Pigeon Forge Family Travel Guide

This post is sponsored by My Pigeon Forge. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you visited Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee? Have you stayed in one of the amazing mountainside cabins, with views that stretch for miles, soaking in your hot tub after a long day of incredible shopping? Have you squealed alongside your kids as you soar on the coasters of Dollywood? Have you eaten your weight in homemade fudge, or biscuits, only to play 18 holes of putt-putt as the sun sets?

If you haven’t, you’re missing out. Pigeon Forge is a true family destination, for anyone that wants the ease of getting away to relax without having to give up attractions and entertainment. It’s a true combination of serenity and adventure, and it’s closer than you may think.

Growing up in West Virginia, just minutes from the Virginia state line, I am no stranger to the lure of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. I cannot count how many times I have made the trek from home to Pigeon Forge, just a three hour jaunt from start to end. The last few miles of the trip are so full of excitement…you can see the mountains, calling you in, the incredible amount of outlet malls, and now, time after time, more and more entertainment and restaurant options just begging for your attention.

My first (that I can remember) experience with Pigeon Forge was a trip I took with my grandparents, when I was around 11 or 12. For reasons I can’t explain, my grandfather invited me along on their vacations back then, and though I wasn’t always sure where we were headed, we ended up in Tennessee for several days. This was in the 80s, when the area was just getting its footing, and Dollywood was the new kid in town. I remember strolling through the Dolly Parton museum, seeing her coat of many colors. I remember watching the apple butter makers, and riding the wooden coaster, one of the only rides in the park at the time. Mostly I remember being a family, enjoying the time, in no rush, and just exploring. My grandmother found this photo of our trip that summer. I don’t recall her taking it of us, but I am thankful she did, and thankful she shared it with me just after my grandfather died. While the memories are still with me, it’s nice to have a visual to cling to as well.

I have so many more memories of Pigeon Forge, as it seems to be a town that has left its mark on my life when I wasn’t paying attention. There are memories etched from weekend shopping trips with my mom, when we would hit the malls to scoop up all the best deals. (And yes, mom, I KNOW I still have boxes and boxes of new dishware in your attic, unopened. But you and I both know I couldn’t leave them in the store at those prices.) There are memories of renting a huge cabin, when my sister was pregnant with her first baby. We almost always rent a cabin when we go – there is so much room to spread out, to cook, to make it a true home away from home. And the views are tremendous! I have even more memories of family meals out, and my dad always sneaking the bill away from us, even though we are grown and could pay our own way. There are now summer trips, with my folks and my sister and ALL of our children (a cabin full of six adults and four boys!) and all of the new memories to be made.

Things change every day in Pigeon Forge, always growing and expanding. We were just there not too long ago, after a couple of years without going down together. I was so surprised to see the new additions! Dollywood is a major theme park now, with something for everyone and enough to wear out even the most inexhaustible tween. There are loads of attractions popping up, including The Island, where you can shop, sample moonshine, eat true Southern Cuisine, or thwart your escape from The Escape Game. I loved taking the boys and escaping the Gold Rush…so much in fact, we went back a second time to try another escape game! My folks opted to sit and rock, watching the dancing musical fountains, sipping lemonade. The men piled into the open area bar to get a taste of the locally made moonshine, while our boys played at the arcade and the ropes course. My son Seven adored the ropes course, and was fearless!

All over town there are places to bungee jump, to play mini-golf, or be catapaulted, or even take a helicopter ride. One of my favorite trips was as a teen, and my dad booked us into a helicopter tour. It was amazing being able to see the mountains from above, to feel the bumps in the air currents and lose your stomach for a brief moment. So fun! There are also dinner theaters and movie theaters and concerts galore. There is virtually nothing Pigeon Forge doesn’t offer.

But have I mentioned the mountains? I think I did, but not enough. The mountains are the star of the show in Tennessee. Where beach vacations offer surf and sand with their attractions, Pigeon Forge offers rolling mountains and valleys. Nature hikes abound, with vistas and creeks around every corner.

If you are looking for something for everyone, from porch rockers to arcade dwellers to avid outdoorsmen, Pigeon Forge has you covered. For more information, visit the links below. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out, I’d be happy to help if I can!



Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by My Pigeon Forge with Blog Meets Brand. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



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