One Day in Pigeon Forge Itinerary – What to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

While the name Pigeon Forge may seem a bit unusual, you can be absolutely certain that coming here will be a great decision if you’re looking for a place where you can spend a fun and interesting vacation. This small town in eastern Tennessee is full of great attractions, but you will especially love it if you’re a fan of country music, especially Dolly Parton. Even if that’s not the case, however, you can still spend one day in Pigeon Forge which will most certainly create many amazing memories for you and your family. Let’s take a closer look at what this lovely town is all about!

One day in Pigeon Forge Itinerary

Plan your trip to Pigeon Forge

1. What’s the best time to visit Pigeon Forge, Tennessee?
2. A few facts about Pigeon Forge
3. One day in Pigeon Forge itinerary
3.1. Start your day with pancakes
3.2. Head to Dollywood (Splash Country)
3.3. Visit the Titanic Museum
3.4. Spend some time on The Island
3.5. Have fun at WonderWorks
3.6. End your day with a show!
4. Where to stay in Pigeon Forge?
5. Day trips from Pigeon Forge
6. Extra tips for visiting Pigeon Forge

What’s the best time to visit Pigeon Forge, Tennessee?

If the weather is what worries you, here’s how things stand. Summers around here are pretty hot and the humidity is also high, which may cause problems for some people. In addition, this is peak season in Pigeon Forge, so expect higher hotel rates and much more tourists.

If you’d like something a bit less hectic, late spring or early fall can be a great choice. The crowds are much smaller, and the weather is much more pleasant, so everyone will be able to relax and enjoy fully.

And while winters in Pigeon Forge can be fairly cold, they can also be a great place to visit because this is when Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas takes place. You will also find many other interesting festivals throughout the year in the area, and many of them are dedicated to music.

Pigeon Forge during Winter time
Pigeon Forge during Winter time, Author: trekkie313, Source: Flickr

Oh, and every four years, Pigeon Forge hosts the very first celebration of the Fourth of July in the US! At midnight, thousands of people enjoy the celebrations and the fireworks of course, as well as dozens of floats that come down the street. If you make it in time, you’ll have a night to remember, that’s for sure.

A few facts about Pigeon Forge

The name of the town comes from an actual forge that was built by Isaac Love somewhere at the beginning of the 19th century. It was built near Little Pigeon River, so eventually, the two things merged to create this interesting name.

Pigeon Forge is also home to Dollywood (more on that later), by far the biggest attraction in the state of Tennessee for which you will need a ticket. Obviously, the park is owned by Dolly Parton, but did you know that this famous country singer was born just a few miles from here, in Pittman Center? You can still visit her original cabin there, or see an exact replica with some very interesting private items in Dollywood.

Dollywood, Pigeon Forge 2
Dollywood, Author: Joel, Source: Flickr

Finally, the town of Pigeon Forge has only around 6,000 people, so visiting it outside of peak season can really help you recharge your batteries and enjoy some absolutely stunning nature. Remember, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is only five miles away!

One day in Pigeon Forge Itinerary

One day in Pigeon Forge is bound to be a great one no matter how you slice it, but with this itinerary of ours, you can be sure you will make the most of your time here. Here are the best things to do while in this amazing little town!

Start your day with pancakes

Yes, pancakes! If you’re spending one day in Pigeon Forge, treating yourself to some pancakes is absolutely a must. You see, this town is really quite obsessed with them and considers itself to be the pancake capital of the world. So, having pancakes for breakfast here is a cultural thing, really. Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin, Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Cafe, or Sawyer’s Farmhouse Restaurant are all excellent choices.

Pigeon Forge Pancakes
Pigeon Forge Pancakes, Author: Joel Kramer, Source: Flickr

Head to Dollywood (Splash Country)

Hopefully, you’ve eaten well because you’re in for a very entertaining day, and there’s no better place in Pigeon Forge to start having fun than Dollywood. This amusement park owned by the country legend Dolly Parton has absolutely everything you need to spend an amazing day with your family.

Dollywood, Pigeon Forge 2
Dollywood, Author: Joel, Source: Flickr

There are more than 50 different rides to choose from, plus you can visit Dollywood Splash Country, a water park right next door. Tempting as it may be to just invest your whole day in pigeon Forge into this amazing place, there are some other places that are very much worth your time, so keep reading!

Dollywood, Author: Martin Lewison, Source: Flickr

Visit the Titanic Museum

A trip to the Titanic Museum should also be on your Pigeon Forge itinerary because this is the biggest Titanic museum in the world! And even though it’s the biggest, it’s only half the size of the actual ship. Amazing, right?

Inside, you will see artifacts worth millions of dollars from the original ship, and your ticket will have the name of an actual passenger that was aboard the vessel. At the end of the tour, you will learn of your passenger’s fate and pay tribute to all the victims of this terrible tragedy. No doubt, this will be one of the highlights of your trip!

Titanic Museum, Pigeon Forge
Titanic Museum, Author: Joel, Source: Flickr

Spend some time on The Island

After seeing all this, you will probably want a place where you can rest, relax and just enjoy your day in Pigeon Forge, as well as grab a bite to eat. The Island is absolutely perfect for that, especially if you’re here with your whole family, so head on there next.

The Island, Pigeon Forge
The Island, Author: Martin Lewison, Source: Flickr

You will see that this is something like a mall, but out in the open with loads of rides, restaurants, and music. There’s even a giant Ferris Wheel! Head on over here, buy some souvenirs, watch your kids have loads of fun, and just create wonderful memories of your trip.

As for places to eat, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and Timberwood Grill are great choices for a nice family lunch, but exploring the place and discovering things is very much recommended.

Have fun at WonderWorks

Yes, Pigeon Forge has its own WonderWorks museum, and there are loads of fun things to try out and enjoy there. Again, this place is great if you have kids along, but it’s also great for adults, too. Usually, towards the end of the day, the lines will be much shorter, too.

WonderWorks, Pigeon Forge
WonderWorks, Author: Valerie Everett, Source: Flickr

If you haven’t been to WonderWorks before, it’s essentially an arcade, just with an emphasis on science and education. There are loads of incredibly cool things to try out, such as the ropes course, laser tag, and loads of other interactive exhibits. Be careful – it’s easy to lose a whole day in here!

WonderWorks detail, Pigeon Forge
WonderWorks detail, Author: Chris Harrison, Source: Flickr

End your day with a show!

A great way to end your trip to Pigeon Forge is to sit down and enjoy a nice dinner and an entertaining show. To do that, go see Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show.

Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show, Pigeon Forge
Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show, Author: T.V.A., Source: Flickr

The show itself has it all – live animals, pyrotechnics, and loads of laughter, plus you will be able to enjoy a spectacular Southern dinner along the way. It’s a real cherry on top of this whole trip, so booking a table in advance would be a smart thing to do, just to be sure you don’t miss out on this. Have fun!

Where to stay in Pigeon Forge?

Margaritaville Island Hotel

Margaritaville Island Hotel

131 The Island Drive, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

You will have quite a task on your hands if somebody asks you to find a better hotel than Margaritaville Island Hotel in Pigeon Forge. Not only is this place quite beautiful from the outside, with balconies that provide an amazing view, but it is also fabulously equipped and has everything you need for a comfortable stay. And an outdoor pool where you can hire private cabanas. The rooms have a fire feature, among other things, so you can organize a very romantic evening with your significant other here, too.


Courtyard by Marriott Pigeon Forge

Courtyard by Mariott Pigeon Forge

120 Community Center Drive, Pigeon Forge, 37863

If you want pools in your hotel, Courtyard by Mariott Pigeon Forge is the hotel for you. Not only does this place have an indoor and an outdoor pool, but it also has a lazy river for everyone to enjoy, as well as a hot tub for all its guests. The rooms are fabulously equipped too, with a huge TV, coffee machine and free toiletries. And to top everything off, you have some lovely trails right next to the hotel. In short, staying here will always be a great move.


LeConte Hotel & Convention Center

LeConte Hotel & Convention Center, Ascend Hotel

410 Pine Mountain Road, Pigeon Forge, 37863

LeConte Hotel & Convention Center, Ascend Hotel is a hotel located on a huge farm which has a lovely stream right in front of it. That alone should be enough to entice you. But there’s much more! The view of the Great Smoky Mountains is just stunning, and there’s a jogging trail for all of you who want to stay in shape. The suites are excellent with wonderful kitchens, and you can even get newspapers for free. The price is also pretty reasonable, so this hotel definitely provides great value for your money!


Mountain Breeze Motel

Mountain Breeze Motel

2926 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

Should you maybe be looking for something more affordable, you will want to check out Mountain Breeze Motel. This family-owned establishment has been around for more than 50 years, so you can rest assured you will get excellent service every single time. Not only that, but they have an outdoor pool too, serve delicious breakfast, and have a popcorn stand in the lobby! The rooms are neat and comfortable, and the location of the place is really good, so you’re in for a great time here.


Day trips from Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge is a great place for a longer stay, so if you’ll be visiting for more than one day, you may want to consider planning a day trip to some of the nearby fascinating places. There is plenty to choose from, and here are our suggestions to set you on the right track.


If you want to experience country music in all its glory, spending one day in Nashville is the best thing you can do. This wonderful city has a lot to offer and is a three hours’ drive from Pigeon Forge, so maybe getting a slightly earlier start would be wise. But you will get to see the Country Music Hall of Fame, enjoy some great food, and spend an amazing evening in the city if you decide to stay.

Smoky Mountains

If you’re a nature lover and like to hike, going to the Smoky Mountains National Park will be a dream come true. The place is just outside of Pigeon Forge, but you can easily spend a whole day there and still want more. Almost all of the mountains are covered in dense forest, with many fascinating animals, and there are also many camps to enjoy. Have fun!

Pigeon River rafting

It’s quite possible to spend an adrenaline-filled day here, too. Pigeon River is a great place for rafting, no matter if you’re looking for some exciting whitewater action or if you just want a simple cruise that the whole family can enjoy. Furthermore, you can go ziplining here, and there are many other activities to enjoy. So, if you’re looking for an active vacation, this is it!

Extra tips for visiting Pigeon Forge

– Traffic lights on the Pigeon Forge Parkway have numbers on them to help visitors get around much more easily. Use them to find the place you want to visit.

– Pigeon Forge has a trolley system that can be used to get to the main attractions, and it’s really cheap: a ticket for a single ride costs less than a dollar! That can save you a lot of money if you have your car with you as some of the main attractions charge for parking.

– Combo tickets are a thing! Yes, there are shows out there whose tickets give you discounts to other shows, such as Comedy Barn, Magic Beyond Belief, Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, and others. Purchasing a ticket for one of them may get you a discount for others.

– If you buy your Dollywood tickets after 3 PM, there is a good chance you will be able to come again tomorrow for free! Don’t forget to ask about this if you come to Dollywood in the afternoon!

Make sure you have everything you need

What to pack for your next trip?

Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.

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