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A map of the United States showing the major Pigeon Forge tourism markets.

Pigeon Forge Tourism Info: Where Do Visitors to the Smokies Come From?

If you love to visit the Pigeon Forge area, you’re not alone! Sevier County is one of the fastest growing vacation destinations in the country, and it is the third most visited county in the state of Tennessee. When you drive down the Parkway, it’s hard not to notice all of the license plates from around the United States. Have you ever wondered where most of the visitors to Pigeon Forge come from? We did too – so we decided to find out!  Visit My Smokies has looked over the latest Pigeon Forge tourism information to determine the top cities of origin for Pigeon Forge vacationers.

Top Cities with Residents Who Love to Visit Pigeon ForgeThe Welcome to Pigeon Forge sign.

According to data from the city of Pigeon Forge, the top out of state markets for visiting the Smokies are as follows:

  1. Asheville, NC/Greenville, SC
  2. Atlanta, GA
  3. Lexington, KY
  4. Cincinnati, OH
  5. Charlotte, NC
  6. Louisville, KY
  7. Charleston, SC/Huntington, WV
  8. Roanoke, VA
  9. Burlington, VT/Plattsburgh, NY
  10. Indianapolis, IN

Distance from Top Cities to Pigeon Forge

Most people who visit Pigeon Forge drive rather than fly, so it makes sense that most of the top cities are located nearby. North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Georgia all share a border with the state of Tennessee. It looks like a  2 – 6 hour drive is the sweet spot for the majority of people planning a vacation in Pigeon Forge. Here is a breakdown of about how long it takes to get to the Smokies from the top Pigeon Forge tourism markets:  

  • Asheville, NC – 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Greenville, SC – 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Atlanta, GA – 4 hours
  • Lexington, KY – 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Cincinnati, OH – 4 hours, 30 minutes  
  • Charlotte, NC – 3 hours, 40 minutes
  • Louisville, KY – 4 hours, 25 minutes
  • Charleston, SC – 5 hours, 30 minutes
  • Huntington, WV – 5 hours
  • Roanoke, VA – 4 hours
  • Burlington, VT – 15 hours, 25 minutes
  • Plattsburgh, NY – 14 hours, 45 minutes
  • Indianapolis, IN – 6 hours

Beautiful photo of The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge.The outliers on this list are of course Burlington, VT and Plattsburgh, NY. The city of Pigeon Forge couldn’t give an explanation as to what was drawing these northerners to the Smokies, but we have come up with a few theories. Much like the Pigeon Forge area, the state of Vermont is also filled with beautiful mountains. Perhaps the residents of Burlington wanted to compare their Green Mountains to the majesty of the Smoky Mountains? Vermonters are also very proud of their maple syrup, and Sevier County is home to a plethora of pancake houses, so it seems that Burlington and Pigeon Forge are actually meant for one another.

(See Also: Best Pigeon Forge Buffet Breakfasts)

The connection between Pigeon Forge and Plattsburgh is a little more difficult to establish. Plattsburgh is only an hour away from Montreal, so the residents of this Quebec suburb are probably sick and tired of Canadian bacon and want to visit a place where good old fashioned American bacon reigns supreme. In all seriousness, please let us know if you’re from Plattsburgh (or Burlington) – we want to know what you love about Pigeon Forge!  

We Want to Hear from YouSunrise over the mountains in Pigeon Forge.

As always, Visit My Smokies wants to hear from you! Does this Pigeon Forge tourism information surprise you? Where do you live and how long does it take your family to get to Pigeon Forge? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts!