View Full Version : Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area
07-16-2007, 07:16 PM
We are thinking about visiting this area. I'm pretty excited about it because it looks like a fun place. It is completely different for us.
Any advice or must-dos for the area? I'd love to hear about all your recommendations. My boss said that Hill Billy Golf is fun.
My biggest question is when to go. I'm pretty torn between Spring Break (last week of March 08), June of 08, and Christmas/New Years season of 08. When would I have the least crowds?
Pigeon Forge / Smoky Mountains is one of our favorite places. We go ever Spring Break. We have been several times in the summer also but never near Christmas. I bet I have been a total of at least 20 times.
March would definitely have fewer crowds than summer. Again, I can't say about December.
Make sure you request a "Vacation Planner" from the websites for Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Seviervile. They contain some great info. Also, go to the site for "What to Do in the Smoky's" I think it is published by Sunnydale Guides (or something like that) they will send you a free coupon booklet that has some great info on the are too.
Our favorite things to do:
Dollywood is a great park but may not be open in late March. Usually does not open till April.
Ripley's Aquarium (very cool)
Any of the Ripley's mini golfs (Old McDonald or Davy Crockett) Get a combo ticket if doing more than one Ripley thing and save a lot. Use AAA discount if you have it too.
Several one to three hour easy hikes in the Mountains: Alum Cave Bluff (just go as far as Arch Rock) Grotto Falls, Laural Falls.
Eat at the Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg - great pancakes of many different varieties.
Many, Many, Many great places to eat.
I could go on all day about the area. Feel free to send me a PM if you have specific questions I could help with.
07-16-2007, 08:32 PM
I would definitely go during the winter. They have winterfest every year and it is beautiful. There is nothing like going to the smoky mountains during the holidays. You would also want to go to dollywood during this time. They have tons of lights up and everything is decorated for christmas. I would also rent a cabin in the mountains for your stay vs. a hotel. There are also several bed and breakfasts that are really nice. We live about an hour away, so we go to pigeon forge/gatlinburg about once or twice a month. (It's a nice little getaway for us.) So, if you have any questions about attractions, cabins, or shopping, then you can pm me.
07-16-2007, 09:18 PM
Wow! Thanks for the great ideas. I'm so happy to hear that it's a great spot for a vacation. I'm even more excited now, but I still don't know when to go. We'll have to give it some serious thought. Christmas sounds very tempting, but then again so does summer when we can go to the water park, but then again maybe the cooler temps of Spring Break would be better for some hiking. Decisions! As our plans progress I may ask some more questions. I appreciate your input!
07-16-2007, 11:08 PM
We live about 3 hours from Gatlinburg and have visited there often. The neat thing about the area is that there's not a bad time to go. Fall foliage is gorgeous, Winterfest before and after Christmas is fun with all the lights. Spring and Summer are fun as well.
Of all the things we have done in Gatlinburg, our favorite is Ripley's Aquarium. It was a huge hit for our entire family with DD4 & DS1. I always enjoy shopping at the outlets at Pigeon Forge.
Look into getting a chalet or cabin. We stayed in a wonderful new chalet with several bedrooms and bathrooms as cheaply as a hotel room. The view from our hot tub looking over the valley was amazing.
07-17-2007, 11:21 AM
Dollywood is great, we have season passes and will be there on Friday. March is less crowded, but during the summer they have the KidsFest which is GREAT plus you could go to Splash Country. They have a 3 day, 2 parks for one price the 2007 price is $78.05.
Christmas is a Wonderful! Lot of decor and Christmas shows, but I would go the first of November for the Christmas. Less crowded the first of November and you will want to see all of the shows.
If you go to Dollywood you must get the Q2Q or Q-Bot, especially if you go during Christmas time.
What is Q2Q? More time, less wait!
Q2Q reserves your place in line at select shows and rides while you enjoy all that Dollywood has to offer! Itís a convenient and easy-to-use electronic line management system that reserves your spot in line for select shows and rides by renting a small portable device called a Q-bot. While all shows and rides are still FREE with your paid admission, Q2Q will reserve your spot in line so you no longer need to wait!
Dixie Stampede is also another favorite. If you have children they will love the Comedy Barn and/or Black Bear Jamboree. The Ripley's Aquarium is also a must see. We went to Wonder Works and the Hoot N' Holler Dinner Show a few weeks ago, but we did not like either one.
We live very close to Pigeon Forge I would be glad to answer any questions you have.
Hope you have a great time!
07-17-2007, 03:40 PM
I pretty much went there every year growing up, and my husband and I have gone numerous times. I would move to that area in a heartbeat if I could. I love going the first part of May - seems to be the best time to see Bears. We just went this past May (the first week) and in the 5 days we were there we saw 5 bears! Including cubs!!!! June is usually pretty crowded due to summer/in season. We've also been closer to Christmas and it's not too bad and the town is decorated with lights and all. Very pretty! We played the Hillbilly golf when we were there and it was ok. The tram ride up the moutain is interesting, but the course is nothing to make me rave about it. The Ripley Davy Crocket course is interactive and more fun. We LOVED Ripley's Aquarium - do NOT miss this! We spent hours in the tunnel! It was awesome! Pancake Pantry as someone else mentioned is not to be missed either! Best breakfast there! I die for their crepes! THey also offer boxed lunches that we have bought and taken to Cades Cove and picniced with. Cades Cove is another don't miss. YOu can also ride horses thru Cades Cove.. the stable is right at the start of the loop to the left. If riding a horse is not your thing they also offer horse drawn carriage rides. Dixie Stampede is a lot of fun and some good food. Don't forget to shop at the Christmas Place! You'll be amazed at all they have! Like everyone else has said.. pm me if you have any questions...
07-18-2007, 01:14 AM
Gatlinburg is where our family heads when Mom (me) needs a cure for spring fever. Spring Break is our favorite time, simply because of my desire to see green grass and flowers before it officially hits here! Some of our thoughts are what others have already mentioned...
Our family tips for G-burg:
Rent a cabin or chalet
Not sure of the holidays next year, but STAY AWAY during Easter weekend!!! Horrible traffic/very busy (we sometimes head home on Good Friday and don't have much of a crowd during our visit)
Davy Crockett Golf is the most fun
See the Aquarium
Park and use the trolley system...very convenient and parking is sometimes hard to find
Dixie Stampede is also fun for family...feel free to sneak in contraband (aka silverware)
Make a trip to see the Biltmore Estate...definitely worth the drive!!!
Ride bikes around Cades Cove in the morning. Beautiful trip and you'll see tons of wildlife
If it's warm, pack a lunch and head to the mountains. Nothing beats a family picnic with scenery!
Grab some taffy, sit in the rocking chairs and people watch during the evening!
Ride Go-carts in the morning...some locations have 2 for 1 rides before noon (this saves a TON of money)
Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge is so family friendly. There really is something for everyone! Wow, this makes me want to start planning a trip there right now!
07-21-2007, 01:14 PM
I am reading these tips with great interest. Keep them coming!! I also am interested in the area golf courses (real golf, not mini ;) ) if anyone has insight on those as well.
My wife and I and one of her best friends will be visiting that area starting Saturday of Labor Day weekend and staying until the following Saturday.
We are members of a vacation club and will be staying in a 2-bedroom townhome at our resort there. I have passed through the area once in March 2000 and it was a gorgeous day that particular day. But this will be the first time any of us have stayed in the area.
Thanks again for the tips!
07-21-2007, 05:19 PM
We usualy go in the fall which is always pretty crowded. Last year we went the week leading up to Memorial Day and the weather was perfect and low crowds.As several people have mentioned Cade's Cove is a must either early morning or late evening is when you see the most wildlife. As for restaurants Applewood Farm House is always a must for us. They have the BEST apple fritters and apple butter and everything else I have tried has been so good.Just go hungry when you go cause there is plenty of food.
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