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Few places in the South have quite the same draw as the Smoky Mountains. Not only are they a nature lover’s dream, with a vast network of hiking trails and crystal-clear waters to swim in, but the towns surrounding the mountain range are full of family-friendly tourist attractions. Pigeon Forge is undoubtedly the center of tourism in the region, with theme parks, musical events, and tons of great shopping to keep everyone entertained. It’s also the perfect place to do some motorhome camping, with lots of amenity-heavy RV parks. One of the best parks is Creekside RV Park, just off Highway 321 and a few miles west of Pigeon Forge’s downtown area.
Creekside RV Park is a full-service RV campground complete with full hookups (30 and 50-amp capacity) for your RV rental, along with cable TV and Wi-Fi. If you need to get freshen up, there’s an excellent bathhouse, and there are laundry facilities too. If you’ve forgotten any camping essentials, there’s a small camp store where you can pick up most things, though it’s only a short drive to the grocery store in Pigeon Forge.
There’s also a relaxing saltwater swimming pool that feels great on the skin after a long day of hiking or just browsing the shops in town. If you’re an angler, Walden Creek runs right next to the campground and is a great place to while away an afternoon if you’ve got a Tennessee fishing license (available at sporting goods stores and gas stations in Pigeon Forge). You also don’t need to take your motorhome rental onto the town’s streets, as there’s a tourist trolley that picks up from the campground and goes to all the major sights.
Along with nearby Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge is considered the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While it can get pretty crowded during the summer months (it is America’s most-visited national park), there are still lots of hidden spots to spread out once you get off the main road. Most come to see the lush, green forests that remain enchantingly beautiful throughout the year and are easily observed from one of the park’s several scenic drives. There are fantastic hiking opportunities in the park too, including a segment of the Appalachian Trail.
If spending the day with thousands of your fellow outdoor lovers doesn’t appeal to you, head a bit farther south from the national park to enter Nantahala National Forest, which gets far fewer visitors. That’s not because it’s any less beautiful or exciting though; there are still dozens of hiking trails with expansive views of the Smoky Mountains and fast-moving rivers that are perfect for rafting and kayaking. If you need to rent a watercraft, there are a few shops in Pigeon Forge that can get you set up.
Since Pigeon Forge is such a popular family vacation destination, there are a number of “adventure ranches” on its outskirts. They offer activities like horseback riding, zip-lining, whitewater rafting, and off-road driving experiences, but under the supervision of an experienced instructor to ensure a safe time.
Pigeon Forge doesn’t have a huge population, but it is a major tourist hub for the southern Appalachia region, so you’ll never go hungry or be bored when camping with an RV there. This is a great place to try out Southern cuisine too – real mac and cheese, fried pickles, and heaping servings of freshly sliced country ham; it’s all about the comfort food in Tennessee.
However, the most visited attraction in Pigeon Forge is undoubtedly Dollywood – the Dolly Parton-themed amusement park. Even if you’re not a fan of the country music legend, there are loads of thrill rides along with arts and crafts exhibits to enjoy.
When you book an RV in Sevier County, Tennessee, you can check out remnants of the world’s most famous shipwreck, the Titanic. The Titanic Museum has a partial replica of the ocean liner, complete with grand staircases and opulent cabins. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to be “King of the World” like Leo, this is the place to do it.
One of Pigeon Forge’s best hidden gem attractions is the Alcatraz of the East Crime Museum. Despite the name, the museum is not dedicated to the west coast prison, but rather to criminal activity in America. Everything from serial killer motives to forensic science to crime prevention is explored within the building's imposing stone walls. It’s one of the better rainy day attractions when you are renting an RV in Pigeon Forge.