This article is sponsored by Kia Motors America. We were given a 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid to take on a road trip adventure that began in Pigeon Forge. This in no way shaped my opinions in this post.
Pigeon Forge is a great family destination to visit during the fall months. The weather is great, the fall colors are vibrant and there are a variety of things to do. The Island, the Old Mill, and the plethora of Pigeon Forge hotels make finding things to do and comfortable places to stay an absolute breeze. All you have to do is choose your season!
Fall is a fun time of year to hit the road so, that’s just what we did. We set out with the Kia Niro Hybrid for a seven-day road trip adventure that took us from the Great Smoky Mountains and along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We hit three states, two national parks and had lots of adventure along the way. Our journey started in Pigeon Forge, TN where we enjoyed a little city break before we hit the great outdoors.
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Fall in the Mountains – Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge Hotels
We spent two nights in this fun-filled city hitting the road late so we could get a full day there on the following day. From Atlanta, we arrived at the Black Fox Lodge. I’ll tell you, there’s nothing like showing up to a huge hotel room when you’ve been in a car all day. We were elated to see all the space and the wrap around balcony. Gauge’s first order of things, a soak in our jetted tub. The hotel itself had a lovely breakfast, cozy lobby with fireplaces and a fire pit outside. Of all the years I have been visiting, the Black Fox Lodge is one of the nicest of all the Pigeon Forge hotels. It’s great for all sorts of travelers and it’s conveniently located in the middle of everything.
City Break Fun – The Island, MagiQuest, Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventure and More
The Old Mill
After a late night of driving, morning came too soon. Before we knew it we were off to breakfast at the Old Mill. The Old Mill area is a special place. It’s the only real historic place in town. It has that old country feel and offers everything from ice cream to dining. There’s also an old General Store that mills corn the same way it did in the 1800’s and yes, you can buy it! Our breakfast at the Old Mill Restaurant was awesome. It was just what we needed before heading over to The Island, the destination’s newest addition to tourism.
The Island greeted us with a symphonic fountain which offers a light show by night. From its towering Ferris wheel to old-fashioned gem mining (and all the moonshine you can handle in between), The Island proved to be a great place to spend the day. Sean and Gauge did the ropes course and the Ferris wheel together. It was nice to see them have that special time to share since, as a family, we are just hitting the year mark of Sean living with us.
The Island had loads of shopping, dining and entertainment options. It’s beautifully kept and free! Well, free to show up and enjoy the atmosphere, you pay as you go for the rides. But I love that! The atmosphere is awesome! They have the entire area decked out in fall decor so you really get that vibe you’re looking for. I especially love the afternoons and into the evening at The Island where you can listen to live Bluegrass and see the whole area transform with its fountain light shows. Plus, it’s totally pet-friendly!
Nerd alert our Associate Editor Nia from Circa Wanderlust took me to this super epic fandom shop called Kryptonite Character Store at The Island. To date, this place has the largest selection of stuff I’ve ever seen in every fandom you can imagine.
Eating at The Island – Paula Deen’s
There are a lot of food options at The Island, but we chose to have lunch at Paula Deen’s. She’s basically the Martha Stewart of southern food. The restaurant has a massive gift store at the bottom while the second floor overlooks the giant Ferris wheel. The food is served family style at your table, all you can eat (we didn’t make it past the first round before we were full). This was a heavy meal and we easily could have skipped dinner had we gone an hour or so later. The food and service were great but I suggest you go off-peak hours. It was really busy.
After our day at The Island, we headed over to MagiQuest where we love to get our geek on. Here they have a fantasy live RPG type interactive game which brings you on a massive scavenger hunt. Complete with magic wands, fairies and dragons, this is always a fun place to stop by when we’re in town.
Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner Show
For dinner, we went over to the all-new Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures dinner show. This show was unlike any other dinner show in the area with a very Cirque du Soleil kind of vibe. The stage was gorgeous and the talent was very entertaining. I loved the southern meal offering and there was plenty of it too, I couldn’t even finish my plate! I highly recommend a visit to this show if you’re in town.
Winterfest Light Festival Trolley Tours
If you’re booking your trip right now then you’ll be just in time for their Winterfest. This is a light festival that starts in early November and goes through the end of February. For more info on this visit their Winterfest page.
Our time in this Smoky Mountain town came to an end way too fast. There was so much more I wanted to do while there. In the past, I have been to several other cool attractions so I’d like to give a proper mention to these even though I didn’t get the chance to visit them this time around. If you’re looking for cool things to do I highly recommend checking out Flyaway Indoor Skydiving, The Tomb, the Hollywood Wax Museum and the Titanic Museum. These are super cool places (especially the Tomb).
About the Kia Niro Hybrid
We spent a year with the Kia Niro Hybrid and we love this car! Coming from a Kia Sorento, it was a bit of a change to get into a crossover, but the comfort and handling of this car made it easy to fall in love with it. I live just outside of Atlanta which means I deal with a lot of heavy traffic in all kinds of weather. I always feel super confident behind the wheel. The safety features and advanced technology give me a sense of my surroundings and driver control that I’ve never had before. And with the amount of money we save driving a vehicle that runs on EV and fuel, getting a combined 50mpg, adventures are that much more doable. Want to know more about this crossover? Check out Kia’s cool website full of specs and video content and check out the video below!
If you’re looking for a little road trip adventure in the mountains Pigeon Forge is a great place for that. With its attractions, close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and lodging like Black Fox Lodge, you’re going to find that it is a perfect place for a fun city break.
Be sure to check back to see what we did after we left as part of our Fall in the Mountains Adventure with Kia Niro Hybrid. I’ll be writing about; Our First Ever Tiny House Experience in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Exploring Linville Falls in North Carolina, Hiking Grandfather Mountain, Stargazing Along the Blue Ridge Mountains and Staying in a Luxury Teepee in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Heading to Pigeon Forge? Or are you shopping for a new car? Ask me anything in the comments below and I’ll get back to you right away with my best answers!