Pigeon Forge Winterfest Trolley Tour of Lights

Pigeon Forge’s Winterfest Trolley Tour of Lights lets you take in the town in all its holiday glory with a narrated tour of the town, its streets and neighborhoods.

Is it possible to see 5 million Christmas lights in one night? Quite possibly, and Pigeon Forge is going to give their best shot at it with the town’s Winterfest Trolley Tour of Lights. It’s an easy way to get the holiday season started off right and get everyone in the spirit. It’s also a great way to tour Pigeon Forge and see some of the places that you might have missed just traveling down the Parkway. Let Pigeon Forge’s Trolley Ride of Lights be your guide to the holidays this season.

2017-2018 Dates

November 6, 2017 through February 28, 2018

And just so you know, just because it’s after New Years, doesn’t mean that Pigeon Forge stops celebrating. In fact, trolley rides will continue through the end of February, just so that we’re sure everyone will get their chance to see Pigeon Forge lit up in all its glory.

Pigeon Forge’s Trolley Ride of Lights is your chance to really take in every bit of the town’s holiday spirit with each trip you decide to take. The streets will be decorated with not only lights but garlands, candles, wreaths, Santas, and watch out for the mistletoe! The tour is completely narrated and the trolley itself is heated. Each trolley comes with its own personal tour guide whose stories about Pigeon Forge’s history are sure to amaze and wonder. Let us do the driving, we want you to be able to see all of Pigeon Forge’s holiday magic.

And just one other note, there must be a minimum of 15 passengers for the Trolley tour to begin. Tickets can be purchased upon arrival and reservations are required for groups of 10 or more. For any other information, call 865-453-6444 and enjoy the lights!

Don’t Just Stop in Pigeon Forge, It’s Ski Season in Gatlinburg!

Skiing at Ober Gatlinburg is just a quick trip down the parkway in Pigeon Forge.

Put down your shopping bags for awhile and hit the slopes at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort this weekend! The outlets will still be there when you’re done!

If your plan is to ski while in Pigeon Forge during your next vacation, or Smoky Mountain getaway, then the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort is where you need to be. Ober is the only ski resort in Tennessee, so if you’re looking for more choices best keep on going to North Carolina, or on toward West Virginia. But here in the Smoky Mountains, Ober Gatlinburg is where folks come whether their staying in Gatlinburg, shopping in Pigeon Forge, or visiting Sevierville.

And don’t think there won’t be something for everyone. Ober Gatlinburg is a family ski resort that has a myriad of activities. If part of your family doesn’t ski or snowboard, take a few laps around the ice skating rink, go play in the arcade, take a trip down the alpine slide, the scenic chair lift, and more. Even the older folks have something to do as they can sit by the fire in the lounge or even “people-watch” around the ice skating rink. Ober’s been a Smoky Mountain staple since 1962 when it comes to entertaining family, friends, and even that hard to please uncle, aunt or grandparent.

When you arrive at Ober Gatlinburg you’ll have two options to get you to the top. Guests can either ride the aerial tramway (which happens to be the largest aerial tramway in America) from downtown Gatlinburg, or drive up the mountain on Ski Mountain Road. Simply turn at traffic light No. 9 on the south end of Gatlinburg (closest to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park) and follow the winding road (Ski Mountain Road) all the way to the top…but have cash in hand for parking. A bit of advice – the earlier you go, the better. The are three tiered parking lots and you’ll have a better shot at getting a space at the top near the resort. Otherwise, it’s quick hike from one of the lower decks.


Dollywood’s Eagle Mountain Sanctuary

The Eagle Mountain Sanctuary on Dollywood’s property is the largest aviary of non-releasable Bald Eagles in the world.  These eagles have been wounded in the wild, or orphaned in their nests and brought to East Tennessee to be raised in captivity and cared for by the good people of the American Eagle Foundation.  Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is located in Craftsmens Valley across form the blacksmith’s shop, right next to the Wings of America Theater.  This makes it easy to find and of course the ability to look up the side of the mountain and watch eagle sin nature on the side of the Great Smoky Mountains is simply wonderful.

As you walk toward the netting that is used to protect the eagles and keep them safe inside the sanctuary you will feel as if you are stepping out of yourself, and certainly stepping out of Dollywood.  It is almost otherworldly.  The eagles have built nests and inherited nests on the side of this mountain.  You get a feel for the enormity of the nests, the size of these beautiful creatures.  You also get to hear them as they interact.

You might even hear the eagles before you see them on the mountain.  They screech and chirp to each other making the wonderful noises you will ever hear.  They are very social animals.  They do not usually live in quarters quite this tight but they seem to get a long and they are well cared for.  The eagles in the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary are being rehabilitated or can simply not be released back into the wild.  This is as close as you will ever get to a bald eagle.

Unless of course, you turn around and go to the smaller pens near the eagle gift shop.  Here some of the more well behaved eagles are in smaller enclosures that allow you to get much closer to the eagles and see them moving around and interacting with their environment.  Especially for young people and people that have never seen eagles before this is a treat and you will find that you spend countless minutes watching the birds hop and flit from tree to tree.

The Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is one of the most wonderful attractions and exhibits in Dollywood.  They have an amazing exhibit and they do a great deal of good for the bird that is the symbol of our country.  It is hard to believe that some of these eagles have been injured by hunters and cannot return to the wild but it is good to know that the professionals that are taking care of them have the best interest of the eagles at heart.

Old Mill General Store

Milled Corn Meal and More!

Every town in the Smokies had a small general store that supplied the goods that people needed to exist in the shadows of the mountains.  In Pigeon Forge, the mill was also the site of the general store.  As the town grew, the people that run the Old Mill Restaurant decided to keep this general store idea going and you can stop next door to the locally famous restaurant and do some shopping for everything from corn meal, that was milled by the water wheel, to area souvenirs.  The Old Mill General Store is one of those places that everyone needs to stop at, at least once, while they are vacationing in Pigeon Forge.

When you are driving through Pigeon Forge you will notice a sign at traffic light 6 for the Old Mill and Patriot Park.  Turn onto Old Mill Avenue and after you drive past Outback Leather (on the right), you will see a gigantic water wheel on the right hand side of the road.  Pull into the parking lot for the Old Mill General Store and the Old Mill Restaurant and head inside.

The general store has a little bit of everything, like general stores of old.  Jams, jellies, cookbooks, souvenirs and of course sacks of flour and corn meal line every wall.  Right as you come in the door you will be presented with everything Pigeon Forge. From collectibles to t-shirts, bumper stickers to toys, there is a souvenirs for all of those people that you left at home when you went on vacation.  Browse through the aisles.  Make your way around the store and you will find yourself confronted with rows and shelves covered with edibles.  Jams and jellies from the foothills of the Smokies, cookbook from churches and organizations in the area (maybe even one by Dolly Parton herself) and of course flour and corn meal.

If you have never had flour and corn meal ground fresh in an old fashioned mill, get a bag of flour or meal while you are at the general store.  You can watch the meal work while it is operation during the day, see the corn and wheat getting ground.  Watch as the folks that run the mill go through the process of making a product that has been produced in this location since 1830.

Stop at a traditional general store.  Do some shopping.  Learn a little more about how to mill flour and corn meal.  Experience history.  All this and more at the Old Mill General Store.

Old Mill General Store
160 Old Mill Avenue
Pigeon Forge TN 37863

Free Show Tickets for Pigeon Forge

This contest has ended.

If you haven’t heard of the Inside Pigeon Forge Getaway Giveaway yet, then you’re just in time! The final details are going into place for this exciting contest that will give you the chance to win an incredible entertainment package that will get you and your family into many shows in Pigeon Forge, TN for free! I can’t release the exact shows, but it’s more than 1… more than 2… more than 3… not 4… keep going! I can also tell you that if you have a family of 4, you won’t have to spend a penny to get into these shows! If there are only two of you…you can go twice! If it’s just you, well, go see each show four times! This is simply too good and too easy to pass up.

Dollywood’s Blazing Fury

Fire in the Hole!

Blazing Fury is one of the oldest rides at Dollywood.  Built in 1978, this ride has been in operation since Silver Dollar City took over the park but before it even became Dollywood.  This steel enclosed roller coaster tells the story of a small mining town that is on fire and the people of the town are, comically in some cases, trying to put it out.  This enclosed ride is one of the few rides in the park that can be ridden in almost any weather.  It can be pouring buckets of rain outside, and you can still ride the Blazing Fury without fear of getting wet… almost.

The premise behind the Blazing Fury is that you are on a ride, in a mine car, through a little mining town in the mountains.  The mine and the town have caught faire and you are watching the people of the town try and put out the flames.  The ride was built in the 1970s and some of that nostalgia and style are still evident today.  Dollywood, due to the popularity of the ride, has done little to attempt to change it over the years.  At times, the crepe paper flames, the mannequin like denizens of the town and voice acting still speak to the time when the ride was opened, but that is part of the fun.  Also, if you have been to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO then you might have ridden its sister ride:  Fire in the Hole.

The ride itself is very simple.  The cars that you ride in are powered.  They pull themselves up the winding track with the help of tires on the track to move them along on the steeper sections.  The cars take the drops with the assistance of gravity.  At the end of the ride, the culmination of the ride, is an 18 foot drop into pitch blackness.  The suddenness of the drop and the fact that the ride gets darker as it progress leaves you wanting another go on the Blazing Fury as soon as you get off.  You will see people all day rushing to get back in line for another trip.

The Blazing Fury is located in the Craftsmens Valley section of the park.  If you are headed up the valley toward the Tennessee Tornado, you will pass the Blazing Fury on the way.  If you have gotten to the Tornado by way of Adventure Pass, continue down the valley and you will pass the Blazing Fury on the right as you head down away from the Tornado and the games area at the top of the valley.

So, when you are at Dollywood, the next time you are vacationing in Pigeon Forge, take a ride on the only completely enclosed steel roller coaster at Dollywood, the Blazing Fury.  Watch for the nostalgic props that were used to create this ride in the 1970s.  Listen for the throw back to Silver Dollar City at the end of the ride when you here the lineman shout:  Fire in the Hole.  Take a ride back to a simpler time in the parks history.

Smoky Mountain Car Museum

The Smoky Mountain Car Museum is one of the oldest attractions in Pigeon Forge. They have been presenting vintage and celebrity cars since 1956.

The Smoky Mountain Car Museum closed in 2012. Information below is maintained for historical purposes.

One of the oldest and longest running attractions in the Smokies is the Smoky Mountain Car Museum.  This family run museum has one of the best collections of cars and Americana memorabilia that you will ever see.  From the cars that started the automobile craze in the US to cars that have become icons of the hot rod era and of course some celebrity cars as well, this museum is a roadside attraction that you have to see at least once while you are visiting Pigeon Forge.

The Smoky Mountain Car Museum opened in 1956 on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge and though the area around the museum has changed over the years, the museum has remained a staple attraction, year after year.  The collection that you see inside has been selected to represent cars from different eras of history and the collection does change occasionally so you never know what you might get to see.  Cars that feature a change in the making or driving of cars.  They have also managed to pick up cars that were once owned by celebrities – throughout the years they have one of Elvis’ Mercedes, a James Bond Aston Martin and Hank Williams Jr’s Silver Dollar Cadillac.

Here are just a few of the cars in the collection:

  • 1910 Brush Model D – Runabout
  • 1915 Harley Davidson
  • 1947 Indian Chief
  • 1959 Ford – Custom Police Interceptor
  • 1970 Plymouth Superbird Winged Warrior
  • 1915 Ford Model T
  • 1930 Dussenberg – Model J
  • 1937 Packard – V-12 Convertible
  • 1971 Mercedes Benz Model 280 SEL – owned by Elvis Presley

Along with the cars there is also an ever-growing collection of Americana.  Burma Shave signs to lit gas pumps, you will take a walk down memory lane as you browse through all the advertising pieces and vintage signs on the wall.  If you are a collector of tin signs and advertising pieces from early in the 20th century, there is no other place for you to go in the Smokies, except for the Smoky Mountain Car Museum.

If you have a gearhead in the family or if you would just like to take a trip down memory lane, you need to make sure that you are in line to see the Smoky Mountain Car Museum.  They are open from early spring through late fall so there is always plenty of time to visit.  Right next door to Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf and seconds from outlet mall shopping, there is always plenty to do in this part of Pigeon Forge.  It is also a good idea to call ahead of time, because their schedule does change from time to time.  Take a step out of the ordinary for your next visit to the Smoky Mountains.  Give the Smoky Mountain Car Museum a try and walk amongst vintage cars, motorcycles and history.

Smoky Mountain Car Museum
2970 Parkway
Pigeon Forge, TN

4th of July in Pigeon Forge

Complete information and schedule for the 4th of July in Pigeon Forge, TN. Get details on all of the free activities for the Fourth of July Patriot Festival in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

If you plan on being in Pigeon Forge, TN for the 4th of July, the town’s Patriot Festival is something you’ll probably want to check out. The Annual Patriot Festival happens on July 4 at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. This will include free concerts and fireworks for the entire family to enjoy. Here’s what to do:

July 4th:
The action starts at Patriot Park at noon with country superstar John Anderson headlining the event that evening. This event is at Patriot Park in the middle of Pigeon Forge… behind the Old Mill. There will be tons of free activities for kids starting at 12 pm, which will be dubbed “Kid’s Karnival”. Other performers that day include Chris Janson, a rising country singer; Rural Rhythm Records siblings and bluegrass band The Roys, hometown favorite Jimbo Whaley & The Greenbrier; The Return a Beatles tribute band; music from the Pigeon Forge Community Chorus, and the cast of Grand Majestic Theater will give a salute to our country’s Armed Forces.

Food vendors will also be at the event to give you and your family a chance to refuel and enjoy the entire day (the food is one of the only thing at the event that isn’t free). You could also leave the event (since it’s free) and head to one of the best restaurants in Pigeon Forge.

The festivities conclude at 10 pm with an awesome fireworks display that never disappoints. This thing gets bigger and better every year! The location of the fireworks in Pigeon Forge has moved over the years from Patriot Park to an area behind “fast food strip” where McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Arby’s, etc are. Stay tuned for the exact location so that you can get the best possible viewpoint for your family. This will definitely be an awesome way to spend the 4th of July in Pigeon Forge, TN with your family! Be sure to also check out our article on how to avoid traffic in Pigeon Forge.

Also, if you’ll be in Gatlinburg, TN on July 3rd, you might want to see the 4th of July midnight parade in Gatlinburg, which begins at midnight on July 3rd and is considered the first 4th of July parade in the world.

Dollywood’s Great American Summer

It’s going to be a Great American Summer at Dollywood! Well, isn’t it always? In reality it is, but this happens to be a certain new initiative in which Dollywood’s operating hours are extended daily to 10 pm.

Start the day out with a live performance of the Star Spangled Banner and end it with a spectacular fireworks show titled, Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors. Dollywood’s rides come alive like never before! Its Wild Eagle, Thunderhead, Mystery Mine, and Tennessee Tornado under the moonlight.

Dollywood has been providing families with a great Smoky Mountain experience since 1986 when it took over the former Silver Dollar City. Dolly’s core values are reflected in the theme that bares her name, values that include faith, family, and fun.

Speaking of fun, there will be plenty of it to go around this summer. It all starts with the park’s newest attraction, River Rush, located at Dolly’s Splash Country right next door.

As for Dollywood theme park, shows like “My People: Dolly’s Letter Home” headline the new attractions at the park. If you come from a musical family, you’ll enjoy this show, which includes several members of her family. “My People: Dolly’s Letter Home” is scheduled to opens in early May. Elsewhere on the new show bill, “The Great American Country Show” opens around the same time.

Dollywood’s emphasis on live entertainment has earned plaudits — including, for the past four years, Golden Ticket Awards for Best Shows. Golden Ticket Awards are presented by the trade publication Amusement Today, which last year gave Dollywood top honors for Friendliest Park, Best Food and Best Christmas Event. The park likewise earned a Best New Ride nod for its Wild Eagle roller coaster.

Parton’s music also will be featured in “Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors,” a nightly fireworks display. Along with expanded park hours, the show is part of Dollywood’s new Great American Summer promotion, which runs June 22-Aug. 4.

Love Running 5K’s? Come to Pigeon Forge!

If you’re into running 5K’s, you might want to check into all that Pigeon Forge has to offer. Not only are they gearing up for the annual February Freeze on Feb. 9, a few other 5K’s are currently in the works. And not to leave anyone out, Pigeon Forge’s next door neighbor Sevierville completes their calendar year with the annual Santa Hustle 5K run at the Wilderness resort each December.

Recently, the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission took up just that exact subject. The Smoky Mountain area has shown a renewed interest planning for a number of yearly 5K’s that you really just didn’t a handful of years ago.

The first 5K event on the list is actually a race that has been run before, and many would like to keep it that way. Titled the Preserving the Mountain in Me 5K, which is put on by the environmental group Keep Sevier Beautiful, it’s an annual Pigeon Forge 5K that is scheduled this year for April 27. For anyone interested, the race will begin in the city parking lot and end on the Pigeon Forge Greenway.

“Showcasing the greenway is a big part of our mission,” said Laura Howard, executive director of Keep Sevier Beautiful. “It’s an underutilized part of our community. It’s a great area that shows off our natural beauty.”

Races like Preserving the Mountain in Me are “a great way to raise awareness and generate funds,” Howard said. “It’s also about getting our citizens outside and into some physical activity.”

Also on the planning commission’s agenda is the 5K in May, a May 4 race that will benefit Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries.

So as you can see, Pigeon Forge is gearing up for a year that could feature as many as three 5K’s within the first half of the year. Couple those with Sevierville’s Santa Hustle 5K in December and you’ve pretty much got a runner’s paradise in the Smoky Mountains. Next time you feel like runnin’, lace up your sneakers come on over to Pigeon Forge. You’re bound to run into a 5K on the way.