With a permanent population of just over 6,000, Pigeon Forge is a major tourism force in the area for such a small town. The likely biggest reason for this is that it’s home to Dollywood, a theme park, water park, and museum dedicated to country music icon Dolly Parton, who happened to grow up in a Tennessee mountain home herself. It is a bustling tourist town with a commercial feel, with tons of massive shops and restaurants.
Pigeon Forge is located just outside of the Smoky Mountains area, a 20-minute drive to be precise. There, you’ll have access to all the fun natural activities you’d expect. There’s incredible white water rafting, hiking, and camping, as well as numerous lodges and cabins that offer rentals. There are also resorts and hotels. Pigeon Forge is arguably the tourism capital of this area, bringing in massive numbers of people and serving as a must-visit along the way to Smoky Mountain.