Although Mr. Maebell and I have become somewhat accustomed to world travel the last few years that wasn’t always the case. As two lifelong Tennessee residents we grew up taking trips a bit closer to home. At least once a year our entire childhood we visited the Great Smoky Mountains. Yes, every year my parents would load up their van with my three siblings and I, pack the back full of suit cases and coolers and we would head across the state. Pigeon Forge is a place that is special to me because so many great family memories took place there. If you give it a chance, it just might be a special place to you and your family too.
Why visit Pigeon Forge?
Pigeon Forge is a city situated in the Smoky Mountains that truly has something for everyone. Not only is the scenery especially beautiful but it is full of family friendly activities and festivals unique to the area. One of the best known attractions is Dolly Parton’s Dollywood. This theme park is especially unique because everything about it is quintessential southern. Not only is the hospitality inviting but the entertainment is unmatched! You don’t have to look hard to find live artists performing classic country, gospel, or even classic rock ‘n’ roll you can’t help but sing along to.
Dollywood also embraces the heritage of the Smokies by having traditional blacksmithing and glass blowing right on site. There is a lot more than just rides in Dollywood. The music, food, and craftsman make this an unforgettable experience.
Of course there is a lot more to Pigeon Forge than just Dollywood! Depending on the time of year there are tons of amazing outdoor activities such as water water rafting (my personal favorite), mini golf, go kart riding, more than 800 miles of hiking trails, fishing and camping.
And just in case you need more variety there are tons of indoor activities too. There is great shopping, everything from unique boutiques to outlet malls. You can also find a variety of shows and dinner theatre, and just in case you need to unwind further you can hop over to the spa.
Where should I eat in Pigeon Forge?
You truly cannot go wrong in Pigeon Forge. There are tons of amazing restaurants, but over the years these are some of my families favorites. All of these restaurants not only have great food but they have a very family friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
- The Old Mill Restaurant: This 1800s grain mill is a true piece of Tennessee history. The Old Mill is one of the oldest continually operating gristmills in the country. In addition, it is also a place visitors can dine on classic country dishes like Country Fried Steak, Fried Catfish and of course grits. Make an afternoon of it and visit the Pottery House, General Store and take in the beautiful mountain scenery.
- Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Cafe: The Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Cafe has a fun atmosphere and is perfect for a big southern style family brunch. This cafe does serve gluten free pancakes, perfect for those in your family with gluten intolerances.
- Alamo Steakhouse:Alamo Steakhouse is locally owned and operated and open 7 days a week. This extensive steakhouse menu features everything from Hot Crab Dip to Chili Rubbed Pork Chops. This place really does have something for everyone.
- Huck Finn’s Catfish, Chicken, & Steaks: Huck Finn’s Catfish, Chicken, & Steaks is a family owned and operated resturant known for it’s all you can eat catfish and chicken dinners. Featuring classic southern dishes like crispy fried hush puppies, white beans and slaw this is a place you’ve got to add to your list.
What kind of trip should I plan to Pigeon Forge?
Although all of my visits to Pigeon Forge were family trips I can see this being a wonderful destination for lots of other types of trips! This would be a great couples get away, rent one of the cozy cabins with a beautiful view and take a relaxing break from the daily grind. This could be a fun girls trip complete with great food, a spa day and a dinner show.
The truth is, Pigeon Forge is a great place for any kind of trip! It has so many options of things to do, they are truly endless! If you are looking for a place to enjoy nature, beautiful scenery and incredible hospitality add Pigeon Forge to your list. This is a place to make forever family memories.