Tucked among the quiet and misty peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge teems with life. From magic shows to comedy dinners, from racing go-carts to mystical quests, it seems that any and every adventure can be found in this booming mountain town. Although everything in Pigeon Forge is a must-do attraction, we have narrowed the options down to ten of the best, ensuring that your stay here is as memorable as you wish it to be.
1. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
131 The Island Dr, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
All are familiar with the simple joy of riding a Ferris Wheel: watching the peaceful revolution of the wheel, exchanging cheerful smiles with the conductor as you board your own personal gondola, and feeling the breeze against your face as you gaze at the landscape below.
The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is a Pigeon Forge attraction that allows you to tap into that inner child once more. This is not your ordinary Fairground Ferris wheel, however. Equipped with forty-two state-of-the-art gondolas, each with climate-controlled interiors and comfortable seating for eight, this could possibly be the most technologically advanced wheel you ever had the pleasure to ride.
Yet it is what lines the outside of the wheel that draws visitors from all over the country. One million LED lights line the rim and stokes of this great wheel and are programmed to display a spectacular light show every night to spellbound guests.
Boasting as one of the four tallest wheels in the country and the tallest attraction in the Southeast, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is sure to impress and entertain visitors of all ages.
2. The Titanic Museum
2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
There are few museums that combine fact with fun and education with excitement like the Titanic Museum of Pigeon Forge. From the moment you step from your car and approach the looming structure, you are completely immersed in another time. The museum, shaped like Titanic herself, seems to plunge forward through a body of water, spewing water at her bow just like she did in 1912. Cheerful, welcoming crew members, seeming to be historical characters themselves, present you with your very own boarding pass, complete with actual information on a passenger who boarded the ship over one hundred years ago.
To continue the time-travel feel, the entire museum is laid out with the same floor plan as the infamous ship, allowing passengers to meander the corridors and decks as if they were touring the real thing. Interactive audio tours, professionally recorded for the Titanic Museum alone, guide guests through first and third-class cabins, the captain’s galley, and even the noteworthy Grand Staircase that took millions of dollars to replicate. From a flooding simulator that allows passengers to see what a staircase would look like as the waters rose, to the opportunity to feel how cold the waters would be on that fateful day, guests are provided an opportunity to experience the thoughts and feelings of the many passengers on Titanic.
All throughout the museum, crew members stand at the ready to answer any questions you can conjure, and have plenty of stories to share with any passenger willing to listen. We encourage you to strike up a conversation with these spirited and passionate individuals because you certainly won’t be disappointed.
At the end of your voyage, be sure to discover the fate of the passenger listed on your boarding pass. Did they avoid the fate so many others could not escape? Or were they doomed to the same sentence the “unsinkable” ship met? Rest assured that all young guests are guaranteed a boarding pass with a survivor.
Unique memories and experiences await at the Titanic Museum of Pigeon Forge.
3. The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster
867 Wears Valley Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Coaster thrills and mountain scenery mix together in the perfect concoction which is the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. This Pigeon Pigeon Forge attraction is one mile of track that weaves through the forest, swooping below tree branches and hugging mountain slopes like a trained skier, and all you have to do is be swept up in the ride.
Each car can sit up to two people and features a brake system that allows you to be in control of your speed (and thrill). Open year-round despite the weather, the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster allows the entire family to race among the treetops and enjoy a unique sightseeing experience no tour guide can compete with.
2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
One of the most popular Pigeon Forge attractions, no other theme park captures the spirit of the Smoky Mountains like Dollywood. The entire park seems to give out a hearty welcome to every guest, not just through their cordial greeters but through the very essence of the theme park: the fragrant aroma of cinnamon bread wafting down the cobblestone streets, the vivacious trill of a country band playing triumphantly in the square, and the overall jovial laughter that seems to come from every visitor. It’s like a melody, and the entire theme park seems to cheerfully hum it throughout the day.
Dolly Parton, founder, and owner of the park, seems to have put her heart, soul, and history into the park, and her fingerprints can be found everywhere. From the humble glassblower, laboring with such intensity over a flaming furnace to produce delicate, almost ethereal sculptures; to the ironworker, hammering out a multitude of nails as he spins a tale that sends his onlookers into a fit of laughter; Dollywood embodies what it means to live in a small mountain town.
It’s not just the Southern charm that attracts thousands of guests every year. The true selling point for this theme park is its attractions. From heart-pounding coasters to side-splitting comedy shows, from heart-warming showpieces to awe-inspiring animal sanctuaries, Dollywood has something for everyone in your family.
Although every thrill ride in Dollywood offers a unique experience, every attraction shares one common trait: a story. Every ride, from the swooping and soaring Wild Eagle to the twisting and turning Mystery Mine, has a deeply detailed backstory revealed not only during the ride but in the line leading up to it. Guests become characters within these stories, making each ride a personal adventure few other theme parks can offer.
With its latest expansion, Wildwood Grove, the largest in its history, Dollywood offers more rides, restaurants, and charm than ever before.
If you’re not that much of a thrill-seeker, have no fear! Dollywood offers hundreds of other festivals, shows, and attractions that cater to everyone’s interest, and provides clusters of variously themed playgrounds for little tikes too small to take on the bigger thrill rides. No matter the age or courage, Dollywood is the perfect destination for wholesome Southern entertainment.
5. Legacy Mountain Zip Line
800 Legacy Vista Dr, Sevierville, TN 37862
Everyone dreams of flying: the ability to leap from the ground and soar through the air like an eagle. Legacy Mountain Zipline grants that wish, and with highly-trained tour guides and the safest gear available, your wish is granted without a single worry or doubt attached.
With seven different zip lines and over 2,500 feet of cable zig-zagging across the mountaintops, Legacy Mountain Ziplines offers a view of the Smokies you can’t find anywhere else. Boasting as the first eco-friendly zipline company in the Smoky Mountains area, Legacy offers a simple way to bask in the natural, untainted beauty of these great peaks.
So when you’re standing with your toes on the edge of the platform and your sweaty palms gripping your safety harness, remember this: no other person will experience the same adventure on which you are about to embark. Race against the wind in the mist that gave these majestic mountains their name. Zipline through the Smokies.
100 Music Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Kids plaster their faces against the backseat window, fogging up the glass as they stare in awe. Cars slow down to see if their eyes are mistaken, and every mind and mouth wonders “What in the world is that?”
The place receiving all of this attention? WonderWorks museum. And it’s not a billboard or greeter drawing the curious gazes. The entire museum, porch, roof, chimney, and all, is completely upside down. It’s as if a tornado had flipped the establishment on its head; cracks and crevices snake their way up its walls, and the sound of creaking walls and cracked water pipes fill the air. As Alice would say, the museum becomes more and more curious as you pass through its entrance; the entire “foyer” of the museum is upside down as well, with staircases and lampposts looming above.
This is only the beginning of the wacky entertainment that lies within the wonderland that is Wonderworks. From space capsules to rock climbing and even their magic show, The Wonders of Magic, Wonderworks turns imagination into reality. Test your courage on the World’s Largest Indoor Ropes Course, or play against your family members in a laser tag match over a 10,000 square feet neon battlefield. When it comes to WonderWorks, anything is possible.
7. Splash Country
2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
If you like Dollywood, then you’ll love its neighbor: Splash Country. Voted Best New Waterpark in America by the World Waterpark Association, Splash Country combines backwoods fun with modern engineering to create a waterpark unmatched by any other.
Whether you’re whipping through River Rush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster, or drifting down the lazy river, Splash Country provides a unique experience found only in the Smokies. The park also provides convenient options, like the Time Saver Pass that allows guests to reserve their spot in line, or the new dining pass that takes care of all your meals for the water park season, your time is sure to be easy, fun, and carefree.
8. Gatlinburg Municipal Golf Course
520 Dollywood Ln, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Imagine teeing off on your last hole, the warmth of the sun at your back, and the view of the Smokies rolling out before you. At Gatlinburg Municipal Golf Course, this daydream is a reality. If you are looking for a golf course that is as much of a challenge as it is a scenic viewpoint, look no further. Recently named “Best Municipal Golf Course in Tennesse” by Golf Digest, this course is one any golf enthusiast will certainly want to visit.
Born from the imagination of noted golf course designer William Langford, the Gatlinburg Municipal Golf Course features immaculate walkways, grounds, and holes that will challenge even the adept golfer. After a successful round, feel free to visit the Clubhouse fully equipped with an eating area, facilities, and a Proshop for all your golfing needs.
9. Alcatraz East
2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
A crime museum stealing the hearts of many. This museum includes 5 unique galleries with over 100 interactive exhibits that you won’t want to leave. Learn about American crime, punishment, and serial killers. Walk through each exhibit and test your skills at your own detective work. A truly special experience that everyone won’t stop talking about. Visit the Alcatraz East Crime Museum today!
10. Tanger Outlets
1645 Parkway #960, Sevierville, TN 37862
Who said a trip to the mountains would require you to “rough it”? At Tanger Outlets, you’ll never feel deprived. With clean bathrooms, affordable prices, and friendly staff, Tanger Outlets offers a peaceful shopping experience free from the usual stress and bustle associated with malls.
The outlet is a host for many popular clothing and shoe stores, including Gap, Under Armor, Coach, and Fossil, and by buying directly from the manufacturer and offering coupon books to every visitor, Tanger provides in-season, high-quality products without a hefty price tag.
So if you’re looking for a relaxing and peaceful way to spend an afternoon at the Smokies, Tanger Outlets is a must-do.