Every other year, my family gets together in Pigeon Forge for a family reunion. With 50 of us and counting, we found that hotels are not ideal for a group of our size. Instead, a Pigeon Forge cabin vacation is the perfect solution.

Pigeon Forge offers many types of cabins, from cozy a cabin for a couple on their honeymoon to massive cabins able to host 50 or more people.

Before you start planning your trip, use this guide for a spectacular Pigeon Forge cabin vacation.

Pigeon Forge Cabin Vacation

Research Your Cabin Options

In life, a little research can go a long way. The last thing you want is to blindly reserve a cabin, only to find it doesn’t meet your expectations.

Hearthside_Cabin_Rentals_(011)Consider the following factors before making your cabin reservation:

The Season
— Pigeon Forge experiences a surge of tourist traffic during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. If you plan to visit the area during these busy months, book your cabin well in advance. Otherwise, you’ll have a limited selection of cabins to choose from.
Necessary Amenities
— Does your cabin need to have specific accommodations? Many Pigeon Forge cabins are wheelchair accessible, pet-friendly, offer Wi-Fi, and include other amenities. If you have questions about cabin amenities, a quick call to the company or owners will provide your answer.

Your Budget — Establishing a budget is the best way to find a cost-effective cabin. Shop around for cabins that fit your budget and offer the necessary amenities you need for a wonderful vacation.

Cabin Location — Some cabins are tucked back into the serene and calm woods of Pigeon Forge with long travel times to attractions. Families looking for quick access to Dollywood and other attractions should consider the location of their cabin before making a reservation.

Bluff_Mountain_Rentals_(021)Your Car — During one Pigeon Forge cabin vacation, our cabin was at the top of a steep hill with a long gravel driveway. The larger, more powerful vehicles made it up the driveway just fine. My little sedan, however, did not. Before booking, consider the type of car you own and the terrain traveled to access the cabin. The cabin company can provide this information if is not online.

Cabin Reviews — Before booking your Pigeon Forge cabin, hear what others have to say about the cleanliness of the cabin, the customer service provided by the company, and any other opinions from previous travelers. Remember to take reviews with a grain of salt. What may have been an awful experience for one traveler, may be completely fine for you. By booking your cabin through Reserve Direct, you can read reviews from travelers who have recently stayed in one of Pigeon Forge’s many cabins.

Once you’ve found a great cabin for you and your family, it’s time to decide if cabin vacations are best for you.

The Advantages of Vacationing in a Pigeon Forge Cabin

Staying in a cabin can provide a wealth of benefits for your family or group.

Pigeon Forge cabin vacation porchCost — Whether you’re traveling with your significant other or a large group of people, you will find that cabin vacations are a cost-effective option. Many travelers prefer cabins to hotels because of the low cost for luxury amenities.

Included Amenities – All Pigeon Forge cabins include incredible amenities. The cabins I’ve stayed in have included full kitchens, hot tubs, stocked game rooms, indoor movie theaters (seriously), complimentary Wi-Fi, Jacuzzi tubs, and more. You won’t find all this in a similarly priced hotel room.

Privacy —By renting a cabin, you now have an entire house to yourself. The only people who can bother you are the people you chose to vacation with. Say goodbye to hearing the TV from the hotel room next door or little children running up and down the hotel hallways.

Downtime — When you have downtime in a hotel, you might watch TV, go for a swim if a pool is onsite, or buy an overpriced drink at the bar. When you reserve a cabin, there’s so much to enjoy inside and outside of the cabin. I’ve found that I enjoy the time inside the cabin just as much as I enjoy exploring Pigeon Forge.   

Quiet Time — Where else can you drink a freshly made cup of coffee while watching the sunrise over the mountains from the comfort of your rocking chair? Some of my favorite Pigeon Forge memories involve a cabin porch, a cup of coffee, and long conversations with family and friends. A hotel continental breakfast or bar doesn’t have the same allure.

The Disadvantages of a Pigeon Forge Cabin Vacation

As with any vacation lodging option, cabins do have their downfalls.

Hearthside_Cabin_Rentals_(020)Cooking Meals — Pigeon Forge cabins offer full kitchens complete with many cooking appliances. While the majority of travelers find this appealing, others find it to be a nuisance. If you would rather have meals prepared for you by professionals, you will be better off in a hotel.

Made a Mess? Clean It Up. — In a hotel, your towels and bed sheets are replaced daily. Cabins provide guests with washers and dryers, but a cleaning service won’t take care of your messes every day. It’s up to you and your guests to ensure the cabin is clean and tidy.

Limited Main Road Access to Attractions — If you prefer in the middle of the action, a hotel would be better suited for your Pigeon Forge vacation. Cabins take advantage of the quiet Smoky Mountain nature and tend to be away from the main roads.

Limited Cell Service — Depending on your cell phone provider, you may or may not have service at your cabin. While cabin companies and owners cannot control this, it’s good to be aware.

A Few Tips for the Road

Once you’ve booked your cabin, it’s time to hit the road and enjoy your vacation. Over the course of my many Pigeon Forge vacations, I’ve picked up a few tips that will make your cabin visit worthwhile.

Hearthside_Cabin_Rentals_(006)Plan Your Meals — Personally, I love to take advantage of the cabin kitchens. By planning your meals ahead of time, you can make a quick grocery shopping trip upon arriving to Pigeon Forge. Trust me, there’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal in a comfy cabin overlooking the Smoky Mountains. Plus, you’ll save money by not relying on a restaurant for every meal and snack.

Stock Up on Cleaning Supplies — While many cabin companies and owners generously provide enough supplies for your stay, it’s in your best interest to be prepared. Supplies can be depleted fast when vacationing with a big group of people.

Bring Games and Activities — If you’re traveling with friends or a large group of people, game nights in the cabin are the best. Bring outdoor activities such as a soccer ball or lawn game to keep the fun going.

Remember Your Cabin Address — In the off chance that you become lost, it’s good to always remember your cabin address.

No matter the cabin size you reserve, you’ll thoroughly enjoy your Pigeon Forge cabin vacation if you follow this guide.

Escape to the Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge for a sweet couples retreat. With a combination of entertainment and relaxation, the things to do in Pigeon Forge for couples are sure to spark your love’s interests.  Spend the day trekking through the Mother Nature or treat yourself to an indulgent spa day. The southern charm of this Tennessee town attracts visitors of every age and budget, and is certain to kindle the oh-so-important romantic flame.

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Ahhh…vacation has started

Have a Spa Day

What feels better than a massage? Nothing, that’s what. Let the stress of the world melt away with a spa day at RiverStone Resort & Spa. This exceptional resort is tucked away right off the main parkway, and offers many luxuriant spa packages. Opt for the couples massage, so you can your partner can unwind together. After the soothing treatment, get ready for relaxation town: population you.

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Imagine staying at Hearthside Cabins with views like this!

Reserve a Cozy Cabin

You’re in the mountains, so you should stay in the mountains. Nowhere gets you closer than Pigeon Forge cabin rentals. Reserve a cabin with Eden Crest or Hearthside Cabin Rentals, and you’ll have the perfect place to return to after a day of sightseeing. Cabins in the Smokies are made for comfort, with fireplaces and rustic décor making you feel right at home. Almost all cabins have decks with hot tubs, so be sure to rent a cabin with exceptional views to enhance the romantic appeal. Even better, stop at one of the local distilleries to have a little sip of shine with your soak.

Couple having fun taking pictures together outdoors on hike

Time to take a waterfall selfie!

Go for a Hike

You might not think of hiking as being very romantic, but in the Smoky Mountains it totally can be. There’s something about accomplishing something together that connects couples. Plus, the sights you can see in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park are truly awe-inspiring and make for great photo ops. One I recommend is Rainbow Falls. At almost six miles roundtrip, its length and moderate difficulty level requires commitment (just like relationships). Also, the first half of the hike ascends up a mountain, with an elevation gain of 1500-feet. You’ll get to a point where you think “How much longer?” but keep going. The reward—an 80-foot waterfall—is a little slice of heaven on earth.

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Loco Burro/Facebook

Dinner for Two

Reconnect with your sweetheart over a night out on the town. For a traditional date night, the Peddler Steakhouse is a popular choice. Overlooking the Little Pigeon River, the intimate restaurant invokes the spirit of the Mountains both with its setting and its cuisine. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a livelier atmosphere, I recommend Loco Burro. Get a table on the rooftop, where there is a tiki bar, fire pit and lounges, as well as live music. You’ll be transported South of the Border, all while in the mountains. The Mexican dishes and margaritas are cheap and tasty, too, so the place is a win-win.

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Enjoy views like this on a Cades Cove Carriage Ride

Take a Carriage Ride through Cades Cove

Cades Cove is a splendid nature preserve with historic homes and churches, abundant wildlife and rolling mountains and valleys. It has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Smokies. Most people tour the 11-mile loop via car. Why do that, though, when you can take a carriage ride instead? Cades Cove Riding Stables has guided carriage rides around the scenic loop, during which a guide details the points of interest of the area. Curl up next to your main squeeze and enjoy the peaceful beauty of Cades Cove—no distractions and all good.

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Cockpit view from a Smoky Mountain helicopter tour

Go Up, Up and Away

If you want to really splurge on your love, treat them (and yourself) to a helicopter tour of the Smokies. Two operators, Scenic Helicopter Tours and Sevier County Helicopter Rides, take riders up, up and away, and over the magnificent scenery of The Great Smoky Mountains. Tours start as low as $10, so it’s much more affordable than you may think. Of course, there are deluxe tours covering the best of the Smokies that cost upwards of $160 per person. The choice is yours, but either way you’ll get a birds-eye-view of the spectacular scenery the Smokies has to offer.

Sunrise Landscape Great Smoky Mountains National Park Gatlinburg TN and Oconaluftee Valley Cherokee NC

Sunrise over Newfound Gap Overlook

Watch the Sunset (or Sunrise)

Sometimes the simple things in life are the best things. This certainly rings true for this activity. Watching the sunset in the Smokies is a magical experience. A standout spot is Newfound Gap, a scenic overlook with endless views. The colors of the sunset paint the mountain ranges and forest canopies, with the colors changing as the sun sets further into the sky. This spot is also great if you’re an early riser as the sunrises are epic. The foggy smoke lifting off the mountains as the sky awakens is a remarkable sight worth sharing with your loved one.

These things to do in Pigeon Forge for couples are sure to make your vacation a sweet one. Do you have a romantic place or thing to do in the Smokies that I missed? Feel free to share in the comments.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Pigeon Forge to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.