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Old 10-01-2014, 06:30 PM   #1
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Disappointed With Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg

DW and I just returned from our first visit to PF and Gatlinburg area after wanting to see the area for a number of years. Pigeon Forge is a joke! A Titanic exhibit? Really, what part of southern heritage is that about. Giant Ferris wheel sticking up out of no where. Rub down shop, attractions, yes the dinner theaters too. Congested main highway (Rt.441) that does not have timed traffic signals. They should make the curb lane an express type lane going in and out of the junk shops and attractions. Gatlinburg was better. Liked the numbered traffic lights as a reference marker. At least you could walk up and down the sidewalk to explore t-shirt junk shops, and peek in and out of the many side courtyards and alleyways. But Ripley's Believe It or Not, don't think so, the town could do with out it. Loved the moonshine presentation at Shine Moonshine, bought a bottle for $25. However, the town is dated, tired and worn looking. Not a lot of semblance to being in such a southern tourist area with a calling card like Smokey Mountain National Park. Easily they could make it like Broadway in Nashville, if they care. Get rid of the junk and add restaurants, shows and taverns highlighting blue grass and country music. You know, places adults like to go to, oh and they'll spend the $$$ too if it's good. S.M.N.P is amazing! DW and I wish we allotted all of are time in the area exploring it more. Rainbow waterfall hike, 3 miles each way was long a challenging, but we loved it! Cade's Cove and the loop road is wonderful, though we missed the opportunity to ride our bikes around it. Good thing, half mile in a black bear crossed the road right in front of the car in front of us to join its two mates just off the road! Awesome! Though disappointed with PF and Gtlbg, we will go back to take in more of S.M.N.P. and try to get into the country side of the area. Our campsite at Creekside CG in PF got a 10 rating from me on rvparkreviews.com. Smallish sites but everything else was perfect.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:18 PM   #2
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DW and I are headed to Pigeon Forge in two weeks from today. We are staying at Up the Creek. Any hints for additional things to avoid?

We plan on spending most of our time hiking or exploring SMNP right now.

I am kinda apprehensive about staying in the RV park as we are gonna be the smallest camper there and its our first time using full hook ups. That shower is tiny. (plus I am huge)

Regardless, i love our camper and a bad day camping is better than a good day at work.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:27 PM   #3
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Those two towns were bad tourist traps 30 years ago! I just pass through and only if I HAVE too! Give me the National Park and Cades Cove any day!
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:36 PM   #4
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Those two towns were bad tourist traps 30 years ago! I just pass through and only if I HAVE too! Give me the National Park and Cades Cove any day!
I don't think they've tried to be anything but tourist attractions. Same as Branson, MO.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:36 PM   #5
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We go there a couple of times a year. Over all its a tourist trap environment and traffic is horrible. Mainly Early Sundays That's when everyone has to check out of the hotels and leave. There are certain back roads to take that bypass the mass exit. That being said, I have always found the area offers something for everybody. I live in Kentucky and it serves as a nice weekend getaway spot that other than the high sales taxes, wont break the bank.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:38 PM   #6
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TBH, i doubt the wife and I spend anytime there other than at the campground. We are staying there because of the proximity to SMNP.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:41 PM   #7
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I don't think they've tried to be anything but tourist attractions. Same as Branson, MO.
Agreed!
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:46 PM   #8
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I love the area but in the 22 years I've been going those two towns have really slid downhill. They gave into the tourist trap mentality.

I was up there all last week, I went to Gatlinburg once for the Smoky Mountain Candy Kitchen, saw what I was afraid would be there and went back to my camper up in the park.

GSMNP is still awesome so I stay out of the way in a little CG and enjoy the park itself.
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:01 PM   #9
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Been camping at Elkmont campground in the SMNP once a year for more than 30 years. Watched Gatlinburg go to pieces. Have to drive through it on the way in and out and that's enough for me. Pigeon Forge, not for me even more than Gatlinburg. Now, if you are a young family with kids it does have more appeal but that another type of audience.
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:12 PM   #10
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Only good thing about the PF area is the knife outlet just off the interstate. My head is swimming every time I leave that place.
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