With hundreds of retail stores, specialty shops, and outlets in the Pigeon Forge/Sevierville area, these two little words create both excitement and dread in the hearts of even the most seasoned shoppers. But, one thing can make all the difference—a good game plan. To help you survive this holiday season, we’ve created the ultimate step-by-step survival guide to Black Friday Shopping in the Smokies.
Step #1: Make RiverStone Resort and Spa your “home base” for Black Friday weekend.
RiverStone has 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-bedroom condominiums featuring fully stocked kitchens, whirlpool tubs, cozy fireplaces, balconies and screened patios, and breathtaking views of the fall foliage. We’ve even got lots of porch rockers overlooking the Little Pigeon River that runs beside the resort. If you’re planning some serious shopping, you’ll need a relaxing location to recharge after a long day of fighting the crowds. With hundreds of shopping options just minutes from RiverStone’s luxurious condos, they are a perfect spot to use as your home base. Be sure to make your reservations as early as possible for best accommodations, deals, and availability during this busy season.
Step #2: Make a plan for which stores you want to visit, what their hours are, where to find the best promotions and deals, etc.
With so many shopping options, it can be difficult to stay focused. Before you set out on your shopping adventure, use this table to check out the area’s best retail and outlet options and to help you make your plans for the entire weekend. Pre-loading address of stores into your GPS can save precious time when you’re trying to beat the crowd. Be aware of store hours, and map out restaurants or other options for food and drink to refuel while you’re shopping. Browse store websites and newspapers in advance for retailers’ best pre-Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend deals. Some offer early bird sales, while other stores stagger sales at different times throughout the day. Figure out these times and locations to take advantage of the best deals on the most important items on your list. While you’re knocking out your list, you may even want to make plans for those non-shoppers in your group to have some fun too. Below are some of the best places to start checking items off your list.
Address: 2528 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863; (865) 908-9131
Select Stores: 10 specialty shops and well-known retailers such as Birkenstocks and Harley Davidson
Hours: Complex operating hours are 10am-10pm daily, however each individual store can set its own daily and holiday operating hours; suggest checking with desired store for specific hours before arriving onsite.
Places to Eat: Calhoun’s, Smoky Mountain Brewery, No Way Jose’s Cantina, Five Guys Burgers
Parking: Free parking in marked lots.
Recreation: The Forge Cinemas movie theater is located in the complex, call (865) 774-6602 for movie listings and times.
5 Oaks Tanger Outlet Mall
Address: 1645 Parkway, Ste 960, Sevierville, TN 37862; (865) 453-1053
Select Stores: 120 high-end, name brand outlets including Nike, Under Armour, Reebok, Coach, Chicos, Justice, Ann Taylor, Nine West, Michael Kors, Oakley Vault, Disney Store, Toys R Us outlet, Yankee Candle, Alex & Ani (coming soon), Vera Bradley, and more.
Hours: * Thanksgiving Eve—9am-6pm * Thanksgiving Day—6pm-12am * Day After Thanksgiving—12am-10pm * Saturday—8am-10pm * Sunday–8am-8pm
Specials & Coupons: Stop by Shopper Services at Five Oaks for a Tanger coupon book! AAA and AARP members as well as military service members receive the coupon book free with ID. Also, check for coupons online: http://www.tangeroutlet.com/sevierville/coupons
Places to Eat: Chop House, Starbucks, Subway, Ben and Jerrys and more.
Parking: Free parking in marked lots; some businesses surrounding the outlet complex may provide additional parking options for a nominal fee.
Recreation: NASCAR Speed Park go-carts and arcade is located adjacent to the outlet center; ride all day for $19.95.
Address: 131 The Island Dr., Pigeon Forge, TN 37863; (865) 286-0119
Select Stores: 35 unique retail and specialty shops, including Bodacious Bags, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Tervis, The Toychest Company, and more.
Hours: * Thanksgiving Eve—10am-11pm * Thanksgiving Day—4pm-10pm * Day After Thanksgiving—10am-11pm * Saturday—10am-11pm * Sunday–10am-11pm Holiday hours subject to change
Specials & Coupons: http://islandinpigeonforge.com/coupons/
WiFi: Not available complex-wide; individual stores may provide in-store wifi.
Places to Eat: Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, Margaritaville, Mellow Mushroom, Dick’s Last Resort, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Cinnabon, and more.
Parking: Free parking in marked lots; free shuttle from parking lot; also a Pigeon Forge Trolley Stop.
Recreation: Check out Ole Smoky Moonshine, a 6,000-square foot “Ole Smoky Barn” that includes an onsite still, a tasting bar and a retail store. Or pull up a chair and enjoy daily live bluegrass music on the outdoor stage; located within the complex.
Pigeon River Crossing
Address: 2655 Teaster Ln, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863; (865) 453-3503
Select Stores: 85 outlet stores including Izod, Nike Clearance, Rack Room Shoes, Carter’s Children’s Wear, Dress Barn and more.
Specials & Coupons: N/A
Places to Eat: Subway, TCBY, etc.
Parking: Free parking in marked lots.
Recreation: “The Track” go-cart, putt-putt and arcade complex and the Gatlinburg Golf Course are located nearby; tee time reservations are required for golf.
Step #3: Figure out the best ways to get around—Traffic and parking? Or trolley hopping and shuttles?
Many of the most serious shoppers want the freedom of having their own car parked nearby to stash packages as they make their way through their shopping list. However, Black Friday weekend brings an unbelievable level of traffic to the area that is unmatched by even car show weekends, summer vacation season, or July 4th parades down the main Parkway. And there’s always the question of where to park. As an alternative, the Pigeon Forge Fun Time Trolley is a great way to beat the traffic and get around to all the places you want to be without worrying about parking and re-parking the car. The main trolley station is located at Patriot Park, just minutes away from the RiverStone. Leave your car there, and for only $.50 a ride, or $2.50 for an all-day wristband, the trolley runs up and down the Parkway every 20 minutes or so, with trolley stops at all the major venues. With this option too, you can come back to stash packages or even grab lunch or a quick power nap at the resort.
Step #4: Finish off the weekend with a special treat.
Call ahead before your trip and reserve your spot for a “Pumpkin Spice and Everything” seasonal spa treatment at the RiverStone Spa. It’s the perfect way to relax and rejuvenate after your Black Friday weekend activities. You’ll receive a refreshing facial as well as a full body exfoliation and hydration treatment complete with special autumn aromas. After long days walking from one shop to the next, nothing will feel better than a Pumpkin Pedicure featuring perfect polish in a beautiful fall color or perhaps a 60-minute relaxing massage. Don’t forget to call ahead—advance reservations will be necessary due to the high volume of guests who will want to enjoy these delightful spa treatments.
Whether you’re a hard-core shopper or just love getting into the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season, planning ahead will be your key to a fun and successful Black Friday weekend. Adding RiverStone Resort and Spa to your itinerary will help ensure you’re shopping adventure is relaxing and memorable as well. It’s a tradition you’ll want to repeat year after year.