What to Pack for Your Summer Vacation in Pigeon Forge


The sounds, smells, and sights of sweet, sweet summertime are ringing in our minds…beckoning us in the midst of this cold weather. So if you’ve got the winter blues or are just dreaming of those warm, sunny days, it’s time to start planning for your summer vacation in Pigeon Forge!

Why Pigeon Forge instead of the beach? For one, it’s a break from the typical sandy vacay. It boasts gorgeous Smoky Mountain views, valleys full of wildflowers and wildlife, dozens of restaurants for every taste (BBQ, Southern comfort foods, Italian, Asian, Mexican, German, seafood, and beyond), annual events dedicated to holidays and music, and tons of family-friendly attractions! There is SO MUCH to do, a summer vacation in Pigeon Forge just can’t be boring, even if you’ve been there 100 times.

Want to start planning but don’t know what to take with you? Here’s our must-take list of what to pack for your summer vacation in Pigeon Forge!

Summer Vacay Packing List for Pigeon Forge

  • Hiking shoes
  • Camera + HD/storage card
  • Light layers
  • Rain jacket
  • Small backpack
  • Snacks + water
  • Sunscreen
  • Board games + movies
  • Swimsuit
  • Bug spray
  • Small cooler
  • A good book

Hiking Shoes. If you’re physically able, hiking is a MUST when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains in summertime. The national park boasts 800+ miles of trails to explore, so there are ample opportunities to enjoy the amazing views, weather, and peaceful setting. If you’re planning any type of hike or stroll (or even just a walk up and down the Parkway), you’ll definitely want a comfortable pair of shoes, either hiking shoes with ankle support or some great sneakers with a good grip.

Camera + HD card. Waterfalls, wildflowers, black bears, wild turkey, deer, rushing streams, peaceful ponds, historic churches and homesteads, picturesque valleys, old country stores, The Old Mill, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and show fountains at The Island, the exteriors of WonderWorks and the Hollywood Wax Museum, the Titanic Museum Attraction, live musicians in the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler, mountain views from your back deck, family photos…the opportunities for fantastic photos in the Smokies are really endless. You don’t want to be without a great camera and some storage (or at least your phone)!

Light layers. Even in summer, weather can change quite a bit in the Smoky Mountains. Be prepared (especially if you’re planning to hike) with light layers! You can easily remove or add to so you’re always comfortable.

Rain jacket. Summer showers can always pass through, so having a light rain jacket on hand is nice!

Small backpack. Whether you’ll be hiking or just exploring downtown Pigeon Forge and its attractions, a small and comfortable backpack is really convenient. You can keep all the essentials (sunscreen, phone, sunglasses, snacks, water, etc.) on hand as you’re walking, riding the trolley, or hiking!

Snacks + Water. Again, Pigeon Forge has SO MUCH to do, so you’ll likely be going, going, going. There are plenty of places to have breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks, but it’s nice to have your own on hand (especially if you’re traveling with kiddos). This is particularly important if you’re hiking, too. PLEASE be prepared before hitting the trails, ensuring you have enough water for everyone coming along.

This also goes for your cabin – you’ll want it stocked with your favorite snacks and ingredients for making meals, because our cabins all have fully equipped kitchens!

Sunscreen. Don’t forget to toss a travel size sunscreen in your bag so you always have it on hand if you end up on the trails for a while or outside on the Parkway for longer than planned.

Board games + movies. We’ve talked a lot about how much there is to do in Pigeon Forge, but sometimes you want to just relax. If that’s where you’re at, don’t forget your favorite board games, card games, and movies (for you and the kids). Most of our Pigeon Forge, TN Cabins have DVD players or Blu-ray players (and sometimes classic VCRs), and some even have private movie theaters! And all have space – either in the living room, in a rec room, or at the kitchen table – for family game night! So for those lazy days or rainy days, you’ll appreciate having some extra fun for the cabin.

Swimsuit. Some of our cabins have private indoor pools, many have access to community indoor and outdoor pools, and almost all have private outdoor hot tubs for evening soaks! So one way or another, you’ll likely be using that swimsuit on your summer vacation in Pigeon Forge!

Bug spray. Those Southern summers…also bring bugs – especially if you’re hanging out around any ponds or streams. Be sure to bring bug spray just in case!

Small cooler. This isn’t a MUST, but it is nice to have. You can pack a great picnic to enjoy by the water on a drive through Cades Cove or you can have a cool place to store fresh fudge you bought on the Parkway before you head back to the cabin.

A good book. When you’re not exploring, you’ll probably be spending some time relaxing at your cozy Pigeon Forge cabin. What better way to unwind than with a good book as you sit back in a rocking chair, relax in the porch swing, or cozy up on the sofa.