If you're dreaming of a truly magical holiday experience this year, a Smoky Mountain Christmas or Thanksgiving is just what you're looking for. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the Smokies come alive with family-friendly holiday events and a festive atmosphere. If it's your first trip to the Smokies, you're sure to fall in love with the natural beauty and friendly people.
Whether you prefer to sleep in a tent under the stars, snuggled up in a cozy cabin, or tucked in at a luxurious resort, the Great Smoky Mountains have plenty of lodging options to suit every taste. Deluxe resorts tempt visitors with personalized service, indoor-outdoor pools, and gourmet restaurants, while remote campsites offer a peaceful way to disappear from the grid for a few days. Looking for something in the middle? Smoky Mountain cabin rentals have all the solitude you need with the modern amenities and comforts you want.
The Smoky Mountains' fall colors are one of the greatest natural spectacles in North America. Every September and October, as deciduous trees shed their leaves, the Smokies come alive with vibrant red, yellow, orange, and purple.
From entertaining shows and breathtaking rides to interactive games to test your skills, Pigeon Forge has something fun for the whole family.
Few hiking experiences compare with the Great Smoky Mountains. As a hiker, you'll be treated to scenic views, wildlife, waterfalls, diverse plant life, pristine forests, and historical sites such as the remains of settler villages. The Smokies have a variety of options for all levels of hikers. You can enjoy an easy morning or afternoon trek, a day excursion that takes you in a convenient loop, or overnight backpacking trips that are truly an adventure.
The Great Smoky Mountains have the two ingredients necessary for waterfalls: plenty of rain, from 85 inches to over 8 feet some years, and elevation gradient. Water trickles down the mountains and builds rushing rivers that drop up to a mile off the mountain face. Hiking the Smokies to see stunning waterfalls is one of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's most breathtaking activities. Here are some of the most popular waterfalls you'll find.
There's a lot of entertainment options to choose from in the Smokies, but if you're trying to narrow down your choices, you'll find one of the most exciting live shows in the country right in the heart of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Dolly Parton's Stampede Dinner & Show delivers on all counts, from delicious, satisfying food to live entertainment presented on a large scale.
Nature lovers know that spring in the Smokies is one of the most wonderful times of the year. This year it's even better, with Wilderness Wildlife Week taking place mid-May in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This popular annual event offers educational and entertaining programs for all ages and interests, and - best of all - it's free. You may remember that Wilderness Wildlife Week used to be in January. Happily, organizers decided to move the festival to May to take advantage of better weather for outdoor activities. That means this year's event has an expanded roster of outdoor programs and hikes.
One of the most thrilling experiences of a visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a wildlife sighting. The park is among the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the United States, and is home to 65 species of animals, including bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, raccoons, chipmunks, wild boars, woodchucks, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, opossums and more. A good field guide will help you determine the natural habitats of the animals you most want to see, and will help you identify animals and birds you've never seen before.
Besides beautiful scenery, delicious Southern food and exciting wildlife, the Smoky Mountains have plenty of other kinds of entertainment in store for you, including some newly added attractions. Pigeon Forge ranges from thrilling magical theater and high-flying trampoline jumps to mind-bending escape-room puzzles. These new attractions are perfect for rainy days and group activities, too.
Stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, and absolute tranquility make hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains an unforgettable experience. You can hike the Smokies year-round, with each season offering its own surprises, delights, and adventures. Whether you're looking for an easy, fun hike for the whole family or one that will challenge your skills and endurance, the Smokies have something for everyone.
Pigeon Forge is not only a beautiful place to be in winter months, it's also a lot of fun. If it's snowy or cold outside, don't worry - there are lots of excellent activities to keep you and your entire family well entertained. Here are our top 3 Pigeon Forge attractions for snowy days:
Fall colors in the Smokies are legendary. With more than 100 species of deciduous trees, the mountains put on quite a show as the green pigments in tree leaves change to a riot of colors. Watch for the brilliant yellows and oranges of alder, hickory, ash, maple, poplar, aspen, birch, black cherry, sycamore, cottonwood and sassafras, while reds, purples, and oranges burst from maple, oak, sweetgum, dogwood, cherry and persimmon trees. It's nature's version of a fireworks finale, and you won't want to miss it.
If you're visiting Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or Sevierville, there's nothing like renting a Smoky Mountain cabin to make your vacation complete. Hotel rooms can be nice, but they can also be small, expensive, boring, and can cramp your style. Here are our top 10 reasons why renting a Smoky Mountain cabin is better than checking into a hotel:
In the 1800s, Pigeon Forge was a small mountain community named for an iron forge located in the industrial complex on the Little Pigeon River. A mill in the complex harnessed the power of the river to grind grain for local farmers, power weaving looms that produced cloth for Civil War soldiers, and created electricity for the small town up until 1935.