Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge in December

Old Nov 8th, 2021, 12:24 PM
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Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge in December

We will be staying in Pigeon Forge during the first week of December as part of a month long road trip. We are 2 couples in our 60-70’s from Oregon and Alabama. We are just starting to do our trip planning and would appreciate any help/advise that we could get since this is all new ground for us. Some of our questions are what the weather is likely to be during that time. What are some of the “must see” sites in the area. Where are some of the best Christmas displays? Best places to eat? Etc, etc. Any help will be appreciated.
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Old Nov 9th, 2021, 06:02 AM
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Traffic in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg can be congested, particularly later in the day and on weekends. If you haven't already booked accommodations I suggest staying in a cabin outside of the city limits. My husband and I just returned from that area and we staying in Townsend (referrred to as the quieter side of the Smokies).

Weather was nice in the 50s during the day and 30s at night. I suspect you may experience the same in early December. Mornings were foggy, so we had coffee and breakfast at the cabin before leaving to see the SMNP.

Some of our favorite areas for sightseeing: Cades Cove, Foothills Parkway, Roaring Fork Motor Trail, and Great Smoky Arts and Crafts community. We've been to the Smokies many times and at this point in our lives we avoid Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg (we're in our late 50s). If you do like shopping in Gatlinburg I suggest the Village Shoppes.

A couple of restaurants I recommend in Pigeon Forge: Local Goat Tavern (farm to table) and Wild Bear Tavern (German/American). In Gatlinburg we had lunch at Howards Restaurant, a local establishment since the 1940s. The inside isn't fancy, but we had great food (catfish bites and cheeseburger). If you enjoy craft beer--Smoky Mountain Brewing Company. There are locations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. If you enjoy wine please note that you cannot get a glass of wine at a winery/tasting room, only bottles. Wine by the glass is only served at restaurants. A couple of places we enjoyed in Towsend: The Abbey (craft beer, cider, and food) in a unique setting and Peaceful Side Social (craft beer, cider, and food). The owner of our cabin recommended dinner at Trailhead Steak and Trout, but we didn't find time to go there.

If you want to access SMNP from Pigeon Forge I recommend using the 321 bypass on the south end of Pigeon Forge. The bypass is a nice drive through Wears Valley. Hope you enjoy your trip!
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