The Island in Pigeon Forge is a piece of the beach nestled right in the mountains. You’ll forget that the ocean isn’t a short walk away when you’re walking around looking at the multitude of shops and eateries that all look like they belong on the coast. The Island offers restaurants, shops, an arcade, rides, attractions, a fountain show, and even a hotel themed accordingly in case you don’t want to leave!
The Island is home to over thirty-five shops all featuring something unique. You’ve got shops for clothes, hats, jewelry, sunglasses, trinkets, toys, puzzles, magic tricks, movie memorabilia, and much, much more. Everyone in the entire family should be able to find a shop that matches their taste considering about every kind of shop you can think of is at The Island.
As far as stores go, here are some of our personal favorites:
- Puzzled: Puzzled is one of the coolest stores. You can get any kind of puzzle you can think of here, and it goes beyond putting pieces together on a table. You can get 3D puzzles that you hold in your hand to try and figure out, as well as mind boggling tricks that take you days to master. Puzzled has all of your puzzle needs and accessories.
- Kryptonite Character Store: You can let out your inner super-fan here with all of the merchandise based off of famous comic-book, TV, and movie characters. You’ll be wearing your favorite character’s face on your shirt after you leave this store.
- Emery’s 5 & 10: It’s really hard to say what exactly this store sells because they sell a little bit of everything. From kitchen to yard this store has it all. You can even get squirrel and eagle masks to really freak your neighbors out. We love this store for its diversity and surprises.
The Island is the place to go if you’re hungry! With a few big restaurants and multiple small snackeries, there is no reason to leave even a little hungry. Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is a popular place to dine, and you’ll leave filled with enough food to last you a day or two. Jimmy Buffet’s iconic Margaritaville is an an option, and if The Island itself doesn’t give you the beach vibe, Margaritaville sure will! Other options including The Timberwood Grill, Dick’s Last Resort, and Mellow Mushroom, to name a few, are all just a short walk away from each other.
As far as snacks, there are plenty of options for that too! Grab a frozen yogurt at Island Yogurt, or a pretzel at Auntie Anne’s. There’s also a Cinnabon and a Poyner’s Pommes Frites, which will give you a delicious taste of European food. For the older crowd, Dude’s Daiquiris has got your alcohol slush fix. There’s truly something for everyone to eat at The Island!
For those with a sweet tooth, there are a stores that’ll meet your sugar needs. You’ve got Sweet!, which is a candy store on steroids. They’ve got your normal candy, and they’ve also got that candy in ridiculously huge sizes. Have you ever had a gummy bear that weighs more than your head? You can get one of those at Sweet! Then there’s the fudgery where you can get fudge in a multitude of flavors, some of which you’ve probably never thought of when you’ve thought of fudge.
Our personal favorite is Big Rock Candy Kitchen where you’ll find all kinds of delectable treats. They’ve covered just about everything in chocolate here, including bacon! You can also get gelato, and if that’s not enough, try one of their many flavors of kettle corn! You can’t go wrong at Big Rock Candy Kitchen.
After all of that eating, you’re going to be ready for some fun and games! Of course The island has you covered there too. The most noticeable of all the attractions is going to be The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, which stands a staggering 200 feet in the air and is visible from many miles down the road. Hop in and get a birds-eye view of the mountains as well as Pigeon Forge below. With enclosed, heated, and cooled riding compartments, you can ride The Wheel anytime of year!
If you’re feeling active, there’s The Island Ropes Course where you’ll be hooked to a harness and sent on your way up the tower of obstacles to overcome. Once you make it to the very top, you have the option of being hooked to a bungee cord and sent flying down to the bottom! Don’t worry, it’s completely safe and a lot of fun!
If heights aren’t really your thing, there’s an arcade that houses games for the whole family! You can cash in your points after you’re done playing for prizes too! For the little ones, there’s a whole area of rides for them to enjoy outside including a carousel, cars, a swing, and even frogs to ride around on! The Island boasts a 7D theater, mirror maze, escape game, and a multimillion dollar fountain show just to name a few of the attractions you’re going to find.
In case you don’t want to leave this little chunk of serenity, there’s a hotel located inside The Island. The Margaritaville Hotel, fashioned to resemble a beach house, is the place to stay. This 4 star hotel will not leave you disappointed with its beautiful lobby, brightly colored rooms, and private balconies overlooking the inside of The Island. The rooftop pool and bar will have you feeling spoiled, and you won’t even have to get in your car to go anywhere when you stay here considering everything you could want or need is within walking distance. Just step outside the front doors of the hotel, and you’re in The Island!
Getting to The Island is fairly simple. The main entrance is off of the parkway in Pigeon Forge. There’s a huge sign, so you won’t miss it. If you do happen to have trouble finding the entrance, use the giant ferris wheel as a guide. Parking, which is free, is no problem. There is a huge lot that is separated into sections so you won’t lose your car. There are two tram stops where you can wait to be picked up if you don’t want to walk all the way inside from the parking lot.
Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is the place to go for some good southern cookin’. Bring the whole family as you’re served a family style meal with an appetizer, three main courses, 4 sides, and a dessert. If you leave here hungry, you very well may be a bottomless pit,
Margaritaville takes you to the beach with is its tiki bar, ocean map walls and ceiling, and to top it off it’s literally a beach house. You’ll be feeling the “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” vibes as soon as you see this restaurant.
Dick’s Last Resort is probably one of the most unique restaurant setups. This is the place where your servers are supposed to be rude to you and give you a hard time. You’ll leave with a bag on your head that says something extremely insulting about you that your server came up with.
Mellow Mushroom: Peace, love, and pizza is the name of the game. You’ll be feeling the hippie vibes at this psychedelic restaurant that is home to some of the best pizza we’ve ever tried.
*Photos and review produced by our on staff journalists who are in no way affiliated with the brand reviewed on this page.