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Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.


How To Spend Thanksgiving In The Smokies

By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on November 3, 2020

Thanksgiving family gatherings are great, but they can be an awful lot of work. Especially if you're the person responsible for planning and preparing the meal. This year might be the year to start a new family tradition-or at least take a break from the routine of hosting the annual Thanksgiving get-together. Think about observing the holiday in the Great Smoky Mountains this year. Continue reading for some ideas on how to pull it off.


Book a cabin

There are thousands of overnight rental properties in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding area. And there are cabins of all sizes, so if you want to get the whole extended family together for Thanksgiving this year, that's not a problem. Most vacation-rental companies have cabins with four, five and six bedrooms or more in their inventory. But if you'd rather maintain social distancing during the holiday, you could opt for a smaller cabin, chalet or cottage and make it a getaway for just the immediate family or even just for two. If you haven't done so already, go ahead and make your lodging reservations first. There should still be plenty of available properties to suit your travel needs. You'll also benefit from lower rates than what you'll typically pay in peak season.

Plan a meal

Most vacation rental properties have full kitchens, but the goal here was to get away from cooking this year, right? So look into having Thanksgiving dinner at a local eatery and let someone else prepare the meal. Here's a partial list of restaurants that plan to be open and serving that day. Note that most area restaurants don't take reservations, but it never hurts to check. At the very least, plan on arriving early, in case you have to wait.


Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and Farmhouse Grill (reservations accepted)

Holston's Kitchen

Pigeon Forge

Captain Jim's Seafood Buffet

Hard Rock Café

Harpoon Harry's

J.T. Hannah's Kitchen

Old Mill Restaurant

Paula Deen's Family Kitchen

Puckett's Gro. & Restaurant



Cliff Top and Smokehouse Restaurant at Anakeesta

Seasons of Ober Loft & Lounge

The Park Grill

Also note that most Cracker Barrel locations offer Thanksgiving meal packages to go, so if you place your order at the Sevierville or Pigeon Forge locations in time, you can pick up a meal that day that includes turkey, dressing and all the sides.

Watch some TV

Everybody knows that part of Thanksgiving is watching college and pro football on TV. And that's another advantage of renting a cabin. Most rental properties come with large-screen TVs in multiple rooms, so there's plenty of space to spread out and watch that day's games. And those screens will also come in handy in the evening for those who want to curl up and watch their favorite TV shows and holiday films.

Have a little fun

Naturally, you're not going to want to just stay cooped up in a cabin all week. You're in the Great Smoky Mountains, so get out there and explore! Take a hike in the national park or go on a scenic drive through Cades Cove or Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. There are also tons of indoor and outdoor attractions, including Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, the Titanic Museum Attraction and our Smoky zipline attraction. There are still plenty of great ziplining days ahead in 2020. And don't forget about all the music theaters in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. Most of them are hosting their annual holiday-themed shows, giving you the opportunity to kick back for a couple of hours of live music and entertainment and get into the spirit of Christmas.


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