Pigeon Forge Family Vacation Guide

Pigeon Forge Family Vacation Guide

Trying to plan a vacation can be difficult for any family. You have to consider all the members in your group that are planning to travel with you, their ages and size, plus likes and dislikes. Pigeon Forge offers a wide variety of options that are perfect for all! Whether you are more adventurous and love exploring nature, prefer venturing through museums and aquariums, or seek out adrenaline pumped and thrilling rides, this vacation destination is for you and your family or friends!

Where to Stay

Eagle Property Management Cabin Rentals

Choosing the proper accommodations can present its own set of issues. If you are traveling with a large number of family members or friends, I would suggest booking with Eagle Property Management Cabin Rentals. There are so many to pick from and most can fit in any budget amount. For others, there are numerous hotel options as well and are located all over Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Some might even enjoy camping in the open mountain air and taking in the breathtaking Smoky Mountain views. After deciding where to stay during your trip, you have to plan what sites to visit and activities to participate in.

Venture Outdoors

The Island Pigeon Forge

Take in lush scenery as you whiz through the treetops on a zip line canopy tour at The Island Ropes Course at The Island. With two levels to choose from, most ages can participate in this adrenaline rush. The easier courses are slightly closer to the ground at twenty feet high, while the more challenging courses are almost forty feet! Maneuver across bridges, suspended cargo nets, zip lines and much more on your self-guided path; however, you must first complete a thorough safety class. Be sure to also take in the shopping and nightlife offered at The Island after your zip adventure.

Conquer the churning rapids of the Pigeon River on a whitewater rafting trip at Wildwater Rafting, one of many available locations. The Lower Pigeon River is more family-based and filled with Class I and Class II rapids, but features Class III rapids at the end. The leisurely paced adventure is perfect for almost any age. As your guide navigates you through the six-mile stretch of the Lower Pigeon River, take time to witness the gorgeous scenery between rapids.

For the more dare devilish soul, strap on a life jacket and prepare to get wet! The upper Pigeon River advances through a course of twelve Class III rapids and three Class IV rapids. Your guide will provide you with clear commands to assist you in navigating the five-mile expanse of the upper river safely. You will surely experience exhilarating speeds and challenging obstacles along the way. The river route takes you through glorious parts of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. You will also see Cherokee National Forest, Martha Sundquist State Forest, and the Appalachian Trail.​​​​​​​

Dollywood Theme Park

Dollywood Park Pigeon Forge

If you prefer a more organized (and less nature-filled) option, you should visit Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country conviently located in the outskirts of Pigeon Forge! Explore like never before in the newly opened Wildwood Grove! Dollywood offers a grand selection of rollercoasters and rides to everyone.

Experience the launch from 0 to forty-five miles per hour up to more than twenty stories by riding the 1950s era hot rod themed Lightning Rod. Lightning Rod is the fastest wooden coaster in the world with a top speed of seventy-three miles per hour! Soar high above the Smoky Mountains on America’s first wing coast the Wild Eagle! Even the youngest of park goers can enjoy a selection of slower-paced rides such as Lucky Ducky or Busy Bees in the Country Fair.

Splash Country allows you to cool off and chill out on the Downbound Float Trip. If the slow life isn’t your thing, you can catch a break in the Mountain Waves wave pool. Get a good soaking on several rides included the Raging River Rapids and RiverRush. Fire Tower Falls and Mountain Scream can pump you full of adrenaline as you race down aggressive drop slides.

Pigeon Forge Attractions

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

If you are seeking out a more air-conditioned or educational attraction, I suggest venturing to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The upper level of the aquarium features the Shark Lagoon with an indoor Glass Bottom Boat Adventure. The only thing separating you from twelve-foot sharks in three inches of glass! Other areas of the aquarium offer unique experiences as well, such as feeding Sally the sea turtle and Touch-A-Ray Bay that allows you to get up close and personal with the stingrays. Some areas reservations are recommended, check out their website to fill out the form!

Hollywood Wax Museum

Venture into the Hollywood Wax Museum for some of the most lifelike visuals. Then, make your way through numerous turns of hundreds of mirrored walls in Hannah’s Mirror Maze as you attempt to free Princess Hannah from Ugly Hetty’s spell. Grab your 3D goggles and buckle up for a non-stop ride in the Castle of Chaos. Armed with a laser blaster, you will have to compete to be on top in the wild 5D adventure ride! Can you make it out alive in Outbreak – Dread the Undead? The test subjects become bloodthirsty zombies. Your job is to rid the world of the Alpha Strain created in an experiment gone wrong in the biotech lab. As you’re entering the museum, check out the thirty-four thousand pound Great Ape clinging to the building high over your head!

And more Pigeon Forge attractions….

Wonderworks Pigeon Forge

Then, I suggest a visit to WonderWorks! The mysterious upside-down mansion in Pigeon Forge offers interactive hands-on exhibits. Stay for The Wonders of Magic Show at the end of your trek through the museum. Be ready to spend three or four hours inside this cool upside-down building. You can come and go as you please for unlimited fun all day with the purchase of your ticket. Now that is a deal in itself!

Conveniently located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, SpeedZone Fun Park offers four unique race tracks go-karts. Junior drivers can test their skills and race on the Kids Track! Test high speeds on the Slick Track. Race up and down on the Coaster Track. The Tennessee Twister features tight turns for you to challenge yourself and race against your friends!

The Island

Paula Deen's Family Kitchen

With so much to do and plenty of places to shop in Pigeon Forge. Be sure to plan for a full day of fun while you are at The Island! Take a seat on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel that towers two hundred feet. Each all-glass gondola seats up to eight people comfortably. This is one of the tallest attractions in the Southeast and the centerpiece of The Island of Pigeon Forge!

Kids can ride aboard the Island Express or leap high in the sky on their favorite frog at Lil’ Ribbits. There are so many rides you try including the Spinning Parrots Coaster or the Island Bumper Cars! Test your skills in Arcade City on a variety of arcade games!

Enjoy family-style dining at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen restaurant, one of the best eateries in Pigeon Forge, TN. Mouthwatering dishes you and your family can fill your stomach on! Take a stop and grab a drink at the famous Margaritaville before you leave! All those of age (21+) can taste test at Ole Smoky Barn that has an onsite still and daily live bluegrass music on an outdoor stage.

Pigeon Forge Family Vacation Guide
About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.

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