7 Best Hotels on the River in Pigeon Forge, Ranked by a Local

riverstone spa and resort in pigeon forge tn

This resort and spa has great views of Pigeon Forge, the river and the golf course (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

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Friends, something is afoot in the mountains. 

Looking for a place to stay for a Pigeon Forge weekend getaway recently, I noticed something that caught my attention.

One of the properties promised an ocean view. In fact, I was selecting various filters when I noticed that “ocean view” popped up with six matches.

Now, I’m no cartographer. But if you can see the ocean – any ocean – from Pigeon Forge, you’ve got better eyesight than I do. 

Read Also: 12 Amazing Large Group Cabins in Pigeon Forge With Tips From a Local


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What are the best riverside hotels in Pigeon Forge?

Even though you won’t find a hotel by the ocean in Pigeon Forge, you can find one next to the river.

I admit that when I think of riverside hotels, my first instinct is Gatlinburg.

However, a river runs through Pigeon Forge as well. When you’re looking at a riverside hotel in Pigeon Forge, I think it’s mostly for the ambiance, so I’m going to rely fairly heavily on aesthetic beauty in my following ranking. 

Also, in fairness, I picked a random long October weekend – checking in Friday and checking out Monday – with a family of four for pricing comparisons. But keep in mind that pricing will vary depending on your selected date and availability.

RiverStone Resort
The RiverStone Resort and Spa can be a little more expensive, but it has excellent amenities (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

1. RiverStone Resort and Spa

We need trumpets and bells or something, some kind of sound effect, a heavenly host.

I like RiverStone. It has an 8.9 out of 10 rating on Booking.com. I also like the location on the Gatlinburg side of Pigeon Forge. It’s a short drive to Teaster Lane and Dollywood and you’ve got great views of Pigeon Forge, the river and the golf course. 

Also, I don’t always feel comfortable in hotel hot tubs. However, there are some hotels where I would still soak in their hot tubs. This is one of them. 

They also have a lazy river that is decorated in such a way that you don’t feel like you’re in a parking lot oasis. There are trees and bushes so you can actually relax. 

You pay, however, for all that. For our example trip, it’s a base price of $1,100. If you want a river view, it’s $1,250 for three nights. You can also compare prices on Kayak.

Couryard Marriott Pigeon Forge Outdoor View of Lazy River
The Courtyard by Marriot is a short walk to the river and has a fun lazy river ride as well (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

2. Courtyard by Marriott Pigeon Forge

This could be the best hotel on the list, and it’s a short walk to the Greenway and the river. It’s got a good lazy river for the kids, and it’s rated a superb 9.3 out of 10. Make sure you book a riverview room if that’s important to you. 

Located on the upper end of the Parkway, it’s not terribly convenient to Teaster Lane, but it’s not that bad either. It’s near Harpoon Harry’s if you’re looking for a marker. 

There’s not a lot to say other than, if you’re looking for a good experience for your family, with proximity to the river, this is your spot. Your three-night example stay is almost $1,300. You can also compare pricing on Kayak.

Black Fox Lodge pool in Pigeon Forge
There may not be a black fox at this hotel, but it does offer a great location with a pool and waterslide (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

3. Black Fox Lodge Pigeon Forge, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

I do not understand our new hotel naming conventions. The Tapestry Collection by Hilton? Black Fox? Tapestries? We’re in Pigeon Forge y’all. We ain’t got no black foxes and we traditionally don’t have a lot of tapestries lying about.

Inscrutable naming decisions aside, the Black Fox Lodge Pigeon Forge, Tapestry Collection by Hilton is one dang fine hotel. Located near the Gatlinburg side of Pigeon Forge, the Inn has good access to Dollywood and Teaster Lane.

Rated an 8.7 out of 10 on Booking.com, it has a seasonal outdoor pool with a waterslide. There’s an onsite lodge restaurant and bar which features an on-site pizza oven.

For our three-night example stay in October, the price is $1,269. Compare pricing options on Kayak.

4. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Pigeon Forge South

Rated an 8.0 out of 10 on Booking.com, I like the location of this hotel on the strip, and it’s closer to the Gatlinburg side. Plus, the hotel will have good views of the river.

The amenities aren’t fancy. When you list daily housekeeping, we’re getting kind of far down the amenities list. But it’s a great place from which to stage a Pigeon Forge getaway.

Our example price for a premium room with a balcony is $759. Compare pricing options with Kayak.

econo lodge pigeon forge
The Econo Lodge allows access to the Little Pigeon River (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

5. Econo Lodge Pigeon Forge Riverside

This hotel has a good location in terms of access to Teaster Lane and things like the Local Goat or the Titanic Museum. The hotel’s promo says guests can feed ducks, fish for trout, or enjoy the hotel’s picnic area on the banks of Little Pigeon River. 

Fish for trout? I suppose you can fish for anything, anywhere. You could fish for swordfish. Will you catch them? No. Will you catch trout if you fish from the Econo Lodge Resort? I’m not going to say no, but my eyebrows arched when I read it.

My understanding is that the waters are too warm once you get that far into Pigeon Forge for a lot of trout and that the river heading into Sevierville is better for smallmouth bass, but I’m not out there shadowcasting every day either.

So I would say if you’re a serious trout fisherman, maybe head up further into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or Gatlinburg where they stock the fish to try your luck. 

Still, the Econo Lodge is rated a very good 8.1 out of 10 on Booking.com, and you’re looking at $717 for three weekend nights in October with our example pricing. You can also compare pricing options with Kayak.

6. River Bend Inn

Located right at the upper end of Teaster Lane, River Bend has a great location, a great price and an 8.0 rating on Booking.com.

Guests can take in the scenery while walking along the paved walkway on the river, which also offers benches alongside the walkway. The hotel also offers a riverside picnic area. There’s an indoor heated pool and an outdoor pool.

The example price for the weekend getaway is $518. Compare pricing options with Kayak.

Pigeon River Inn View
The Pigeon River Inn is close to attractions and the river (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

7. Pigeon River Inn

Rated an 8.3 out of 10 on Booking.com, the Pigeon River Inn is located just on the Pigeon Forge side of the Sevierville-Pigeon River border. It’s listed as an incredibly specific 2,789 feet from Tanger Outlet in Sevierville and is not far from Wonderworks or the Hard Rock Cafe. 

You can get to Teaster Lane from there, but it’s not easy to access. It’s right there at the checkpoint where traffic can really start to back up going both ways.

It’s also important to note some rooms also feature a private balcony overlooking the river. If you’re looking for a riverfront hotel, that seems important. 

The West Prong of the Little Pigeon is quite a bit bigger at this point than when it enters Pigeon Forge, and the river is a lot more for looking at than playing in. For a three-night weekend in October, you’re looking at $532 with our example pricing

Again, you can compare pricing with Kayak.

Greenway Paved Path Near River
A view of the river along the Greenway in Pigeon Forge (photo by Kirby Russell/TheSmokies.com)

Can I swim in the Little Pigeon River in Pigeon Forge? 

For years, the river – as you moved downstream towards Sevierville – was not safe. In 2014, after years of concerted efforts, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation lifted a contact warning for a large part of the river. 

As a local, I’ve stayed in a campground on the river on the Gatlinburg side of Pigeon Forge and never hesitated to let my kids wade and play around the river. 

I’ve also stayed on the Sevierville side and encouraged the kids to use the provided pool and lazy river. Would I have let them wade if they pushed it? Maybe. But I’ve got concerns about what washes into the river as it passes through Pigeon Forge. 

If you’re looking to swim or wade, I recommend going to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to a place like the Chimney Rock picnic area, Metcalf Bottoms or the Townsend Wye. 

Usually, if there’s a problem with the water, the public areas should be marked. If they are marked, pay attention. 

What about fishing? 

I’m not sure that eating a couple of bass fish you catch in the river in Pigeon Forge is gonna hurt you, but I wouldn’t do it.

I think I’d catch and release and then head to Harpoon Harry’s or Pop’s Catfish for dinner.

That said, if you’d like more information regarding fishing in the Smokies, follow the link below. 

Read Also: Fishing in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge: Your Complete Guide

Dollywood Summer 2023
If you are planning to visit attractions such as Dollywood, it helps to lodge close to Teaster Lane (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

What kind of amenities should I be looking for in a Pigeon Forge hotel by the river?

The first amenity I look for in any Pigeon Forge hotel – near the river or not – is access to the previously mentioned Teaster Lane.

The Parkway in Pigeon Forge can be a nightmare and Teaster – which essentially connects Dollywood Lane to the Parkway over near the Hollywood Wax Museum – is a good way around it, especially if you’re trying to get to the Dollywood theme park

Certainly, traffic on Teaster can be busy, too. But a lot of the time you can really get around Pigeon Forge easier using that route.

Also, I usually prefer a private balcony and an indoor pool. Personally, free wifi or whether it has a gym or a 24-hour business center is not a dealbreaker for me, nor do I care about laundry facilities. 

My family does care a bit about a decent lazy river, a children’s pool or a seasonal outdoor pool with a waterslide.

Can I get free cancellation and maybe an in-room microwave and refrigerator? Great. 

The rest I can make do with or without, personally. But you always want to consider what works best for YOUR family.

Do you have a favorite riverside hotel for a Pigeon Forge vacation? If so, let us know in the comments!

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John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

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