Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on October 13, 2015
The Great Smoky Mountains are obviously the number one reason that millions of people from all over the world come to our area every year. But as the tourism industry began to develop in the 1940s and '50s, folks began coming here for other reasons, including world-class attractions and, in the last few decades, shopping. That's right; for many visitors, a trip to the Smokies wouldn't be complete without making a stop at their favorite outlet mall, craft studio or specialty shop.
So for the next few weeks, we'll be taking a look at all the shopping opportunities (or “shoppertunities,” to borrow a coined phrase) in our communities and giving you some great ideas for retail destinations. Whether your goal is to do some Christmas shopping or just take advantage of some bargains, you'll probably find what you're looking for in the Smokies.
This week, we're going to start by telling you about our outlet malls, which generally allow you to purchase merchandise directly from the manufacturer at discounts ranging from 30 to 70 percent off retail prices. The majority of what you'll find is first-quality, in-season merchandise, often sold by name brands and/or designer labels.
Also note that these outlet centers aren't malls in the traditional sense of being enclosed under one roof. They are more like large clusters of strip plazas where all the stores are lined up in rows and have exterior access.
Pigeon Forge was the area's original home of outlet-mall shopping, and for many years, the now-defunct Belz Factory Outlet World was the go-to place to get your discount fix. But there are still several places in Pigeon Forge that draw plenty of visitors in search of retail bargains.
Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall (originally known as the Red Roof Mall) was the original outlet destination in Pigeon Forge and is probably still the main shopping attraction in that town. Located at Stoplight #4, the center offers nearly 200,000 square feet of shopping real estate, although currently, just a little more than a dozen of the 50 retail spaces are occupied. Merchandise includes furniture, apparel, accessories and shoes.
While you're there, you might as well check out the neighboring Z Buda Mall, which many visitors don't realize is a separate venture, mainly because its shops also have red roofs, and it's adjacent to the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall. It has a handful of shops on the upper end of the property, where the vendors offer apparel, art, souvenirs, collectible autographs, flowers and more.
Also in town are The Shops of Pigeon Forge, which is located just off the Parkway at Traffic Light #3, near the old Belz Mall location. This cluster of shops showcases several name-brand retail outlets as well as a music theater and a couple of real estate offices.
Don't forget that Smoky Mountain Ziplines is located in Pigeon Forge, so we hope you find time to take a break from your shopping there and spend a few hours with us. But after you've had fun on the zip line, Sevierville would be our next suggested destination for shopping.
Tanger Outlet Center at Five Oaks in Sevierville isn't the oldest outlet center in the area, but it has developed a reputation for becoming one of the most popular. Tanger (rhymes with “hanger”) has more than 100 shops in one handy location, featuring everything from apparel and footwear to accessories, jewelry and housewares.
You'll also find specialty stores that carry toys, luggage, perfume and more, and there are a number of eateries on site that offer coffee, confections, snacks and even full-service sit-down meals.
Sevierville is also where you'll find the Governor's Crossing Outlet Mall, conveniently located across the Parkway from that city's Walmart Supercenter. Governor's Crossing hasn't been as popular with tourists historically, but it's very easy to get to and navigate in, it has a number of legitimate outlet stores with in-demand merchandise, and the Books-A-Million anchor store has long been a popular stop for tourists and locals alike.