Monday, October 03, 2011

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

A hotel in Pigeon Forge was our home base during the Tennessee portion of our vacation. It's a pretty little town, almost as touristy as neighboring Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville sit all in a row at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tree-covered hills surround the entire area.

By counting the number of tourist attractions visible from the main road, it appears that Gatlinburg is the hot spot, followed closely by Pigeon Forge (home of Dollywood), with Sevierville catching the entertainment facilities that came into the area after Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge filled up. Trolleys run through all three towns and even cross the mountains into North Carolina, providing easy access to sightseeing for visitors.

Most of the hotels and restaurants had attractive landscapes in front of them:

Those that didn't still managed to catch the eye. Or maybe we just didn't notice the landscaping as we focused our attention on creatively designed places like the upside-down WonderWorks facility:

Our favorite place in Pigeon Forge was the Old Mill Square, named for a historic gristmill that dates back before the Civil War. The mill itself has been converted into this restaurant:

Now take a look at the wonderfully picturesque backside of it:

We passed on eating at that restaurant in favor of another one, also in the square, that had been recommended to us by a very nice lady at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center. This is it, the Old Mill Pottery House Cafe & Grill:

I'll paraphrase what I read on the menu while we sat at that beautiful table:
"If you go somewhere else to eat, ask them if they bake their own bread. If they say yes, ask them if they grind their own flour. If they say yes, ask them if they make their own plates."

We ate lunch there one day and dinner the next. Before that dinner, we visited some of the adjacent shops, including Pigeon River Pottery. There, we were treated to a demonstration:

There's no doubt in my mind that we'd have visited the Old Mill Square again if we'd stayed a little longer.


  1. I've always been curious about Gatlinburg, and this post makes me understand a little why people like it so much.

  2. There's a lot to see and do there. Pigeon Forge didn't seem quite as "gimmicky" to me as Gatlinburg did.


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