Nathan and I have been traveling to The Smokies since college. It is a beautiful place for us to relax and have literally loads of laughs and fun. I sit in the car in expectation for those beautiful mountains to come into view and as soon as I do, something quickens inside of me. I feel like I have come home. The Appalachian Mountains are a beautiful site if and if you haven’t visited Pigeon Forge or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s one of our favorite places in the entire world to go. When you wake up and look outside your window and see the fog hugging the mountains, the fresh air, the wildlife, there is so much about this place we love.
So besides the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains National Park, (which you absolutely MUST visit) what else is there to do?! Well, my husband and I have been visiting for years and I’m going to share our top 5 favorite things to do in the Smoke Mountains.
1. Food: You cannot go to Pigeon Forge and not eat the amazing restaurants there! Apple Barn is an attraction unto itself! Amazing food, apple fritters, julep, and don’t forget to check out their winery, and Christmas shops, old time ice cream shop, and if there in the Spring or summer look at the beautiful apple trees that surround the place. The Old Mill is the place I also recommend! There is the restaurant itself, which makes you feel like you have been transported back in time, and the food is consistently good. I have never had anything there I didn’t like! Corn Fritters! You must try them! Surrounding the restaurant are all kinds of little shops, including some of the best ice cream you will find! All around the Old Mill are cute shops, ice cream parlors, and so much more, you could spend hours!
2. Dinner shows: These are great to attend!!! One of our very faves which we have seen over and over…..The Hatfield and McCoy show! It’s a funny family friendly show with DELICIOUS food! Another fun show is the Lumberjack Feud. It’s a newer show but they get the kids involved and even though my three year old is super shy, she went down with the lady and helped the lumberjacks. She even got a section of the tree which she still keeps in her room to this day and talks about it. The great thing about Pigeon Forge is that the majority of attractions are family friendly. Dixie Stampede, is another great Dinner show to attend. The music and show entertainment is really top notch and again the food is amazing. Live horses will race by as the north battles the south, pretty amazing, especially for little ones.
3. Attractions: Wonderworks……the whole place is an enigma from the moment you pull into the parking lot. But inside you will find a wonder ‘museum’ that will leave you whole family fascinated and exhausted from all there is to do there. You must try the mind war game, I bet my husband every time! We usually spend about 2-4 hours exploring WonderWorks, so be prepared. Also bring SHOES, so you can do the moon walk. Another of favorite attractions is the Titanic. Nathan and I love history. You cannot miss the Titanic as you arrive in Pigeon Forge because it actually looks like the ship has struck an ice burg on the side of the road. The museum is full of Titanic history and artifacts that will leave you amazed and awed. They even have a piece of an actual iceberg for you to touch! The titanic is often the highlight of my husband’s week.
4. Trolleys!!! We love riding the trolleys! This is probably my daughters FAVORITE thing to do. She thinks it’s like an amusement park ride, They are NOT buses she says, they are ‘follys’. The ‘follys’ are an excellent way to get around the city. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge operate separate but do connect at certain stations. It costs around a $1 per person to ride them. Check them out while you are there, it part of the proper Smokies experience.
5. Gateway to the Smokies: The Main drag goes all the way up into the mountains with plenty of road signs to guide you along the way. This is one of our favorites also. We stop along the road, go down to the creek and just site and watch the water. It’s so relaxing and peaceful. When you get up to the mountains at any of the lookouts you choose, the view, no matter the time of year will be spectacular and breathtaking!
If you decide to take a trip to the Smokies, I highly recommend staying in Pigeon Forge. There is so much to do and its family friendly. You will be right on the edge of the National Park, and in the middle of everything. I hope you enjoy your stay as much as we do! Looking forward to our visit in the next few weeks.
For more information or to order an AWESOME Travel Planner for Pigeon Forge, visit My Pigeon Forge