-sleeve shirt on top of a half-sleeve T-shirt, for instance, if it turns chilly during the evening. If you are visiting during the Winter, like a Christmas vacation in the Smokies, then make sure to pack heavy coats, cardigans, long sleeve shirts and jackets, thermal underwear, and your trustee scarves, hats, and gloves. Then curl up in front of a fire in a Smoky Mountain cabin.  

Tip # 4: Plan Activities and Keep a Journal

Since Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are rich in amusements and attractions, you may need to keep a journal and plan out your activities ahead of time. Sometimes, it may get overwhelming, and you might miss some activities that are most likely to catch your interest if you don’t chalk up your itinerary. Before you leave home, you should have an idea of the shows you want to see, like the Comedy Barn Family Variety Show and the Dolly Parton theme park. It would be best if you listed the buildings and museums you want to visit, like the Titanic Museum and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. Also, plan sporting activities like water rafting, golf, skiing, go-karts, and whatever appeals to you as a family. Another good idea would be to plan a picnic. As soon as you enter the town, go to the visitor’s center to learn about the activities and events happening in the city. Also, find out if there are any discounts and bundle deals available for shows, facilities, and events in the city. 

Tip # 5: Book a Cabin:

If you genuinely want to experience the area’s beauty, you better rent a cabin. Small cabins nestled in the Smokey Mountains give one a home-like feel that the hotels don’t. Fully equipped kitchens, game rooms, theatre systems, swimming pools, and jacuzzies are just some of the amenities you can enjoy. You can take in beautiful scenic views from the cabin’s deck and plan a barbecue or two. When planning your vacation, book your cabin lodge before your visit, as it is the best hassle-free option. 

Tip # 6: Explore and Shop

Apart from its thrilling adventures, Gatlinburg is also famous for its shops throughout the town. One may find many souvenirs, ornaments, decor, scrapbooks, and religious items. The Village is a small corner in the heart of Gatlinburg. It is a delightful, European-themed village with many unique shops and chains with various items for tourists to buy. The corner gives tourists a chance to experience the quaint charm of an old-world village with cafes, restaurants, and shops around a central courtyard. 

Tip # 7: Eat that Pancake

Tennessee’s most popular breakfast is pancakes that one wouldn’t want to miss. “The Pancake Pantry” in Gatlinburg is undoubtedly one of the best breakfast choices. They have been serving pancakes for almost 50 years and are pretty old-fashioned but very busy. However, there are several places serving pancakes in Gatlinburg, so much so that it is practically a tradition to have pancakes in Gatlinburg. 

Tip # 8: Be on Time

If you wish to avoid the overwhelming traffic queues and want to enjoy your day, then be on time for everything on your itinerary. Get up, have a warm, hearty breakfast, and head down the road. Drive into the mighty mountains, wander on the beautiful trails, or book yourself a seat in Dollywood and witness the most enticing performances of your life since there is a lot to explore in these beautiful Smokey mountains

Tip # 9: Be Aware of Traffic Jams 

Nobody wants to get stuck in hour-long traffic jams, which is common in Pigeon Forge, especially during the tourist season. To avoid that, we suggest deserting your car for a while and getting acquainted with the town’s trolley system. These rides are convenient, and they happen to stop near the city’s main attractions.


Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are two of the best options to enjoy the best of both worlds; the charm of a small town and yet most of the city-style entertainment options at hand. The Great Smokey Mountains give innumerable opportunities for you to spend time with your family and enjoy your vacations. 

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