If you’re planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains, chances are you’ll be choosing between two of the most popular Tennessee towns for your stay: Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Both towns are great vacation destinations, and they’re right next to each other, with just a few minutes drive between the two towns. Both towns are close to the mountains, have breathtaking views, are full of activities and attractions, but each one has unique features that may influence your decision where to stay.
Top Attractions in Gatlinburg
- The Arts & Crafts Community Trail
- Tunes and Tales
- Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort and Year-Round Mountain-Slope Getaway
- Anakeesta Theme Park
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
- Gatlinburg Space Needle
- Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery & Other Distillery Tours
Top Attractions in Pigeon Forge
- The Island in Pigeon Forge
- Titanic Museum Attraction
- Dinner Shows: The Hatfield & McCoy Show, Dixie Stampede Show & Others
- Arcades, Mini Golf & Go-Karts
- Horseback Riding
Choose Gatlinburg if …
Gatlinburg is a quaint town below the backdrop of the Smoky Mountains. Enjoy restaurants, steakhouses and fine dining, along with hand-made arts and crafts, and outdoor-themed sports and hiking shops.
Gatlinburg’s downtown is small and concentrated. It’s clustered, it’s quaint, and it’s a walking town. You can park your car and walk wherever you want to go.
Choose Pigeon Forge if…
Pigeon Forge is known for Dollywood, an amusement theme park. Another attraction is The Island, a shopping and entertainment complex, complete with rides, top-notch dining (Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant & Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen), and much more. Sky Fly is it's latest exhilarating addition.
Pigeon Forge is spread out, so you’ll need a car to get around.
Both towns have a trolley system that can take you along the Parkway in both towns, as well as Dollywood and the national park.