Why Stay In Gatlinburg – Not Pigeon Forge?

 

A Tale Of Two Cities

That is what this should be as you are going to compare a couple of cities that are very closely related here, but you need to realize these two cities are ones that are very close to each other and the only real thing separating them between each other is nothing more than a mountain. Albeit that is quite the obstacle, it is one that can make all the difference in the world as these two cities have become completely different and they have such a short distance between them. Since that is the case, we are going to cover more about what makes these two cities different and why you should stay in Gatlinburg, instead of Pigeon Forge.

Let’s Explore Pigeon Forge

Exploring Pigeon Forge may be a lot more complicated than what you would think. However, it is a city that is located near Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. This is both a positive, but what else is nice is Pigeon Forge has a lot of the attractions that your entire family may want to partake in. Pigeon Forge has Dollywood inside of it, which is one of the best amusement parks that you can go to and stay on a budget with. Pigeon Forge also has quite a bit of traffic and has the main road that is going to lead to Gatlinburg.

Pigeon Forge Christmas Garden

CC BY by Olin Gilbert

When you are in Pigeon Forge you will notice the city does have quite a few different hotels that are going to be nice for you to stay at. The downside is the hotels are spread out over a long distance and that is because the city seems to stretch on for miles on miles. With this longer stretch of roadway you will find it is going to be difficult to get the closeness that you can find in other places and even have trouble walking to the attractions.

The distance between all the hotels and the restaurants is another consideration you will want to take into account. When you are in Pigeon Forge you will find your car is going to get a workout. The reason it is going to get the workout is nothing is really close enough that you can walk to it. For example, if you wanted to hit up the Pancake house at the end of town, you will have to drive from your hotel to it because their is only two hotels that are next to it.

A final thought is Pigeon Forge is more of a tourist town than what you would think. While it is still a quiet little Southern town, you need to realize the traffic can be horrible. You will find this out when you are driving through town to the get your hotel, but when I go down from the expressway to Gatlinburg is usually a thirty minute drive. So if you do not like traffic you will have to get up really early to avoid the mess or hope that you are just lucky because the traffic can easily lead to you having to wait for a long time to get to where you are trying to get to.

 
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Let’s Explore Gatlinburg

This is the town that this entire website revolves around. So we are going to obviously love talking about Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg is literally the Gateway to the Smokies. The town itself is based at the entrance to the national park and if you go through the middle of town you will go into the park on Newfound Gap Road. So this is something that you really need to take into consideration.

Unlike Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, has a tendency to have all of their buildings and other items closer together. This closeness makes it easier for you to walk to all that you want to see in town. However, it helps out that the town does have a trolley system that you can use to get around as well if you are unable to walk the distance. I can tell you that after you have been out walking around town, you may not want to walk back up the mountain to your hotel. So the trolley is a great and affordable option for public transport.

Avoidance of a lot of the normal chain restaurants is something else you will enjoy when you are in Gatlinburg. When you are in Gatlinburg you will see some names that look familiar if you are from Tennessee, but most of the restaurants in town are not the ones that you would see in your hometown in most cases. That is because Gatlinburg has done a really good job of keeping a lot of the chain restaurants out of town. So you will not have to be concerned about going out to eat breakfast and find out the location is a chain restaurant. This in turn will make it easier for you to explore new foods and restaurants that you may not have thought about eating at before.

Traffic is a problem, but once you get out of town the traffic is not as bad as what it once was. This is going to make it easier for you to get around town, but also avoid sitting in traffic while waiting to get into the mountains. However, it is important to note that you may have to sit in some traffic as the red lights can get congested and when they do get congested traffic comes to a standstill like you would expect in any town or city. The good news is you can easily walk around town as well if you want to avoid traffic and paying for parking.

So Which Is Better Gatlinburg Or Pigeon Forge

This is really going to come down to personal preference. However, I can tell you in my experience Gatlinburg far outpaces Pigeon Forge. The town has quite a bit of closeness that makes it easier for you to walk to all the attractions, but it also has a small town feel for a large city. Throw in the fact that you are closer to the mountains and nestled in a mountain valley it really adds to the charm of Gatlinburg. With that being said, Gatlinburg far outweighs our other options that we have here. If you want to be more in a tourist type of town that does not have the same feel, then you will really like to stay in Pigeon Forge. This is very true if you plan on going to Dollywood each and every day on your vacation.

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