The Hidden Gem of Eastern Tennessee

EDITOR’S NOTE: Regarding the Pigeon Forge attractions & businesses mentioned in this blog, please check their respective websites for an update on their COVID-19 operational updates.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Pigeon Forge is a mountain town and vacation area in Eastern Tennessee. It sits nestled along the foothills of The Great Smokies, not far from Gatlinburg. Many people will recognize it as the home to Dollywood, country singer Dolly Parton’s Appalachian-themed park consisting of rides, a water park and much more.

For more information on Pigeon Forge, visit their official website.

Our first visit was in the early summer of 2019 and after a long weekend, my wife and I both commented to one another that we felt as if we didn’t have enough time to see and do everything that we wanted. It definitely made our ‘return visit’ list.

There are so many wonderful places to stay in and around Pigeon Forge. During that first visit, we made the decision to book a cabin off the beaten path of the Pigeon Forge Parkway . With 4 kids under 10, we felt as if having a little more space (plus a hot tub, deck and arcade machine) might make the few days a bit more manageable. However, we did realize that while it was quiet being set back in the hills, we didn’t have that quick access to the ‘NashVegas’ strip.

There are certainly tons of options along the Parkway  that will keep you close to the action – each with their own extra perks. I’ve put together a quick list of some of the most talked about hotels:

Econo Lodge Riverside: You will be pleasantly surprised by this 3-time Platinum Award Winner that sits on the Little Pigeon River. It’s got an incredible indoor pool and hot tub, a riverwalk, picnic area, covered pavilion and firepit. Don’t forget to have the kids check out the game room!

Music Road Resort Hotel: With 163 spacious guest rooms and suites with private balconies, this Resort is great for a romantic getaway, honeymoon or family vacations and weekend expeditions. The coolest perk here is that you can choose a scenic view of the Little Pigeon River and Great Smoky Mountains OR grab one that overlooks their awesome Outdoor Water Park and Music Road Resort Inn.

Park Grove Inn: This 3-star hotel is right in the heart of Pigeon Forge, and at the foothills of the scenic Smoky Mountains AND it won’t break the bank. This seven-story structure with breathtaking balcony views of the mountains and downtown has beautiful, spacious rooms. In the off-hours while not exploring Pigeon Forge, children can find adventure in a well-equipped arcade room, while you relax in the indoor pool and hot tub. Or together, you can all recline beside the outdoor pool and mushroom waterfall!

Holiday Inn Express & Suites: This Holiday Inn is in the heart of it all in Pigeon Forge. With a modern vibe and pool, this place is affordable and super family friendly!

The Inn on the River Pigeon Forge: This 3-star hotel has walking paths, picnic tables, grills and has an outdoor pool right along the river. They’re family-friendly with fresh popcorn served nightly and sweet tea brewed fresh every day. Did I mention that it’s within walking distance of most of the best restaurants along the Parkway ?

These are just a handful of the great hotel options located along Pigeon Forge Parkway  – all with quick access to the hundreds of things that will keep you busy during your stay.

Some of the highlights from our trip we’re gem-mining…

Tearing up the race track at Kid’s Country…

Visiting The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel…

And of course, checking out Dollywood!

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was a sponsored post on behalf of the Tourism Board of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. For more information on visiting this hidden gem, click HERE.

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