Just a few miles from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and host to the famous Dollywood amusement park and Dollywood’s Splash Country waterpark, Pigeon Forge is a nationally renowned tourist town and mountain gateway. Chockablock with family attractions, this lively little town has quite the lineup of newly opened or coming-soon additions to those must-see spots.
Here’s a quick look at some of the newest (and forthcoming) destinations in and around Pigeon Forge:
The Mountain Mile & Tower Shops
This exciting, under-development 180,000-square-foot complex accounts for more than 174 acres along Teaster Lane and Jake Thomas Blvd. and will offer a dynamic blend of shopping, dining, lodging, and more. The “pinnacle” of the place is the Mountain Monster, a nearly 200-foot-tall tower that drops brave souls in a thrilling freefall or slings them upwards in the equally heart-pounding “Monster Launch.”
Adjoining the Cap Ripken Experience baseball facility and the 300,000-square-foot spread of restaurants and hotels called The Island, the Mountain Mile and Tower Shops is cooking up plenty for the whole family to enjoy. That includes the homegrown artisan spirits and Southern-inflected cuisine of Junction 35, plus the soon-to-open REI that’ll cater to the many outdoors enthusiasts funneling through Pigeon Forge en route to the Great Smokies and other regional Southern Appalachian playgrounds. (But more on that later…)
Rowdy Bear Ridge Adventure Park
Two of the area’s most exhilarating amusement rides await you and the whole gang at Rowdy Bear Ridge. This adventure park made its name in Gatlinburg, and now has opened a second facility in Pigeon Forge, just across from the popular Titanic Museum: good news for thrill-seekers! On tap here you’ll find one-of-a-kind Alpine Flyer, a two-seat suspended coaster that—in addition to taking you through twirls and plunges against a scenic Smoky Mountain backdrop—arms you with laser guns as you ride.
Then there’s the year-round Rowdy Bear Ridge tubing hill, which runs more than 500 feet, including a 70-foot drop. You can opt to tube solo, or link as many as three tubes together for a communal ride. Either way, you’ll find yourself reaching speeds of up to 35 miles per hour along the fast-paced, LED-lit track.
Pigeon Forge Chairlift
Slated to open in 2021, this will be the town’s first chairlift, and from the looks of the concept art and the construction thus far, it’s going to debut as one of the top sightseeing attractions in the area. Pigeon Forge has quite the scenic backdrop, needless to say, and it sounds like there won’t be too many better places to take in the views than from the Pigeon Forge Chairlift and its associated 85-foot-tall observation tower, wrapped with spiral stairs. Get ready for some showstopping looks at the Great Smoky Mountains and their royally rumpled foothills!
REI Pigeon Forge
Visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cherokee National Forest, and other recreation areas in Pigeon Forge’s rugged backyard will soon have a comprehensive place to gear up. The member-owned outdoor co-op REI is set to open a 21,500-square-foot store in Pigeon Forge at the aforementioned Tower Shops at Mountain Mile. Besides stocking up on top-quality outdoor apparel and equipment—and tapping into the insights of the friendly staff to make your selections—you’ll be able to take classes and workshops at the store and join guided REI-led day trips into the Great Smokies.
Guy Fieri’s Chicken Guy!
Given the magnitude of tourists from all over the world who travel to and through Pigeon Forge and nearby Gatlinburg to access the Great Smoky Mountains—the most-visited national park in the U.S.—these foothill towns have an impressive diversity of eateries. There’s a new one slated to hit Gatlinburg in the very near future: the opening of the area’s first Chicken Guy!, a restaurant franchise launched by celebrity chef and TV host Guy Fieri in collaboration with Robert Earl.
Get ready to take a deep dive into poultry appreciation via the eatery’s chicken tenders—bathed with pickle brine, buttermilk, and lemon juice, and paired with more than 20 varieties of housemade sauce—and various sandwiches.
Double Decker Bus Tours
Sightsee that spectacular Smoky Mountain country and hit up some of the area’s leading entertainment hubs with the perfect ride: a double-decker bus direct from the U.K. Double Decker Bus Tours embarks on a variety of outings every 45 minutes from a staging zone outside Pigeon Forge’s Hard Rock Cafe. Tours include Cades Cove, that verdant valley nestled in the Great Smokies, as well as trips to Harrahs Cherokee Casino for some grownup fun. You might also choose to ride the double-decker to the Sevier Distillery, where you can taste your way through its products and try your hand at a little mixology yourself.
Take in the Pigeon Forge Area’s Newest Attractions
From major new shopping hotspots to amusement rides and up-in-the-clouds sightseeing, there are plenty of buzz-worthy attractions being unveiled in Pigeon Forge and its vicinity these days. If you’ve visited the city in the past, come check out the latest it has to offer!