Pigeon Forge is a mountain resort town in the American South of Tennessee backed by the Smoky Mountains – a mountain range that undulates along the Tennessee–North Carolina border. It’s famous for Dollywood: a theme park belonging to none other than East Tennessee’s most famous daughter, songstress Dolly Parton. This impressive empire of fun has over 50 rides – including the hair-raising Wild Eagle and Tennessee Tornado. As well as abundant natural beauty in the surrounding countryside, Pigeon Forge is a hub for shopping while hotels have pools aplenty where you can relax in your downtime – bookable on Culture Trip.
The island-inspired Margaritaville Island Hotel has a holiday atmosphere – with a rooftop pool-with-a-view where you can overlook the town as you bask. There are sky-blue walls in the bedrooms, exposed stone walls, fireplaces and more views. Set in the middle of a fantastical, stage-set-style entertainment zone, known as “the Island”, you can eat frozen yoghurt, splash in fountains, go on the big wheel or simply drink signature frozen margaritas. You’re also close to America’s most visited national park – the Great Smoky Mountains – where you can go horseback riding, rafting or picnicking.
This is one of the most impressive hotels with pools in Pigeon Forge. There’s a long, lazy river here, along with corkscrew slides and a lagoon-style outdoor pool. No need to stop swimming when the weather’s cold – the indoor pools are impressive, too, including a large angular pool and bubbling hot tub. Rooms have balconies with magnificent views over the Smoky Mountains and Pigeon River and come with polished pine furnishings. You can work out in the fitness center or bond with your teenagers in the games room.
Overlooking the rushing river, this family-friendly resort also has superb swimming pools: a lazy river that you can float around on inflatables while indoors, there’s another superb place to swim, set in a glass-walled conservatory-style enclosure with views. Spacious condos have chintz or striped bedspreads and sofas, granite worktops and whirlpool bathtubs – some have wooden rocking chairs on the verandas and balconies overlooking more rolling green views. There’s also a nature trail and playground, plus a luxurious spa to knead away any knots.
The mecca for Dolly fans, Dollywood has the natural-styled “Swimming Hole” – which has an appealingly beach-like gentle incline. There’s a cascading waterfall, interactive family splash pad and a relaxing outdoor hot tub. Indoors, the Garden House is a glass-walled, wood-beamed building with a heated indoor pool with stunning views over the beautiful Smoky Mountains. The resort vibe is “Dolly’s front porch” and lush accommodation has all comforts with some touches adding character – including colorful curved mirrors and headboards. Splash Country is one of the best outdoor water parks in the US, complete with incredible slides and flumes.
Just minutes from Dollywood, this smart, family-friendly hotel has big views of the Smoky Mountains and West Prong Little Pigeon River. The rooms are decorated in pale neutrals, with large, comfortable beds – while communal areas have a more rustic look, with exposed stone walls, stag-head decor and wooden doors. The outdoor heated pool here is large and lagoon-like, with a water fountain and slide. You can eat wood-fired pizza in the Fox Den restaurant and drink local craft beer in the Fox Den Bar.
The Marriott is one of the best hotels with pools in Pigeon Forge – with a snaking lazy river centered on a garden island – as well as indoor pools for when the weather turns chilly. Other places to relax or meet other guests include the fire pits and the hot tubs. You’re also well catered for: sip hand-crafted cocktails, craft beers, or a Starbucks at the stylish Courtyard Pigeon Forge – or, order 24hr room service to your cappuccino-pale room and enjoy it while looking out over the river beneath the Smoky Mountains.
This is one of the most popular hotels with pools in Pigeon Forge – for its lovely riverside setting, good food and more. Choose between the heated indoor pool with hot tub or the outdoor pool with its sundeck and views of the river bend. Handsome rooms have polished wooden headboards, exposed flagstone walls and faux fireplaces – where some come with balconies. Pigeon Forge Snow amusement park and the Dukes of Hazzard museum are just two blocks walk away, while the Island complex – with its many restaurants, bars and amusement rides – is also walkable.
Handily located close to the bustle – and within a short drive of the natural splendor of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its hiking trails and zipline adventures – this is a great hotel with pools in Pigeon Forge. Choose whether you want to swim indoors – where there’s a hot tub as well as a pool – or out, where the pool includes a lazy river and corkscrew slide. The accommodations here have warm cream walls, statement curtains and polished wood headboards – and some come with hot tubs and fireplaces.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.