The Best Travel Guide to Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Provided by: stefan johansson/
Section in Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Do & See
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are perfect destinations for nature lovers and entertainment seekers. Explore the breathless wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on foot or from the air, or sit in laughter and awe as magical shows challenge your perception of reality. Pigeon Forge has one of the best theme parks in the nation, Dollywood, and both cities feature a bevy of dinner shows for families. Rain or shine, there is plenty to do!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country - and with good reason. The forest ridges run along the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, providing a home to myriads of animals and plants. As a wildflower preserve, the park has over 1,500 flowering plants that can be found all year, more than any other national park in North America. An array of activities may be had: camping, fishing, hiking, picnicking, bicycling, horseback riding, and auto touring.
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Cades Cove

Located inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited sites in the park and country: Cades Cove. The small site sits in the middle of a wide valley floor and is a center for wildlife to come graze and play. Look for black bears in the trees and deer, elk and other wildlife in the fields. Several original mountain homes, as well as a grist mill, churches, and barns dating back to the 1700s are all located along the drive through Cades Cove. The area is rich in history and served as a Cherokee hunting ground for generations before being partially settled by mountaineers. Take a picnic lunch with you and enjoy it by the stream that still operates the mill every day.
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Dollywood is Pigeon Forge’s grand theme park - and one of the nation's most visited - imagined and created by legendaries Dolly Parton and the Herschend family. Along the foothills of the Smokies, the 150-acre park has over 40 rides and attractions, all of which having given Dollywood worldwide recognition. There is live entertainment featuring music, dancers, and demonstrations from craftsmen. Rides include the likes of Wild Eagle and Mystery Mine. Make sure to visit Dollywood Splash Country, too!
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Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies houses 10,000 sea creatures spanning over 350 species. Among the attractions in store are the tropical rainforest, shark lagoon, gallery of the seas, penguin playhouse, coral reef, touch-a-ray bay, ocean realm, stingray bay, systems control, and the discovery center. Underwater tunnels give visitors the feeling of truly being in the water with the fascinating creatures, and dive and feeding shows are equally as interactive.
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Fly Scenic Helicopter Tours

It is impossible to fully experience the majesty of the Smoky Mountains on foot. Fly Scenic takes to the air to give breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park via helicopter tours. In operation since 1972, Fly Scenic is well-seasoned and possesses an all-encompassing knowledge of the area. Any budget, time, and sightseeing desire is obliged, making Fly Scenic the ultimate attraction and best way to see the park. The helicopters can hold three to four passengers and has a per seat weight limit of 300 pounds. They are handicap-friendly.
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Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede

If you're a lover of horses, excellent food, and a fun, interactive dinner show, Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede is the place for you. Some of the best trick riders you'll ever see show their stuff while you dine on classic Southern fare like vegetable soup, barbecued chicken, and basted pork loin, but don't expect silverware! Everything is perfect for eating your with your hands and truly "finger-lickin' good." The show itself divides the diners for a rehashing of the Civil War, which is determined by horse races, pig races, and audience members. Dixie Stampede is perfect for people of all ages! Tickets can be purchased before or at the time of any show. Make sure to arrive early for a souvenir photo and to enjoy the country band at the Dixie Belle Saloon.
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World-renowned magician Terry Evanswood awes audiences in Pigeon Forge as one of the area’s main attractions. Millions of people each year come to see the magic variety show—which captivates the crowd for 75 minutes of “wonders.” Evanswood incorporates magic, comedy, illusions, music, impersonations, sleight of hand and Houdini-inspired escapes into the Wonders of Magic. Within the Hall of Magic guests are welcomed to explore the timeline and history of magic in this free museum. Terry Evanswood himself provides the Hall’s tour, spanning costumes, props, artifacts, autographs, memorabilia, and more.
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Parrot Mountain & Gardens

The effervescent Parrot Mountain and Gardens is located just outside Pigeon Forge and is a must for families, friends, locals, and visitors. The four acres harbor hundreds of tropical birds and thousands of trees, plants, and flowers. Guests are given the opportunity to interact directly with the beautifully plumed birds, petting and feeding them in the designated area. There is even a nursery where guests are welcome to hold the baby birds. Overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains is the deck, where lunch from the deli may be enjoyed while the birds serenade. A secret garden is lush with birds flying freely and pathways that display all of the gorgeous flowers.
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