You’re planning a Pigeon Forge getaway and want to know, “When is the best time of year to visit Pigeon Forge?” You may get a different answer from each person you ask, but here are some ideas:
If you visit in the summer, you’ll be able to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and enjoy the fun of outdoor waterparks like Dollywood’s Splash Country. But if you opt for the winter, you’ll have the chance to view the thousands of lights that decorate the City of Pigeon Forge during Winterfest. And don’t forget about Pigeon Forge’s variety of live holiday shows.
Of course, in the spring, the Great Smoky Mountains offer several natural wonders including more than 1,500 varieties of blossoming wildflowers, the once-a-year phenomenon of the synchronous fireflies at Elkmont, and a variety of wildlife in the national park. And we definitely can’t forget about fall, when the Smoky Mountain leaves are changing and the colors of the landscape are truly unforgettable.
I’m afraid we haven’t done a very good job of answering your question! But that’s because there’s really no right answer. Pigeon Forge is the perfect place to visit any time of year and in any season. It all depends on what you’re wanting to see and do while you’re in the Smokies.
To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve listed some of our favorite Pigeon Forge activities for winter, spring, summer, and fall. We’ve also listed some of our favorite cabin amenities for each season. Just know that whenever you visit and whichever cabin rental you choose, you can’t go wrong with a getaway to Pigeon Forge!
Cabin must-haves: fireplace, indoor jetted tub, private indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, big screen TV (for movie nights!)
Winter in a Pigeon Forge cabin means quiet nights curled up in front of a fireplace, movie marathons with popcorn and your favorite drinks, watching the snow fall over the mountains as you unwind in a hot tub, and sipping hot chocolate while rocking on the deck. Start your days with a hot pancake breakfast (you’ll have your pick downtown) before spending the afternoon exploring the area’s indoor attractions and museums. After busy days, head back to your cozy winter cabin to warm up in front of the fire, retreat to your master suite, or unwind in the hot tub before climbing into bed.
Winter in Pigeon Forge means viewing the downtown Festival of Lights and watching the holiday versions of several Smoky Mountain shows, including at the Dixie Stampede and The Comedy Barn Theater. When the weather is drab and dreary, we also recommend getting out of the cold and checking out some popular Pigeon Forge museums during your wintertime visit. Here are a few of our favorites:
Titanic Museum Attraction—Go back in time at this unique Pigeon Forge museum, where you can walk the Grand Staircase, touch an iceberg, and read the stories of original RMS Titanic passengers and crew. And don’t miss their special wintertime exhibit, Christmas at the Titanic, which runs from early December through New Year’s Day. The rooms, stairs, and exhibits are decked out with lights, garland, and more.
Hollywood Wax Museum—Even if you’ve been to a wax museum before, we’re sure you’ve never been to a wax museum devoted entirely to Hollywood figures. That’s because there’s only one museum like that in the country, and it’s located right here in Pigeon Forge! Check out this unique attraction with favorite Hollywood stars, from John Wayne to Brad Pitt!
Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Family—Located inside Dolly Parton’s famous theme park, Dollywood, the Southern Gospel Museum features the legends of Southern gospel music from yesterday to today.
Chasing Rainbows Museum—Also located inside Dollywood, the Chasing Rainbows museum is a state-of-the-art museum that tells the story of Dolly Parton’s life and career. Check out interactive exhibits, learn behind-the-scenes stories, and see fascinating memorabilia including Dolly’s costumes from her film career at this unique Pigeon Forge attraction.
Cabin must-haves: outdoor hot tub, game tables, mountain views, a fully-equipped kitchen
Spring days in the Smokies can bring lots of sunshine or showers of rain. Having a comfortable place to call home while you’re here will ensure rainy days don’t wash out your plans. We have lots of cabins with game tables (foosball, pool, air hockey, arcade games, and more) that can make rainy days tons of fun. Sit on the back deck with a glass of lemonade and listen to the rain hit the leaves on the trees. Rent a movie and kick back on the couch. Make your favorite game-day snacks (or late-night cravings) in your cabin’s full kitchen. Listen to the birds and spot wildflowers and blooming trees as you rock and read a book. Spring days in the cabin are sure to be some of your favorite vacation days!
In the springtime, when you’re not enjoying a pleasant wildflower walk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we recommend a walk around Patriot Park behind the historic Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. (Be sure to take some quarters so you can feed the ducks!) Or if you’re looking for a little outdoor adventure, try whitewater rafting down the Pigeon River or a relaxing tube ride with River Rage Tubing. Other one-stop, family-friendly attractions for the spring—with a mix of indoor and outdoor activities—include the following:
Lazerport Fun Center<—If it’s a day of spring showers, head to Lazerport Fun Center, where you’ll find a huge indoor arcade, the area’s largest laser tag arena, and an indoor, 18-hole, blacklight mini-golf course! This attraction also features a go-kart track with a 50-foot spiral tower and an ice cream parlor that serves Hershey’s.
SpeedZone Fun Park—If the weather’s nice and you want to play outside, head to SpeedZone Fun Park, where you’ll find not 1, not 2, but 4 go-kart tracks in one convenient location! You can test your speed on the Slick Track, race up and down on the Coaster Track, handle tight turns on the Tennessee Twister, or let the kids race on their Kids Track.
Rockin’ Raceway—Another family-favorite attraction in Pigeon Forge is Rockin’ Raceway, where you’ll not only find a go-kart slick track but also an arcade with more than 150 games! This is an exciting place to spend the day no matter what ages you’re bringing to the Smokies.
Cabin must-haves: community pool access, gas or charcoal grill, home theater, private indoor pool
Summertime will always be the most popular time to get away, when the kids are out of school and you’re aching for a break from work. Get away to Pigeon Forge, to a cabin that will feel like home – but better. You can swim in your private indoor pool, head to the outdoor community pool to splash in the sun, cool off in your own movie theater, play games, take a dip in the hot tub on a cool summer evening beneath the stars, toss some burgers, steaks, and kabobs on the grill for a summer night cookout, and have a cool place to retreat to after a busy day playing at Dollywood, riding go karts, playing miniature golf, and walking the Parkway.
The summer—ahh, that time of year when the days are long, the weather is warm, and the kids are out of school. This continues to be one of the most popular seasons to visit the Smoky Mountains, and two of the most popular Pigeon Forge attractions for the summer are Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Read a little more about each below:
Dollywood—Dolly Parton’s famous theme park, Dollywood, has become a household name in Pigeon Forge since it was first opened in 1986. With world-class roller coasters and live music shows featuring state-of-the-art equipment and entertainers, this one-stop attraction is sure to impress. Besides rides and shows, Dollywood offers Southern-style restaurants, unique museums, and special events like the Barbeque & Bluegrass festival in May and a free concert series in the park.
Dollywood’s Splash Country—Open only from May through September, Dollywood’s Splash Country is the perfect pair with the popular Pigeon Forge theme park and it offers the perfect place to escape during the dog days of summer. Check out 23 different rides inside this huge “water-tastic” attraction, including Fire Tower Falls, a 70-foot-high slide, and SwiftWater Run, which mimics a whitewater rafting adventure.
Cabin must-haves: outdoor fire pit, wooded or mountain view, rocking chairs
The Great Smoky Mountains come alive in fall, with the landscape transforming from bright greens to deep, rich hues of red, gold, and orange. If you’ve never visited Pigeon Forge in fall, don’t take our word for it – come see it for yourself. If this is the very reason you always come in fall, we don’t blame you! It is an amazing sight. In fall, pick a cabin with mountain or wooded views, and you’ll get up-close views of the natural beauty the Smokies is known for. Spend your days with a cup of coffee or glass of wine rocking on the deck and soaking it all in. On cooler fall days, cozy up inside with a good book in front of the fireplace or stick around the cabin to have a soothing soak in the hot tub.
Rivaling summer as the most popular season to visit the Smokies, the fall is when you’ll enjoy the many colors of the Smoky Mountain leaves as they change on the trees. Soak up the golds, greens, reds, and yellows that dot the rolling hills and mountains as you sip a cup of coffee on your rocking chair porch. For other ways to take in the impressive scenery, pay a visit to these Pigeon Forge attractions:
The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel—Located inside The Island in Pigeon Forge, this 200-foot Ferris wheel is one of the best ways to see the Smoky Mountain scenery that surrounds the City of Pigeon Forge. You can even try a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel at night, which is ideal for viewing the impressive show fountain inside The Island.
Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster—Get a closer look at the Smoky Mountain trees by riding through the middle of them on the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster! You choose the speed on this rider-operated coaster, and children as young as 3 are able to ride with their parents for an afternoon of fall family fun.
Legacy Mountain Ziplines—Just minutes from Dollywood, this Pigeon Forge ziplining attraction is another thrilling way to enjoy the impressive fall scenery of the Smokies. At Legacy Mountain, you’ll ride 7 ziplines that cover 4.5 miles and take you to heights of 450 feet in the air, providing your group with views of the Smoky Mountain trees they’ll never forget!