Best of Tennessee
Day Trip to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

We have a lot of fun in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, even though we only have fewer than 10 hours to expore these beautiful places.

Our family visits two of the famous tourist spots of Tennessee; Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. We are visiting for one day and we know what that entails.  There is limited time, and there is an array of destinations and activities to be had.

Where we stay at night

On the night before our excursion, we arrive at Pigeon Forge. We rested at the beautiful Black Fox Lodge Tapestry Collection by Hilton. It is pricey but worth it. Most important of all is that we have a restful sleep for the long day coming.

Entrance to the Black Fox Lodge Tapestry Collection by Hilton in Pigeon Forge Tennessee
Entrance to the Black Fox Lodge Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Exploring Pigeon Forge

We have breakfast at the famous Old Mill and Restaurant. While dining, we have a view of the river. Admittedly, our breakfast order is not really impressive. But, it is said that they serve hearty southern meals such as BBQ ribs and fried chicken. However, we love the taste of the cute banana muffins that are complimentary.

Old Mill and Restaurant Pigeon Forge
The river by the Old Mill and Restaurant. Several people come here to fish. While we are eating, we see a lot of ducks whiling away on the peaceful spot of the river.

We then head downtown to see the beautiful spots lined up along the highway. Pigeon Forge has many attractions such as park rides and unique buildings. It is like a Las Vegas strip, without much gambling. There is a Tanger Outlet and we did not miss checking out the shops in there. 

Upside down building in Pigeon Forge
This is one spot that will catch a tourist's eye when in Pigeon Forge. A very unique architecture. We see people going inside, seems like a museum of some sort. Interestingly, on the horizon, you can see another special building. This strip downtown is full of wonders.

Having fun in Gatlinburg

Half a day later after Pigeon Forge, we head to Gatlinburg to experience a different kind of adventure. The town is located at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is bustling with people, shops, and attractions. Parking spots are scattered around town, so one less problem for us.

SkyLift and SkyBridge Gatlinburg

Firstly, we ride the SkyLift going to the top and walk the Gatlinburg Skybridge. The bridge is a suspension type and very long. While it is not scary to us, some people are terrified of crossing the bridge. Halfway through, the pathway becomes glass and we see how far we are from the ground. At the top, we face the mesmerizing beauty of the Great Smoky Mountain.

Ripley's Believe It or Not

After the SkyBridge, we head next to Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum (also try Ripley’s…) We learned about Mr. Ripley’s fascination for the extraordinary. There are statues of the tallest and the shortest person. We see a demo of how to shrink a human head. Being there begs the question, do you believe it or not? There is so much to learn in the museum but we have to end our tour abruptly because it is nearing the end of the day.

Inside Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Gatlinburg
A believe it or not moment is when we learned about how these warriors "shrink" their enemies' heads and make them priced possessions. We can't believe we actually stop to watch a video of the whole process. Disgusting yet fascinating!

Eat at Bubba Gump

Obviously, doing all these activities made us famished. So we head to a Bubba Gump restaurant. This is our first try at this famous restaurant. Forrest Gump belongs to my favorite movies of all time, and clearly, being in the restaurant is like watching the movie again.

Bubba Gump Gatlinburg
Having a fill at Bubba Gump in Gatlinburg after unintentionally starving ourselves. Our last meal was at breakfast, we were not able to squeeze in having a meal because of a tight schedule. The food was sumptuous and the place is so reminiscient of the film Forrest Gump.

Farewell Tennessee

This concludes our short and sweet trip to Tennessee, specifically Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Alas, we are heading home and our stop is Atlanta. 

Captivating mountains

Nevertheless, we do not want to skip basking in the wonder of the Great Smoky Mountains. We drive through the towering trees, seeing all the rivers and tiny creeks along the way. Several hikers and adventures enjoy every bit of nature we see as we pass by.

At the top of the mountains, we are even more awestruck by nature’s vastness and sheer beauty. Moreover, it is the golden hour. Fortunately, we have witnessed the sun retiring on the horizon, with its golden rays slowly fading behind the mountaintops.

Great Smoky Mountains Gatlinburg
Photo by Joshua Woods on Unsplash

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