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Any other places like pigeon forge?

columbus, ohio
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165 posts
23 reviews
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Any other places like pigeon forge?

My husband and our three children just returned from a cabin stay in Wears Valley. We are country people and were shocked at how many people were in pigeon forge/gatlinburg and how bad the traffic was. We absolutely loved the hiking in the smokeys. Is there any other place like pigeon forge without the crowds? I know some of you will say that the businesses need the crowds to thrive but we aren't looking for the touristy areas and can handle having only one or two restaurant choices. I also know some of you will say go in the off season, but with the kids in school, that's hard to do. I'm hoping that someone better traveled than us has a suggestion.

Rincon Georgia
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830 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: Any other places like pigeon forge?

If you are looking for a place to stay for primarily going into the park and hiking, I would suggest either staying in Townsend or trying Bryson City or Maggie Valley on the NC side of the park. But none of these are anything like PF with the shows/attractions/etc.

Edited: 21 October 2013, 21:03
East Tennessee
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636 posts
155 reviews
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2. Re: Any other places like pigeon forge?

Concur with above as well as consider Cosby which is pretty much exactly as you stated that you are looking for. Townsend would be my first choice. Cherokee is much like I believe that Gatlinburg was maybe 40 years ago less the gambling, which has taken over as the primary push in Cherokee.

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1,414 posts
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3. Re: Any other places like pigeon forge?

Not exactly clear about what you are asking. Pigeon Forge is not at the Park entrance and there are ways into the Gatlinburg entrance without the excruciating experience of driving through PF. If you want a truly quiet, traffic-free way into the Park then Townsend is definitely your answer. There are just a couple of restaurants and motels and no traffic at all. From the Townsend entrance, you have access to all major roads through the Park..

Alabama
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261 posts
57 reviews
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4. Re: Any other places like pigeon forge?

We are going to be staying in Cosby for the first time. I am anxious to see if I like this area better. DH hates the fall traffic in G'burg.PF and especially Cades Cove! Will post my experience when I get back.

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5. Re: Any other places like pigeon forge?

Cosby is a nice, quiet area, but to get into the main roads of the Park, you still have to go through Gatlinburg...

Savannah, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Gatlinburg, Maggie Valley, Pigeon Forge
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3,736 posts
22 reviews
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6. Re: Any other places like pigeon forge?

Any of the places on the NC side of the park sounds like what you're looking for. Cherokee can be a bit busy, but maybe Bryson City, Dillsboro or Maggie Valley would be more to your liking. They are all near the park, but at a much slower pace than GB/PF.

Good luck!

Athens, Alabama
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3,988 posts
411 reviews
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7. Re: Any other places like pigeon forge?

You may find Fontana Village Resort or Tapoco Lodge, both in NC, to your liking. You would have access to the GSMNP via a walk across Fontana Dam putting you on the Appalachian Trail with easy access to many other trails from that point. Fontana Lake is beautiful during the summer and fall months before they draw the water down a lot for winter flood storage.

http://www.fontanavillage.com/

http://www.tapocolodge.com/

nps.gov/grsm/…trail-map_JULY13-full.pdf

Birmingham, Alabama
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3 posts
10 reviews
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8. Re: Any other places like pigeon forge?

Townsend would be the answer. They call it "the quiet side of the Smokies". Stayed there many times and loved it.

columbus, ohio
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165 posts
23 reviews
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9. Re: Any other places like pigeon forge?

Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I'll start researching all of the places mentioned as the kids want to go back in spring.

10. Re: Any other places like pigeon forge?

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