Learn about Pigeon Forge and the Great Smokies of Tennessee, by
reading Pigeon Forge and the
Great Smokies by Charlie Spence, WTA Member and Leisure
Traveler/Writer. It features a mini, but thorough tour of the
destination, plus all you'll need to know to plan your trip
including how to get there, objective information on places to stay
and eat, and things to do. At the end of the article, we've provided
a summary of the contact information for your easy reference. Enjoy!
Forge and the Great Smokies
by Charlie Spence, Travel Writer and WTA Member
The area is
the gateway to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park
is the right time to visit the Pigeon Forge area of Tennessee, but autumn
offers the added benefit of the Great Smokey Mountains foliage ablaze in
the golds, browns, and yellows from nature’s palette. The Great Smokey
Mountain National Park is the most heavily visited National Park in the
nation, attracting more than 10 million persons a year, and you will see
why when you make this one of your destinations.
The park is just one
reason for going. Nestled in the foothills of the Smokies, this area of
Eastern Tennessee is good down-home America country with antiques, crafts,
shopping, live music stage shows, and more.
One of your first
stops should be a visit the new Tennessee Museum of Aviation, located on
the Gatlinburg/Sevierville Airport. In addition to an ever-changing fleet
of about 20 aircraft, the museum features a comprehensive collection of
artifacts and memorabilia. You will see miniature models of nine aircraft
the Wright brothers built during the first decade of flight, a 52-foot
wall with three tiers depicting the timeline of significant milestones in
aviation history, and Tennessee’s Aviation Hall of Fame. Most of the
museum’s aircraft are flyable and if you are there at the right time you
will witness an impromptu flight demonstration. Children will enjoy
learning what makes an airplane fly and taking the controls in “virtual
The tri-town area of
Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge treats you to a variety of
attractions. These range from hundreds of exhibits from the Guinness Book
of Records, and water rides, to first-rate musical stage attractions. In
Pigeon Forge, you will have a choice of more than 50 attractions lining
the parkway. Choose from such shows as Louise Mandrell Theater, Dixie
Stampede, Smokey Mountain Jubilee and others.
The old mill
was the first business in Pigeon Forge
and still grinds flour and cornmeal for local use
Nearby, Dolly Parton’s
DollyWood amusement park offers thrill rides, wet rides, family rides, and
children’s rides. You will want to spend a lot of time at the attractions
that include Dolly’s Rags to Riches Story, Calico Falls Schoolhouse, and
Southern Gospel Hall of Fame. Before taking off from home, be sure to
request the special discount coupons for DollyWood that are available to
you as a WTA member ().
Just when you think
you’ve seen and done it all, move over to Gatlinburg for rip roaring
adventures like water rafting 6 ? miles down the Big Pigeon River, or
riding the 120-passenger aerial tramway that departs from Downtown
Gatlinburg for the ski resort and amusement park. You have never really
played miniature golf until you ride the incline 300 feet up and struggle
through 18 holes of the challenging mountaineer hazards of Hillbilly Golf.
Try to spend more
than just a weekend. You still have Sevierville to enjoy. This
picturesque town will entertain you with its fishing holes, nature trails,
museums, golf courses, festivals and special events. Ooh and aah over the
more than 90 classic cars in the Muscle Car Museum and go to the NASCAR
Speedpark and race against champions of NASCAR.
the area offers 200 outlet stores plus
craft shops and others with a Smokey Mountain flair
Throughout all the
area you will find fascinating shops for mountain crafts, flea markets, or
the latest styles. Tanger Five Oaks Outlet Center alone offers 88 name
How to get there
Tennessee, take Interstate 40 east to Route 66 South.
Where to stay
location in this area and you have dozens of places to choose, Bed
and Breakfasts, low-cost motels, resort hotels, rustic cabins. In
Sevierville, for instance, Best Western offers rooms from $29.95 to
$34.95, depending on the season. At Hidden Mountain Resorts, a room
goes for $105 to $125; villas start at $145 for two bedrooms up to
$650 for nine bedrooms. Also, Holiday Inn, Super 8, Hampton Inn,
Sleep Inn, and Comfort Inns are just a few of the choices you have
in this busy vacation site. Use online WTA Travel Booking Service for all of your travel arrangements.
Where to eat
alone offers 90 restaurants where you can dine on down-home southern
cuisine, dine and see a show, or peruse the music memorabilia on the
walls. In Sevierville, complete dinners at the Five Oaks Steakhouse range from $18 to $28. Buddy’s Bar-B-Q has prize-winning barbeque
sandwiches for about $2.20 and dinners starting at $8.50. Also,
local outlets of national restaurants like I-Hop, TGI Fridays, and
Shoney’s are available.
What to do
The area abounds
with museums, attractions, and activities in addition to DollyWood.
Some are free. Here’s a sampling of others: Forbidden Caverns:
Adults $8, children $4. Louise Mandrell show: $23.10. Comedy Barn
Theater: $15.00. Ober Gatlinburg Tramway: $7.00.
Notice: This information is current as of April 2002. It is recommended
that you contact the numbers, and/or visit the websites above to determine
any changes to the information.
by Charlie Spence, Travel Writer and WTA Member