Pigeon Forge: The Center of Fun in the Smokies
Editorial supplied by the Pigeon Forge Dept. of Tourism
Welcome to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! In our special corner of the Great Smoky Mountains, you’re never far from a huge variety of unique vacation experiences. Pigeon Forge is your perfect base camp for your Smoky Mountain vacation. We’re minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg and lots of amazing outdoor adventures. Here in Pigeon Forge, you have hundreds of places to shop ‘till you drop, attractions for the entire family, live shows for every taste and top-tier dining options.
Shows in Pigeon Forge
Whatever type of entertainment you’re looking for, you can find it in Pigeon Forge. Our little corner of the Smokies is nationally known for its world-class live entertainment. Featuring lumberjacks, cloggers, aerialists, vocalists, bluegrass bands, amazing choreography and so much more—there is a show for every genre.
Each show is filled with laughter, excitement and some good old southern hospitality, from the singing, dancing, comedy or drama. Entertainment in Pigeon Forge goes on year-round. During the holidays, shows have a special seasonal flair to them. No matter which you choose, you’re sure to have memories of these shows to share with friends and family back home.
Outdoor Adventure in Pigeon Forge
Thrill seekers will love the daring adventures that await in Pigeon Forge. From upside down rollercoasters to tubing, there are so many adrenaline-pumping activities to choose from. Looking for an unforgettable outdoor adventure? In Pigeon Forge you can find an adventure perfect for you, like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, ziplining, aerial tours, indoor skydiving, off-road tours and more—the only limit is your imagination!
More Things to Do in Pigeon Forge
Want to slow things down for a bit? In Pigeon Forge, you’ll also find a diverse variety of relaxing and fun activities, including putt-putt courses, go-carts, laser tag, arcades, aquariums and indoor ice skating. Take a break from the fast-paced entertainment by visiting one of the many museums in Pigeon Forge. Visit celebrities at the wax museum or discover something unusual at Ripley’s Believe It or Not. There’s something for everyone in the base camp of the Smokies!
Shopping in Pigeon Forge
Shopping continues at one of the 300-plus stores, boutiques and outlets. Pigeon River Crossings is an outlet mall with over 80 stores. Find great deals on clothing, accessories, shows and so much more. Don’t forget to pick up a handcrafted souvenir. A one-of-a-kind gift like blown glass, handmade pottery or another beautiful piece of arts and crafts makes the perfect gift for someone you know or yourself.
Speaking of handcrafted products, the Smokies is also the home of the first legal winery and moonshine distillery in the state of Tennessee. You can find a wide variety of wineries, distilleries and breweries throughout our area, most offering free samples to those wanting to give their products a try.
Restaurants in Pigeon Forge
Enjoy a handcrafted spirit at a locally owned restaurant. There are dozens of restaurants on or near the Parkway to satisfy every craving and budget. Enjoy dinner at a local barbecue joint or feast on seafood, steaks and Southern cuisine. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In Pigeon Forge, you will find over 50 kinds of pancakes. End your day with ice cream, a homemade pie or another dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Explore Cades Cove
Be sure to check out Cades Cove. You’ll find lots of things to do there like biking, hiking, camping, horseback riding, animal viewing and picnicking. Cades Cove features a one-way, 11-mile loop where you can see buildings dating back to the first European settlers, some of the most popular trails in the park and breathtaking views. The loop is open from sunrise to sunset. As you cruise along, going 20 miles per hour, take in the gorgeous views of the Smoky Mountains, as well as the wildlife, historic churches and more.
Take a Scenic Drive through Pigeon Forge
As you drive around these beautiful Smoky Mountains, take some time to really enjoy the view. Stop along one of the many scenic pullouts throughout the park. You’ll have panoramic views of the mountain streams, waterfalls and valleys. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail allows visitors to take in the remarkable views of the forest, rushing streams and historic buildings. Roaring Fork gets its name from one of the largest flowing mountain streams in the park. Be sure to have your camera ready because you never know when you’ll come across some of the park’s wildlife.
So, come spend some time with us this year in Pigeon Forge! We know you’ll just love our hometown hospitality and all the adventures you’ll have as you take our scenic byways to other delights in our surrounding mountain region. You could spend weeks here and still not see it all. So, what are you waiting for? Come on, and let’s get the show on the road! We’ll see you soon in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee—the vacation capital of the Smokies!
History of Pigeon Forge
In its earliest start, Pigeon Forge was a hunting ground for the Cherokee. The Cherokee followed what is now known as the “Indian Gap Trail,” which allowed them to cross the Smoky Mountains from North Carolina. Europeans later used the Indian Gap Trail to get to Pigeon Forge.
In 1783, Colonel Samuel Wear, a soldier of the Revolutionary War became one of the first permanent Euro-American settlers in the area. Wear built his fort in the Walden Creek and Little Pigeon River area. The area is now known as Wear’s Valley.
Mordecai Lewis, a pioneer, received a 151-acre land grant along the Little Pigeon River, following the Revolutionary War. Lewis used the land to build the now historic Old Mill. In 1817, Isaac Love, Lewis’ son-in-law, established an iron forge on the banks of the Little Pigeon River. The forge, along with the large amount of passenger pigeons flocking to the river, gave the town its name. These passenger pigeons were so numerous that the sky darkened when they flew through the valley. Although passenger pigeons are now extinct, the town of Pigeon Forge preserves the memory of that bygone era that recalls the rich diversity of life in this wilderness frontier.
The 1950s saw a tourism boom in Pigeon Forge. The green fields along the parkway were quickly being purchased for business development. Residents began seeing a new Parkway, different from what they had always known. Family-style restaurants, drive in theaters and motels opened to entice travelers. As years went on, more sophisticated attractions opened on the Parkway—much like what we see today.
While the mountain ranges of Pigeon Forge appear to be the same as when the Cherokee traversed the river path, the town itself has introduced modern attractions to complement the rustic, friendly resort atmosphere.