Southern Living readers rated the Smoky Mountain destinations of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge as the number 1 best “Weekend Getaway” in the United States and at 5th place for “Best Family Destination” in the magazines annual Readers Choice poll. The complete results covering 14 categories of travel related destinations, attractions and activities is available in their January issue.

It’s no wonder Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge rated so high in Southern Living’s recent poll because this area of the Smokies is one of the most visited destinations in the entire United States. Pigeon Forge for example only has a small population of around 4,000, yet more than 11 million vacationers visit every year. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in addition has just under 10 million visitors every year and the host town of Gatlinburg TN features thousands of hotel rooms, time share rentals and cabin rentals to accommodate all those visitors.

Both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have extensive shopping, dining, attractions and multiple entertainment venues as well. And everything is all geared towards a very family atmosphere. From Ripley’s Aquarium Of The Smokies to great fudge makers in the Downtown area of Gatlinburg to Dollywood and go kart tracks in Pigeon Forge to Cades Coveand 850 miles of hiking trails in the National Park, this area has literally anything you could think of for just about anyone.

Southern Living Magazine readers are correct in their assessment of this vacation resort area of the Smoky Mountains. If you need a reason to visit Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, just take the advice of Southern Living readers and plan your vacation getaway now.

You can see all the Readers Choice Winners here.

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