Pigeon Forge – Vegas for kids

Zorb Smokey Mountains is located in Pigeon Forge, TN. It’s a place I had never heard of and it seems the NYC bubble was keeping an interesting place off my radar. Often people not from large cities think that the people in large cities are out of touch with what goes on in other places, sometimes it is true. I actually only know one person who knows what Pigeon Forge is, everyone else I know couldn’t even figure out why you would go to Knoxville let a lone Pigeon Forge.

Pigeon Forge struck me as the type of place that people who live within a half days drive might go to for a family summer vacation. It’s Vegas for kids! Driving down the main road in Pigeon Forge is like a miniature Las Vegas Blvd. The road is lined with chain restaurants, mini golf, souvenir shops, hotels, go-cart places, arcades and other random attractions for families. It’s cheesy middle america and I loved it! There is also Dollywood and its water park. A family could spend a week here as long as they bring plenty of money. I overheard someone from my hotel say that he goes there every other month, I suspect that he’s not unusual. There’s a lot of fun things to do there and while it’s not fancy, it’s entertaining. Pigeon Forge also has a couple different outlet centers. I went to one small one but wasn’t impressed with it, I didn’t even get out of my car. I went to the Tanger Outlet and that had a much better selection of stores. I didn’t have much room in my luggage, but I did get a couple things there.

5 miles south of Pigeon Forge is Gattlinburg. Gattlinburg is a nicer area, though similar to Pigeon Forge in some ways. It’s more of a walking type of place, a smaller main road and a quainter feel. The road is lined with hotels (if I went back I would look to get a hotel on the river with a view of the river), restaurants and shops. There are also touristy activities – Rippleys Believe it or Not, a Wax museum, and you can take a chair lift to the top of a mountain. I didn’t do too much when I was here as I had already spent quite a bit of money that day. I think Gattlinburg is a better place for older children and adults, but either way it’s a nice spot to spend some time if you’re in the area.

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