Posted by Phil Rodgers in Things to Do
Ideally, your summer trip to the Smokies this year is a full week-long extravaganza, giving you plenty of time to do a lot of cool things - everything from an adventure in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to full days at multiple major attractions. And that would still leave enough time to fill in with shopping, shows, special events and dining out.
But if you've already spent your allotted chunk of vacation time this year or if you simply don't have multiple days to work with this simmer, you can still pack a lot into a one-day visit to Pigeon Forge. There are plenty of moving parts just in our one action-packed city to give you more options than you can take on. So here's just a sample itinerary for a one-day trip to The Forge that will cover a lot of bases.
It's not the newest or the fanciest pancake restaurant in town - and there are plenty to choose from - but this old-school eatery gets the job done just as it has for three generations now. Their made-from-scratch recipes cover the gamut of pancakery, most notably their famous Pineapple Upside-Down Pancakes. Also look for other traditional breakfast items like omelets, waffles, egg platters and more.
Here's a tame way to ease into the day while letting your breakfast settle at the same time. At Fantasy Golf, you can enjoy two 18-hole outdoor courses, both of which are endowed with a magic/fantasy theme. Look for fun features like dragons, castles, unicorns, caves and dinosaurs. They're open through October seasonally, and the prices are quite reasonable.
You can make one stop at The Island and check a lot of vacation boxes. Enjoy amusement rides like The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, which towers some 200 feet above the ground and offers up bird's-eye views of Pigeon Forge and the Smokies. Other attractions include a ropes course, SkyFly: Soar America - a motion-simulator ride, a carousel, an escape room and lots of rides designed just for smaller kids. And while you're there, you might stop in for lunch at Paula Deen's Family Kitchen and browse their unique collection of specialty shops.
Another Pigeon Forge place that has multiple experiences in store is Fun Stop Family Action Park. There's something for all levels of adventure, ranging from go-carts to ziplines. Also look for Skyscraper, a pendulum-style ride that reaches speeds of 60 miles per hour, and Slingshot, which does what the names suggests - slingshots you more than 120 feet straight up into the air.
You should have time to squeeze in a visit to our Pigeon Forge attraction, which stars live goats living on the roof of our main building. Visit them face-to-face upstairs or feed them from down below by pedaling our unique Goat Cycle. Our site also includes the thrilling Goat Coaster alpine roller coaster, gem mining and a shop stocked with hand-crafted gifts and food items.
After a rowdy afternoon, you might want to decompress a little before dinner. We suggest touring the historic Old Mill, which has been grinding meals and flours on the banks of the Little Pigeon River for nearly 200 years now. Old Mill Square also has a pottery studio and several specialty shops. While you're there, you might as well stay put and have dinner at The Old Mill Restaurant, overlooking the river. The views are great, and the food is even better. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, choose from a varied menu featuring Southern classics and other comfort foods prepared with down-home flavor.
You can wrap up your long day in Pigeon Forge with a visit to Dolly's Stampede, an arena-style dinner show that's been around for more than 25 years. The theme of the show is a friendly North-South rivalry, as teams of Blue and Gray go head to head in a series of equestrian events and other competitions. There's music, comedy, extravagant production values and an amazing multicourse meal that you can eat only with your hands.