First off…what even is Friendsgiving? Basically, it’s a trending new tradition where you get together with friends before the Thanksgiving holiday. Since there’s no official date for Friendsgiving yet, you can host the event anytime in November. Although, most people opt for the weekend before Thanksgiving Day and the Black Friday rush. It’s a great way to catch up with your best mates and take a breather before family arrives — especially when held in the scenic, fun, and memorable Great Smoky Mountains! We’ve come up with the top 7 reasons to host Friendsgiving in the Smokies of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
7. Gorgeous Weather
Autumn decorates the falling leaves with golden shimmers and vibrant seasonal hues across the mountains of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in November. Plus, as one of the drier months, you’ll be able to enjoy the great outdoors and stunning scenery without worrying about rain or snow at lower elevations. And cooler nights mean cocoa and chats or a riveting read by a cozy fireplace at your cabin rental.
6. Fun Attractions
Any season in the Smokies offers fun things to do with friends, but fall is more affordable with lower rates than summer. Many local attractions also participate in decorating for the harvest season, so you can enjoy pumpkins, cornucopias, hay bales, sunflowers, mums, scarecrows, and tractors — it’s a whole new experience! Which fun Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge attractions are best enjoyed with friends? Check out some of our favs below.
- Dollywood Theme Park
- The Old Mill Square
- Pigeon Forge Snow
- Gatlinburg Golf Course
- Hollywood Wax Museum
- Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
- Rowdy Bear Mountain Adventure Park
- Anakeesta Theme Park
- Ober Gatlinburg
- Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Beckoning you to explore and reconnect with nature, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited national park in the country and features 800+ miles of hiking trails. If you and your friends enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, here’s another fall-tastic reason to plan Friendsgiving in Pigeon Forge! Hike to splashy waterfalls, ride horses through forests, fly fish in the rivers, take scenic drives through autumn landscapes, ride bikes, view wildlife, and picnic in the mountains.
4. Seasonal Events
What makes Friendsgiving even more special in the Smoky Mountains? Seasonal events! Handmade arts and crafts, twinkling light displays, yummy Appalachian food, and holiday decorations are a few highlights you’ll find in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg this year. Smoky Mountain events create excellent opportunities to enjoy something you won’t find anywhere else and make unique memories together.
- Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas theme | Nov 6 – Jan 2
- Smoky Mountain Gift Show | Nov 10-13
- Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff | Nov 11
- Smoky Mountain Winterfest | Nov 11 – Feb 15
3. Moonshine & Wine
Follow the Rocky Top Wine Tour to sample Smoky Mountain wines and ciders with your best friends. Or stop at the many local moonshine places to try the South’s famous white lightning! In fact, the most-visited distillery in the nation is Ole Smoky Moonshine in Gatlinburg, and it offers tours you can take with your buds. Remember: bring a few wine bottles or moonshine jars back to your Pigeon Forge cabin rental for a boozy nightcap.
2. Shopping for Days!
Shoppers in your friend group will appreciate staying in an area loaded with stores. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg combine for a true shopper’s paradise, offering mom-n-pop shops, mountain malls, large shopping complexes, themed outlets, and homemade candy shoppes! Plus, it’s always nice to buy one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts for friends and family…before December hits.
- The Village (European theme)
- The Incredible Christmas Place (year-round Christmas spirit!)
- The Island (entertainment + shops)
- The Mountain Mile (a mile of shopping)
- Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community (the largest group of independent artisans)
1. Cabin Meal with Mountain Views
If you need one good reason to host Friendsgiving in the Smokies, it’s cozy cabin rentals in Pigeon Forge. Outfitted with entertaining and relaxing amenities plus a fully equipped kitchen, your cabin will host the main event this year — a memorable meal with friends and stellar mountain views. Plus, you can choose from pet-friendly, luxury, large group, and budget-friendly cabins to the needs of your group. Pro tip: save more on a group trip when you book midweek!
Prep and serve home-cooked dishes together (preferably nothing you’ll be having for Thanksgiving dinner) or opt for local takeout and dessert options to make things easier. Enjoy eating and chatting at the dining table or take things outside on your private deck. Best of all, there are so many things to do with friends at a cabin while waiting on food to cook and after you’ve shared a Friendsgiving dinner.
Nice Cabin Amenities
- Enjoy beautiful wooded, river, or mountain views.
- Sip wine by the crackling fireplace.
- Soak in the bubbly hot tub.
- Splash in the private indoor swimming pool.
- Host a tournament in the game room (pool, foosball, arcade games, etc.).
- Watch holiday movies in the home theater with surround sound.
- Play entertainment on big screen TVs.
- Mix cocktails at the wet bar.
- Find easy fall recipes over free high speed Wi-Fi.
- Unwind in king suites with TVs and bathrooms.
Book your memorable Pigeon Forge cabin stay with friends and celebrate Friendsgiving together in the Smokies!