Jul 29 2007
11:06 am

Smoky Mountain Vacation Guide
Copyright (c) 2004 South Knox Bubba/R. Neal

A vacation in the Smoky Mountains can mean only one thing -- time to load up the mini-van and head for the world famous family vacation hub of Pigeon Forge, Gateway to the Smokies. 

Forget the beach. Forget Disney World and Six Flags. Pigeon Forge is your ultimate family vacation destination. Pigeon Forge offers a great opportunity for your family to explore the natural beauty and wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains. Scenic vistas abound, and your family will wonder at the sights.

Because the Smoky Mountains National Park boasts one of the world's most diverse ecosystems, your children will treasure lifelong memories of their interactions with nature.

Where else will your family have the opportunity for close encounters with such a wide variety of native wildlife in its own natural habitat?

Your visit will be educational for the kids, too. For example, did you know that octopi and land sharks were indigenous to the Southern Appalachian rain forests?

You'll also learn about the giant dinosaurs that walked the earth in prehistoric times. Exhibits of scientifically accurate reproductions portray these giant "thunder lizards" exactly as they appeared when they roamed the hills and valleys of the Smoky Mountains.

The Smoky Mountains' close proximity to Oak Ridge has resulted in some interesting effects, too. Be sure not to miss the giant native fowl and fishes collected by Great Smoky Mountains National Park biologists:

After a long day of communing with nature, what could be more fun than a fast-paced game of paintball? There is regular airborne assault paintball:

And painless paintball:

For a different and more futuristic style of simulated violence, perhaps your kids would prefer an exciting game of laser tag:

One interesting thing about laser tag is that it seems to bring out the very best in our local architects:

If learning to solve problems with aggression and violence isn't your kids' cup of tea, perhaps they would be interested in Hillbilly Skydiving (at least I think that's what this is, I'm not really sure):

But what about Mom? By now she's probably bored with all this educational nature and child development stuff. She's probably ready for a little shopping. And she's come to the right place!

Pigeon Forge is world-renowned for its shopping, with stores offering the widest possible variety of goods. For example, where else could you find not only moccasins, swimwear, and windmills, but also an unusual collection of fudge knives -- all in one place!

Available in Infinite varieties, fudge is indeed a popular item in Pigeon Forge. For example, you've probably never sampled exotic diesel fudge:

T-shirts are a popular item, too. This merchant offers an incredible collection of colorful and skillfully rendered artistic designs.

For the discerning upscale shopper, Pigeon Forge offers an impressive selection of fine art, such as this lovely lawn sculpture collection:

Indeed, Pigeon Forge merchants cater to a diverse clientele. People of every ethnic background are welcome here:

In fact, Pigeon Forge is a great place to learn about East Tennessee culture, and offers many opportunities for cultural exchange:

Not to mention the abundant historical artifacts:

By now, the whole family has enjoyed a fun-filled, action-packed day of learning and adventure, and the finest shopping experiences. The question on everyone's mind at this point (especially Dad's) is... What's for dinner? If you're looking for the best dining experience, look no further. Pigeon Forge has your favorite casual dining establishments in a relaxing and picturesque setting:

Or, if fine dining with a value proposition is more your style then you've come to the right place:

But for something completely different, may we recommend the dining experience everyone is talking about. That's right, it's the Dixie Stampede, which combines fine dining with entertaining and informative portrayal of the rich Southern Appalachian Cowboy Heritage:

Now that everyone is tired from a full day of fun and stuffed full of the finest in East Tennessee cuisine, it's time to retire to your luxury Pigeon Forge accommodations.

Yes, indeed. The Smoky Mountains National Park may boast millions of species of wildlife, birds, insects, and plant life, not to mention cool mountain streams and unbelievably scenic vistas. But what a man really needs at the end of the day is a cheap room, highlight reels, and the latest Sopranos episode. This is, after all, America.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy your visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Pigeon Forge. Y'all come back now, y' hear?

OK, then.

Brian A.'s picture

A classic SKB post. Brian

A classic SKB post.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

MDB's picture

An excellent travelogue

I sent the link to some Yankee friends so they can get a taste of what I've termed "the tackiest place on Earth".

"I'm not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat." -- Will Rogers

F-Stop's picture

I'd forgotten just how

I'd forgotten just how damned funny that was...thanks :)

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