Home of the world-famous Dollywood theme park, Pigeon Forge is a thriving, bustling town boasting gorgeous Smoky Mountain scenery, classic Southern cuisine, fantastic shopping, exciting events, and a concentration of family-friendly attractions that can only be rivaled by its neighboring city of Gatlinburg. With all that in just one charming town, it’s no wonder so many people choose a getaway to Pigeon Forge for their annual vacation. As you plan your Pigeon Forge retreat, consider our advice on maneuvering through the town, including what to do, when to go, and where to stay!
Outdoor Activities in Pigeon Forge
The Great Smoky Mountains are one of the most scenic places in the United States. They offer many outdoor activities, breathtaking scenery, and an abundance of wildlife. In the middle of it all is Pigeon Forge, a Tennessee town with dozens of family-friendly attractions, delicious restaurants, and hilarious dinner shows. But it is that blend of attractions and outdoor activities that draws so many visitors to Pigeon Forge each year.
In Pigeon Forge, visitors can try virtually any outdoor activity, whether they want to explore by land, water, or sky. In town and in the neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, activities include biking, horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, rafting, and fishing…just to name a few. No matter what age or skill level, there is an outdoor activity suited to anyone who ventures to the Great Smoky Mountains!
Exploring the more than 800 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will bring you face-to-face with the various wildlife in and around the park. On a horseback ride through the park, look out for a family of foraging black bears, grazing white-tailed deer, meandering wild turkeys, and singing birds of all kinds.
Want to expend a few calories while checking out the sights, sounds, and smells of the Smokies? Bike trails in and around the park allow cyclists to get a closer look at native flora and fauna along the 11-mile loop in Cades Cove, take an easy ride with kids along the Gatlinburg Trail, visit historic areas from Mills Park to Bear Mountain, and test their skills on rough terrain at Newfound Gap.
Another popular outdoor activity, hiking to cascading waterfalls, past narrow ravines, over time-worn stones, and between towering trees in the Smokies will keep you active while sightseeing. Love hiking but want to mix it up a little? Want to try a two-day hike, but don’t want to carry your own gear? A truly unique experience, llama trek hiking takes you on a guided trip, from 2 hours to 2-day overnights, through the Smoky Mountains — with a lovable llama as your companion!
While many visitors love to hike or bike in the Smokies, many also want to enjoy the scenery while taking it easy. With the gorgeous blue mountains, lush greenery, vivid wildflowers, flowing waterfalls, and abundant wildlife, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are the perfect places to do so. As you stroll the Parkway, tee off at a local golf course, or take scenic drives in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, practice your photography skills and take home photos that will help you remember your Smoky Mountain trip for years to come.
Truly, there is something gorgeous to be seen every season of the year in the Smokies! During spring and summer, an array of wildflowers blooms across the fields, and cool mountain streams rush through the woods. Take a pleasant, quiet walk while bird watching, or take the kids for a fun hay ride and see the changing leaves of the Smokies in colorful autumn. And in winter, trek to a frozen waterfall with friends and enjoy the serene snow-covered views all around. No matter the season, Pigeon Forge is a beautiful vacation destination for all!
With mild winters and summers, Pigeon Forge has water activities that you can enjoy almost year-round. Bring your rod and reel and go fishing in the many streams and rivers in the area. When it gets warm, venture a little further into the water with whitewater rafting adventures, kayaking, or lazily tubing down the river. Of course, Dollywood’s Splash Country is one of the most fun ways to enjoy the water in Pigeon Forge. Kids and kids at heart will love playing and splashing around here!
High in the Sky
If you want to see more than what land views can offer, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas are home to outdoor activities that will offer birds-eye views. Amazing views of the national park and downtown Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg can be easily had on a scenic helicopter tour. From the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, you can get soaring views of the city. Feeling extra adventurous? Fly through the trees on a zip line tour or get the ultimate adrenaline rush while skydiving!
Downtown Pigeon Forge Attractions
Whether you’re looking for a romantic Ferris-wheel ride, a full day of family fun at an amusement park, a snow day with friends in summer (yep, it’s true), or a place to bring a large group for an awesome time, Pigeon Forge has you covered — and then some! Check out our top 10 (in no particular order) Pigeon Forge attractions for a bit of inspiration, and don’t be afraid to branch out to oldies-but-goldies or up-and-coming attractions. After all, what’s life without a bit of adventure?
- The Island — home to the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, The Escape Game, unique boutiques, fun games, and mouthwatering cuisine
- Dollywood — the famed amusement park of the Smokies, complete with rides, treats, crafts, animals, and uncontrollable smiles
- TopJump Trampoline Park — channeling your inner child with massive indoor trampolines, a ninja course, climbing center, arcade, and more!
- Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster — where viewing nature at a top speed of 27 miles per hour is possible…and fun
- Alcatraz East — a museum inspired by the notorious prison of the West, bringing captivating crime stories and the justice system to life with over 100 interactives
- Pigeon Forge Snow — an indoor snow tubing center where you can play in the snow year-round!
- Titanic Museum Attraction — where you can explore the Titanic, from individual cabins to the Grand Staircase
- The Track Pigeon Forge — go-karts, bumper cars, kiddy rides, blaster boats, arcade games, and more!
- Hollywood Wax Museum — harboring lifelike (and life-size) figures of famed celebrities, such as Jackie Chan, Clint Eastwood, Natalie Portman, and Marilyn Monroe
- MagiQuest — role playing to the max, where wizarding wands, magical mysteries, and a castle adventure await!
Shopping & Dining in Pigeon Forge
Once you arrive in Pigeon Forge, you’ll see there is plenty to explore. One of the great ways to see the city is to ride the trolleys. Instead of watching for traffic, you can ride the trolleys from stop to stop while enjoying the scenery and checking out all the stores and attractions. If you’re spending the day shopping in Pigeon Forge, then the trolley is ideal. Most routes run every 25-30 minutes, so you can shop at one area for as long as you like, and then hop back on for more adventures! While shopping for local treats, Smoky Mountain souvenirs, commemorative T-shirts, and unique home décor, be sure to check for special coupons. The outlet stores offer great deals all year, but some brochures offer special coupons to help you save even more!
In between outdoor activities and shopping for hours on end, food is a definite must. And Pigeon Forge has plenty to offer, from quality Southern dishes, pancake houses for miles, and barbecue beyond belief to awesome burger joints, delicious pizzerias, and international cuisine! If you’re looking to take your dining experience up a notch, plan for a dinner show in town. Watch as the arena lights up with powerful pyrotechnics, dazzling special effects, jaw-dropping horse riding stunts, and soul-stirring musical numbers while you enjoy a 4-course Southern feast at Dolly Parton’s Stampede. Root for your favorite family as they battle it out country style with clogging routines, nimble acrobatics, and singing competitions while you dine on Granny’s homemade meal at the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show. Or maybe you’re interested in solving a mystery with a tasty meal and side-splitting comedy? Come see “The Killbillies” or “Gun with the Wind” at the Great Smoky Mountain Murder Mystery Dinner Show!
Annual Pigeon Forge Events
When traveling to Pigeon Forge, keep local events in mind as this happening town always has something fun in store! Finding new excitement around every corner is just a normal day here. But if you’re looking for something specific to suit your interests, there’s no harm in checking up on Pigeon Forge events before you go — a few of our favorites are below!
- With one in spring and another in fall, the Smoky Mountain Trout Tournaments are open to experienced and novice fishermen alike, reeling in incredible prizes and precious memories.
- The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage each year takes visitors on a tour of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with lessons in ecology and hands-on activities along the way.
- Rev your engines for the car-show craze in spring and fall at the bi-annual Rod Run, with 3 days of cash prizes, event merch, and incredible hot rods!
- Typically held in summer, the River Raft Regatta, a competition for almost any floatable watercraft, lets you play around the water without getting wet in nearby Gatlinburg.
- Tap your feet to the bluegrass beat at Stringtime in the Smokies, a summer event where music is played for all to hear at the Old Mill Square.
- Celebrate our nation’s independence with spectacular fireworks, patriotic tunes, fun games, yummy food, and more at the Patriot Festival on July 4.
- Featuring horrific (in a good way) costumes, a spine-tingling contest with fun prizes, and a candy adventure, Halloween at The Island gets better and better each year.
- Tour Pigeon Forge at its best — during the Winterfest Trolley Tour of Lights, held throughout winter, keeping the Christmas spirit alive for as long as possible with mesmerizing light displays all around town.
Where to Stay in Pigeon Forge
With its mix of dinner shows, delicious dining options, shopping, and scenery, Pigeon Forge has become a popular destination for honeymoons, anniversaries, family vacations, getaways with friends, church retreats, business gatherings, beautiful weddings, and large-group trips. With so many reasons to visit Pigeon Forge, lodging options need to be diverse, accommodating, and inviting, and above all, they should provide a space to unwind, find a little privacy, relax, enjoy the Smokies, spend quality time with loved ones, and create incredible memories to last a lifetime. At Cabins for YOU, we offer over 300 properties of all shapes and sizes, ranging from 1-14 bedrooms and sleeping anywhere from 1-54 guests with bonus amenities galore as well as forest, river, and mountain views. Leave run-of-the-mill hotels behind and elevate your next Pigeon Forge vacation with an unforgettable cabin experience — sure to bring smiles for years to come.
Vacation Packages & Gift Baskets
We offer several vacation packages that make planning simple, allow you to relax a little more, and provide really special additions, such as a bed of roses and in-cabin massages, to a wonderful Pigeon Forge vacation. Additionally, you can select a few gift baskets to add a little spice to your mountain trip, from pampering products and java joy to whimsical wildflowers and palatable picnics!
Amenities for All!
- Breathtaking Mountain, Valley, River, and Woodsy Views
- Outdoor Hot Tubs
- Private Indoor Pools
- Theater Rooms
- Arcade Games
- Pool Tables
- Indoor Jetted Tubs
- Gas and Charcoal Grills
- Air Hockey Tables
- Spacious Decks with Rocking Chairs
- King-Size Beds
- Foosball Tables
- Big Screen TVs
- Wood-Burning, Gas, and Electric Fireplaces
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
As you begin browsing cabins and planning your Pigeon Forge vacation, consider trip insurance. Sometimes, unexpected things come up as we plan vacations. In the event that you aren’t able to make your planned vacation dates, travel insurance covers death in the family, sickness, identity theft, inclement weather, job loss, and military responsibility. Travel insurance can offer the added peace of mind as you plan a stress-free vacation!
A Vacation Planner for YOU
No matter the size of your group or desired amenities, our cabins provide a comfortable and entertaining place to stay in the Smokies for families, friends, coworkers, teammates…everyone! Consider your budget, desired location, preferred dates, and the amenities you want before booking online. Better yet, fill out our Options for YOU form or call 1.800.684.7865 for assistance from your personal Vacation Planner — ready and willing to find the perfect cabin for YOU and help plan your ultimate Pigeon Forge vacation today!