Split screen of Gatlinburg vs Pigeon Forge.

This or That: Pigeon Forge vs Gatlinburg

When it comes to a Smoky Mountain vacation, the two most popular cities in the area are Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg! While these cities are just minutes apart, they each offer their own distinct character and charm! You will also find a unique variety of attractions, restaurants and shopping options in each destination, as well as some fantastic cabin rentals close to all the action! Here are a few exciting things about each city when considering Pigeon Forge vs Gatlinburg:

1. Top Attractions in Each City

There are so many fun attractions in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg that you could easily spend an entire vacation visiting just one of these two wonderful cities! Pigeon Forge is best known as the home of Dollywood, a fabulous theme park that offers 160 acres of thrilling roller coasters, award winning shows, unique specialty shops, and more! Another popular destination in town is The Island in Pigeon Forge, a huge entertainment complex with lots of great restaurants, cool souvenir shops, a huge Ferris wheel, amusement rides, and even a free fountain show!

sign at Ober Gatlinburg has plenty of its own amazing attractions too, including several that take you high into the mountains! Anakeesta is a mountain top theme park with ziplines, a mountain coaster, gem mining, and wonderful shops! Another popular attraction is Ober Gatlinburg, which is known for snow tubing, skiing, ice skating, and a wildlife park! You also won’t want to miss the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, where you can stroll across the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America!

2. Delightful Shopping Destinations in Each City

There are so many incredible stores in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg that folks come from all over the country just to go shopping! Pigeon Forge offers the Three Bears General Store, which might just be the world’s ultimate souvenir store! This massive store not only contains nearly every Smoky Mountain souvenir imaginable, but a live bear habitat with a pond, waterfall, and several adorable black bears! If you love holiday shopping, just wait until you get a load of The Incredible Christmas Place! As the largest Christmas shopping village in the south, this store features over 60 designer themed Christmas trees, personalized ornaments, novelty lights and more!

When it comes to the best shopping destinations in Gatlinburg, head over to the Village Shops to explore this European themed village and its collection of unique boutiques! Gatlinburg is also where you will find the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community, which features an 8 mile loop full of craft shops, studios, and galleries!

3. Tempting Places to Eat in Each City

Paula Deen's Restaurant Another thing to consider about Pigeon Forge vs Gatlinburg is all of the tempting places to eat! Whether you love southern style barbecue, seafood, steaks, or pizza, there is always an amazing restaurant right around the corner! Pigeon Forge is home to Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, where you can enjoy a delicious feast that is served family style! The Hard Rock Cafe is always a popular destination too, beloved for both its juicy burgers and famous t-shirts! Of course, no trip to Pigeon Forge is complete without a meal at the iconic Old Mill Restaurant! You can even experience a taste of the tropics during your Smoky Mountain vacation at Margaritaville!

On the other hand, Gatlinburg also features some wonderful places to eat, such as the Cherokee Grill, Melting Pot, Bennett’s Pit BBQ, and Calhoun’s! If you are celebrating a special occasion, be sure to make a reservation for a mouthwatering steak dinner at the Peddler Steakhouse!

When you consider Pigeon Forge vs Gatlinburg, it is simply impossible to pick which town is better since they both have so much to offer! Check out all of our cabins in the Smokies today to discover our affordable cabins that are close to both of these fun towns! We look forward to seeing you soon!