Creating an itinerary in Pigeon Forge is a tall order — there’s simply too much to do and see! This tourist-friendly town is chock full of unique attractions you won’t find anywhere else.
If you’re struggling to narrow down your Smoky Mountain bucket list, stick with these essential Pigeon Forge attractions:
No list of in-demand Pigeon Forge destinations would be complete without mentioning Dollywood. Even if you are less than enthusiastic about rides, you’ll want to visit simply so you can take in all the Appalachian charm.
Stop by in the fall for pumpkin-themed decor or during the holidays to witness a wonderland like no other. No matter when you visit, you’ll love the folksy style and the abundant views of Smoky Mountain scenery.
Dollywood is just one of many Pigeon Forge destinations named after the lovely Dolly Parton. Her influence can also be seen at Dollywood’s Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. There’s even a dinner theater named after her. If you choose just one Dolly Parton destination, however, it should definitely be the iconic Dollywood theme park.
2. The Island
Amidst so many excellent shopping and entertainment options, it might seem all but impossible for any one commercial district to stand out. The Island achieves exactly that with help from a dazzling landmark: The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. Towering an impressive 200 feet, this ride offers an expansive view of the area.
The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel can certainly cap off a wonderful evening at The Island, but it’s just one of many attractions worth checking out. This entertainment Mecca is also home to several of Pigeon Forge’s best nightlife spots, not to mention some truly amazing restaurants. Grab a pizza at Mellow Mushroom or play some games at Arcade City. Either way, you’ll find plenty of ways to relax and make memories at The Island.
3. Titanic Museum
As Pigeon Forge’s arguably most unexpected attraction, the Titanic Museum brings history to life with an exhibit as eye-catching as it is interesting. At half the size of the original RMS Titanic, this two-story museum is visually impressive both inside and out.
You’re certainly welcome to pose near the exterior of the ship, but the real fun lies inside, where you’ll discover a variety of interactive exhibits that detail the real lives of passengers and crew members alike. You’ll view numerous Titanic artifacts as you learn the stories and pay homage to those who perished in (or survived) one of the 20th century’s most tragic events.
4. The Old Mill
If you’re on the hunt for a down-home experience, look no further than The Old Mill. This quaint Pigeon Forge landmark offers everything you could possibly want in a leisurely day out: a general store for shopping, a pottery studio for artistic types, and, most importantly, heaps of comfort food.
Photo opportunities abound throughout the property, but the historic gristmill itself is the most visually impressive spot. The bridge by the mill is also worth a visit, as it shows off not only the gristmill but also, the rushing waters of the Little Pigeon River.
5. The Barn
Ole Smokey Moonshine is a big name in the Smoky Mountains area. While the Gatlinburg distillery tends to attract the majority of the attention, there’s a lot to love about the alternate outpost in Pigeon Forge. Officially known as The Barn, this local favorite is nestled among the appealing businesses of The Island but is worth a visit in its own right.
The Barn’s homey atmosphere is just what you’d hope for while sipping on moonshine or whiskey. If you’re like many visitors, however, you’ll be most impressed by the live music — especially if you enjoy tapping your toes to classic country tunes. This is also your chance to stock up on the best and most unique beverages in town.
6. Patriot Park
While many Pigeon Forge attractions feel authentic, nothing quite compares to Patriot Park. It might not be as loud or eye-catching as the other landmarks on this list, but therein lies its charm.
Paying homage to our nation’s great veterans, this riverside gem invites you to meander and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many throughout history. There are several monuments throughout the park, as well as a quaint gazebo. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the quiet.
While it has a decidedly relaxed atmosphere on most weekdays, Patriot Park comes alive during the holidays and other special occasions. This is where the iconic WinterFest kicks off, bringing over one million twinkling LED lights to the heart of Pigeon Forge. Stop by for a stroll so you can truly capture the joy of the holidays in the Smokies.
Edutainment is a big deal in Pigeon Forge, where many attractions are as intellectual as they are thrilling. This is certainly true of WonderWorks, which boasts over 100 exhibits in its vast 42,000-square-foot facility.
As with many local museums, much of the appeal lies in the exterior facade. Its topsy-turvy appearance will definitely force you to look twice, even if you’re just passing by on your way toward other Pigeon Forge attractions. The illusion is especially impressive as you approach the building and head inside. There, the upside-down aesthetic continues in a decidedly wacky lobby area.
Next up? The inversion tunnel, which exposes you to all kinds of colorful lights as you experience the feeling of being turned right-side up. From there, you’re free to wander among many unique exhibits. From imitating an earthquake to scaling the climbing wall and simply playing unlimited arcade games, there really is something for everyone.
8. Goats on the Roof
Pigeon Forge’s best attractions are also its quirkiest. Nowhere is this more obvious than at the beloved Goats on the Roof. The name alone should have you eager to check out this unusual, but decidedly charming attraction.
Yes, you really can see goats on the roof. Other highlights include mining for gems and eating your fill of homemade fudge. The Goat Coaster is a must for thrill-seekers. Best of all? Feeding the goats, which are just as adorable as you might imagine.
Pigeon Forge provides plenty to keep you busy, not to mention a lot of opportunities to snap great photos. If you want to pack your vacation with jaw-dropping moments, you’ll certainly accomplish that by hitting up the iconic spots on this list.
Don’t forget to build in some extra time for relaxation so you can make the most of every sightseeing excursion. You’ll return with amazing memories, impressive snapshots, and a strong desire to plan your next big getaway.