7 Tips for Your First Trip to Pigeon Forge TN

Welcome to Pigeon Forge TN sign

If you have never been to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, it’s high time that you came to visit! Located minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, our charming city is frequented by over 11 million vacationers each year. Filled with awesome attractions and breathtaking scenery, Pigeon Forge is the ultimate destination for a family getaway or romantic retreat. To help you make the most of your first trip to Pigeon Forge TN, Hearthside Cabin Rentals has put together these seven tips.

1. Know What Each Season Has to Offerwinter vacation in the Smoky Mountains.

Unlike some popular vacation spots, Pigeon Forge is truly a year-round destination. Blessed with a temperate climate, the Smokies are never oppressively hot or bone-chillingly cold. There is no single “best time” to visit the area because each season offers something special to see.

In the fall, Pigeon Forge features some of the most spectacular autumn foliage in the entire nation. When the weather starts to get a bit frosty, our Smoky Mountain city transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with millions of holiday lights and a nearby ski resort. Spring brings a host of beautiful wildflowers and a number of fun events to the region. The lazy days of summer are Pigeon Forge’s busiest months, when millions of families come to town to enjoy some fun in the sun. As you plan your trip, be sure to consider which season is right for your getaway.

2. You Don’t Have to Be Outdoorsy to Enjoy the National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States! While the Smokies offer over 800 miles of lovely hiking trails, you don’t have to be an athlete, or even outdoorsy, to enjoy the park. Auto touring is one of the best ways to take in the area’s gorgeous scenery without leaving the comfort of your car. Scenic drives like the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Newfound Gap Road, and the Cades Cove Loop Road are filled with majestic mountain vistas and superb wildlife viewing opportunities. Having a picnic in the Smoky Mountains is another great way to admire the park’s natural beauty without breaking a sweat.

A stack of pancakes covered in berries and syrup.3. Pancakes Are the Most Important Meal of the Day

Pigeon Forge is the pancake capital of the United States! For reasons that still remain unclear, the Smokies have become a mecca for flapjacks. No matter where you turn on the Parkway, you will see a seemingly endless variety of pancake houses. We highly recommend ordering a tall stack of fluffy hotcakes at one of the area’s wonderful breakfast restaurants during your first trip to Pigeon Forge TN.

4. Consider the Dollywood Festival Schedule

Dollywood is far and away the most popular attraction in Pigeon Forge. In fact, Dolly Parton’s theme park is the most successful ticketed attraction in the entire state of Tennessee! While Dollywood is a great place to visit any time of the year, it is especially fun when it is hosting one of its annual festivals. Here is a rough breakdown of when the park typically holds its special celebrations:

  • Smoky Mountain Christmas (November – December)
  • Festival of Nations (March – April)
  • Spring Mix Music Festival (April)
  • Barbeque & Bluegrass (May – June)
  • Summer Celebration (June – August)
  • Harvest Festival (October)

Specific dates are available on the official Dollywood website. For more information about what to expect at these seasonal events, check out our complete guide to the annual Dollywood festivals.

5. Stop by the Major LandmarksWonderWorks in Pigeon Forge.

The Pigeon Forge Parkway is lined with dozens of unique landmarks. Visitors will have the chance to see an upside-down building, a giant medieval castle, King Kong scaling a replica of the Empire State building, and a half-scale re-creation of the RMS Titanic, just to name a few. To learn more about all of these fantastic attractions, read our guide to the top 6 landmarks in Pigeon Forge.

6. See a Spectacular Show

No trip to Pigeon Forge is complete without seeing one of the city’s famous shows! The Smokies are home to a number of popular theaters that produce Las Vegas-caliber shows that are fun for the whole family. Some of the theaters even serve a full meal that you can enjoy while you watch the entertainment. Check out our guide to the top 6 Pigeon Forge shows to learn how you can get free tickets with our Freedom Fun Pass.

A beautiful cabin with mountain views in Pigeon Forge.7. Cabin Rentals are the Best Lodging Option

A cabin rental is definitely the best lodging option for your first trip to Pigeon Forge TN. Tucked away in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, cabins provide an authentic East Tennessee experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Unlike a hotel, a cabin is a genuine home away from home that your family is sure to love.

Here at Hearthside Cabin Rentals, we offer amazing properties that come with your choice of stellar amenities, including fully furnished kitchens, decks with scenic views, game rooms, theater rooms, and swimming pools. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 18 bedroom lodges, we can accommodate groups of virtually any size. To start planning your vacation, browse our selection of cabins in Pigeon Forge!