Pigeon Forge is most well-known as a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains. People come here from all over to enjoy a comfortable and amenity-rich home base as they spend their days exploring the beauty and wonder the mountain ranges here hold. The second biggest draw after those mountains is Dollywood, an exciting and family-friendly amusement park co-owned by Dolly Parton.
Chances are that if you are reading this page looking to plan your upcoming Pigeon Forge vacation, your main reason for going to the city was one of these two attractions. But while Dollywood and those smoky mountains landscapes may have called you to Pigeon Forge, they aren’t all that this city has to offer. The following is a look at three of the city’s lesser-known, yet still enticing activities to enjoy:
3 Unusual Activities to Enjoy in Pigeon Forge
Visit the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum
The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum is a one-of-a-kind place that is located within a cozy, wood-built shopping center. This place, as you might guess it, is the country’s largest collection of salt and pepper shakers. It also has a sister location in Alicante, Spain, operated by the same family. Each of these two museums houses over 20,000 salt and pepper shaker combinations.
The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum began as a small personal collection that Andrea and Rolf Ludden began in the 1980s after finding themselves in need of a new pair of shakers. The search never seemed to end and within a few short decades, the family found themselves with thousands upon thousands of unique models spanning every decade since the invention of salt and pepper shakers (which you can learn about at one of the museum’s exhibits). The elder Andrea Ludden opened the Spanish museum and her daughter, also an Andrea, the museum near Pigeon Forge.
For some, the idea of a large collection of salt and pepper shakers might seem quirky at best, but not worth a trip. But there really is more than meets the eye here. The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum has shakers from around the world, and around time. As such it offers unique glimpses of different cultures and times, making it so that walking through each exhibit feels like walking through time as you see how people, interests, even morals changed and evolved.
Still not convinced it’s worth a peek in? Well, consider that admission for those ages 12 and over (those younger are free) is just $3 and once admitted, you can put that $3 towards the purchase of any salt and pepper shaker available for sale at the gift shop. In other words, you can enjoy a unique museum and take home a souvenir with a story at one convenient stop!
Visit Goats on the Roof
Goats have become quite the popular animal in recent years, with goat yoga being popularized in the western states and miniature goats becoming quite the fad everywhere. But having goats on the roof actually predates all these more recent trends, and Pigeon Forge’s Goats on the Roof was neither the first in the country nor even the only one in this region to have meandering goats be a tourist draw. Yet, Pigeon Forge’s Goats on the Roof is certainly unusual for most and has several exciting things to recommend it.
First, there are, of course, the goats. Goats are all over the place at this Tennessee attraction. You can pet the goats, you can feed the goats, or (and) you can simply watch the goats frolic inside and out. There actually are two locations for this Tennessee attraction, one in a shopping center within a more commercial area and one further out on Wears Valley Road besides Waldens Creek. Both locations boast goats.
The shopping center location, also called the Parkland store, is more of a gift shop, a good place to go if you’re looking for souvenirs. If you want something offering more action, head out to the Wears Valley Road location. There, not only will you find Goats on the Roof, but also a goat coaster and gem mining activities. These aspects make it a solid vacation spot for those with young children.
Go Zorbing at Outdoor Gravity Park
Zorbing is a unique activity in and of itself, and it is an activity that can only officially within the United States be done at Pigeon Forge’s Outdoor Gravity Park. Unique atop unique!
The activity of zorbing was invited in the mid-1990s by New Zealand brothers David and Andrew Akers. To zorb, one gets into a massive inflated ball that has been built specifically for this purpose. That ball, with you and potentially others inside, then gets sent careening down a hill. The ball is transparent, allowing for a sort of rolling, sledding experience.
The Outdoor Gravity Park in Pigeon Forge adds to the experience with water, warm in the winter and cold in the summer. The result is a one-of-a-kind rolling slip-and-slide experience. This water is always added during the summer but in the fall and winter, participants can opt for a dry option, which they call their DRYGO. The DRYGO is a different type of zorbing ball in which there are three plastic spheres within one ball. This prevents tumbling as the innermost one spins like its own planet within the other two.
There is, however, a downside to the Outdoor Gravity Park. Where the first two unusual activities we’ve profiled here are incredibly cheap for the good times they offer (you don’t even have to pay any entrance fee to check out the meandering goats at Goats on the Roof), this one is expensive — especially for those going for multiple rolls. Make sure to check their website for rates before you go.
Visit Our Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg Pages to Learn More About Area Attractions
Pigeon Forge and nearby Gatlinburg have a lot to offer visitors. From unique natural wonders to unusual locations like the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, this part of Tennessee is all its own. Learn more about other attractions, restaurants, and events that this area has to offer by visiting our other pages.