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Old 25 Aug 20, 08:38 PM  
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tocpe321
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Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.

We are looking into a possible stay in the Smoky Mountains next year and have been looking at both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge to stay in. We would visit both.

We're thinking a hotel rather than a cabin. There would be 4 of us, including a young adult and a 16 year old.

Any thoughts on which area they prefer to stay in and why please. Or are they both equally good?

Many thanks.
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Old 25 Aug 20, 09:00 PM  
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FamilyGWales
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I spent a lot of time looking into this for our trip this summer which went to the wall.

We plumped for Gatlingberg. Decided we could easily visit Pigeon Forge but wouldn't wasn't to stay.

We were seriously considering the Marriott Courtyard. Walkable to Gatlingberg entertainments such as they are.

Pigeon Forge more spread out and everything drive only.

Just what was planned not what we did as never got there.

I did read several trippies which visited both and helped with the decision making.

Ideally we wanted a lodge for a few days rather than a hotel, but could get a reasonable sized one for a good price but was a bit over faced by the variety available. All the mod cons were Def more expensive.
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Old 25 Aug 20, 09:11 PM  
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Originally Posted by FamilyGWales View Post
I spent a lot of time looking into this for our trip this summer which went to the wall.

We plumped for Gatlingberg. Decided we could easily visit Pigeon Forge but wouldn't wasn't to stay.

We were seriously considering the Marriott Courtyard. Walkable to Gatlingberg entertainments such as they are.

Pigeon Forge more spread out and everything drive only.

Just what was planned not what we did as never got there.

I did read several trippies which visited both and helped with the decision making.

Ideally we wanted a lodge for a few days rather than a hotel, but could get a reasonable sized one for a good price but was a bit over faced by the variety available. All the mod cons were Def more expensive.
Thanks for a great answer.

I was thinking Gatlinburg might win it, but my son found a great looking budget hotel in Pigeon Forge, so seeing if there's any balancing factors.

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Old 25 Aug 20, 10:46 PM  
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Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are very touristy - we stayed in Pigeon Forge and it's very reminiscent of International Drive really! Visited Gatlinburg but quite glad we didn't stay there, full of grockles We stayed at The Resort at Governor's Crossing but we did have a 5 year old with us so needed a good pool area - had a suite with a separate bedroom and a kitchen and really liked the place. Would like to go back to the Smoky Mountains and stay in a cabin in future, but we were on a road trip for the solar eclipse so only had short stays everywhere.
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Old 25 Aug 20, 11:21 PM  
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We regularly visit friend in Pigeon Stay in cabins they manage
Just/be aware both locations all year from Friday afternoons to early early Monday mornings are frantic all year
We love it but donít plan anything we donít book at weekends
We=donít do hotels but sitting in the hot tub just as the sun comes up above the clouds
In our cabin watching mama bear or any of the wild life absolutely priceless
If you asked any of our boys their best memories of our Us Trips all would say watching mamma bear 10 feet from the deck with 3 babies and her look every morning of stay right there and wecate fine
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Old 25 Aug 20, 11:31 PM  
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YorkshireT
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We stayed in a cabin in Bear Creek Crossing, a very nice estate off some country roads near Pigeon Forge.

Both PF (main strip) and Gatlinburg (Town) are extremely tourist areas and personally I would want to be a bit off the beaten track.

Area is fantastic though- go on some of the trails.

Dollywood is actually great also.
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Old 26 Aug 20, 12:42 AM  
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Originally Posted by marciehatter View Post
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are very touristy - we stayed in Pigeon Forge and it's very reminiscent of International Drive really! Visited Gatlinburg but quite glad we didn't stay there, full of grockles We stayed at The Resort at Governor's Crossing but we did have a 5 year old with us so needed a good pool area - had a suite with a separate bedroom and a kitchen and really liked the place. Would like to go back to the Smoky Mountains and stay in a cabin in future, but we were on a road trip for the solar eclipse so only had short stays everywhere.

Thanks marciehatter. Funnily enough we said it reminded us of I Drive. I had to Google grockles. Appears to be something to do with a tourist in the West Country. Every day's a school day.

Originally Posted by Gryff View Post
We regularly visit friend in Pigeon Stay in cabins they manage
Just/be aware both locations all year from Friday afternoons to early early Monday mornings are frantic all year
We love it but donít plan anything we donít book at weekends
We=donít do hotels but sitting in the hot tub just as the sun comes up above the clouds
In our cabin watching mama bear or any of the wild life absolutely priceless
If you asked any of our boys their best memories of our Us Trips all would say watching mamma bear 10 feet from the deck with 3 babies and her look every morning of stay right there and wecate fine
Sounds idyllic, Helen. Would love to see the bears and other wildlife. Good info about giving the area a miss at weekends. Thanks.

Originally Posted by YorkshireT View Post
We stayed in a cabin in Bear Creek Crossing, a very nice estate off some country roads near Pigeon Forge.

Both PF (main strip) and Gatlinburg (Town) are extremely tourist areas and personally I would want to be a bit off the beaten track.

Area is fantastic though- go on some of the trails.

Dollywood is actually great also.
Thanks YT. I've read about cabins on other trip reports and liked the sound of them. I think money might be a bit tight and there are some good deals on hotels at the moment on Booking.com with no money up front and cancellable. This may be the way we go - assuming covid plays ball and we're allowed back in next year.



Great advice all. Certainly given me a lot of food for thought. Many thanks.

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Old 28 Aug 20, 10:57 AM  
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A you tube video just appeared and mentioned both of these places so now I want to go
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Old 28 Aug 20, 12:25 PM  
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Originally Posted by lizzie145 View Post
A you tube video just appeared and mentioned both of these places so now I want to go


Yes, there's quite a few on there. Definitely loads to do both manmade and natural.

Mountain coasters and chair lifts are very popular.
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Old 6 Sep 20, 12:44 PM  
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We stayed in Gatlinburg in the Hilton Hotel. The reasons we picked gatlinburg over pigeon forge, was primarily because it is surrounded by mountains, whereas pigeon forge is like a very big road (like a nicer version of I drive) not in the mountains.

Pros for staying in Gatlinburg:
It is surrounded by the mountains.
Free parking (usually) with hotels (parking is very expensive if you donít stay there).
You can walk to most attractions, shops, restaurants.
Lots of things to do.

Pigeon Forge is not Ďiní the mountains. You canít really walk to many things - itís like a nicer, more spread out version of I drive.

There are plenty of buses between the two.

If you like minigolf (like us) then youíll be in your element - there are so many courses around there. We played every day!

Must doís:
Dollywood and splash country water parks (at least a day each)
They are both brilliant.
ClimBworks ziplining (Gatlinburg) is the best ziplining weíve done so far.
The skylift (chairlift) in Gatlinburg.
One of the alpine coasters.
Clingmans dome, roaring fork motor trail, walk to waterfall (I canít remember the name -?laurel falls?).
There are some outlets (not too massive) past pigeon forge (I think in sevierville) and thereís a good mini golf next door.

We went about 6 years ago. There was a very big forest fire in Gatlinburg in 2016, and lots of people died/buildings were destroyed. They have rebuilt many things, and it seems they have added a lot more attractions since. Iíd be wary of staying in a log cabin, as a lot burned down in the fire, and people couldnít get off the mountain in time

Also another thing. If you have time, drive to Chattanooga. I didnít actually like it there lol, but they have two great attractions that Iíd go back for - Rock City Gardens (amazing place - go on a nice day), and the incline railway.
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