Blog for Zipline Attraction in the Smoky Mountains

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


Should You Retire To The Smokies?

By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on June 27, 2023

It's a common story around here: We often meet people who chose to retire in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and in many cases, it all started with a vacation. It's not unusual to hear relocated residents say things like, “We came here on a family trip one summer and fell in love with the area.” And we're not just talking about people who live within a few hours of here. A lot of retirees who put down roots in the Smokies hail from places like Florida, Michigan, Ohio and beyond. Lately, there's been a large influx of transplants from the West Coast.

Maybe you're in a similar situation. You've vacationed here at least once before and you indeed were impressed by the beauty of the mountains and the surrounding area. Maybe you enjoyed having that temporary access to an abundance of shops, restaurants and attractions. And now that you are at or approaching retirement age, you're thinking about shaking things up and looking for a change in scenery. If that applies to you, then read on to pick up some points to ponder when considering a move to the Great Smoky Mountains.

And don't just take our word for it: In 2022, Southern Living magazine ranked Pigeon Forge as number five in its top 11 Southern mountain towns to retire in. The article cited the proximity to nature and easy access to entertainment as among the top factors.

Here's a more complete rundown of some of the advantages of retiring in the Smokies.

• Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This is usually mentioned as one of the top draws for retirees, and it's easy to understand why. The national park, the most visited in the nation, has no entrance fees, and it offers some 800 square miles of unspoiled beauty in the form of mountains and mature hardwood forests. The park has more than 800 miles of hiking trails in addition to fishable streams, places to run and bike, historic structures, picnic grounds, campgrounds and much more. If you plan to enjoy nature in your retirement years, it doesn't get much better than this.

And while the national park is the hub of outdoor recreation around here, it's not the only game in town. East Tennessee is fortunate to be home to more than a half-dozen TVA reservoirs that offer numerous opportunities for boating, camping, swimming, fishing and more. And don't overlook Tennessee's state parks, which are also great places to camp and hike. Of course, we also have zip lining in Pigeon Forge, TN, here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines.

• Travel convenience

Let's say that you don't plan to spend all your retirement time gawking at the Smoky Mountains. If you also intend to continue your travels to other parts of the country or even the world, keep in mind that the Smokies are close to McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville. So on that next trip - whether it's to New York or Paris - catching a flight will be a cinch. There's even a smaller airport in Sevierville that can accommodate lighter aviation.

• Four seasons

Nope, not the hotel; we literally mean that the Smokies enjoy a change of all four seasons. We get icy, snowy days in winter (not an excessive number), and we get some pretty hot days in summer. In between, spring and fall offer a delightful respite from the extremes. And autumn in the Smokies is not to be missed. The change of colors in the foliage is a spectacle that draws millions of visitors from all over the world.

• Entertainment

As we alluded to above, there's no shortage of year-round entertainment when you live in the Smokies. If you're into music, there are theaters throughout Pigeon Forge that cater to all genres and tastes. Also look for dinner shows featuring horseback competitions and battling lumberjacks, and there are magic shows that will mystify all ages.

You can add other attractions to the entertainment category as well. In addition to Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, look for multifaceted destinations like SkyLift Park, Ober Mountain and Anakeesta, all overlooking downtown Gatlinburg. Then there are unique attractions like the Titanic Museum Attraction and WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge as well as all kinds of outdoor recreations like ziplining, four-wheeling, multiple water parks and horseback riding.

• Other factors

A few miscellaneous considerations that retirees cite as reasons for moving to the Smokies: Tennessee has no state income tax, and property taxes are competitive compared to larger markets.


This content posted by Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Visit our home page, for more information on zipline adventures in the Smoky Mountains.

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