Pigeon Forge is a whole lot like its favorite daughter, Dolly Parton -- a little tacky, way over the top, but lively and full of fun. If you're looking for a quiet, restful Smoky Mountains vacation, this is not the place.
Most of the attractions are located on the six-lane Parkway (U.S. Highway 441) that runs through the center of the city. Here you'll find numerous music and comedy theaters, miniature golf, indoor skydiving, laser tag, go carts, and bumper boats. There's quite a variety of museums covering topics including Elvis, cars, dinosaurs, and police.
Shopping is big here, and you'll find hundreds of outlet stores and dozens of speciality shops. Restaurants are plentiful, including mostly casual dining and fast food. Accommodations include motels, hotels, cabins, chalets, condos and cottages. There are also campgrounds and RV parks.
Certainly, the biggest attraction in town is Dolly Parton's own theme park, Dollywood, which manages to be both charming and fun. The park is beautifully landscaped and features live entertainment, mountain crafts demonstrations, roller coasters, kiddie rides, country style shops, and special events.
You can also visit Dollywood's Splash Country water adventure park, which features water slides, rides, a children's play area, restaurants, snack bars, and shops.
Pigeon Forge hosts numerous festivals and special events year round. The grandest of these is Winterfest, which features spectacular light displays and a variety of entertainments from mid-November through February. Other festivals include Springfest, Wilderness Wildlife Week, and the Smoky Mountains Storytelling Festival.
Driving here can be an exercise in frustration. During the peak tourist season and on holiday weekends, traffic can get to be a real bear. However, you can dull the pain a bit by using the Fun Time Trolleys and let someone else fight the traffic. The trolleys serve both Pigeon Forge and Sevierville and are an inexpensive way to get around.
Pigeon Forge is located only six miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking and rafting. There's no entrance fee for the park.