Live Like a Local: Pigeon Forge Favorites

The main parkway in Pigeon Forge from an aerial view with mountains in the background

When you and your family go on vacation, do you like to go a little off the beaten path? Are you curious how the local people live and what businesses they like? Well, we made a list of our locals’ favorite restaurants, shops, and things to do so you can explore something new during your next trip to the Smokies.

 

Favorite Restaurants:

The Old Mill Pottery House Cafe & Grille

How cool would it be to eat amazing food on hand-crafted pottery? It’s no question why the Pottery House is a local favorite! With everything from sandwiches to salads and more, this is a great option for lunch or dinner. It’s been said that the tomato basil soup and grilled cheese are the perfect combo on a rainy day!

 

Local Goat

A loaded hamburger and a side of fries sitting on a wooden table.

If you want to try locally sourced and sustainable foods from a scratch kitchen, go to Local Goat. Even their breads are made in-house! Sip on various brews, cocktails, or wines, and admire art by local artisans on the wall while you eat. Stop for a t-shirt on your way out and tell everyone back home why this place is so great!

 

Junction 35

This isn’t just a place for wine and spirits. Junction 35 has a friendly atmosphere and a phenomenal menu that will keep guests coming back time and time again. Locals rave about the wings, and you will often see people taking a lunch break there or grabbing dinner to-go. If you really want to try the local favorites, this business is a must!

 

Reagan’s House of Pancakes

Who doesn’t like breakfast? Since 1986, Reagan’s has been family owned and operated. With a full menu, a buffet, and a little shop, they truly have it all. Sevier County has voted this business the best pancake house for 6 years in a row! Their friendly staff are unforgettable, and the atmosphere feels like home.

 

Huck Finn’s Catfish

Family owned and operated since 1995, Huck Finn’s Catfish is the place to go if you want some true southern-style cooking and a cozy, country atmosphere. They only serve U.S. raised catfish, and there are dinners for all you can eat. They have country fried steak, chicken tenders, frog legs, chicken livers, coleslaw, fried pickles, and more! This could easily be called the capital of southern comfort food. Stop by for yourself to see why locals love Huck Finn’s.

 

Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant

Collard greens piled on a plate of grilled shrimp; Nashville hot chicken visible in the background.

Another great option for southern grub is Puckett’s. When locals want slow-smoked BBQ or fried green beans, this is the place to go. With friendly staff and a laid back atmosphere, this is the perfect place to take your family while on vacation. You can even enjoy some live music by local artists!

 

Alamo Steakhouse

What says locally loved like being voted “Best Steak in the Country” in the local newspaper? Alamo Steakhouse hand-cuts their steaks and cooks them over an open oak fire to create one of the best steaks you will ever eat. If steak isn’t your thing, they also have chicken, chops, and seafood. They have a lighter menu for lunch options, and a kids meal to include the whole family. This is another one of the Smokies’ locally owned and operated businesses.

 

Harpoon Harry’s Crab House

If you want to eat somewhere with a great variety of foods, head to Harpoon Harry’s. They have more than just seafood; they also have comfort food, sandwiches, pasta, steak, and more. With three full-service bars and an extensive list of wine, moonshine, whiskey, and tequila, this is the perfect dining spot for people who just want to kick back and unwind. They also have unique carvings and décor to create a truly unforgettable atmosphere.

 

Favorite Shops:

Tanger Outlets

Fountain in front of stores at Tanger Outlets in Sevierville.

With over 100 stores and chances to get your favorite brands up to 70% off, there’s no wonder why Tanger Outlets is a shopping favorite among locals. They also have their own coupon book so you can save even more. Whatever you are looking for, you are sure to find it in Tanger.

 

BAAK Boutique

If you like size-inclusive women’s fashion at affordable prices, make sure to check out BAAK Boutique. They have the latest trends and sized available with sizes up to 3x. Jeans, dresses, jackets, jewelry, and more are all right at your fingertips in this family-owned store. Each letter in the name is an initial in the family! Locals love to frequent this shop for casual clothes and work attire.

 

Sassafras

From apparel to shoes, to jewelry, to accessories, and more, Sassafras Boutique has all the latest trends at affordable prices. They also have classic, timeless pieces that would be the perfect addition to any wardrobe. If you like shopping, make sure to stop by and take a piece of this unique boutique home with you!

 

CAM Cabin Crafts

CAM Cabin Crafts is shown: a small cabin that sells handmade items.

If you want hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces created by Appalachian artisans, look no further than CAM Cabin Crafts. Quilts, baskets, paintings, jams, soap, instruments, and more are all available in this widely beloved store. Locals enjoy purchasing goods from this store so they can support their community. If you are looking for a piece of Appalachian culture to take home with you, this is the place to find it.

 

Favorite Things to Do:

Go Camping

It only makes sense that locals love to camp in the Great Smoky Mountains when they live so close them! Whether you like camping in a tent or in a camper, there are plenty of options for visitors to get closer to nature. Wake up early, enjoy the fresh air, and spend some quality time with your family without the distraction of technology.

 

Visit the Arts & Crafts Community

Image of someone shaving a layer of wood with a hammer and a chisel-like tool.

One way locals like to spend their time is to take a leisurely stroll around the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Anyone who appreciates hard work and talent will love this community full of handmade items available for sale.

 

Ride the Tail of The Dragon and Foothills Parkway

One of the most famous drives in the nation, the Tail of the Dragon is a thrilling ride with 318 in just 11 miles. It goes from Tennessee to North Carolina, so it is the perfect ride on a day trip! Locals also love the calm Foothills Parkway which goes from Chilhowee Lake to Wears Valley, with a connecting portion in Walland off of highway 321. The views on this drive are truly breathtaking. This is the number one place for weekend drives.

 

Walk Around at The Island in Pigeon Forge

The wheel at The Island is visible behind some fountains and Ole Smoky Moonshine Co.

When Pigeon Forge locals want to take a weekend stroll, go shopping, or find a place to eat, The Island in Pigeon Forge is one of the most frequented places. There is fun for the whole family! Whether you have a sweet tooth, want to play some games, or just sit back and people watch, this is a local favorite way to spend many beautiful, sunny days.

 

Visit Bush’s Visitor’s Center and Café

Imagine being able to take a picture with the famous Duke after walking through a giant can of beans to watch the whole process and then sitting down in a restaurant to enjoy delicious food. Memories like these made at Bush’s Visitor’s Center are treasured for a lifetime! Locals often recall going as a child, and they love making new memories every time they go back. Stray from the beaten path a bit and see what all the buzz is about by taking your family to this classic stop in the Smokies.

 

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