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.

Some of my best memories are from the holidays. It’s a magical time, where we reminisce by a fire, gathered with loved ones and share the joy of Christmastime. Make those moments shine even brighter by transporting your loved ones to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for a winter vacation. Aglow with twinkling lights, the Great Smoky Mountain town greets you with a warm welcome and asks you to stay awhile.

Why should Pigeon Forge be on the top of your winter vacation list? I’ll give you five good reasons to visit Pigeon Forge this winter.

Dollywood_(025)1) 25 Miles of Lights: You want a winter wonderland? You got it! There are 25 miles adorned with over 12 million lights, a dazzling sight. Want to sit back, relax and take in the view? Hop aboard the Trolley Ride of Lights. It’s enclosed and heated (bonus!), so you can stay warm and toasty while taking in the sights. Cost is only $5 per person, too, so it’s affordable family fun.

2) Smoky Mountain Christmas: Even more merriment can be found at Dollywood. Celebrating with a Smoky Mountain Christmas festival, the park is a favorite place to get lost in the lights, entertainment and festivities of the season. I recommend scheduling your night around the Christmas in the Smokies (showing nightly at 6 and 8pm) and Parade of Lights. Ask a park employee about parade times when you arrive, as it held nightly but times vary. New this year is Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Junction, an area where you can “say cheese” with everybody’s favorite red-nosed reindeer. Who doesn’t love a good photo op for the holidays? One more thing – try the cinnamon glazed almonds at Frosted Nuts (located in Showstreet). Better get two bags because these things are addicting!

Christmas_iStock_000014396446XSmall3) Cozy Up to the Fire: Rent a cabin. With a fireplace. Add a Jacuzzi on a large outdoor deck. Sound like a plan? Make it yours. With Pigeon Forge cabins you can truly get away from it all. Surround yourself with the scenic peaks and valleys of Eastern Tennessee. Breathe in the crisp mountain air. Take a moment to escape from the hustle and bustle the holidays can create and simply enjoy. Simple as that. I’m a fan of staying at a cabin any time of year, but it’s especially wonderful during winter.

4) Special Events, Shows and Things to Do: When you’re ready to get out of the cabin, you’ll find a lot of special events to keep you busy – no matter when you visit. Gatlinburg hosts one of the South’s biggest New Year’s Eve Celebrations, while the 25th Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week (Jan. 24-31) and Saddle Up (Feb. 18-22) are held in Pigeon Forge. The entertainment scene joins in on the merriment with shows set to a holiday theme. If you only have time to see one show, make it Dixie Stampede. Elaborately decorated for the holidays, the antebellum show brings the tradition and emotion of the holidays to life. Plus, the meal is so good you’ll be buying the creamy soup mix in the gift shop before you leave! You can also see it snow off the bow of the Titanic Museum every weekend, so even if mother nature doesn’t cooperate you can still get your snowy moment.

Hearthside_Cabin_Rentals_(006)5) Save When You Spend: I know spending money on a vacation can be tough during the holidays, what with all the gift-giving and gatherings. That said, you can visit Pigeon Forge, even for just a three day weekend, and keep a budget. Lodging prices are reasonable and most of the best sights to see are either free or low-cost. Cabins can currently be reserved for $140/night, while luxury condos start around $119/night. Looking for some more budget-friendly? Hotels such as Holiday Inn have rates for $89/night, while Guest House International is even lower at $55/night.

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.

The Smoky Mountains are beautiful any time of year but there’s something special about visiting during Autumn.  Fall in the Smokies brings brilliant colors to the mountains and valleys of the National Park.  Plus plenty of activities and events are planned during the season, including the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival.  Residents and locals alike can take part in festivities planned throughout Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Townsend. Plan your visit to see the splendor of the Smokies this fall.

A variety of harvest-themed displays, decoration and crafts will be on display throughout each community.  The spirit of the harvest season is celebrated in its own unique way in each town, making September and October and lively time in eastern Tennessee.  The backdrop of mountains vibrantly painted in reds, orange and yellow create a magnificent vacation setting. 
Some of the events planned for the 19th Annual Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival include:
Pigeon Forge
September 5-6: Shades of the Past Rod Run
September 12-14: Fall Rod Run
September 19: The Three Generations Acoustic Tour: Bobby Bare, John Anderson, and Darryl Worley at Country Tonite Theatre
September 22-November 1: Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration
October 17-18: Don Williams at Country Tonite Theatre

September 26-27: Fast Cars N Mason Jars Moonshine Festival
September 27-28: Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament
October 3-5: Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival
October 9-26: Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair:
October 28: Taste of Autumn

September 26-27: Fall Heritage Festival & Old Timers Day
September 27: Blue Ribbon Country Fair
October 1-31: Saturday Nights Pickin’ on the Porch

October 17-19: Foothills Fall Festival

September 1-6: Sevier County Fair
September 18-20: Dumplin’ Valley Bluegrass Festival
October 17-18: Fall Corvette Expo

Several other events are planned during  Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival.  It’s a popular time to visit, especially October when fall foliage colors are at their peak.  Many find it enjoyable to stay in a Smoky Mountain cabin on their vacation.  The mountain setting puts you right in the middle of the natural, scenic beauty of Autumn. 

Find out more about Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration »
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.