Just miles away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge, Tenn., receives approximately 11 million tourists every year. Major attractions include Dolly Parton’s Dollywood amusement park and various resorts; the town contains 10,000 lodging units between hotels, motels, resorts and other overnight attractions. Christian visitors can find an assortment of faith-based accommodations, retail stores and more throughout the town for entertainment, family relaxation or more.
The Miracle Theater
The Miracle Theater in Pigeon Forge presents theatrical works with a Christian message to reveal, according to their mission statement, “the person of Jesus Christ as the Living Word of God.” Along with presenting full theatrical productions, the Miracle also houses the Church of the Way, a non-denominational Christian church which meets every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. After productions, audience members can meet with the stage actors and say a personal prayer with them; members of the production make themselves available for this purpose.
Smoky Mountain Christian Village
The mission of Pigeon Forge’s Smoky Mountain Christian Village, located a few minutes away from Dollywood, is to serve as a retreat center and resort for Protestant congregations and families wishing to grow through Biblical doctrine. The resort contains many different styles of accommodations that can house groups from two people up to 92. Recreational activities include disk golf, walking trails, a year-round heated swimming pool and a picnic pavilion.
The town of Pigeon Forge also has numerous boutique shops which specialize in Christian retail items, such as books or religious mementos. At 2850 Parkway, near the Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall, shoppers can find a Discount Christian Books location. A short drive away, at 3152 Parkway, is the Good Shepherd Christian Bookstore, and at 3536 Parkway, Christian shoppers can visit the His Place Christian Store. Within a mile of Parkway is Rachel’s Christian Store, another Christian bookseller, at 178 Old Mill Ave.
Christ in the Smokies
Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens, formerly the Christus Gardens, is located in Gatlinsburg, Tenn., a 10-minute drive away from Pigeon Forge. Visitors can take guided tours of the facility and view many life-size 3-D dioramas depicting scenes throughout the life of Christ. The entire Christ in the Smokies grounds are handicap-accessible, and wheelchairs are available from the facility upon request.