Travel Guide

Travel Guide for Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley, Townsend & Gatlinburg

Spring Break Checklist: To Do

Rocky Top Mountain Coaster: Click to go to page.

Rocky Top Mountain Coaster

Wiz through the mountains and watch the spring wildflowers fly by at Rocky Top Mountain Coaster. It’s the longest coaster in East Tennessee and you can even visit at night for a thrilling excursion on the vibrant, colorfully lit mountain side.

Rocky Top Mountain Coaster
Adventureworks: Click to go to page.


Climb, zip and swing through the treetops at Adventureworks on the Sevierville parkway. The ropes course is great for families and groups of all ages, and you'll find different degrees of difficulty for beginners and experts alike.

NASCAR SpeedPark: Click to go to page.

NASCAR SpeedPark

Buckle up and get ready to race down the track! NASCAR SpeedPark is home to 8 go-kart tracks and a ton of other attractions. Start your engines and let your competitive side loose to find out who is the best driver and who just can’t keep up.

Nascar Speedpark
The Old Mill

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and have died in military service for our country. We are surrounded by Civil War history in East Tennessee. In the heart of Pigeon Forge, the Old Mill stands as a reminder of the tumultuous past of our area. During the war, the historic gristmill powered several looms which produced cloth to make uniforms for local Union volunteers.

Pigeon Forge Rafting

Reach For The Rapids

Memorial Day Weekend kicks off a long, hot summer in Pigeon Forge. The kids are out of school, temperatures are on the rise, and it is the perfect weekend to grab a raft and hit the water. Rafting trips begin on a day-to-day basis in March & April, with a full schedule of trips for most locations beginning in May.

Go Rafting

Relax On The River

Make a splash and take advantage of the warm spring weather at Smoky Mountain River Rat. Take the family on a tubing trip and enjoy a relaxing float down the Lower Pigeon River.

River Rat
Pigeon Forge Hotels With Water Parks

Lazier Rivers

Beat the heat and save some money on your vacation by booking a hotel with a water park. A hotel with a water park combines the comfort you want, with all of the entertainment they will need. Stress less about planning the perfect vacation, and enjoy your time floating down the lazy river.

Water Park Hotels
Smoky Mountain hikes with waterfalls: Abrams Falls

Spring Hikes

Spring is the time to get the whole family outside to enjoy the blossoming flora of the Smoky Mountains. We have picked spring hikes that are perfect for the entire family. Waterfalls, flowers & adventure await.

Go Hiking
Two kids fishing in a pond

Fishing Spots

Rivers and mountain streams offer guests a bevy of places to fish in the Smoky Mountains. There are two spots in Gatlinburg that are for children only. Mynatt Park and Herbert Holt Park which also offers a handicap accessible pier are both easy access trout fishing spots to teach your little one how to fish.

Go Fishing

Spring Car Shows

Car enthusiasts, collectors and thousands of spectators from all over the nation cruise to Pigeon Forge each spring to admire and show off a wide array of classic vehicles at various car shows throughout the season. With so many classic corvettes, broncos, mustangs, pontiacs and more available to view, plus massive swap meets and vendor gatherings, Pigeon Forge car shows are exciting for all attendees. Make plans to attend one of these great events during spring in the Smoky Mountains.

Spring Corvette Expo

March 15-16, 2024

In 1967 the Cooper brothers of Knoxville opened their corvette center in a 4 car garage with the main focus of repairing, painting, & customizing these incredible vehicles. A decade later, the Corvette Expo was born. The 35th anniversary of the event in 2012 made it the longest running corvette event in the nation continuously operated by the same owners.

Ponies In The Smokies

March 18-23, 2024

Ponies In The Smokies is an event run by T5 Productions that celebrates the Ford Mustang. Described as a "multi-day Mustang based event within the backdrop of The Great Smoky Mountains", Ponies In The Smokies is becoming one of the more popular rod run events of the season.

Ponies In The Smokies: Click to go to page.

Chevelles In The Smokies

March 2024 (Exact Dates TBA)

The Corvette Expo for 2024, Chevelles In The Smokies will be held inside the LeConte Center. This model was one of Chevrolet's most successful nameplates, with three generations of vehicle produced between 1964 and 1978. Chevelles will compete for the title of Best Of Show and Most Outstanding Chevelle in the Smokies.

Spring Rod Run 2024

April 18-20, 2024

Formerly called the Grand Rod Runs, the biggest Pigeon Forge car shows usually happen every year around April & September. If you plan to come to Pigeon Forge on a weekend of a car show not knowing, you may be a little overwhelmed by the hundreds of classic cars lining the parkway.

Grand National F-100 Show

May 16-18, 2024

The largest classic Ford truck show in the country returns this year at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Open to Ford trucks from 1996 and older, the event showcases these unique vehicles in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. Spectators can enjoy show vendors, a swap meet, and even an F-100 cruise.

50's Classic Chevy Cruise-In

May 16-21, 2023

A continuation of the old Chevy Classic Roundup, this new car show takes place at The Ramsey Hotel & Convention Center in Pigeon Forge and features classic Chevrolets from 1955, 1956, and 1957. Looking for that hard to find part for your own project vehicle? Visit vendors row for a wide variety of parts and technical support.

Pontiacs In Pigeon Forge

May 30 - June 1, 2024

This car show has been happening for well over ten years. If you want to see some of the most gorgeous Pontiacs around, be sure to check the Rod Run event schedule for the latest announcements on upcoming shows. This summertime car show is usually held at the LeConte Event Center.


GSM Jeep Invasion

August 24-26, 2023

Built on the heritage of the Willys CJ of the past, the Jeep Wrangler has grabbed the torch from its AMC/Kaiser cousin and kept the legacy burning bright. In celebration of this continued birthright, every year hundreds of Jeep Wranglers descend upon Pigeon Forge for a day of exhibitions and a group ride through the mountain passes.

Smoky Mountain Street Dreams

September 9-10, 2023

Smoky Mountain Street Dreams is a car and bike show taking place on September 9th & 10th. Visitors of this event will have the unique opportunity to view all makes and models of vehicles. There will be a swap meet, vendors, concessions, and live music for all to enjoy. So, come on out and experience two full days of cars and motorcycles. You don't want to miss this unique show!

Fall Rod Run 2023

September 14-16, 2023

If you love classic cars, then you’ve probably been to or heard of the famous rod run shows taking place in Pigeon Forge during the month of September. The participants in these car shows are so eager to get the weekend started that the parking lots of hotels on the Parkway begin to fill with classic cars on Tuesday of that week.

Spring Break Checklist: To Eat

Brick & Spoon: Click to go to page.

Brick & Spoon

Rise & dine at Pigeon Forge's Brick & Spoon, voted one of the top 10 breakfasts in the US by Travel + Leisure. The restaurant boasts a never-boring menu with traditional options to suit all ages, as well as a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar for brunch lovers.

Brick & Spoon
MonsterMash Burgers: Click to go to page.

MonsterMash Burgers

Sample some monstrous creations and freaky foods at MonsterMash Burgers. You’ll find uniquely themed burgers and hot dogs to satisfy your hunger including creations like a classic Squatch American Burger or a wild and crazy Yeti Doughnut Burger.

Knox Dough: Click to go to page.

Knox Dough

New to the Sevierville area, Knox Dough's edible cookie dough and rolled ice cream will satisfy any sweet tooth. Try classics like chocolate chip and Oreo or go for a specialty flavor like Tennessee Trash or White Chocolate Cheesecake.

Knox Dough


As the Smoky Mountains awaken from their winter slumber, shades of green begin to creep up the mountainsides and the hills are dotted with the colors of wildflowers as they bloom into existence. All of your senses come alive as smell, sound, taste and touch all harken to welcome in the season. Whether you are visiting to celebrate the resurrection of Christ or to relax with your family, we hope you will join us for one of our many Easter events.

Easter Events

Easter Beagle Express

Event Info

Zoo Knoxville's Big Egg Hunt

Event Info

Patriot Park Egg Hunt

Event Info

Easter Sunrise at Ober

Event Info

Event Central

A Mountain Quiltfest: Click for event details.

March 4-7

A Mountain Quiltfest

Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament: Click for event details.

june 13-14

Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament

Hands On Gatlinburg: Click for event details.

May 1-3

Hands On Gatlinburg

Smoky Mountain Wine Weekend: Click for event details.

May 1-2

Smoky Mountain Wine Weekend

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage: Click for event details.


Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

A tradition in the national park, the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage features professionally guided explorations throughout the Great Smoky Mountains. Pilgrims get the opportunity to study the region's rich natural resources, native wildlife, and cultural history. After nearly 70 years of this annual adventure, nature lovers of all kinds have come together to enjoy the outdoors and help build the national park's database with important information about the local environment and species that make up its habitat. Last year's pilgrimage - which included more than 800 people from more than 32 states - generated over 1,800 important observations for the park.

But the experience is much more than flowers; the 4 day event offers over 150 different programs for all interests, including photography & gardening workshops, bird sketching, salamander foray, nighttime bat walk & owl prowl, medicinal plant & edible mushroom walks, nature journaling, and more.

This event offers a rare opportunity for foresty scholars, average gardeners, botanists, professors, and anthophiles alike to come together and enjoy the outdoors while they also help advance the study and research of wildlife in our national park. [Event Info]

Earth Day 5K: Click for event details.

April 24

Earth Day 5K

Wilderness Wildlife Week: Click for event details.

may 5-9

Wilderness Wildlife Week

Bloomin' BBQ & Bluegrass: Click for event details.

may 15-16

Bloomin' BBQ & Bluegrass

Mermaids At Ripley's Aquarium: Click for event details.

may 25- sept. 7

Mermaids At Ripley's Aquarium

Spring Break Checklist: To See

Beyond The Lens: Click to go to page.

Beyond The Lens

Pop culture jumps out of the magazines at Beyond The Lens with all kinds of interactive games, photo ops, exhibits and more to explore. Don’t miss the crowd favorite Alien Egg Pit: a ball pit that grown-ups and kids alike are meant to enjoy.

Beyond The Lens
Zoo Knoxville: Click to go to page.

Zoo Knoxville

Elephants, tigers and gibbons - oh my! Take the journey about 30 minutes down the road from Pigeon Forge to one of East Tennessee's premier family-friendly destinations: Zoo Knoxville. If you're visiting around Easter, be sure to check out the Big Egg Hunt event in April.

Zoo Knoxville
Lumberjack Feud: Click to go to page.

Lumberjack Feud

Enjoy a high energy show and root on your team of jacks over at Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show on the Pigeon Forge parkway. You’ll witness competitive lumberjack sports in action, including axe throwing, chopping, sawing, speed climbing, log rolling and mor

Lumberjack Feud

Smoky Mountain
Travel Guide

School is out and hot, sunny summer days are ahead. It is the perfect time to take a trip to Pigeon Forge! Come beat the heat in the Smoky Mountains with ziplining excursions, afternoons at the swimming hole, sweet treats and more. There will be also plenty of fun events to take part in throughout the summer months including 4th of July festivities, the synchronous fireflies display and the Summer Jams Concert Series at the Island. There has never been a better time to take a summer vacation to Pigeon Forge!

Car Shows

Start Your Engines

Miss your favorite spring car shows? Check out the rescheduled events happening this summer.

Car Shows

Cool Off

We All Scream

Who doesn't love ice cream on a hot summer day?

Ice Cream

Annual Event

Best Of Pigeon Forge


New Adventures

Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Adventure

Stop by this thrilling show and adventure park and experience The Flying Ox zipline roller coaster, a lumberjack themed ropes course, and the all new Timber Towers, featuring two unique 80 foot free fall jumps.

More Info

Up In The Air

Gatlinburg Skylift Park

Find your favorite vantage point.

More Info

Hop On, Hop Off

Double Decker Bus Tours


More Info

See It All

Pink Jeep Tours


More Info

Do It Yourself

Explore On Four Wheels

Kick it into four-wheel drive with Smoky Mountain Jeep Rentals and explore the outdoors.

More Info

Have A Taste

Rocky Top Wine Trail


More Info


Multiple people in yellow intertubes floating down a river

Relax with your toes in the water as you float down the river in Townsend, or kick things up a notch with some whitewater rafting. You'll enjoy the Smoky Mountain views as you cool off in the water.

Read More →

Kid Hikes

Two kids hiking

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and hit the trails this summer with these hiking trails for kids. They are on the shorter side and feature hightlights that will keep exploring children engaged.

Kid Hikes →


Abrams Falls

When it is hot, these waterfalls will cool you off and leave you breathless. Check out these beauties we picked as our top waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains. They are delightfully magical.

Call To Action →

Featured Hike

Charlies Bunion

View from the top of Charlies Bunion
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Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and take a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Shady trails at a higher elevation provide a much needed break from the heat and a chance to explore what makes the area so special. If you are looking for a quieter trail and have some experience, a hike to Charlies Bunion may be just what you are looking for. It is a moderately challenging hike with steep drop-offs, uneven and rough terrain and lots of uphill climbing. It isn’t for the inexperienced or families with children, but taking it on provides a chance to get away from the crowds and enjoy some of the best views in the Smokies.

We took this hike mid-week and it was the perfect option. It wasn’t overrun by hikers, and it provided a challenging trek with beautiful, rewarding views. You’ll start at the Newfound Gap parking area and take two separate trails to reach the top. You'll pass the crossing for Sweat Heifer Creek Trail adter about 1.7 miles and The Boulevard trail at about 2.7. Along the way, we stopped for snack breaks and to enjoy stunning mountain views, wildflowers and bird sightings. It took around an hour and a half for us to reach the top at a steady pace. Near the end, we were greeted with a warning sign to watch your children before climbing further. This is a great opportunity to remind the clumsier members of your group to watch their step! Charlies Bunion is a large rock outcropping, and there is little forgiveness if you lose your footing.

To get on top of Charlies Bunion, you’ll have to do a little bit of easy climbing. It is worth it when you stand up and see the views in front of you. It’s easy to feel like you are on top of the world with the mountains sprawling out for miles in front of you, and the clouds resting just above your reach. Breathing in the fresh mountain air and listening to the birds chirping provides a moment of relaxation unlike any other. You won’t want to turn around, but take heart in knowing there are beautiful views all the way back down the mountain to guide you home.

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A picnic table by water

Whether you grab a bucket of fried chicken or bring all the fixings for a bar-b-que, you will love one of these top picnic spots in the Smokies. Just don’t let Yogi or Boo Boo steal your picnic baskets.

Picnic Spots →

Cool off this summer

Smoky Mountain style

People ziplining


A cool rushing breeze in your hair. The sounds of the zipping lines and you glide. The view of the treetops and mountains that are usually only for a bird’s eye. Let your senses soar with a zipline adventure in the Smoky Mountains.

Start Soaring
Child swimming underwater

Swimming Holes

Cool off this summer in one of nature’s top swimming spots. These swimming holes in the Smoky Mountains are fed by the fresh waters of mountain rivers and streams and treat visitors to a refreshing retreat during the hottest parts of summer.

Go Swimming
Ice cream cones and cups of ice cream

Italian Ice

A cold treat is just what you need after a hot day of fun in Pigeon Forge. Rita’s Italian Ice serves up all the fun with their fresh made Italian ice, custard and gelati. Your tastebuds will be dazzled by their fun flavors.

More About Rita's

Pigeon Forge Fall Travel Guide

When Do Fall Colors Peak?

Fall colors will start to develop above 4,000 feet around early October. The peak of color on mid & lower elevations begins in mid-October and early November.

If you are looking for fall things to do in Pigeon Forge, this is the most spectacular display of fall foliage in the park, with the turning of such trees as the sugar maple, scarlet oak, sweetgum, red maple, and the hickories.

Trees Of Many Colors

Created to showcase the seasonal beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee Mountain Tours' Trees Of Many Colors fall excursion brings visitors to a secret destination for premium autumn leaf-peeping. Don't worry about wading through onlookers; escape the hustle and bustle of touristy areas and seize the chance to take in some spectacular fall views.

Book Tour →

Hike It

Easier than most, this trail winds through a spruce-fir forest & opens to acres of grassy meadows and panoramic views. It's long enough to escape the crowds but short enough for the whole family to enjoy.

Hiking →

Andrews Bald

Morton's Overlook

See It

While you're on the open road, stop right off Newfound Gap Road and catch the sweeping views of fall scenery among Tennessee & North Carolina.

Overlooks →

Newfound Gap

Drive It

From Gatlinburg to Cherokee, this 33 mile road climbs over 3,000 vertical feet through the center of the National Park. Pullouts along the way reveal expansive scenic views.

Fall Drives →

Autumn At Anakeesta

Experience It

Experience the many colors of Autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains from Gatlinburg’s award winning outdoor family theme park this October. Enjoy seasonal food and drinks, games, and live entertainment. Beginning at sunset, thrill seekers can take a haunted ride on the Rail Runner mountain coaster. Join us on the weekends for a nighttime zipline experience as you fly through darkness 200’ above the forest floor. Bring the family to relax around the new fire pit or grab a bag of popcorn to watch a Halloween movie.

Anakeesta →

A View To Remember

Sit back and take in the splendor of fall in the Smoky Mountains from your private Smoky Mountain cabin. Quiet and serene, there is nothing better than watching the sun glimmer off of the reds, oranges and yellows of the fall foliage.

Cabins With Mountain Views
View of mountain fall colors from a cabin balcony

Fall Decor

Businesses in Pigeon Forge take decorating for fall pretty seriously. Beginning in September, many locations in the Smokies & along the parkway decorate their properties with the most amazing and creative fall displays. This tradition brings out friendly competition among businesses but also gives guests photo opportunities at every turn. Hop on the Pigeon Forge trolley and take a trip down the parkway to see the array of pumpkins, mums, and more!

Pigeon Forge fall decorations

Got S'Mores?

Change things up on your vacation this year with a luxury camper rental. Got S'mores RV Camper Rentals gives you the camping experience without all the work. You'll have everything you need at a great nightly rate, and they will even deliver the camper to the campground of your choice.

RV Rentals →

A Thrill Of A Ride

This October, hop onto Tennessee's scariest mountain coaster ride at Rocky Top Mountain Coaster. These Halloween-themed night rides are not for the faint of heart.

Event Info →

Smoky Mountain Llama Treks

Stunning autumn scenery and loveable llamas make up this unique hiking experience with Smoky Mountain Llama Treks. You won't regret booking one of their three excursions this fall.

Llama Treks →

Fire Tower Hikes

We guarantee that you've never seen the Great Smoky Mountains like this before. There are 5 magnificent fire towers (also known as lookout towers) scattered across the Smokies, and the hikes to reach them are worth the trek. Start with something easy like Look Rock, or dive into the hard stuff with a hike to the summit of Mount Cammerer.

Fire Towers →

Rocky Top Wine Trail

With five different wineries and countless flavor selections, the Rocky Top Wine Trail is an essential to-do for those over the age of 21. Your passport allows you to stop by each of the wineries for free tastings, unique activites and snacks.

Wine Trail →

Big Rock Dude Ranch

A great way to experience fall colors, horseback riding at Big Rock Dude Ranch is a thrilling activity for all ages. There's plenty of things to do: gem mining, a petting zoo, a fishing pond and more.

Big Rock Dude Ranch →

Get It To Go

Puckett's To Go Packs feature customizable family meals with cherry wood-smoked BBQ & Southern sides and feed 4-6 people for just $49. They come fresh & ready-to-eat; no cooking required. Add on sweet tea or homemade cobbler of the day. Order online here.

Puckett's →

Mama's Farmhouse

Voted Best Fried Chicken in the Smokies, Mama's Farmhouse is now offering chicken buckets to go. Make a day of it and head out to one of your favorite picnic spots in the national park. Browse their menu here.

Mama's Farmhouse →

Seasonal Spirits

Two jars of Smith Creek Moonshine

Smith Creek Moonshine

Spice up your season with some specially flavored moonshine. Smith Creek’s cinnamon flavored moonshine has a great kick, and their apple pie flavor will have you reminiscing about Grandma’s old recipe. More →


Apple Barn Winery

Made with apples grown on the property, The Apple Barn's white wine collection will remind you of the first bite into a freshly picked, crisp apple. Apple wines infused with raspberry, strawberry, & peach add a twist to sweeten up your visit. More →

Apple Spice Cocktail

  • 1 oz. Apple Pie Moonshine
  • 1 oz. Cinnamon Moonshine or Whiskey
  • 3 oz. Ginger Ale

Mix well and pour over ice. Garnish with a fresh apple slice and cinnamon stick.

- Event Central -

Fall Rod Run

sep 17-19

A spectacular 3-day event for any car enthusiast.

More →
Fall Rod Run: Click to go to page.

Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival

sep 22 - nov 11

A 12 week celebration of the fall season, kicking off with the annual chili cookoff.

More →
Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival: Click to go to page.

Dollywood Harvest Festival

sep 25 - oct 31

Carve out some time for fall's biggest event in the southeast.

More →
Dollywood Harvest Festival: Click to go to page.

Wears Valley Fall Fest

oct 16-18

Celebrate Autumn in the Smokies with fall colors, crafters, entertainers, activities and more.

More →
Wears Valley Fall Fest: Click to go to page.

Ripley’s Fright Nights

oct 2-31

Enjoy a howling good time at this creepy Gatlinburg attraction.

More →
Ripley’s Fright Nights: Click to go to page.

Ober’s Oktoberfest

sep 25 - nov 1

A month long festival featuring Bavarian-style food, drink and music.

More →
Ober’s Oktoberfest: Click to go to page.

Pigeon Forge Winter Travel Guide

Check out all the things to do in Pigeon Forge in the winter with our Pigeon Forge Winter Travel Guide! The magic of winter is blowing into the Smokies in December, January and into February. Bundle up and head to the Smoky Mountains. Glittering Winterfest light displays twinkle throughout our mountain town, holiday music and the smell of crackling fires fill the air and the warmth of Smoky Mountain hospitality is felt everywhere. These are the days to head to Pigeon Forge, TN. See our other travel guides!
Winter Travel Guide from

Winter In The Smoky Mountains

The beauty of the winter season brings cooler temperatures and holiday spirit but also smaller crowds and a change of pace. During the months of December, January and February, life slows down a bit in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains and harkens back to a time when things were simpler. Curl up in a cabin with a fireplace and unplug with the ones you love. There are plenty of things to do in the winter in Pigeon Forge but being together is the best one.

Pigeon Forge Winterfest: Click to visit website.

Photo Tip

For smartphone users, the key to getting a great shot in low light is holding the camera steady. Try leaning against a lamp post or resting your elbows on a bench. The other important thing is getting the right exposure. If you have an iPhone, you can adjust exposure in photo mode by tapping the screen (where the subject of the photo is) and then swiping down to make it darker. For more photo tips, check out our guide to taking pictures of Winterfest lights.

Colorful string lights on a wooden table
Smoky Mountain Winterfest

15 Million Lights

As the day begins to sink beneath the mountains, millions of lights begin to light up the night sky. It is easy to see why Winterfest in the Smoky Mountains draws visitors from around the country to see the wonderous display of sparkling lights. Displays of wandering wildlife, the twelve days of Christmas, seasonal characters and more illuminate the parkway and businesses across Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.

Holiday lights in the shape of Christmas trees

Let There Be Light Displays

Drive down the Pigeon Forge parkway and experience the magic of our famous Winterfest lights. Whether you start from the north or south end, this helpful map will guide you to your favorite displays in any direction. Use the plus & minus buttons to zoom in & out and click and drag the map to change your position. Scroll through the legend to read more about the displays, or click the icons on the map.



Pigeons In Flight At the north and south ends of the parkway, you'll be welcomed by these friendly avian displays.


Pigeon Forge Welcome Sign Lit up in Winterfest lights, this friendly and familiar marker will get you in the holiday spirit as you set off down the parkway.


Forging Winter One of the largest displays in the area (110 feet long & 21 feet tall), this structure is a tribute to Pigeon Forge's founding fathers.


12 Days Of Christmas As you drive down the parkway, you can find this visitor favorite between traffic lights #3 (partridge in a pear tree) and #7 (12 drummers drumming).


Winterfest Express You can find this intricate and colorful display right in front of the Mountain Breeze Motel, across the parkway from Crave Golf Club.


Fairytale Fantasy Just after the drummers drumming on the parkway, you'll find some familiar childhood characters like Mother Goose & Humpty Dumpty in animated displays between traffic lights #7 and #10.


Mill Scene This recreation of Pigeon Forge's classic Old Mill incorporates over 6,000 sparkling lights, a spinning waterwheel, & a flowing river.

Dolly Parton's Stampede icon

Dolly Parton's Stampede The 40 foot tree outside of Dolly Parton's Stampede takes 5 days to put up and decorate. This year promises some of the most lights ever.

Great Smoky Mountain Wheel icon

The Island You can spot the 200 foot Great Smoky Mountain wheel lit up in red, green, and white from the Pigeon Forge parkway.

The Old Mill icon

The Old Mill One of the oldest businesses in the area, The Old Mill welcomes you to Winterfest under the cascading string lights hung over the adjacent bridge.

Bell icon

Patriot Park The Americana themed displays at Patriot Park make up the largest collection of lights in the area.

Wonderworks W icon

Wonderworks You can't miss the upside-down house as you're traveling down the parkway. Wonderworks will be festively decorated and aglow with it's columns wrapped in bright red ribbons.

Santa waving from Ripley's Aquarium

Photo Op

Santa & the most beautiful Christmas tree make a great backdrop for your next family photo at Ripley's Aquarium.

Lots of colorful holiday candy and ornaments

Craving Candy

Get your holiday sugar fix at Crave Golf Club. The courses are turned into candy wonderlands for the season.

Car driving over a bridge decorated with holiday lights

Under The Bridges

There are three bridges with light displays you don't want to miss: Jake Thomas Rd., Old Mill Ave., & Dollywood Ln.

Always Festive

The Incredible Christmas Place is in the holiday spirit year-round, but you can't miss their special winter lights.



December is truly a time to get in the holiday spirit. Winter finally feels like it has arrived, and there are so many fun family activities to enjoy together. Take a winter getaway with your loved ones this season and check out some of these events.

All Events →


Ride The

nov 13 - dec 31

Train in the snow

At Dolly

nov 3 - jan 2

Christmas dolls


nov 21 - jan 2

lumberjacks chopping wood

Tour Of

nov 13 - feb 15

Bokeh holiday lights

Fantasy Of

dec 4

Golden bokeh holiday lights

Hatfield & McCoy

nov 1 - jan 2

Hatfield show cast


nov 13 - jan 31

Gatlinburg Skylift Park Christmas


nov 13 - jan 30

Bokeh holiday lights

Where To Find Santa Claus

  • The Polar Express: Hop on board and start your journey to the North Pole to see Santa himself.
  • Winterfest Celebration: Attend the 3rd annual Winterfest Community Celebration and enjoy Santa sightings and opportunities for photos.
  • Smokies Stadium: Visit Santa's workshop free when you buy tickets to see the lights at Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland.
  • The Incredible Christmas Place: It's no surprise that the south's largest Christmas store is visited by Santa every year.
  • Crave Golf Club: Part of Crave's Candy Christmas, Santa Claus will be available for photos on select dates in December.
  • Holiday Homecoming: Attend the annual Holiday Homecoming at the Heritage Center, where Santa Claus will make a guest appearance.
More Places →
Titanic Museum's grand staircase decorated for Christmas. Click for event info.
Image Courtesy of Titanic Museum

Titanic Winter Celebration

Beginning in November, the Titanic Museum Attraction will be decked out in glittering lights & festive decor that is guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. [ Tickets + Info ]

Trees decorated for Christmas. Click for event info.

Festival Of Trees

Celebrating its 46th year, this festival benefits the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains and showcases beautifully decorated Christmas trees and wreaths. [ More Info ]

Performers on stage. Click for info about holiday shows.
Image Courtesy Of Comedy Barn

Christmas Shows

Whether you love music, comedy, or a good ol' fashioned spectacle, these Christmas shows have something for everybody. This year you'll find a special celebrity appearance, a brand new magic show, a live nativity featuring real camels, and plenty of visits from Santa Claus. [ Tickets + Info ]


High On LeConte

LeConte Lodge sits upon an open glade just under Mt. LeConte's summit. At an elevation of about 6400 feet, it is the highest guest lodge in the eastern US. The only way to get there is on foot (there are 5 hiking trails), as there are no roads leading directly to the lodge, but the trek through the Smokies is worth it - you'll find some of the most spectacular views in all of the park. The lodge has been around since 1925 and is actually fifteen years older than the Great Smoky Mountains National Park itself. The team of caretakers at the lodge operate the website and blog High On LeConte, where they provide trail information, interesting tidbits, and gorgeous photos. This photo is one of our favorites from Christmas of 2017.

Misty mountain view from Leconte Lodge

Winter Hiking

During the winter, waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains create magnificent ice sculptures from the frozen rivers and streams. Leafless trees make for unobstructed views and the absence of crowds make for a peaceful experience. Bundle up and enjoy a winter hike in the Smokies. [ + Read More ]

Man hiking in the snow. Click to read about winter hikes.

Plan Ahead

Roads & facilities in the National Park close from time to time due to unsafe conditions & repairs. Know before you go:

Snowy roads of Newfound Gap

Safety Tip

Look but don’t touch! Do not stand on, go beneath or try to break off the ice from frozen waterfalls. They are slippery, unstable and can be very dangerous.

Snowy Rainbow Falls. Click to read about waterfalls.

Rainbow Falls in Winter

During an extended frozen spell, this 80 ft. waterfall creates an impressive and unique ice formation. Its beauty is breathtaking and creates the centerpiece for a magical winter wonderland. [ Waterfalls ]


Get Cozy

If the wintry outdoors are a little too chilly for your liking, consider making the lodging portion of your holiday trip to the Smokies part of the vacation in itself. Here are our top picks for where to stay this winter.

  • Cabins With A Fireplace: Who could deny the comforts of cozying up near a fireplace on a crisp winter evening?
  • Hotels With Indoor Pools: If you're traveling with the family, this is a great option. Indoor pools are a wonderful treat for kids looking to burn off some energy.
  • Cabins With A Hot Tub: Brace the chilly night air in your swimsuit and ease into a bubbling hot tub to take the edge off - it's worth it.

Play To Win

More than just video games, arcades in Pigeon Forge are full entertainment centers with laser tag, indoor mini golf, & virtual reality. You will stay toasty & dry indoors when the weather turns. [ Arcades → ]

Beyond The Classroom

Don’t tell the kids, but Pigeon Forge has many learning opportunities. By combining education & entertainment, many museums in Pigeon Forge take a fun approach to science & history. [ Museums → ]

Valentine's Day

Love Is In The Air

While there are many theories on the origin of Valentines Day, one thing we can all agree on is that is a time to celebrate love, friendship, and the joy of having other people in our lives. It’s a day of flowers, candy, and sharing time with those you cherish. For years, couples have flocked to the Smoky Mountains to share their love, celebrate their marriage, or rekindle their relationship. There’s something about these mountains that bring two people together.

Woman getting a massage

Riverstone Resort

Sink into relaxation and retreat from the busyness of life with a tranquil couple’s massage. Let the therapists at Riverstone Spa treat your senses and rejuvenate your body.

Two wine glasses clinking

Mountain Valley Winery

Enjoy a wine tasting at one (or all!) of the five wineries of the Smoky Mountain wine trail. Purchase a bottle to enjoy with your love on the deck of your cabin in Pigeon Forge.

Clingman's Dome

Catch A View From Clingmans Dome

Grab a cup of coffee and warm up to watch the sun rise. With an elevation of 6,643 feet, it is the perfect spot to watch the day begin with the one you love.

Cooked meat with herbs

Dinner For Two

Take your valentine on a romantic dinner date. Whether it's pizza for two or a candlelit dinner overlooking the river, just taking a moment to share time together is what Valentines is about.