Pigeon Forge is a town in Tennessee that serves as a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and to over 500 000 acres of wilderness perfect for hiking, camping and exploring the ancients forest of this beautiful region. Originally the area was a hunting ground for the Cherokee and other Native American tribes, and later was principally settled by Scottish and Irish immigrants whom it reminded of their own green and mountainous origins. In 1820 an iron forge was set up, giving the town half its name. The other half comes from the large number of passenger pigeons that used to thrive in the area.
The best time of year to visit is most definitely in the summer months, or between April to October, as the area hasn´t many skiing or snowboarding facilities. If you do want to come in winter, there is a ski lodge about half an hours distance from the city where the majority of snow falls. The Christmas Lights on display in the town are also worth seeing!
- Dollywood in Pigeon Forge is the most visited attraction in all of Tennessee!
- Pigeon Forge is the only place in North America you can roll in a Zorb.
- It is illegal to lasso fish in Tennessee...just in case you thought of bringing the ropes!
- About 10 million people visit Pigeon Forge every year.
- Tennessee gets its name from the Cherokee word “Tanasee”, which means “meeting place”.
Things to Do
Fans of the great outdoors will find plenty to keep them busy in this idyllic natural setting, with thousands of miles of trails and wild rivers. For those less inclined to spend their day in physical activity, there are many attractions within the town to keep them occupied.
1) Dollywood, established by Dolly Parton herself, is a great day out of the family and kids, with plenty of fun rides, live entertainment, and daily demonstrations by master craftsmen of the area´s artistic heritage.
2) Go for an adrenaline-fuelled ride down the whitewater rapids with the local outfit Rapid Expeditions.3) Are you a fan of roller-coasters? If so, the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster will be sure to tickle your fancy, with an exhilarating ride down the mountain plus great views!
4) If you want to round off the day with some musical entertainment, then the Soul of Motown show will provide you with exactly that. Amazing performers, and lots of great Motown hits to get dancing in your seat to.
Pigeon Forge´s Food Delights
Pigeon Forge has a good variety of restaurants where you can satisfy your post-hiking hunger. If you´re in the mood for some hearty German fare, look no further than Poynor´s Pommes Frites. Serving up authentic German sausage, pommes frites (fries) with dips, fresh baked rolls and several desserts, this place is very popular with visitors and locals alike. For something more exotic, head to Smokies Cuban Cafe for breakfast or lunch. Good home-cooked American burgers and fries can be found at the interestingly named Five Guys, or get a sampler of craft beers at the Smoky Mountain Brewery along with one of their pizzas. Overall, there is a lot of choice and if you happen to be staying in a Wimdu rental, make sure to ask your hosts for some tips on the best places to eat as well!
Getting To and Around Pigeon Forge
The closest airport to Pigeon Forge is the McGhee-Tyson Airport in Knoxville. From here you just head down the US Route 441 by car to get to the city. Once in Pigeon Forge, you can get around on the Fun Time Trolley. This is a public transportation system which serves over 100 stops around the city, including Dollywood, Tangers Outlets, Dolly´s Splash Country and plenty of other stops. Fares cost between 0.50 and 0.75 cents.
Accommodation and Apartments for Rent in Pigeon Forge
Accommodation is plentiful in this region, with many hotels, motels, cabins and campgrounds catering for the sleeping needs of visitors. If you´d like to spend time living like a local, then consider finding a self-catering rental. You could shack up in a cosy forge cottage, or stay closer to the town amenities in a nice room with bed and breakfast, or even find yourself a chalet in the woods! There is plenty of choice in Pigeon Forge to suit any budget, and when you stay with Wimdu, you even get the benefit of the insider knowledge from your friendly host.