Vacation is all about getting away from the everyday grind and relaxing. In the Great Smoky Mountains, that means everything from soaking in a hot tub on your cabin’s deck beneath the stars and cozying up on a couch in front of a wood-burning fireplace to getting some much-needed rest in a comfy king-size bed and pampering yourself with an in-cabin massage.
And while our Pigeon Forge cabins offer the comforts of home that you’ll appreciate – like washer/dryers, Wi-Fi, and fully equipped kitchens – you don’t always want to do all the things you do back home. That includes cooking. Some of our guests love taking advantage of cabin kitchens, whipping up homemade meals or having snacks on hand at a moment’s notice. But we certainly understand that sometimes you don’t want to do your own cooking on vacation. Sometimes you just want to sit back and let someone else do the cooking.
Thankfully, downtown Pigeon Forge (and neighboring Gatlinburg) is home to dozens of restaurants that will do all the work for you. Whether you want a nice sit-down dinner, a quick bite, a snack to tide you over between meals, or just some dessert, you’ll find it all in and around the Parkway.
You can visit our blog to see what food-centric events are happening downtown during your stay, or you can check out our Pigeon Forge restaurant listings for an idea of what you’ll find downtown. Also, read on to find out our top 5 reasons for going out to eat in Pigeon Forge.
1. You can find a big variety for a big group. With so many attractions, restaurants, and stores, Pigeon Forge is always a hit with big groups. Plus, our large groups cabins offer tons of space and amenities to keep a group comfortable, entertained, and happy. So if you’re planning a retreat or reunion, the restaurant variety will be a big draw for you. Cooking for a group can be a challenge, but finding something that everyone will like downtown will be a breeze. You can curb a craving for Italian, nosh on German favorites, fill up on Mexican, or grab pizzas or burgers. Many restaurants also have a nice variety on their menus, giving you plenty of options all in one place. Just give the restaurant a call ahead of time; most can get tables set up to accommodate groups.
2. You can grab a quick meal. It’s easy to stay busy in the Smokies, hopping from one attraction to the next. On any given day in Pigeon Forge, you could tour the RMS Titanic, pose with celebrities at the Hollywood Wax Museum, explore an upside-down building, run from zombies, drive for NASCAR, and see how your skills stack up against world record holders. Somewhere in there, you’ll need to fit in some food. Even if you’re not in the mood for a chain fast food restaurant, Pigeon Forge has plenty of quick cafes and pizza places where you can get something between activities. Or you can just get some fudge to snack on until the next meal!
3. You can pamper yourself with a nice meal out. If you’re in the Great Smoky Mountains for a honeymoon, anniversary, or just a weekend with that special someone, you’ll probably want to have at least one nicer meal downtown. In downtown Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, you can get fondue at The Melting Pot, steaks at Alamo Steakhouse, seafood at Bullfish Grill, Italian, decadent desserts, or pretty much anything else you’re craving.
4. You can get a taste of the mountains. One of the best ways to experience the Smokies is by eating local specialties or favorites. Calhoun’s and Bennett’s BBQ serve up Southern sides and juicy barbecue, and places like The Old Mill and Apple Barn Farmhouse are always great local picks. Of course, a stay in Pigeon Forge also isn’t complete without a big stack of fluffy pancakes, found at any one of the dozens of pancake houses and early-morning joints!
5. You can skip the cooking. If you’re on vacation, you’re probably looking to do as little work as possible, so if you want to take a break (or you never cook anyways), take advantage of all the restaurant options downtown. Skip the grocery shopping and just head into town for a hearty pancake breakfast in the morning, a laid-back lunch at a local café in the afternoon, or a big dinner at night. You can even have food delivered to the cabin or order catering to-go, so you can still enjoy the convenience of a full kitchen without actually doing any cooking.
If you have someone in the family who’s always doing the cooking for everyone, this is a great opportunity to give them a break. Does Mom always spend hours getting meals ready for the whole family? Let her kick up her feet and enjoy someone else doing the cooking for a bit. Traveling with a big group and can’t seem to please everyone with the same meal? Split up for dinner and then meet back up for a walk around The Island in Pigeon Forge. Eating out is also a great way to get some quality time in with family and friends. You can enjoy a meal together without the stress of grocery shopping or spending hours cooking.
Feeding Large Groups in Pigeon Forge
While you know you have plenty of options for dining downtown, our large group cabins also boast something else that makes feeding a large group easy: full kitchens! If you do want to cook, several of our lodges even have double appliances, giving you tons of space and the amenities you need to create meals for a retreat or reunion. Several also have huge dining spaces, giving you enough room to seat everyone for a meal together. So no matter what your plans – or what stresses may come along with planning a large group getaway – feeding everyone doesn’t have to be one of your worries.