Thursday, October 20, 2011
Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, TN October 2011
We made the trip from the Carolinas to Tennessee through the Smoky Mountains. This time of year the trees in the higher elevations are just about at peak for fall colors. The trip through the mountains was amazing.
Although Dollywood is located in Pigeon Forge we opted to stay about 45 minutes away in Knoxville. We arrived in Knoxville with a three part plan. #1 Dinner at Famous Dave's (call me a Philistine but I love Famous Dave's!) #2 go to Dollywood and #3 head to the Knoxville Zoo to add to our Mold-o-Rama collection.
Number one we took care of as soon as we got to the hotel in Knoxville. Famous Dave's was right in the hotels parking lot. Nice! We headed over there for dinner. The next morning, Saturday, we headed to Pigeon Forge and all things Dollywood. The trip to DW from Knoxville is easy enough and we were on the road that leads to DW in no time.
The road to Dollywood; let me describe what we saw. The road into the area where Dollywood is located is lined on both sides with every imaginable tourist related business you can think of. It is a sold mass of hotels, restaurants, arcades, shops, museums, and mini-golf courses. If we had chosen to stay in the immediate area of the park this is where would be have ended up. If you're thinking about making the trip to DW I wouldn't hesitate to book at any of the hotels we saw along the way. Once you've seen the amusement park there would still be plenty to do in the area. It would make for a nice long weekend or a short family vacation.
We arrived at the park right at opening time which on this day was 9:00am. After being directed to park in a huge lot and then driven by shuttle to the parks entrance we bought our tickets and were on our way.
The park is divided into several areas. Each contain shops, restaurants and amusements. I was there specifically for the crafts and headed to Craftman's Valley where the craftsmen and artisans are located. There are all types of crafts to see being made and to purchase. Blacksmithing, candle making, basket weaving, just to name few. We walked around, sampled the food and watched the craftsman at work. A lovely way to spend a beautiful fall day.
What I expected was a hokey, fake-sincere hoedown designed to suck money out of our pockets. What we got was a fun, warm and friendly place filled with nice people who really want you to have a great time. Dollywood is very family oriented but definitely enjoyable for couples and groups of friends too.
If you find yourself in the Knoxville TN area with some time on your hands head over to Pigeon Forge and pay Dollywood a visit. The fine folks there will be happy to see that you have a great time and I'm pretty sure you will.