First time to Smoky Mountains, any help is appreciated.....

June 7, 2016, 7:32 AM

I am going this July with my wife to Pigeon Forge area this July as our Honeymoon. We are trying to save up to buy a house afterwards so going any place real exotic/expensive for this trip like Jamaca is out of the question.

We are staying in Pigeon Forge for the week and already got accommodations. We've already set up a dinner at the Hatfields and McCoys, Bus Tour of the Smoky Mountains (3 Hour), and probably a full day at Dollywood. Lightning Rod is calling my name..... The question I have is the attractions and where to eat to fill up 5 days in Pigeon Forge area?

We like museums, zoos, ameusment parks, and nature. We're not a big fan of water parks, taking long hikes, zip line, or actual white water rafting. I have a disability that keeps me from walking large distances. I'm still able to walk around Cedar Point for the day but my feet are killing me the next day. So hikes for very long is not an option and Gatlinburg might be tough but I heard there is a trolley system. Does it have a set stopping points or can you pick it up like hailing a cab in New York City? Any other shows you might suggest? Anything too touristy or not worth the time? Any at or near the quality at Universal or Disney?

My wife is really into 19th century England style and was thinking the Biltmore Estate but that's 2 hours away already a 7 hour road trip. That might be a little to far for me to drive. Has anyone been to the Biltmore Estate and is it worth it? She's also into Zoos and have one of the best in the nation in our backyard but wants to see the rainforest zoo in the area and maybe the ripley's aquarium. We have been to the Newport Aquarium in Cincinnati are weren't impressed. To much for too little equals not a happy experience.

I know expecting Univeral or Disney quality and quantity is unrealistic but was hoping to find that nitch where we don't aimlessly go from one tourist trap to the next on our first visit to the smoky mountains. Thanks for any information in advance.

Replies (2)

June 9, 2016, 2:09 PM

Within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park there's several short hikes to waterfalls. I'd definitely check those out. It's also definitely worth setting aside some time to drive through the park. There's a loop you can do where you can see lots of old houses from the pioneers in that area.

There's a strip of tourist-y things in either Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. Check out what they have there and see what interests you. Lots of good rainy day activities.

Also, Pancake Houses. They're everywhere, and they're all really fantastic. Don't get that confused with the Waffle Houses. These are independent restaurants. You can't miss them. And, if you happen to come by the Smoky Mountain Trout House, it's one of the best meals I've ever had.

Hopefully this helps! Have fun on your trip!

June 10, 2016, 6:49 AM

Apologies for hijacking this thread for my own Smoky Mountain questions... I was planning to hit Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge next summer with my 4 kids (13,11,10,5) and wife. Any suggestions for cool stuff to do other than Dollywood? Even the touristy-y stuff is fine.

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