A stay with Margaritaville Island Hotel|Pigeon Forge, TN

United States

As a kid, my family went to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the fall to visit family.  I love the area and hadn’t been in 10+ years.  Needless to say, I was very excited to get the opportunity to head to the Great Smokey Mountains and stay at the Margaritaville Island Resort in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

The resort is centrally located in the Island entertainment complex where you are just a short walk to restaurants, shopping and endless amounts of fun and entertainment! There’s absolutely no shortage of things to do around the resort – all within walking distance (I mean, how nice to not have to get in your car to go anywhere!).

Margaritaville has a wide range of rooms and suites (with fireplaces!) with fountain, village and river views!  Our room faced the fountain and we had everything to make a margarita waiting for us in the room.  Take one guess as to what we did first (made margaritas of course!).  We settled in and sat on the patio to enjoy our drink and watch the fountain show.  Every ½ hour, the Island has a choreographed, multi-tier fountain show (a combination of water, music and light) so we sat and watched one before we went out to walk around and find a dinner spot.

We went to explore the Island and ended up at Timberwood Grill for drinks and an appetizer.  The bartender there made the most amazing strawberry daiquiri – so good that I had two! After we ate, we went to grab our tickets to ride some rides.  The entertainment at the island is for all ages and is definitely a great vacation spot for families! The Island has an arcade center, a ropes course, a ferris wheel, an escape room and more! A complete list of the entertainment at the Island is linked here. We rode a couple of rides and then ended the night on the ferris wheel which was so magical at night.  Everyone at the resort and throughout the island made sure we were all safe – they disinfected each ride/attraction after every use which made me feel very comfortable partaking in all of the fun activities they had to offer!

We started our first full day with coffee from the coffee shop in the hotel and made a pitstop by Cinnabon – again, no shortage of places to eat around the hotel.  A link to the complete list of the restaurants is here. After walking around a bit, we made our way to the Rockytop Mountain Coaster.  I love thrill rides so I was most excited about this roller coaster which was less than 10 minutes from Margaritaville. It’s the longest coaster in East Tennessee with over 9 minutes of twists, turns and tunnels.  We went during the day, but I know that a night ride would be so much fun! Tickets range from $18-$5 per ride based on age and it was such a fun day activity!

Since we were in the mountains, we wanted to go hiking and had heard great things about Clingman’s Dome which is the highest point in Tennessee.  Clingman’s Dome is about an hour from Pigeon Forge and about a 20 degree difference in temperature so make sure that you dress appropriately! The walk up to the observation tower is a steep 1/2 mile paved trail (rather hard after hiking 3 miles prior!).  It wasn’t as clear when we went, but the views were still spectacular and the air was crisp and cool!  Although the observation tower is open year round, the road leading to it is closed from December 1 through April 1 so make sure you keep that in mind if you plan to visit anytime soon.

After making our way back to Margaritaville, we showered, grabbed a quick bit to eat and then went by the Ole Smokey Distillery for a tasting.  We went home with a jar of the Java Moonshine which was amazing and came recommended by a co-worker.

We left with full bellies the next day after brunch at Paula Deans Family Kitchen.  Their breakfast is served family style and I wouldn’t leave without trying the breakfast casserole and ooey gooey butter pancakes! They stop serving breakfast at 10:15 a.m., so make sure you get there on time – we didn’t make it the first day we were there, but made sure to get their on time on our last morning! We had the best little weekend getaway with the Margaritaville Island Hotel and can’t wait to visit again!


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