Our Pigeon Forge Travel Essentials lays out the essential information you need to help you plan your trip to one of the most popular destinations in Tennessee, USA. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from McGhee Tyson Airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need?

We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips. You’ll also learn about the most popular landmarks in Pigeon Forge such as The Old Mill, Old Forge Distillery, and Elkmont. It’s all compiled in this Pigeon Forge Travel Essentials. After going through this short and easy-to-read guide, you’ll be a little more prepared to start your trip to Pigeon Forge.

  • When is the best time to travel to Pigeon Forge?

    When is the best time to travel to Pigeon Forge?
    • Pigeon Forge has a humid continental climate where the winters are mild and the summers hot. Average temperatures range between 36°F in January and 74°F in August.
    • Rain falls evenly throughout the year. You can expect around 12 rainy days per month between December and July and 9 wet days per month from August to November.
    • Summer is both the warmest time of the year and the peak season in Pigeon Forge. The Christmas holiday is also a busy period.
    • Spring and autumn are great times to visit Pigeon Forge. Although not as warm as summer, these periods allow you to enjoy hiking and to have fun at highlight attractions such as The Island, Dollywood, and other theme parks in the area. Less crowded and with better hotel rates, March–May and September–November are the best times to go.
  • Pigeon Forge basics

    Pigeon Forge basics
    • Plug type: A and B
    • Electricity: 120 V
    • Currency: United States Dollar (US$)
    • International dialling code: +1 865
    • Emergency telephone number: 911
  • How to get to my hotel in Pigeon Forge?

    How to get to my hotel in Pigeon Forge?

    The primary airport for Pigeon Forge is McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) in Knoxville. It’s a domestic airport served by many international airports throughout the country. There’s also the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport (GKT), which is the area’s municipal airport.

    Amtrak trains do not serve the state of Tennessee, but you can get to Pigeon Forge by bus. The Greyhound bus station is, like the airport, found in Knoxville.

    McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS)

    McGhee Tyson Airport is 10 miles south of downtown Knoxville, and 25 miles west of Pigeon Forge as the crow flies. Despite its small size, this domestic airport is home to an excellent choice of dining and shopping options. Free Wi-Fi is available terminal-wide.

    The driving time from the airport to Pigeon Forge is about 50 minutes. Ground transport options available to get you to Pigeon Forge, depending on your budget, are as follows:

    • You can book a flight on a light plane to get to Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport.
    • A dozen taxi companies are licensed to run at the airport. You can find them outside the baggage claim area.
    • The Uber and Lyft pick-up area is outside, on the lower level of the terminal. Simply follow the signs to get there.
    • From Alamo to Avis, there’s a handful of major car rental agencies available at McGhee Tyson Airport. You can find their desks near the baggage claim area.

    If you fly to Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport, transport services at hand to get to your hotel include taxi, car rental, and limo services.

    Knoxville bus station

    The Knoxville Greyhound bus station is on East Magnolia Avenue, just north of the city centre. To continue your journey towards Pigeon Forge, you can rent a car a few hundred metres south of the bus station, grab a taxi or use rideshare apps.

    There’s no direct public bus route from Knoxville to Pigeon Forge. The best you can do to save money for your transfer is to take the line 41 bus to Mountain Grove SB before Majestic Grove, then take a taxi to Pigeon Forge.

  • How to get around Pigeon Forge?

    How to get around Pigeon Forge?

    Travel tips

    Walking is the best way to explore Pigeon Forge’s city centre. Along the Parkway, you’ll find most of the entertainment places such as The Island amusement park, Patriot Park, and many other places of interest. You’ll also find an astounding choice of dining, shopping, and nightlife entertainment options along its length.

    Beyond downtown, the options for exploring Pigeon Forge and its surrounding areas include trolley, taxi, and car rental.

    How does the trolley system work?

    Pigeon Forge Mass Transit is among the largest rural transit systems in the US. The service runs over 40 trolleys, covering the whole county. Trolleys run from 8.30 am to midnight between mid-March and October, and from 10 am to 10 pm between November and mid-March.

    The system features over 200 stops along 6 routes within Pigeon Forge as well as in nearby Gatlinburg and Sevierville. One-way tickets and all-day passes are available. Children aged 3 and under travel for free. You can buy single tickets on the trolley, and day passes are available at the Pigeon Forge Mass Transit office found just north of Patriot Park.

    Taking a taxi in Pigeon Forge

    You’ll easily find taxis in Pigeon Forge. Available are Funkmaster V's Uptown Cabs of Renown (+1 865-384-7589), Mountain View Taxi (+1 865-809-9186), Benz-Taxi (+1 865-202-0690), and many more. You can often find them lined in front of hotels and major attractions, too.

    The usual tipping for taxis is around 15-20% of the fare. Most taxi drivers accept credit cards, sometimes reluctantly. Note that, price-wise, a taxi is not the most recommended choice for getting around Pigeon Forge.

    Renting a car in Pigeon Forge

    Renting a car is a desirable choice if you plan to visit the many natural attractions and national parks around Pigeon Forge. Some places are unreachable by trolley.

    If you haven’t already rented a vehicle at the airport or in Knoxville, many car rental companies, most of them local, offer jeeps, scooters, and big bikes ready for you to explore the city and the Smoky Mountains.

  • What are the main annual events in Pigeon Forge?

    What are the main annual events in Pigeon Forge?

    Winter Carnival of Magic

    • March
    • Established in 2005, this 3-day festival features close-up magic shows and competitions, alongside lectures at which you’ll learn a lot about the world of illusions.
    • Where: Country Tonite Theatre

    Fourth of July Parade

    • 3–4 July
    • Independence Day is celebrated in style at Pigeon Forge. Head to Patriot Park and enjoy the festivities featuring live music and delicious food and drink, then stay on for the 20-minute fireworks display.
    • Where: Patriot Park

    Dollywood Harvest Festival

    • Late September–early November
    • Among the biggest autumn events in the Smoky Mountains celebrates local and national artisanal craftsmanship. Pumpkins, Jack O’ Lantern figures, and live gospel performances are part of this family-friendly festival.
    • Where: 2700 Dollywood Parks Boulevard
  • What are the main landmarks in Pigeon Forge?

    What are the main landmarks in Pigeon Forge?

    The Old Mill

    An old 1830 mill that’s still in use today and where you can get a glimpse of the Old West. Admire the historical technological feat then shop at the General Store or enjoy a local, hearty meal.

    Old Forge Distillery

    A historic distillery that’s been stone-grinding quality grains for producing first-class bourbons and whiskeys since the early 20th century. You can visit the distillery and sample and buy their products.


    The theme park of country singer Dolly Parton, with more than 40 rides including the Lightning Rod wooden rollercoaster, which zooms around a hilly track at over 70 mph.

    Patriots Park

    A 16-acre riverside park offering a cool place for everyone to stretch their legs or picnic, food vendors on site. It’s also the venue for community events such as the 4th of July celebrations.