How to get here
We recommend flying into the closest airport Mc Ghee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, TN.Pigeon Forge is 24 miles away from the airport and it is best to split a taxi (around $55), as there is not bus or train available.
Please search for the means of transportation available before arrival in the United States. Know where you go and how will you get there. Read carefully the arrival instructions provided to you and prepare accordingly.
Greyhound is the largest bus carrier in the US. Spanning all the way from the East Coast to the West Coast, they cover over 1000 cities all over the United States. Book online to save 15-30% on the ticket fare. There is also an option to purchase a ticket at the terminal if seats are available; we recommend buying in advance. If you exceed the luggage limit you have the option to pay for extra luggage. Taxi service is typically available to or from the bus stops.
Learn more: www.greyhound.com
MegaBus is an intercity bus service providing clean and dependable rides to major cities in the USA. The nearest bus stop is located at Knoxville Transit Center.301 E Church Ave, Knoxville, TN 37915
Phone: (877) 462-6342
- Must book online ahead of time to save 15-30% on the ticket fare.
- There is a strict limitation on luggage
- Taxi service is typically available to the bus stops
Learn More: https://www.megabus.com/
Once you arrive in Pigeon Forge an affordable way to get around is the Trolley. It is available for in city transportation every 20 minutes and for only $2.50 per day. It is recommended to purchase a seasonal pass for $30.
Although taxis are expensive they are the safest way of transportation, especially during the night. Please be sure to call at least 1 hour before expected pickup time to ensure availability.
Bike shops sell and rent bikes at an affordable cost. Some shops are willing to buy back (at a lower price) a bike at the end of the season.
- Requires valid international drivers license
- Mandatory liability insurance
- Must know and follow traffic laws and enforcement
- Follow rental car rules and regulations
- A great source of free transportation
- Walk on sidewalks or on path when available
- Follow street lights (do NOT walk into traffic, wait your turn!
Where to Buy Food
When traveling, eating out all the time can be expensive therefore it is highly recommended to prepare your own meals as much as possible. There are a few affordable grocery stores that have been recommended by travelers in Pigeon Forge:
Within your first week of exploring Pigeon Forge it is a great Idea to open up a bank account at a local bank. It is highly recommended to set up direct deposit with your job to ensure a fast and secure way of receiving your paycheck. It is also important never to carry large amounts of money and rather to only withdraw money as needed. The recommended banks are:
Recommended banks are:
Throughout your summer a great way to utilize your free time without spending money could be in the local Library. The library provides computers with internet to contact family members or friends. The library also offers an array of novels and fun books to read when you are not working or traveling!
- Pigeon Forge Public Library
2449 Library Dr
Pigeon Forge, TN
The Pigeon Forge Community Center is a great place to get to meet other community members. The center contains a fitness center, swimming pool, walking track, racquet ball courts, aerobics rooms, basketball courts and more. The center requires a membership payment of $60 as a Non-resident student for the entire year, $6 as a daily pass or a $20 for a weekly pass.
- The Community center is located
5170 Community Center Drive
Pigeon Forge, TN
Part of the thrill of visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is to view its beautiful waterfalls and streams. Be careful around the water because the moss on logs and boulders can make for very slippery footing. Never drink the water. It may contain natural parasites and impurities that can make you very sick. Swimming also can make you sick and is dangerous because of submerged rocks, logs and debris. Also, NEVER approach or feed any wild animals you encounter during you visit in the Smokies.
The top 10 Hikes that are recommended:
- Gregory Bald
- Mt. Cammerer
- Rocky Top
- Mount Leconte
- Andrews Bald
- Abrams Falls
- The Jump-off
- Charlies Bunion
- Porters Creek & Alum Cave
There is an endless supply of mainstream tourist attractions but there also are many attractions which most tourists don’t consider. Here is a list that focuses on the beauty and resources which the city has to offer:
Afternoon thunderstorms occur frequently in the summertime after a long hot day so it’s a good idea to be mindful and buy rain gear. Below is a chart which displays the average temperatures of Pigeon Forge.
|Month||Avg. High||Avg. Low|
Pigeon Forge is full of fun and attractions now but if you decide to dive back into time you will be able to find fun and interesting fast of how the city developed. Below are just a few fun facts:
- Soldiers from Tennessee joined the Battle Of New Orleans willingly. They all volunteered for the dangerous battle, giving the state of Tennessee the pseudo name "The Volunteer State."
- The Great Smoky Mountains get their name from the smoke-like mist that rises from the upper regions of the mountains. It is not actually smoke, but it is a condensed mist that is trapped and released by the vast amounts of trees and vegetation.
- The first telephone was only installed in Pigeon Forge in 1898.
- The town was named from the Little Pigeon River, and the river takes its name from the passenger pigeons. The pigeons, who are now extinct, were so large in number that they would darken the sky as they flew into the valley. The second part of the name was derived from the bloommery 'Forge' which was built near the present old mill in 1817 by Isaac Love.
It is extremely important to know where the local health centers are in case you become sick or an emergency. As a reminder health care is not free so please check your insurance information prior to visiting a doctor.
- LeConte Medical Center
742 Middle Creek Rd.,
- Pigeon Forge Medical Clinic
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
- First Med Pigeon Forge
190 Community Center Dr #101
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
- Urgent Care of the Smokies
2656 Parkway #4
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Distance from Sevierville to Major Cities
A major component of the SWT program is to travel and we suggest planning a weekend trip to visit a major city that can be easily reached by buses and train. Below is a list of some major cities with their mileage from Sevierville:
After you checked-in with your sponsor, you may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). You can locate the nearest SSA office by calling 1-800-772-1213 (Toll-free) or by visiting the Social Security Administration’s website: www.ssa.gov
When you apply for a SSN, you will need the following original documents:
- Passport with enclosed valid J-1 Visa and I-94 record
- Form DS-2019
- The program sponsor letter provided together with your documents
- Job offer agreement
- Form SS-5 - When you are filling out the application form, make sure that:
- You write your name and date of birth exactly like it is written on your passport and Form DS-2019 .
- You must also mark on the application that you are a Legal Alien Allowed to Work.
- Please remember to have the card containing the SSN mailed to your housing address or employer’s address.
Nearest SSA Office
Address: 8530 KINGSTON PIKE
KNOXVILLE, TN 37919
|Monday||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM|
|Tuesday||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM|
|Wednesday||9:00 AM - 12:00 PM|
|Thursday||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM|
|Friday||9:00 AM - 4:00 PM|
You must have housing arrangements prior to their arrival in the United States.
Hotels and motels (less luxurious than hotels) range in price, from economical to deluxe. Please note that sometimes economical hotels and motels are not located in safe areas.
- Always use a central location.
- Some include meals or they have restaurants located on property or nearby.
- Extended Stay Hotels are recommended as they offer long-term deals.
- Rooms are typically rented weekly
- Usually 1 to 4 people per room
- Limited kitchen facilities
- Limited housekeeping service
- Damage deposit and late fees are accounted for
Housing provided by your employer
Most employers will offer or arrange housing at an affordable cost, in a safe area. On the job offer, they will provide specific details about the living accommodations.
- Rented weekly or monthly per person
- Basic furnished
- Typically includes a full kitchen and bathroom
- Usually does not have laundry machine
- No housekeeping service
- Damage deposits and late fees are accounted for
- Utilities may not be included
When Searching for Housing
You should consider the following crucial aspects of finding housing:
- Budget – How much I can afford to pay, considering my income, deducting all the expected expenses?
- Lease – What is the length? If you have questions about the lease, you can call the city’s Office of Landlord-tenant Affairs.
- Payment schedule – Is deposit needed? When and how much? When is the rent due?
- Utilities (heat, electricity, water, cooking gas, cable, Internet, etc.) – Are utilities included in the rent? If so, which?
- Safety of the place and neighborhood – Google Earth/Maps
- Proximity to work, stores, public transportation, recreation facilities, etc.
- Furnished or unfurnished
Note: Tips to avoid fraud:
Packages, letters and greetings can be mailed from any United States Post Services (USPS). You can locate the nearest office by visiting the USPS website: www.usps.com. Also, USPS ships to over 180 countries.
Location of nearest US Post Office:
3235 Rena St, Pigeon Forge; (865-429-1859)
Monday- Friday 8:30-4:00pm
Saturday & Sunday 10:00am-12:00pm
Postage Price Calculator: http://postcalc.usps.com/
The proper way to address an envelope/package is:
Name of the person
City, state – Zip code