Tennessee Vacation Pick: Pigeon Forge

Tennessee's breakout destination is Pigeon Forge, just eight miles from the Smoky Mountains National Park and home to the Dollywood theme park, which added a family-friendly resort in 2016 and is unveiling the roller coaster everyone is dying to try. 

Explore hotel options in Pigeon Forge

  • 01 of 05

    Ride Dollywood's Record-Breaking Roller Coaster

    Lightning Rod Wooden Roller Coaster
    ••• Dollywood

    When it opened at Dollywood, the Lightning Rod became the world's fastest wooden roller coaster. Arthur Levine, About.com's theme parks expert, called the hot rod-themed ride the most anticipated coaster of 2016. Find out why.

  • 02 of 05

    Stay at Dolly's DreamMore Resort

    DreamMore Resort at Dollywood
    ••• DreamMore Resort

    Dolly's country music heritage is front and center at her new 307-room DreamMore Resort, which boasts an impressive three-story lobby, indoor and outdoor pools, a family-style restaurant, and spa.

    Check rates at DreamMore Resort

  • 03 of 05

    Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    NPS_GreatSmokyMtNP.jpg
    ••• National Park Service

    From Pigeon Forge, America's most popular national park is at your doorstep. Be sure to take advantage of the many family-friendly ranger-led programs and Junior Ranger programs for kids ages 5 to 12.

  • 04 of 05

    Spend a Day in Gatlinburg

    Gatlinburg
    ••• David Gross/EyeEm/Getty Images

    Just seven miles down the road is Gatlinburg, named TripAdvisor's no. 1 "destination on the rise" this year. Don't miss a visit to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies and the Gatlinburg Space Needle.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Put the Annual Synchronous Firefly Show on Your Bucket List

    Great Smoky Mountains Firefly Event
    ••• Robert Taylor/Recreation.gov

    Every year for just a few precious weeks in late spring, the fireflies of Great Smoky Mountains National Park put on a mindbending, magical show. Come nightfall, tens of thousands of lightning bugs synchronize their lights and flash in unison. It's impossible to predict in advance exactly when the insects will begin flashing each year but peak flashing for synchronous fireflies is typically within a two-week period in late May to mid-June.