My husband, Blake, and I spent a few days in Pigeon Forge. What we found was an incredibly affordable family vacation destination with lots of things to do, great food, and beautiful scenery nestled in the gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains. Whether you have never been or vacation here every year, this is your ultimate guide to visiting Pigeon Forge, TN.
Where To Stay in Pigeon Forge
Stay at one of Pigeon Forge’s newest hotels, the Black Fox Lodge Pigeon Forge, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Enjoy complimentary hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, plus an outdoor pool and slide. In the heart of Pigeon Forge, the location does not get any better. You could even walk to several attractions and restaurants from the Black Fox Lodge.
Blake and I loved staying at the Black Fox Lodge during our Pigeon Forge, Tennessee visit. The hotel’s rustic decor and plaid fabric throughout make you feel like you are in a lodge in the middle of the Smoky Mountains.
Our room had two queen beds, a spacious bathroom, a balcony with two chairs, a mini-fridge, and a sitting area with a couch, coffee table, desk, and computer chair. We had more than enough room!
What we liked most about the Black Fox Lodge is its location. The hotel is nestled in between Pigeon Forge’s main drag (Parkway) and Teaster Lane, a great way to get around town without all of the traffic.
What To Do In Pigeon Forge
Kick-off your Pigeon Forge, Tennessee vacation by seeing the Smoky Mountain Opry, the largest and most attended musical variety show in the Smokies. With state-of-the-art special effects and dazzling costumes, this production is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.
Sit back and enjoy hits from numerous musical genres with a few surprise acts in-between.
The Dixie Stampede, one of Dolly Parton’s incredible attractions, is still going strong in Pigeon Forge. Joining the line-up of several new attractions in town is Toejump, featuring a trampoline park, arcade, VR games, and climbing/ninja courses.
Take pictures with your favorite celebrities at the Hollywood Wax Museum. Stars include Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Lucille Ball, John Wayne, Taylor Swift, and Will Ferrell. Hollywood Wax Museum opens at 9 AM daily.
Bring your whole family to The Comedy Barn, celebrating 20+-years of clean family comedy in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The variety show includes magicians, jugglers, ventriloquists, comedians, and more.
Families must visit The Track. With an arcade, two mini-golf courses, thrill rides, and several go-kart courses (including a 3.5 story elevated track, the Wild Woody), your children will love The Track!
Learn all about American crime at Alcatraz East. There are five galleries in the museum: History of American Crime, Punishment: The Consequences of Crime, Crime Scene Investigation, Crime Fighting, and Counterfeit Crimes and Pop Culture. Plan to spend about three hours here; there is a lot to see!
Experience what life was like aboard the world’s most famous luxury ocean liner at the Titanic Museum Attraction. Check out more than 400 artifacts, touch an iceberg, walk the Grand Staircase, and learn what life was like on the Titanic. You will receive a boarding pass of a real Titanic passenger or crew member when you enter, making your journey through the museum even more real.
An attraction that is loads of fun for the whole family and the classic vacation experience is 18-hole mini-golf at Toy Box. You’ll see the giant Rock‘Em Sock‘Em robots from the road, along with many other giant toy photo-ops. The Buttonwillow Civil War Theater is another offering for the whole family that will immerse your family in an engaging 90-minute stage show about the Civil War.
The Island is Pigeon Forge’s premier entertainment, dining, and shopping destination. Visit day or night for affordable family fun! Besides an arcade, moonshine flights, rides, restaurants, and shops, you’ll also have exciting scenery to take in and great people-watching opportunities.
Take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel via a large, air-conditioned pod. Towering 200-feet tall, you can see Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for miles! It’s a little frightening being up so high, but after going around once, you will be a pro.
Spend some time playing games at Arcade City. From giant Pac Man and Connect 4 to basketball games and Fruit Ninja, this arcade has a little bit of everything. Best of all, Arcade City automatically loads tickets to your Play Card, so you don’t have to keep up with them!
With more than 60 retail and specialty stores (including the Savannah Bee Company, Patriot Peddler, the Island Trading Post, and Emery’s 5 and 10), there is no shortage of shopping at The Island. Shop for Pigeon Forge souvenirs, clothing, Christmas Decorations, or home decor. There are plenty of places for snacks, too, like Byrd’s Famous Cookies and Big Rock Candy Kitchen.
Restaurants at plentiful at The Island with Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville being two of the most popular. There are also two hotels (both Jimmy Buffet properties) at the complex.
Put your detective skills to work with The Escape Game. Your team will be locked in a room and have one hour to complete your mission and escape. There are five adventures to choose from: The Heist, Mission: Mars, Gold Rush, Classified, and Prison Break.
Just want to relax? You can do that at The Island, too! Take a seat in a rocking chair and enjoy the dancing waters. I could spend a whole day doing just that!
Nestled in the Smoky Mountains is the family amusement park, Dollywood. Co-owned by Dolly Parton, this is the largest attraction in Tennessee, seeing three million visitors a year.
From roller coasters to Dolly’s memorabilia, festivals to themed shows, Dollywood has it all. Be sure to stop in The Grist Mill for the world’s best cinnamon bread and Mountain Laurel Home for unique gifts. Other locations under the Dolly umbrella are Dollywood’s Splash Country, DreamMore Resort and Smoky Mountain Cabins.
Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud Show
Become part of the longest-running feud in history at the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud Show. Pick a family, Hatfield or McCoy, and join in on the fun while enjoying an all you can eat four-course family-style feast (fried chicken, pulled pork barbecue, soup, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, bread, coleslaw, and dessert) at the most fun dinner show in Pigeon Forge.
The Old Mill
Experience true Smoky Mountain hospitality at The Old Mill, known for its dining, shopping, and family-friendly atmosphere. In the early 1800s, it was the hub of activity in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, but now serves as a tribute to the Smokies’ pioneer days. The Old Mill is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Be sure to stop by the Mill Bridge Winery for a free wine tasting. Pigeon River Pottery and the Old Mill General Store were my two favorites for shopping.
Where To Eat In Pigeon Forge
Enjoy a meal from one of the best restaurants in Pigeon Forge, Bullfish. I recommend the Spicy Shrimp (Gulf Shrimp, lightly battered, then fried, tossed in a sweet and spicy Asian sauce, served with crispy wontons) and Barbecue Baby Back Ribs (slow-cooked, fall off the bone pork ribs basted with barbecue sauce). Bullfish was voted Pigeon Forge’s Best Restaurant.
Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin serves scratch-made comfort food in a cozy atmosphere and has even been featured in Southern Living Magazine. Try some of Flapjack’s piled high pancakes, Campfire Skillets, Honey Dipped Chicken, or a perfectly-cooked omelet.
The Alamo Steakhouse brings Texas to the Smokies. Indulge in a signature steak (aged, hand-cut in-house and seasoned, and grilled over an oak fire to sear in juices and natural flavor). Fun fact is that they grind their own burgers and make homemade soups, sauces, and gravy.
Delight your taste buds with a genuine taste of the mountains at the Timberwood Grill. Found at The Island, snack on appetizers like Gold Nuggets (creamy smoked Gouda mac and cheese bites lightly battered and deep-fried) and Timber Spears (crunchy fried pickle spears). In the mood for a drink? Try one of the many beers on tap, a signature cocktail, or a red Solo cup Ole Smoky Moonshine Sampler.
My favorite restaurant in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is the Frizzle Chicken Pancake Coop. I highly recommend the Frizzled Chicken and Waffle (buttermilk-marinated chicken breast, breaded and fried, on a homemade waffle-topped with whipped butter, powdered sugar, and homemade syrup). It is some of the best chicken I have ever eaten!
Local Goat is an American restaurant with a scratch-made kitchen specializing in locally-sourced and sustainable menu items. Start your meal with the Cheese Fondue (soft pretzels, French bread, Granny Smith apples, and warm beer cheese dip) and a craft beer, cocktail, or fine wine from the Local Goat’s extensive selection. You can even buy the artwork right off the walls!
Make Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Your Next Vacation Destination
As you can see, there are tons of things to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Whether you enjoy history, getting outside, shopping, eating good food, or just spending time with your family, there is something for everyone in Pigeon Forge. Best of all, it is an affordable vacation destination.
My meals and activities were paid for by the CVB during my visit to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. All opinions and reviews are my own and unbiased.
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