In today’s fast-paced world, sometimes you just want to sit down and take a gulp of fresh mountain air. There’s no better place to do that than Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Relax amidst the majesty of the Great Smoky Mountains, or embrace the good times at Dolly Parton’s theme park. The following are just five of the many reasons why this Tennessee destination is the ultimate place for your next vacation. You don’t need to pick a season—this part of the country is beautiful throughout the year—so pack your bags and start off on that long-awaited getaway.
Reason #1: to learn your fate at the Titanic Museum
The Titanic sank in the middle of the North Atlantic, many thousands of miles away from Tennessee. But step aboard this partial replica of the lost liner and you’ll swear you’re back in Edwardian times. Stand on a replica of the famous Grand Staircase, gaze upon numerous artifacts, and find out if the person whose name is on your entry ticket survived or perished. Of all the places to go in Pigeon Forge, this attraction definitely belongs at the top of your itinerary.
Reason #2: to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Natural beauty abounds in this 800-square mile park. Wander through mysterious, mist-enshrouded greenery in the early morning, then explore numerous historical buildings and exhibits in Cades Cove during the afternoon. Go horseback riding, snap pictures of the local wildlife, and catch the freshest fish of your life. Toss that fish on the fire and cook yourself a delicious meal before retreating to your Pigeon Forge hotel.
[viewfinder-image-small-horizontal] Reason #3: to discover Dolly Parton’s pride and joy
Trust us: you’ve never seen anything like Dollywood. This 150-acre theme park is owned by Dolly Parton, and while it’s home to the usual invigorating thrill rides, you’ll also find the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame, as well as exhibits and souvenirs celebrating the culture of the Smoky Mountains. You can spend all day here wandering around, watching shows, and purchasing gifts for your friends and family back home. For more fun in Pigeon Forge visit during the warm season and pop by the adjacent water park to let the good times splash.
Viewfinder Tip: While you’re in town, swing by the historical Old Mill to learn more about the city’s history.
Reason #4: to catch legendary performances at the Smoky Mountain Opry Theatre
You like country music, and you love live performances. Put the two of them together and you’ll get this delightful theater venue. Some of its popular shows include Magic Beyond Belief—if you didn’t believe before, you will after!—and The Smoky Mountain Opry Variety Show, which features flying musicians and laser effects. There’s also a morning variety performance, and if you’re visiting during the holidays, don’t miss the Christmas-centered production. Kick back and get ready for the action to unfold on stage.
Reason #5: to understand the meaning behind the town’s quirky name
Admit it: you heard the name “Pigeon Forge” and weren’t quite sure how to react. Contrary to what the moniker might imply, this place does not actually forge pigeons. When your friends ask you the story of the name, tell them the truth: that passenger pigeons once called this place home, and there used to be a big iron forge here. Whoever named the city smashed the two words together and liked the sound of them, and Pigeon Forge it remained.
What are your favorite reasons for visiting Pigeon Forge?