This post is brought to you by #MyPigeonForge. All opinions and our love for travel remains our own.
We have traveled a lot, but realize some of the best vacation destinations are within a few hours of where we call home. We recently left the everyday routine of lives and made time to play in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It was the perfect family destination.
The majestic peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains are an incredible backdrop for the town that takes the first part of its name from the river that runs through it, Little Pigeon River, and the second part of its name from the bloomery “forge” built by Isaac Love in 1817 and blacksmiths who settled along the river.
The Little Pigeon River is named for the now extinct, passenger pigeons that were so numerous they darkened the sky.
This isn’t a lesson in history; it’s a destination that offers the ultimate in family time.
Our Favorite Things in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee:
Where to Stay:
First, you’re going to need a place to call home. Whether it’s for the night, a couple of nights, or the entire week, there’s plenty to do and see in Pigeon Forge.
We stayed at the Accommodations by Willow Brook Lodge, which is centrally located to everything. The hotel is right on the main strip, Teaster Lane, and offers clean, quiet accommodations. It’s also budget-friendly with a complimentary breakfast. You’ll enjoy the relaxation here as well as the indoor and outdoor pools.
The Most Photographed Mill in America, Forged in Fire Celebrities and Lunch at The Old Mill
Not far from the hotel you’ll find The Old Mill Historic District. We spent a few hours of our afternoon walking through the square and enjoyed its grist mill that still operates present day.
This town square has an assortment of shops and restaurants, we recommend The Old Mill Restaurant where products from the mill are used in their bread and other menu items.
You can also watch Robby Bowman, of Forged in Fire fame, make knives in the square at his Iron Mountain Metal Crafts location.
Skydiving in America’s First Vertical Wind Tunnel:
When you’re ready to for adventure, you’ll find thrills at Flyaway Indoor Skydiving. It is America’s first vertical wind tunnel and offers the experience of skydiving without the need to fall out of the sky. It takes approximately one hour to go through the orientation and to experience skydiving in the wind tunnel.
If you remember the Travel Channel’s show “Bert the Conqueror” you already know about zorbing. In fact, an episode from the show was filmed at the Outdoor Gravity Park in Pigeon Forge. Bring your bathing suit and climb into the 11-feet wide transparent OBO ball, filled with 10-gallons of water, and feel the adrenaline rush as you roll down the 1,000-foot course!
Race to the Finish Line in Go Karts:
Buckle up and race each other up the three-story winding track at The Track family recreation park. My kiddos loved The Wild Woody, but there’s plenty more family fun here from go-karts to carousels this place has it all.
Get Your True Crime Fix
If you love true crime, head to Alcatraz East. It’s America’s most comprehensive crime museum. It’s 25,000 square feet of all things true crime with five unique galleries, over 100 interactive exhibits and temporary exhibits. You’ll walk through history from medieval torture, gangsters, serial killers, and learn how crimes are solved in the ballistics room. You can even see some of the most infamous getaway cars here, like Ted Bundy’s Volkswagen Beetle (through April 2019) and the White 1993 Ford Bronco that made its way through 50 miles of Orange Country freeways, while helicopters filmed and police trailed the SUV belonged to Simpson’s longtime friend and former football teammate, Al Cowlings.
Goats on the Roof
Probably the most unique of all the attractions in the Pigeon Forge area is the Coaster at Goats on the Roof. Ride the mountain coaster as it twists and turns down the mountain and spend a few minutes on the roof of the building, feeding the goats.
Go Snow Tubing (even in the Summer):
You don’t have to cancel school for a snow day in Pigeon Forge. Head to Pigeon Forge Snow and snow tube down their tubing slides or have a snowball fight in their snow play area. It’s a balmy 60 degrees inside, and plenty of snow!
Rub Shoulders with A-List Celebrities
Spend some time rubbing shoulders with your favorite celebrities at the Hollywood Wax Museum. The interactive museum allows you to pose with fun props and costumes with leading ladies and Hollywood Hotties.
Do some shopping, sit in a rocking chair and catch the fountain show, grab a bite to eat, or ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel 200 feet into the air and catch the stunning views of Pigeon Forge at The Island.
Rafting, Zip Lining and More
Just outside Pigeon Forge is Rafting in the Smokies. It’s worth the trip for white water rafting, their 2,400-foot zip line tour, ropes course, and rock wall. It’s the ultimate outdoor adventure park.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has something for every member of the family. Its scenic views alone are worth the trip. We think it’s the ultimate family getaway year-round and can’t wait to go back and catch a show like the Lumber Jack Feud, The Smoky Mountain Opry, and the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner show.
Leave the everyday behind and escape to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.