Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pigeon Forge

 Did you know that Tennessee is officially divided into three areas?  West, Middle and East.  Our time in Middle Tennessee had come to an end and we moved on to East Tennessee to see what we could see.

So, destination - Pigeon Forge, TN.   First, the weird name.  The city is next to the Little Pigeon River, which takes its name from the flocks of passenger pigeons that frequented its banks when settlers first arrived, and the iron forge that used to be there.  I know it sounds corny, but I love Dolly Parton's voice and have heard about this place for ages. So I wanted to see for myself what all the to-do was about.  From songs and interviews, I expected Pigeon Forge to be a wide spot in the road, maybe with a few tourist shops along the lines of Breckenridge or Estes Park, maybe.  Boy, was I wrong!

I've been to Branson, Missouri but Pigeon Forge is all that and more.  I can't count the number of dinner theaters, mini-golf courses, go cart tracks, "outlet" malls, amusement rides, restaurants and themed shopping venues that line the main drag, each one more elaborate and imaginative than the last.

The Christmas Place - all things Christmas

Hatfields and McCoys Dinner Theater
They had a pen full of goats in front of this building.

Pigeon Forge Opry
Dinner shows 2 - 3 time a day.

The Titanic
The back side had an iceberg and the front of the ship looked like it was moving in water.

My eyes popped out of my head when I saw this for the first time - a totally upside down building!  It's some sort of indoor amusement park for children, I think.

Wax Museum
The back side of this looked like a New York City street scape.

Mel's Diner, where we enjoyed a banana split!  This place was packed no matter what time of the day or night we drove by.

Even chain restaurants get into the themed decor!
And, towering above the entire city...

One of many, many giant crosses we have seen, not just in Pigeon Forge, but across the south.

If you were a family with a couple of kids, this place would absolutely break you!  In addition to dinner shows ranging from barnyard comedy to biblical reenactments, there is every kind of amusement ride or thrill activity you can imagine.  And the prices?  We saw one advertisement for 10 rides for $45.  

We rode on The Wheel, a giant luxury Ferris wheel in the center of town.  We chose to do it at night to see the lights and, in spite of the fact that I'm terrified of heights, it was fun.

Here's The Wheel lit up at night. The shooting fountains are choreographed to music and there are 200 Adirondack-type rocking chairs in which to sit a spell and people watch and listen.

Interior of The Wheel cars.  Each car was individually air conditioned.

The view from the top in one direction.

As a vacation destination, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding area literally has something for everyone.  In my opinion, it amounted to sensory overload, but, then again, I'm old!  I'm glad I've "been there, done that" and have the experience in my memory banks.  Of course, you can't go to Pigeon Forge without visiting Dollywood and that's coming soon.

Until next time...

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