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There are many reasons to visit Pigeon Forge. The incredible natural beauty and amazing attractions make it a premier vacation destination for any family.  And, on top of it all, Pigeon Forge can be extremely affordable. To prove it, check out this fun-filled and busy day on a budget!

8 to 9 am: Breakfast at Lil Black Bear Cafe

Lil Black Bear Cafe’ is easy to miss.  However, it’d be a shame if you did! A local favorite with homemade, made-to-order food is great for a quick and cheap family breakfast.  The menu may be small, but the flavor is huge!  Chat with the friendly owners while you leisurely sip your coffee and enjoy your sandwich.  

10am to 4 pm: Visit the Great Smoky Mountains

With a full belly, let’s get to what you came here for: the Great Smoky Mountains.  Just a short drive away from Pigeon Forge, the Gatlinburg entrance to the park is a great place to start your trip.  Unlike most other national parks, there is no entry fee for the Great Smoky Mountains.

The park offers a wide variety of hikes and some begin just inside the Gatlinburg entrance, making a hike possible for just about everyone.  Choose your hike wisely, taking into consideration both difficulty and scenery.  Some are flat and offer up-close views of wildflowers (in season), while others are hilly and offer panoramic views of the mountain range. Best of all, the entire experience is free!

If a full day on one trail doesn’t sound like much fun, pick two or three easier trails and a picnic spot along the way.  On a summer day, the early start means you have easy access to parking on the busier trails.

Pack yourself a picnic lunch.  Your cabin has a fully equipped kitchen for groceries and meal prep, after all.  Enjoy the day unplugged in the mountains and share family time together.

7 pm: Tennessee Smokies Baseball Game

You may not know this area has a baseball team.  The Tennessee Smokies are a minor league team and a Double A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.  In season April through September, watching the Smokies are a great way to spend some time with the Tennessee locals. Game tickets are also super affordable!  In addition to the game, the mascots and musical entertainment make this a great time, even if  you aren’t a baseball fan. There are plenty of supper options at the stadium. Indulging in America’s favorite pastime is a great way to spend time together as a family.

You and your kiddos are probably tuckered out after this full day that doesn’t break the budget.  Go on back to your cabin (which you can also get a great deal on) and relax.  There’s plenty more fun coming up tomorrow!

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