To say that Pigeon Forge is a fantastic year-round destination is an understatement. From the lively holiday season to the lazy days of summer, each time of the year brings a level of natural beauty and cultural excitement that is paralleled by few other American resort towns. For those who can’t relocate to the region permanently, here is a guide to help you pick exactly which season is right for you.


Autumn in Pigeon Forge brings weather in the fifties and sixties, colorful foliage throughout the Smokies, and so many delightful events we’ve written an entire guide — from artsy Chalkfest, at The Island shopping complex, to Dollywood’s Harvest Festival. It’s also a great time to indulge in the hearty regional cuisine, as well as sample wine and locally distilled whiskey. October is peak season, so come Halloween, you can enjoy Dollywood’s larger-than-life pumpkin patch or experience “fright nights” on the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster. Around Thanksgiving, explore the local crafts scene or watch the Titanic Museum’s kickoff to the holidays.


The temperatures drop to the forties and fifties throughout the winter season, which is quieter than autumn but lively and festive nonetheless. In addition to experiencing one of the spectacular holiday events (full list here), you can hike through mountains blanketed in snow, sip local apple cider, stock up on locally made gifts, or just curl up beneath one of the traditional quilts that eastern Tennessee is famous for. Ring in the new year at The Island or Dollywood, which celebrate the holiday in characteristically flamboyant, over-the-top fashion, and then spend January watching professional skiers compete in nearby Ober Gatlinburg.


Springtime in the Smokies is arguably our best-kept secret — bringing a beautiful wildflower bloom, Easter celebrations, and music and food events such as the Beans and Cornbread Festival. You’ll also get to see the area at its quietest (the crowds won’t return for another two to three months) — and if you’re into the outdoors, you’ll appreciate the mild weather at this time. Slightly warmer than autumn, the temperatures are ideal for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities.


Weather in the seventies and eighties makes summer the best season to hit popular outdoor water parks such as Dollywood Splash Country, sample local ice cream, dine at an outdoor barbecue joint, and ride The Island’s iconic Ferris wheel — all of which account for the region’s popularity during this season. (The other peak season aside from October.) Naturally, it’s also a perfect time to keep exploring the mountains, which have become spectacularly lush and verdant from all of the rain in springtime.

Plan Your Trip

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