This is a paid partnership on behalf of Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. However, all the fantastic opinions are mine alone. #mypigeonforge #sponsored
Pigeon Forge has been on my travel list ever since I was a young child. My family went to the area every year of my childhood, and it has been a reasonably regular getaway for my sweet family throughout the years.
If you are considering a weekend getaway, then Pigeon Forge is ideal. For more information on PigeonForge, visit their official website.
Pigeon Forge is a mix of new and vintage and a quick drive from several cities; Nashville, Atlanta, Knoxville, and Birmingham, to name a few. Not only is this a quick ride from several locations, but it is also a perfect blend of a mountain getaway and exciting entertainment for the entire family.
My kids and I started early on Thursday and arrived early evening at our hotel. We were all excited as we drove up and saw the lights of the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. The observation wheel is 200 ft high and has spectacular gondolas on it. I was too chicken to go on it or to let the kids, as it was raining and cold when we arrived. But we all wished we had and wrote it down on our future bucket list ideas.
The choices of where to stay in Pigeon Forge are endless. My family typically chooses to stay in a rental cabin. We love the experience and the thrill of staying in the Great Smoky Mountains. We have even seen a bear or two outside our cabins doors, which is exciting but not always welcomed.
For this weekend getaway in Pigeon Forge, we decided to stay in a hotel. I chose the Margaritaville Island Hotel, as I am all about Margaritaville Hotels in general.
The tropical-themed hotel did not disappoint. Southern hospitality greeted us from the moment that the valet said hello. The lobby was right up my alley with beach themes and gorgeous decor. You know this girl is about the ambiance, and the hotel was on point.
Did I mention that our room was spectacular? We had a sweet little balcony overlooking the outdoor shopping village. Greyson wasted no time jumping from bed to bed as soon as we entered the room.
I, on the other hand, was ready to take advantage of the in-room margarita maker (complete with recipes) and the dual rain shower!
After resting for a bit, we headed out to explore.
The island entertainment complex is like a small quaint village. You would never guess that it was just off the Pigeon Forge Parkway and convenient to where you choose to stay on your weekend getaway in Pigeon Forge.
Food and shopping choices abound on the Island, and the holiday lights at night are worth the entire visit. We were so impressed by the details that went into decorating the Island for the holidays. It was simply stunning.
In the middle of the island is a large fountain complete with music and a light show. We had to peel Greyson away to go eat dinner.
Ok, don’t get me started on the dining choices for your weekend getaway in Pigeon Forge. Number one, there are too many good choices for this foodie to choose from. I was in a panic that I would end up with the wrong one. Ultimately we settled on a safe but delicious path and got pizza. (Our toddler dictates our choices)
Mellow Mushroom was a quick walk from our hotel. We were mesmerized by the billions (At least it looked like billions) of Holiday lights and the fountain light show as we made our way to the restaurant.
I had stellar plans of taking a picture of our pizza for this post, but that went out the window the second the guy sat it down. So a half-eaten pie is all ya get.
Want to know the biggest challenge you will face when you visit Pigeon Forge?
Are you ready for it? Ok, it’s that you might spend more money then you planned. Well, at least if you are a candy and sugar addict like myself and my lovely children.
I am not kidding you when I say we walked from one sweet shop to another to yet another. It was borderline crazy the number of sweet shops in one small area.
- Byrd’s Famous Cookies (OH. MY. GOODNESS. If you are afraid of overeating, do not enter this cookie store. I walked out with a lovely Chinese takeout box, filled with the best almond cookie I have ever eaten.
- Big Rock Candy Kitchen: Ok, we might have gone a little cuckoo buying ourselves candy. But we sure did enjoy it even after our weekend getaway in Pigeon Forge was over. You have to try taffy while in Pigeon Forge. Buying Hillbilly taffy in Pigeon Forge is one of my most treasured memories of my childhood. And now, it is one of my children’s memories as well.
- Sweet Just like the name of this candy store implies, sweet treasures abound. The kids and I both filled a bag of candy from their numerous candy bins. We took our bags back to our hotel and had candy for days.
Okay, I’m sure you imagine that all we did was eat candy in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Well, you may be partly right, but we also did some shopping. The stores in Pigeon Forge are so full of character and charm, especially if you are looking for a unique Smoky Mountain gift (besides candy…) to bring home to family.
Check out my top favorite boutique stores (all on the “Island”)
- Be Free Boutique: faith-based accessories. I love this store!
- Savannah Bee Company: Just take my word for it and go inside. They have a honey bar..need I say more.
- The Sneaky Squirrel: Find the perfect gift for all occasions.
I am not exaggerating when I say that there are endless options for entertaining your family in Pigeon Forge. There is something for everyone. Picture a little entertainment mecca snuggled into the smoky mountains, and you will understand.
I have spent many weekend getaways in Pigeon Forge, so this is hard to narrow down.
But I will do my best.
Parrot Mountain is my son’s favorite place to visit in Pigeon Forge. He could stay there all day. If you don’t have time to visit, then be sure to go to the store location on the Island. Margaritaville also has a parrot from Parrot Island inside the lobby. His name is Max, and he will dance for you. It’s worth the time!
Catch a Dinner show at least one of the nights during your stay. We have taken each of our children to see Dolly Parton’s Stampede. (I tried to find our old pictures but couldn’t) It is a treasured family memory.
I want to go to Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud next Pigeon Forge weekend getaway. It’s on the bucket list.
If you are like us and have a mix of ages, then be sure to head to the FunStop Family Action Park. It has something for every age, including mom and dad. It has miniature golf, which is my family’s go-to activity on vacations.
Last but not least, you must visit Wonderworks. It is the most incredible science museum I have ever visited. My pre-schooler is a scientist wannabe. He is obsessed with science experiments, so Wonderworks was a hit. I was especially intrigued by the re-creation of the 1989 San Fran earthquake.
Because of the gloomy weather on our weekend getaway in Pigeon Forge, we were unable to spend time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You must make that a priority. The perfect location of Pigeon Forge as a gateway to the gorgeous park is spectacular.
All in all, we had an incredible family getaway, and my kids are still begging to go back.
Comment and let me know about your family memories from Pigeon Forge or your future plans to visit.