I drove through Tennessee mountain towns: Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.



So in today’s video, we’re going to take a tour from downtown Knoxville, through the Great Smoky Mountains and into two very unique mountain towns – Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Tennessee.

As we leave downtown we’ll cross through some mountain passes on our way into Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. It’s Saturday, November 9 at noon.

We were lucky, as the leaves seemed to be at their autumn peaks.

If I were to make a comparison to these mountain towns to other places I’ve been, I’d say Pigeon Forge is like Myrtle Beach South Carolina, but in the mountains. Pigeon Forge is basically a huge tourist trap destination.

All of Route 321 here in the far eastern corner of Tennessee crosses a big valley between mountain passes as you cross into western North Carolina and north Georgia along the Great Smoky Mountain ridges.

So we’re right in the middle of the mountains, but there’s a TON of stuff going on.

Pigeon Forge identifies as a vacation area more than a community. It’s also home to Dollywood, an amusement park founded by country crooner Dolly Parton. The place is packed full of restaurants, theme parks, mini golf, museums, shopping, arcades and other points of interest.

Now, to get to Gatlinburg, you can continue along Route 321 and you’d be there in 15 minutes. However, as you can see, traffic is a real pain. It was Veterans Day weekend, the height of fall colors, and happened to be a beautiful weekend, weather wise, with temps in the low 70s. So, everyone else wanted to get up here, too.

To avoid the crowd, we decided to take a detour over a small mountain pass into Gatlinburg, a drive that took about 15 minutes. But we were glad we did, as we came over the top of the ridge, which afforded a very unique perspective on what Gatlinburg looks like from the top of the ridge.

It may not look like it from here, but there’s a TON of people down there.

This is Gatlinburg proper. It’s not always this busy, but between June and December it is, especially on weekends. If Pigeon Forge 15 miles behind us was Myrtle Beach, this is definitely Bourbon Street. Although Gatlinburg is 1000% safer and cleaner than most Louisiana cities I’ve been to.

Gatlinburg might be many people’s favorite mountain town of all. It sits at the base of the road to the end of the Appalachian Mountains – about three hours from here is the end of the Appalachian Mountains and only 4 hours away is Atlanta.

Gatlinburg, like Pigeon Forge is only home to around 4,000 permanent residents.

There’s skiing nearby, too. Basically, if you can think of something fun you’d want to do, it’s here in Gatlinburg. Except surfing. There’s no ocean nearby.

Link to worst part of Knoxville video:

Link to downtown Knoxville tour video:

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