Pigeon Forge vs Gatlinburg

Here in the Great Smoky Mountains, we have so many attractions to visit and often have too little time to see enough of the Smokies and all it has to offer. Dinner shows, amusement parks, race tracks, shopping malls, arcades, museums, nature and so much more. It is easy to see how this becomes overwhelming for our guests. Before your trip to the Smokies, you will want to do some in depth planning. Are you a group of adults looking to enjoy more adult themed activities? Are you planning on spending your time hiking? Do you have children who need entertainment to make the most of their vacation? So many questions to ask before you plan your trip to the Smokies. I am going to attempt to break down each area for you in hopes of making this decision easier for your planning needs.

Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge sits approximately 5 miles from Gatlinburg. Pigeon Forge offers a large variety of dinner shows such as Hatfield and McCoy, Dixie Stampede, Dolly Parton’s Adventures, Smith Family Dinner Theater and much more. Pigeon Forge is home to a very large variety of restaurants, both locally owned and franchised. This town is the home of Dollywood, Splash Country, Wonderworks and so much more! Pigeon Forge has more family friendly attractions in comparison to Gatlinburg. You will find Go Kart Tracks, arcades, shops and outlet malls throughout the town. Pigeon Forge stretches for approximately 6 miles with attractions and restaurants all throughout the town along the Parkway. Be sure to check out the historical area surrounding The Old Mill.


Much like Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg offers a variety of things to do in the area. Gatlinburg is the home of Ober Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe it or Not and much more. Gatlinburg also boasts a much more active night life than Pigeon Forge for the adult members of your party. Featuring distilleries, pubs and more, this town offers a great alternative for adults who are looking for a night out on the town. Despite its active night life, Gatlinburg also offers family friendly attractions and restaurants for a family-friendly evening on the town. Gatlinburg also offers a wide variety of natural areas to explore. With numerous nature trails to explore, this is a great location for those who love the outdoors! Gatlinburg offers a more unique shopping experience like arts and crafts in the historic Arts and Crafts 8-mile loop. Gatlinburg offers a much more eccentric shopping experience than Pigeon Forge in an older fashioned setting.

Pigeon Forge vs. Gatlinburg

If you are coming into town in search of a family adventure full of entertainment, with a dash of shopping, Pigeon Forge is going to be the best location for you. If you are in search of an adult’s night out on the town, with bouts of hiking, Gatlinburg would be better suited for your enjoyment. Being only 5 miles apart, you cannot go wrong with either destination.