Hardships exist everywhere in the world, and while they may seem to overwhelm us at times, it’s always important to shift our focus to the positive. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on what’s great in our lives, so this year we want to share 15 things we’re thankful for in the Smokies. From cabin fun and exciting attractions to local crafts and the most-visited national park in the country, we have a lot to be thankful for this year in Pigeon Forge and nearby Gatlinburg, TN!
1. Cabin Life
Sipping coffee in a rocking chair as the sun rises above the mountain peaks, splashing in a private indoor pool no matter the season, soaking in a bubbly hot tub under the stars, cuddling with loved ones by a cozy fireplace…ah, we are SO thankful for cabin life in the Smokies!
2. Year-round Snow
Who doesn’t love making snow angels, building snow forts, and snow tubing — year-round?! Pigeon Forge Snow does it right with snow indoors, so you can play in the snow in spring, summer, fall, and winter.
3. Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show
NEW attractions flooded the Smokies this year, and we’re super thankful for a brand-new and unique show filled with pirate battles, water acrobatics, beautiful mermaids, a playful walrus, and a tasty 4-course meal. Welcome aboard the Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show!
4. Wildwood Grove at Dollywood
As the first major expansion in a decade, Wildwood Grove brings magical fun to Dollywood. Pass through the fallen log and into a new world, where butterflies soar, musical numbers are performed, rides zoom, and smiles appear!
5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
A great treasure to us all, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is surely something to be thankful for this (and every) year. As the most-visited national park in the country, you won’t be disappointed by all the nature-riffic fun, like hiking, cycling, camping, and horseback riding!
6. Little Pigeon River
Speaking of fun in nature, the Little Pigeon River runs beautiful through town. Pull over and take a close look at its sparkling wonder, hop in a kayak or whitewater raft for a more adventurous experience, or simply enjoy it from the comfort of your cabin.
The flora and fauna of the Smokies are so diverse and present even more to be thankful for — from majestic black bears, shy foxes, whimsical white-tailed deer, and silly raccoons to stunning wildflowers, rich evergreens, tall trees, and old growth forests!
8. Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge
Should you be bold enough to cross the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, you will have crossed the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in all North America! Yeah, we feel pretty thankful this panoramic attraction lives in our backyard.
9. Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
Known for local crafts, the Smokies is a wonderful place to grab handmade creations from the pros. And we highly recommend venturing to nearby Gatlinburg’s Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, where the largest group of independent artisans in the nation resides.
10. Ripley’s 8 Attractions
We are certainly thankful for Ripley’s gracing us with (count them) 8 awesome attractions: Aquarium of the Smokies, 2 mini golf courses, Haunted Adventure, Odditorium, 5D Moving Theater, Marvelous Mirror Maze, and the Guinness World Records Adventure.
11. Anakeesta Additions
Already an incredible must-visit aerial adventure park, Anakeesta brought all-new (and amazing) additions to their attraction that we’re thankful for this year, including the Vista Garden Walk, Ridge Ramblers, and Overlook Beer Garden!
12. Pancake Houses
Buttery goodness combines with maple divine atop fluffy pancakes to bring you a breakfast like no other in the Smokies. Pancake houses are aplenty here, and you’re pretty safe with whichever you choose. Yes, it’s okay to be thankful for pancakes aplenty when they’re this good!
13. Southern Flavors
While pancake houses line the streets and provide eats until lunch, Southern flavors just can’t be beat along the Parkway. Find memorable meals at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, Mama’s Farmhouse, The Old Mill Restaurant, and many more!
14. Exciting Annual Events
Pigeon Forge and nearby Gatlinburg showcase annual events that appeal to almost every age and preference, from car shows and outdoor tournaments to a wildflower pilgrimage and holiday celebrations!
15. Mountain Scenes
Last but not least, we want to take a moment to be thankful for our breathtaking mountain scenes. Whether you’re climbing to the tippy top in the wilderness or admiring from afar in your Pigeon Forge cabin, the Smoky Mountains are Great indeed.