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Prepare for Your Pigeon Forge Vacation   by Caitlin Moore

National Park enthusiasts know it, country music fans love it, and adventurous vacationers should make an effort to visit at some point or another. Eastern Tennessee, namely the town of Pigeon Forge, is a fun-filled and family-friendly place to relocate for a few days. Between the natural beauty of the wilderness and the lively music-themed activities, there's enough to see and do for everyone in your group to have a ball for the duration of your hard-earned trip.

Starting with the park of all parks, which contains the bulk of the Great Smoky Mountains along with all their mystique and allure, you'll be surprised by the feeling of release that comes over you as soon as you've set foot in this wonderland of scenic loveliness and bustling wildlife. The Smokies welcome travelers with open arms, offering opportunities for diversions of all kinds. Weekenders and seasoned outdoors people will both have their urges sated, just wait.

Fly fishing, white water rafting, and hiking on a choice few of the 800 or so miles of hiking trails will cause you to forget all about your piles of paperwork and your daily commute. Tying up your boots and hitting the trail will do wonders for your soul's comfort and will allow you to spend quality time with the people you love in one of the country's most treasured National Parks. Each year, more visitors hit this one than any other, a fact you'll soon come to fully understand.

If you feel the need to rejoin humanity after this immersion into nature, plenty of places will be calling your name. Speaking of names, the most well-known around here is Dolly Parton. Don't leave without joining your fellow man in worshipping her image (or at least having a good time) at Dollywood. This theme park is multi-dimensional; not only are there dozens of rides to make you laugh and scream, there are also constant musical offerings and frequent festivals. Bluegrass, gospel, country and mountain music will all delight your ears and complete the atmosphere of this culturally unique place to be. Come see about Dolly to truly appreciate Pigeon Forge.

Keep the fun going by visiting the other theme parks, playing mini-golf, racing go-karts, taking a helicopter ride, or stopping by the Elvis museum. About 40 distinct attractions will compete for your attention, so take a family vote and save time to visit the top choices. Shopping will also tempt you, as an array of outlet stores, antique shops and one-of-a-kind boutiques are on display. Practice restraint or go all out, it's safe to say you'll head home with something you've picked up along the way.

Pigeon Forge will certainly keep you well fed. From Southern favorites to recognizable chains, the restaurants are varied and eager to serve up a hearty meal to you and your hungriest traveling companions. Be it a quick BBQ sandwich or a full plate with a side of cornbread, go ahead and indulge in what you've been craving. Diets don't really work very well on vacation, so quit counting calories for once and just enjoy yourself.

Dinner theatre, magic shows and comedy acts will fill your nights and entertain you with the energy shown by any other popular vacation spot in the country. Depending on when you arrive, you may be privy to a special event as well. The Smoky Mountains Storytelling Festival is an intriguing tradition, as is Wilderness Wildlife Week. Some people may be inclined to yawn at the thought of visiting Tennessee, but after getting to know Pigeon Forge, you'll be able to set them straight.

Make the trip a little more special by opting to choose a Pigeon Forge Vacation Rental as the place you unpack your bags. These log cabins and charming cottages tucked away into the woods are a dream come true for tired travelers, and are practically guaranteed to remove stress and strain from the equation. Ample amenities from the kitchen to the patio will make the deal even sweeter, so entertain this option as you start to plan your trip.

Pigeon Forge has what it takes to stand among more glamorous destinations, a phenomenon you should certainly explore sometime soon.

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