Why Southerners Should Visit Pigeon Forge This Christmas—And It's Not Just for Dollywood
This Smoky Mountain getaway comes with a hefty dose of holiday cheer.
If cozying up among wintry mountain peaks, taking trolley rides through five million twinkling lights, and watching A Christmas Carol performed by the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens himself sounds like a holiday dream, this Smoky Mountain getaway might just give those dancing sugar plums a run for their money.
Pigeon Forge is largely heralded as the home of country superstar Dolly Parton's personal playground (Read: amusement park), Dollywood, but this mountain town takes Christmas by storm in a way all its own. This week, it officially kicked off its holiday celebration known as Winterfest, which runs from early November through the end of February.
Stay at the Tennessee inn that celebrates Christmas year-round.
More than five million lights reign over the festivities throughout the town, but the spot that inarguably deserves to be your holiday home base is the Tennessee resort that celebrates the holidays all year long. The Inn at Christmas Place is unabashedly decked out year-round, with its traditional Glockenspiel playing Christmas carols on the ringing of every hour and Santa paying visits and singing carols almost daily.
Every year, the resort welcomes Gerald Charles Dickens, great-great-grandson of literary master Charles Dickens, to perform a re-enactment of A Christmas Carol, while those staying in the Santa Suite will get a visit from the jolly Man in Red himself.
Experience "real" snow, even if it's 80 degrees outside.
While Southerners don't expect to see many snowflakes during the holidays, Pigeon Forge comes up with a clever solution: Pigeon Forge "Snow." The facility welcomes travelers with 15 lanes of year-round indoor tubing on real (albeit manufactured) snow, with temps inside staying at a comfy 60 to 70 degrees.
Venture around town for Christmas-filled adventures.
Less than fifteen minutes away, Gatlinburg hosts trolley rides full of twinkling displays, while back in Pigeon Forge, a driving tour takes you through its collection of five million holiday lights.
The Island at Pigeon Forge, a 23-acre entertainment district of sorts, charms holiday visitors with roving Christmas carolers, a Santa workshop, and tree lighting ceremony that will be presided over by another well-known Southern lady, Paula Deen, on Saturday, November 17th.
Stop and say hello to Dolly.
Of course, this trip wouldn't be complete without stepping foot inside the magical world of Dollywood. This Christmas, we can be sure it'll pull out all the stops, from spirited holiday shows to festive light parades, during its Smoky Mountain Christmas extravaganza.
In case you weren't already planning a trip to Tennessee, consider this one of Santa's little tips.