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Nicknamed the “Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains” – the city of Gatlinburg, located in Sevier County, is one of eastern Tennessee’s most visited cities. In 1934, during the first operating year of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it is estimated that close to 400,000 visitors passed through the city, the beginning of Gatlinburg’s transformation from sleepy mountain community into the major tourist destination you see today.

With mountains rising on all sides, including Le Conte and Sugarland to the south, Cove Mountain to the west, Big Ridge to the northeast, and Grapeyard Ridge to the east; Gatlinburg is the natural home of the only ski resort in the state of Tennessee – Ober Gatlinburg.

Approximately seven miles north of Gatlinburg, and less than 12 square miles in area, Pigeon Forge is best known as the home of Dolly Parton’s popular “Dollywood” amusement complex as well as popular shopping outlets and entertainment venues. Named for an iron forge built around 1820, this valley area was part of the Cherokee Indian’s hunting grounds and “Indian Gap Trail” footpath prior to its European settlement.

In the late 1960s, Pigeon Forge become a popular outpost for businesses that had difficulty establishing themselves in nearby Gatlinburg. The city remains a “dry” jurisdiction – meaning that sales of alcohol are prohibited within city limits.

Area Visitor Centers


Lodging, Dining & Things to Do

Stories from Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge Area

March 22, 2019
As the weather warms, spring fever leads many of us outside and to planning some trips. Whether an impromptu weekend getaway or looking ahead to what's happening later this season, there's no shortage of fun activities in the regions near the Parkway in spring. Read on for our break down of what's going on this season in each region of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
November 18, 2018
Spending the holidays in the Blue Ridge Mountains brings to mind cozy fireside nights under homespun quilts, a brisk family hike to find the perfect Christmas tree on the farm, and the very the best slopes for skiing and sledding. We’ve rounded up all this and more in our guide to festive winter fun in the communities along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
October 18, 2018
When will the leaves be at peak color this Fall along the Blue Ridge Parkway? While it would be nice if we could forecast the moment Autumn foliage will dazzle us with peak vibrancy as reliably as we track the ocean's tides, just when and why the leaves change colors is a complex array of factors far less predictable.