36 Hours in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Pancake houses, distilleries and go-karts all have one thing in common: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This bustling city is all about mountain tourism and has a lot of incredible shopping, old and new attractions and many locally owned restaurants. What is holding you back from visiting the city that sits near the foot of the most visited National Park in America?
Pigeon Forge used to barely be on the map and was a small country town. Tourism began to skyrocket once Dolly Parton opened her very successful theme park. Now a thriving city that many like to visit year after year, Pigeon Forge continues to grow and provides for all visitors. You can enjoy luxury lodging choices, hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, rafting, shopping and many indoor/outdoor attractions when you visit. Honestly, with so much to do it can sometimes be difficult to put together an itinerary of your days, especially if it is a short trip you are making to town. If you only have time for a two and a half day trip, here is a suggestion on what you should do to make it the most fun two days possible.
The Alamo Steakhouse
This restaurant features over a dozen steak options! They are all quite tasty and are marinated for quite some time before being cooked to your likeness. You know a steakhouse is going to be good when they have their very own butcher in-house.
Not a big fan of steak? No worries. They offer a wide variety of delicious food on their menu that includes fish, chicken, salads and hamburgers. Their side items are incredible too. Personally, I would go with the marinated mushrooms and mashed potatoes, yummy!
The Alamo Steakhouse is great for a romantic date as they have booths that are very private, but this is also a great place to dine with the whole family. It is very family friendly and offers a nice kid’s menu that will offer something to even the pickiest child eater. They offer burgers, chicken strips, hot dogs, grilled cheese, popcorn shrimp and even a large salad for children. Eating with the “whole” family – the staff are great at accommodating large parties and can easily fit you all in.
After dining at the Alamo Steakhouse, you can probably feel your eye lids getting quite heavy and you are more than likely ready to settle down for the evening with your belly full and all. Let us suggest that you drive on up to the Gatlinburg Bypass and enjoy the view from the Overlook. The Bypass is located about 10 minutes from our three Pigeon Forge Vacation Resorts and the Overlook offers an incredible view of downtown Gatlinburg with the Great Smoky Mountains surrounding the town. Gatlinburg is lit up with their city lights and the Smoky Mountains are lit up with the stars that lurk overhead. As you sit or stand there, you can hear nature all around you. Listen to the trees rustling and the frogs chirping around you. It is easily one of the most peaceful places around Pigeon Forge and will be the perfect ending to a lovely evening.
Old Mill Restaurant
You simply cannot visit Pigeon Forge without dining at the Old Mill Restaurant. It would truly be a big mistake. They offer the most incredible southern cooking and you can enjoy it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Anytime is a good time to step foot inside this southern hotspot, but their breakfast menu will surely fuel you up for the day. Their prices are very reasonable for the amount of food you receive. If it is your first time visiting the Old Mill, I would request a table by the water. You can dine, chat about your plans for the day all while overlooking the Little Pigeon River. Their menu offers a little bit of everything…pancakes, omelettes, biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, oatmeal and fruit. If you are looking for a suggestion, I would go with the cinnamon raisin pecan french toast…you can thank me later.
Old Mill Square Shopping
After a big ole meal at the Old Mill, you can wander around Old Mill Square. They have a variety of shops that offer everything from clothing, jewelry and kitchen items to homemade pottery, ice cream and candy. Right around the corner from the Old Mill Square are two other shopping areas that offer unique homemade gifts for your loved ones back home or (if you are like me at all) you will find items that you just cannot pass up yourself. My favorite little shop near the Old Mill is the Sandman’s Workshop. They do incredible stone carvings and if you are truly looking for a unique gift, then this is the place to shop at.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
If you are visiting Pigeon Forge, it would be a crime to be drive into the most visited National Park in the country. Even if you are visiting on a short trip, take a few hours and enjoy the Smokies. One of the best things about the Park is you do not even have to get out of your car. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the mountains if you are short on time. You can easily access the Motor Trail from Traffic Light #8 in Gatlinburg. This 5.5 mile nature trail invites you to slow down and enjoy the surrounding forest and the historic buildings as you make your way around the one-way loop. You will travel alongside mountain streams (get out of the car and wade if you can) and you will see quite a few well-preserved log cabins and grist mills.
Before you enter the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, you will drive by the Noah “Bud” Ogle cabin. If you can spare a few minutes, pull into the parking area and take the short walking tour of his farm and then travel the short distance through the forest to his handcrafted wooden flume plumbing system that still stands along the mountain stream.
Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventure Dinner Show
New for 2017, this dinner show delivers on family fun, great storytelling and vivid imagination. It is not a secret that Dolly Parton knows how to entertain and this new show is another fantastic way to enjoy an evening in Pigeon Forge. The show tells the story of Dolly’s parents and how they met and fell in love. It plays off her recent movies, Coat of Many Colors and Christmas of Many Colors that were both big hits. Not only is this show creative and entertaining, but the food is great as well. Honestly, the fried chicken tastes just like my grandmother’s!
Frizzle Chicken Pancake Coop
As the newest pancake/breakfast restaurant in town, I can personally tell you this place is now my favorite (aside from the Old Mill). They offer a unique dining experience and their menu is offers some different items that you will not find anywhere else in town. A few of their meals are: Chicken Taco Pancakes (yep, not kidding), funfetti pancakes, oreo pancakes, brisket biscuits and poached eggs. They also offer the biscuits and gravy, cereal and other mainstay breakfast items. The kids will especially love it because they offer bear, caterpillar and pig shaped pancakes! Anything to get the kids smiling when they are sad to leave Pigeon Forge, right?
Pigeon Forge has no shortage when it comes to lodging, but you do not have to rely on hotels when you are coming to town for just a couple of days. You can still enjoy a luxury vacation rental with an affordable price tag when in town. Our three condo properties are Bear Crossing, Cedar Lodge and Whispering Pines Condominiums. We offer rentals that overlook the Great Smoky Mountains, city of Pigeon Forge or the Little Pigeon River. Couples can enjoy our 1 Bedrooms at our Whispering Pines property. Small families will enjoy vacationing in our 2 and 3 Bedroom condos at Bear Crossing and Cedar Lodge and larger families will have everything you need when you stay at Whispering Pines in a 4 Bedroom condo. Bear Crossing and Cedar Lodge both offer 2-3 Bedroom condos and they both sit along the riverbank. They both offer an outdoor pool, on-site fishing and grills. If you are looking for a peaceful retreat, then either of these properties will work perfectly for you! Whispering Pines is our largest property and offers 1-4 Bedroom Condos. You have the option of choosing a rental that overlooks the city of Pigeon Forge or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While vacationing at Whispering Pines, you can enjoy the outdoor pool, lazy river, indoor pool, hot tubs, grills, sauna, fitness room and arcade. It is the perfect place for a family vacation and will keep the kids entertained if the rest of the family needs a bit of relaxation time.
We love meeting new people and we would love to meet you! If you want to enjoy a short trip to Pigeon Forge, give us a call at 800.429.4361 and we will be glad to help you and your family choose the perfect vacation condo! We are currently running some daily deals for June and July so don’t miss out on these great summer savings and join us for a 2017 Summer Getaway!