Southeast

6 Pigeon Forge Hotels With Indoor Pools and So Much More

Pigeon Forge has long been the gateway to Smoky Mountains National Park but has also become a year-round tourist destination unto itself.

My first time in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, was as a child in the 1970s. Back then, the main highway through the mountain valley was two lanes and lined with cornfields, running alongside the Little Pigeon River. There were a handful of businesses mostly geared to tourists visiting nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation’s most-visited National Park. Today, that same highway has six lanes and is referred to as “the Parkway”.

What changed in the intervening years is that Dolly Parton came back to town in 1986 to turn a dated tourist attraction into the Dollywood theme park. Now, Dollywood is Tennessee’s top ticketed attraction, drawing over 3.2 million visitors annually — amazing to ponder, considering all the attractions in the state’s biggest cities of Nashville and Memphis.

Being a year-round destination, many visitors to Pigeon Forge seek out accommodations with indoor heated pools. Plenty of options are available, ranging from large and luxurious to smaller, inviting properties with riverside rooms. For families and anyone else who loves country, gospel music or Southern Appalachian culture, Pigeon Forge is the place to be.

Dolly is the Queen of These Mountains With Her Resort and Theme Park

Dollywood’s only on-site hotel is the 300-room DreamMore Resort, one of the larger and more luxurious hotel resorts in the region. Geared towards families visiting the theme park, the atmosphere is homey, friendly, and relaxing. Guests enjoy special privileges including complimentary shuttle service from the front door of the hotel to the entrances of both the theme park and the water park, so there’s no need to get in the car or navigate gigantic parking lots.

DreamMore’s indoor pool is housed inside what looks like an oversized greenhouse, with a high ceiling and large picture windows providing views of the surrounding Smoky Mountains. The ginormous asymmetrical outdoor pool – called the Swimming Hole – is fed by cascading waterfalls and has a zero-depth-entry on one end, where the sunning deck and the pool meet seamlessly.

If you really want to splurge, book room 627, aka the “Dolly Parton Suite” – an exclusive abode with 2,200-square-feet of room for the whole family to spread out, relax, and take in the view.

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort

Pigeon Forge
9.3 Excellent (1392 reviews)

An Inviting Riverside Oasis on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge

Don’t let this cookie-cutter-looking property on the busy six-lane Parkway fool you at first glance. Once you get settled in, you’ll discover the Inn on the River is a small oasis on the tree-lined banks of the clear-flowing Little Pigeon River. Be sure to request a room with a patio or balcony on the riverside. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself sharing patio spaces with ducks who’ve waddled up looking for a treat.

The outdoor pool faces the river, with the indoor heated pool adjacent. Both pools are standard 4.5-foot-depth, with a spacious pool deck. The indoor pool area also contains a hot tub. The hotel also features a large and inviting common area that includes a riverside fire pit, the perfect place to unwind and make new friends after a day in the mountains or at Dollywood.

The Inn on the River

Top rated
Pigeon Forge
9.1 Excellent (1773 reviews)

A Convenient Year-Round Pigeon Forge Location With an Indoor Pool

The indoor pool and hot tub at Willow Brook Lodge overlook the Little Pigeon River through a wall of windows. Enhancing the view are large colorful murals on the walls, featuring mountain scenes and wildlife. Kids will love the large outdoor pool with a high twisting waterslide and the splash pad with plenty of playful water features. The indoor pool is a more relaxed area without all the bells and whistles.

This hotel is a good option for large families, not only because of the pool options, but also the family suites that can sleep up to 10 people. Some of the suites have balconies overlooking the river. Those coming into town for events at the LeConte Center – Pigeon Forge’s major events and exhibition facility – will also be interested in staying here, since the center is right across the river. It is within easy walking distance, along with plenty of shops, restaurants, and kids’ attractions, as well as the Riverwalk Greenway for scenic strolls along the water.

Willow Brook Lodge

Top rated
Pigeon Forge
8.6 Excellent (917 reviews)

It Doesn't Get Prettier on the Parkway Than This Bavarian-Style Inn

One of the prettiest hotel properties in the Pigeon Forge area, the Inn at Christmas Place faces the Parkway and appears as something straight out of a postcard sent from Bavaria. It has all the classic alpine Bavarian lodge elements, complete with turrets, spires, fanciful woodwork, stone archways, and finely manicured grounds with a large pond and tumbling waters.

That picturesque beauty continues on the inside, including at the indoor pool with its vaulted wooden ceiling, arched windows, and year-round Christmas decorations. If you’re curious about the Christmas theme, the inn draws its inspiration from the Incredible Christmas Place, a regionally-famous longstanding shopping village directly across the street. There, it’s Christmas every day of the year – just like at the inn. Expect plenty of Santa sightings and lots of Old-World charm and hospitality.

The Inn at Christmas Place

Top rated
Pigeon Forge
9.6 Excellent (591 reviews)

A Romantic and Family-Friendly Pigeon Forge Property With Plenty of Room to Roam

The indoor pool at Music Road Resort draws extensive natural light from its many windows and an overhead skylight, making it feel like you’re outside. Its oversized re-creation of Georges Seurat’s famous post-impressionist painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” adds an artsy touch, filling up an entire wall on one side of the pool. The ADA-compliant pool lift makes it easy for handicapped patrons to enjoy the water.

An outside pool area features a lazy river, a 60-foot roundabout waterslide, and a deep-water section with a diving board.

A variety of accommodations are available, ranging from family and honeymoon suites with fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs to king-and-queen rooms with balconies and river views. The resort also has a smaller inn across the street from the riverside hotel with its own indoor/outdoor pools and lazy river, so there’s no running back and forth across the road to enjoy the water, no matter which building you’re staying in.

Music Road Resort

Top rated
Pigeon Forge
9.0 Excellent (1339 reviews)

Not Just a Pool, but an Entire Water Park at This Hotel Resort

Country Cascades bills itself as a water park resort. The indoor pool here is a small part of the water park, the rest of which is outside. It includes a four-story-high body slide, a raft flume that can accommodate two riders at a time, a large zero-depth-entry pool, and a splash pad with multiple interactive water features. The outdoor section closes in late October, but the indoor pool and hot tub are open year-round. Rooms and suites are available in two towers next to the water park — the Country Tower and the Summit Tower.

Rooms in the Summit Tower have balconies that overlook the water park on one side of the building and mountain views on the other. Rooms in the older Country Tower have been completely renovated and include suites with a fireplace and a two-level penthouse. All guests can enjoy an expansive breakfast buffet each morning in Grandma’s Kitchen located in the lobby of the Country Tower. The resort is within walking distance to The Island, an amusement park and shopping destination on the Little Pigeon River.

Country Cascades

Pigeon Forge
8.2 Very good (1910 reviews)