when did pigeon forge become a tourist attraction

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has been a tourist destination since the late 1950s. Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, this mountain town has grown into a popular vacation spot for families, couples, and groups. With an abundance of attractions, outdoor adventures, and entertainment offerings, Pigeon Forge has become a popular destination for vacationers from all over the world. From its roots as a small town to its current status as one of the most visited tourist destinations in the United States, Pigeon Forge has come a long way since it first became a tourist attraction.Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has been a popular tourist destination since the 1950s. The area began as a small logging town and grew to become a resort destination due to its convenient location near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In the late 1960s, Dollywood opened in Pigeon Forge, and it is now one of the most popular attractions in the area.

In addition to Dollywood, Pigeon Forge is home to more than 40 attractions including amusement parks, dinner shows, go-kart tracks, miniature golf courses and more. It also offers plenty of lodging options from cabins and campgrounds to hotels and resorts. Additionally, there are numerous restaurants and shopping opportunities throughout Pigeon Forge.

Today, Pigeon Forge attracts millions of visitors each year from all over the world who come to experience all that the city has to offer. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tennessee for those looking for a fun-filled vacation or getaway with family or friends.

Early Tourism in Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has a long and varied history when it comes to tourism. Once a small agricultural community, the city has grown over time to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. Since the 1940s, Pigeon Forge has seen a steady increase in visitors, with people coming from all over the world to experience its unique attractions and scenery. In recent years, the city has become known for its many family-friendly activities and entertainment options.

The earliest forms of tourism in Pigeon Forge were centered around its natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. For many years, visitors flocked to the area to take part in activities such as fishing, camping, hiking, and horseback riding. The town was also known for its scenic drives along winding roads that provide spectacular views of the Smoky Mountains.

In the 1950s and 1960s, more attractions began to appear in Pigeon Forge as the city became increasingly popular with travelers. One of the first was an amusement park called Rebel Railroad Park which was opened by local entrepreneur Alvin Gentry in 1958. The park featured a variety of rides and attractions including several roller coasters as well as a miniature train ride around its perimeter.

In addition to amusement parks, other entertainment venues also began popping up around town such as arcades, go-kart tracks, mini golf courses, movie theaters and dinner theaters. These businesses helped draw more people into town who were looking for ways to spend their leisure time while visiting Pigeon Forge.

Today, Pigeon Forge is home to numerous attractions that have become staples for visitors from all over the country including Dollywood theme park which was opened by country music star Dolly Parton in 1986. Other popular sights include The Island at Pigeon Forge which features a variety of restaurants and shopping outlets as well as Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies which opened in 2000 and is now one of Tennessee’s leading aquariums. With so much to offer tourists from all walks of life, it’s no wonder why Pigeon Forge has become such a popular destination for travelers across America and beyond.

Pigeon Forge Attractions

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its wide variety of attractions. From waterparks to historical sites, there is something for every type of traveler.

One of the most popular attractions in Pigeon Forge is Dollywood, an amusement park owned by country music legend Dolly Parton. The park offers more than 40 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and shows. Families can also enjoy the variety of eateries around the park or take a scenic train ride through the foothills of the Smokies.

For those seeking adventure, there are a number of outdoor activities available in Pigeon Forge. Zip lining and whitewater rafting are popular options for thrill-seekers. Visitors can also explore the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park via horseback or on foot with guided tours available from several local companies.

Those looking for a more relaxed vacation will appreciate Pigeon Forge’s many shops and restaurants. The area has become a shopping destination with outlets offering everything from designer clothing to handmade crafts. Visitors can also enjoy dinner shows featuring country music singers or take a leisurely stroll along The Island boardwalk for some souvenir shopping and delicious eats.

No matter what type of vacation you are looking for, Pigeon Forge has something to offer everyone! With its wide variety of attractions ranging from amusement parks to outdoor activities, it’s easy to see why visitors flock here year after year.

The Impact of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Tourism in Pigeon Forge

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the United States, with more than 11 million visitors in 2018. It is located in the Appalachian Mountains and spans Tennessee and North Carolina. Pigeon Forge, a popular tourist destination in eastern Tennessee, is located just a few miles from the park’s entrance. As such, it has become a popular base for visitors exploring the park. The city has seen a dramatic increase in tourism since the establishment of the park and its popularity has only grown over time.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers visitors a wealth of activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and nature watching. The park also boasts some of the most stunning views in the country, as it is home to lush forests filled with native flora and fauna. As such, it has become an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to escape from urban life and explore nature’s beauty.

The impact of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Pigeon Forge’s tourism industry has been significant. The city has experienced an explosion in tourism since its inception as many visitors choose to base themselves there when exploring the park. This influx of tourists has had a positive effect on local businesses as they benefit from increased foot traffic and revenue from lodging and dining options. Furthermore, outdoor recreation companies have seen success in recent years due to their proximity to the park and their ability to offer guided tours and activities that cater to different interests.

The growth of Pigeon Forge’s tourism industry can also be attributed to its diverse attractions. In addition to offering numerous outdoor activities related to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge also boasts a variety of entertainment options such as theme parks, arcades, go-kart tracks, museums, live music venues, and shopping centers that appeal to all ages. Moreover, its proximity to other major attractions such as Dollywood theme park and Gatlinburg only serves to enhance its appeal as a tourist destination.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park undoubtedly plays an instrumental role in driving tourism in Pigeon Forge. With its breathtaking views and multitude of recreational opportunities available for all ages and interests levels combined with other nearby attractions makes it one of America’s premier tourist destinations.

This article was written by John Doe


Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is located in the eastern part of the United States. It is conveniently situated along the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is a popular tourist destination. The city itself provides access to many outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, and camping. In addition, it is close to Dollywood theme park and other attractions such as Splash Country Waterpark and The Island in Pigeon Forge. All of these factors contribute to the rise of tourism in Pigeon Forge.

Variety of Activities

Tourists flock to Pigeon Forge for its variety of activities and attractions. In addition to the outdoor activities mentioned above, there are numerous restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues located throughout the city. Visitors can also enjoy attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies or WonderWorks Indoor Amusement Park. There are also several festivals held throughout the year that attract both locals and tourists alike. All of these factors make Pigeon Forge an ideal destination for people looking for a fun-filled vacation with plenty to do.

Affordable Accommodations

Another factor that contributes to the popularity of Pigeon Forge is its affordable accommodations. There are a variety of hotels and resorts in the area that offer accommodations ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury suites. This makes it easy for travelers on any budget to find an option that suits their needs. Additionally, many of these hotels also offer special deals and discounts throughout the year which can make vacationing in Pigeon Forge even more affordable.

Marketing Strategies

The city has also implemented various marketing strategies over the years which have helped increase tourism in Pigeon Forge. These strategies include utilizing social media platforms, running promotional campaigns, developing new attractions and events, and partnering with local businesses in order to attract visitors from all over the world. These efforts have been successful in bringing more people into the city and increasing its popularity as a tourist destination.

Other Factors

In addition to these factors mentioned above, there are several other factors that contribute to increased tourism in Pigeon Forge as well. For example, there is an abundance of natural beauty surrounding this area which makes it an attractive destination for nature lovers. Additionally, many people come here for its proximity to other cities such as Gatlinburg or Knoxville which offer additional attractions for visitors to enjoy during their stay. All of these factors combine together create a perfect environment that leads tourists back time again when they visit Tennessee’s beautiful mountain town: Pigeon Forge!

How the Tourism Industry has Evolved in Pigeon Forge

The city of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has become a popular tourist destination over the past decade. With its close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its many attractions, it has become a favorite spot for travelers from all over the world. As tourism in the area has grown, so too has the industry that supports it. From accommodations to attractions, restaurants to entertainment venues, and more, Pigeon Forge has seen an impressive level of growth in its tourism industry.

Accommodations have come a long way since Pigeon Forge first started attracting visitors. From traditional bed & breakfasts to luxury resorts and cabins, there are now plenty of lodging options for travelers of all budgets and preferences. Many of these lodgings are within walking distance of the city’s attractions and provide easy access to all that Pigeon Forge has to offer.

As far as attractions go, Pigeon Forge is home to some of the most celebrated theme parks in the country, such as Dollywood and WonderWorks. There are also numerous shows including those at The Grand Majestic Theater and Country Tonite Theater; family-friendly activities like horseback riding; museums focusing on local history; and outdoor adventures like rafting on the Little Pigeon River.

In addition to its numerous attractions, Pigeon Forge is also home to a wide variety of restaurants ranging from family-style diners to fine dining establishments with exceptional views of the mountains. Many of these restaurants serve up regional specialties like barbecue or Southern comfort food with a modern twist.

Finally, there are plenty of entertainment venues throughout town that offer everything from live music performances at The Island in Pigeon Forge to arcades and laser tag arenas at The Track Family Fun Parks. No matter what type of entertainment visitors are looking for in Pigeon Forge, they can find something that suits their taste.

The tourism industry in Pigeon Forge has certainly come a long way since it first opened up for business decades ago. With its ever-growing selection of accommodations, attractions, restaurants, and entertainment venues, this small mountain town is now one of the most popular destinations in Tennessee for tourists from all over the world.


Pigeon Forge has come a long way since its beginnings as a small mountain town in the 1800s. It has grown into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, attracting millions of visitors each year. Its combination of outdoor adventures, attractions, and entertainment makes it an ideal place for families and friends to create lasting memories. Whether you’re looking for an escape from your everyday life or just want to have some fun, Pigeon Forge is sure to provide something for everyone.

The city’s commitment to tourism has also made it an attractive destination for business owners. With its proximity to major cities, along with its wide range of attractions and amenities, Pigeon Forge is an ideal location for businesses that are looking to expand their presence. As the city continues to grow and develop, Pigeon Forge will remain a popular destination for both visitors and business owners alike.