Pigeon Forge is a city near the Great Smoky Mountains in east Tennessee. The city is a fun resort town surrounded by beautiful scenery. You’ll get a taste of fantastical attractions and live country music as you spend time in and around Pigeon Forge.
Though you might think Las Vegas is the best place to see stunning stage shows, you should try getting tickets to a production in Pigeon Forge.
The Smoky Mountain Opry is a variety show the whole family will love, or you can laugh at the Comedy Barn. You won’t believe your eyes at Magic Beyond Belief, as the illusions Darren Romeo performs are nothing you’ve seen before.
In addition to impressive mountain views, you’ll love the attractions like the Titanic Museum, a replica of King Kong climbing the Empire State Building, and an upside-down house. Exploring Pigeon Forge is a unique experience, so make sure you know the best time to visit the city.
Why You Should Visit Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge has something for everyone, whether you want to experience fun attractions or natural beauty. The Titanic Museum is a half-scale replica of the original ship located in a pool of water to give the impression you’re at sea.
The museum has two stories of historical artifacts and an experience that makes you feel like a passenger on the ship’s maiden voyage. WonderWorks is nearby, providing a fun, educational visit for the whole family.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will allow you to get out in nature. You can hike many trails around the park based on your experience level or the time allotted for the visit.
There are campgrounds, visitor centers, and picnic areas throughout the park, so you can spend an entire day there. The lookout tower in the center of the land is a must-see. The surrounding areas are also exciting, with Gatlinburg just a short drive into the mountains.
Anakeesta, an adventure park in the town, offers discounts when you bundle admission with the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. You can also choose two thrilling roller coasters: Moonshine Mountain Coaster and Ripley’s Mountain Coaster.
Overall Best Time to Visit Pigeon Forge
The best time to visit Pigeon Forge is in the spring. You’ll experience sunny days and moderate temperatures.
You might feel a bit of a chill in the mountains, so dress in light layers to ensure you’re always comfortable. Visitors during this time love seeing the wildflowers blooming along the roads and throughout the town and National Park.
Spending at least a day in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is necessary for any visit to Pigeon Forge. You can hike around the land or enjoy scenic drives. Pack a picnic and enjoy a day on the property on a beautiful day.
The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is 200 feet tall, so you’ll get an impressive view of Pigeon Forge and the surrounding area. Each glass gondola can hold eight visitors, so your crew can see for miles on a beautiful spring day.
However, visiting in autumn means getting a bird’s eye view of the stunning fall foliage. Dollywood is one of the most popular destinations in Pigeon Forge. The theme park, owned by Dolly Parton, has thrill rides, crafts, concerts, and special events throughout the year.
It has 11 distinct areas covering 150 acres, so you should dedicate at least a day to your visit. The overall park includes several destinations, such as:
- Dollywood’s Splash Country
- Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa
- Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction
Cheapest Time to Visit Pigeon Forge
The cheapest time to visit Pigeon Forge is during the winter. The cold weather and demands of the holiday season keep tourists away, so hotels lower their prices in order to book rooms.
Many attractions also offer discounts during the off-season, so you can save money while still seeing the sights. The downside of visiting Pigeon Forge on a budget is that you might need to forgo many of the popular attractions unless you bundle them for a deal.
For example, seeing WonderWorks, the Hollywood Wax Museum, and Dollywood could cost a small fortune for a family, even in the off-season. However, the Titanic Museum and Anakeesta in Gatlinburg offer a discount bundle, so you can find similar deals for other attractions.
On the plus side, if you visit in the winter, you won’t need to spend money on Dollywood’s Splash Country because it’s much too cold for a water park. There are ways to see plenty in Pigeon Forge without breaking your budget.
Least Busy Time to Visit Pigeon Forge
The least busy time to visit Pigeon Forge is during the winter, as long as you avoid the major holidays. Many attractions have special displays and events for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so you might encounter crowds at restaurants and tourist locations.
Pigeon Forge has winter temperatures ranging from 20℉ to 50℉, so it’s not too cold if you bundle up for outdoor activities.
It can snow between November to March, but it’s not likely to accumulate enough to impact your trip. You’ll love seeing beautiful snow-covered mountains in the distance, though. The cold weather isn’t a concern for your Pigeon Forge visit.
You can spend plenty of time inside to stay warm. The Hollywood Wax Museum is an exciting attraction with a replica of King Kong climbing outside the building and plenty of celebrities to see inside.
If you plan your trip just right, you might be able to take advantage of the best time to visit, along with the least busy. Late April and early May have great weather but fewer crowds since families haven’t yet started traveling for the summer.
Worst Time to Visit Pigeon Forge
Summer in Pigeon Forge is the worst time to visit. You’ll experience heat in the high 90s that feels even hotter due to the crowds.
Families flock to Pigeon Forge during summer vacation because there’s so much to do for all ages. The destination’s popularity means every attraction and restaurant will have crowds and long waits.
That, along with the humidity, can take away the enjoyment you should feel on vacation. Since summer is such a popular travel time, you’ll also pay more for your trip to Pigeon Forge.
Hotels know that there are plenty of tourists who need rooms, so they’re going to increase prices. You’ll pay more for a basic hotel room than you would during the off-season. However, many people find it easier to take a vacation during the summer since the kids are out of school.
So if you need to visit Pigeon Forge during that season, you can still enjoy yourself. Try to visit outdoor attractions early in the day before the heat becomes unbearable. You can also try to make reservations for meals or get supplies from the store to avoid long waits.
Things to Consider
Before booking your trip to Pigeon Forge, make sure you’re considering everything that could impact your vacation:
- If you only have three days to travel, rank the sites according to your interest. Have a list of outdoor attractions and one for indoor, in case the weather forces you to change your plans. You won’t waste any time because you have backup suggestions ready.
- Try to make time to visit Gatlinburg while you’re in the area. There’s plenty to do in that city, and you can experience different things compared to Pigeon Forge. With clever planning, you can hit multiple stops on the same vacation.
- Consider solidifying your itinerary by booking attraction tickets in advance. This approach helps you plan your trip while ensuring you won’t miss an experience because it’s sold out. You can also find bundles and discounts online.
- Research unique places to stay. You can camp in the National Park or book a cabin in the mountains instead of sleeping in a hotel room to get the full experience of Pigeon Forge.
- If you’re taking a road trip from home to Pigeon Forge, check your route to see other places you can stop. Knoxville is less than an hour away from Pigeon Forge, and Nashville is worth a stop if you’re traveling through Tennessee.
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve learned about the best and worst times to visit Pigeon Forge. You can also plan a trip that’s more affordable or less busy than peak tourist times. If you need more information to finalize your itinerary, check out the answers to these frequently asked questions.
What months are the busiest in Pigeon Forge?
Summer and fall are the busiest times in Pigeon Forge because families travel during the summer and over fall break. The mountains are dry and temperate in these seasons, so everyone wants to get out and explore nature. If you can handle cooler temperatures, you’re better off waiting to visit in winter and early spring to avoid crowds.
How many days do you need at Pigeon Forge?
Three days in the city is an ideal period because you can see everything the area has to offer. You can spend a day in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or more if you want to camp or enjoy more time in nature. The attractions within Pigeon Forge can each take a day, too, such as a day for downtown and a day for Dollywood. However, five to seven days is more relaxing.
Is it better to go to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge?
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are both great vacation destinations. Pigeon Forge has more to do for families or people who love shopping and visiting attractions. Gatlinburg gives you more of a true Smoky Mountain experience. Think of Pigeon Forge as the ideal location for action and Gatlinburg as the place to go to get close to nature and relax.
How far apart are Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge?
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are less than ten miles apart. The 20-minute drive on the Gatlinburg Bypass is scenic, so if you can make time in your vacation to experience both cities, you should. You’ll get to experience the excitement of Pigeon Forge and then unwind in the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg.
What’s the best month to go to Dollywood?
Just like Pigeon Forge itself, Dollywood is most busy in summer and fall. Everyone loves going to the park in warm, beautiful weather. However, if you’re traveling in the summer, you can visit early on weekdays to avoid crowds. Otherwise, you’ll have more of the park to yourself during winter and early spring. You’ll spend more time on rides than in lines, so it’s an enjoyable trip.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Pigeon Forge?
The best time to visit Pigeon Forge is during the late spring because you get beautiful weather without overwhelming crowds. However, you can enjoy this city during any season because there’s so much to do, both indoors and outside.
However, regardless of the time in which you choose to visit Pigeon Forge, you’ll be greeted by countless paid and free activities, amazing food, and the good old Southern hospitality. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!