By Kerry Hodge
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has come a long way in the past 75 years. Once upon a time, it started off as just a sleepy little town that travelers passed through on their way to Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
But in recent decades, the community has gradually developed into a powerhouse vacation destination. In fact, you could plan several weeks' worth of getaway time in Pigeon Forge and never do the same thing twice, all without even stepping outside the city limits.
For starters, you'll find just about any kind of accommodations you could imagine. Need a hotel or motel room right on the Parkway, in the middle of all the action? There are thousands at your disposal. Or maybe you'd prefer a quiet, secluded rental cabin, far from all the hustle and bustle. No problem; you can find properties as close to or as far away from town as you desire. The city also offers condos, bed and breakfast inns, campgrounds and RV parks, ensuring that whatever your lodging needs are, Pigeon Forge has you covered.
Once you're here, you'll find it an easy town to navigate. A high percentage of the activities you'll be interested in are located along or within just a few blocks of the Parkway – which runs from the Sevierville city limits on the north to the Gatlinburg Spur to the south – or Wears Valley Road, which connects Pigeon Forge with the Wears Valley community. Even Smoky Mountain Ziplines and Canopy Tours is close to town, only two miles off the Parkway.
Even on fairly busy days, getting around town is a smooth endeavor. The Parkway boasts three lanes in each direction, making car travel less congested, and the city runs multiple trolley lines that serve every area of town. It's inexpensive and easy to use.
Once you're out on the town, you'll find seemingly endless options when it comes to enjoying your days in the Smokies. You can keep the whole family happy with everything from major amusement parks and water parks to world-class attractions that are designed to both entertain and educate. Along the way, there's no shortage of amusement centers where you can enjoy those classic vacation staples like miniature golf, go-carts and video gaming.
Pigeon Forge is also known for its music theaters. Nearly a dozen theaters are located on or near the Parkway, offering a wide range of live entertainment, from country, rock, gospel and bluegrass music to shows featuring live animals, feats of magic and comedy. Many of these theaters are dinner attractions, where you can enjoy a full, multi-course meal before the entertainment gets under way. Or if your idea of a fun night at the theater involves a tub of popcorn and the latest Hollywood blockbuster, you'll also find a movie theater in town, with multiple screens showing all the latest releases.
Those who enjoy the great outdoors shouldn't have any trouble finding fun and adventure while they're in town. You could saddle up at one of the local horseback riding stables or sail through the air on one of our Pigeon Forge zip line tours. In fact, zip lining is a great way to spend a morning or an afternoon in the Smokies. There's nothing like flying through the air with the wind in your hair, surrounded by lush mountain woodlands to create memories that will last a lifetime.
And we're just scratching the surface of Pigeon Forge, which is also known for its outlet mall shops. You have hundreds of individual shops to choose from, offering all kinds of name-brand and specialty merchandise, typically at discounted prices. And when it's time to take a break and fuel your own tank, dozens of restaurants are ready to stop those belly rumblings with a wide array of offerings, from fast food and Southern grub to ethnic cuisine and specialty menus.