#26 of 97 Pigeon Forge Things To Do

Alcatraz East

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Alcatraz East: Pigeon Forge's Crime Museum
Staff Score:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Alcatraz East is a fantastic way to spend 2-3 hours on a rainy afternoon or day with inclement weather. The crime museum, which is appropriate for children and adults of all ages, has a great combination of interactive and museum-like exhibits. This museum is definitely worthy of a visit!

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Alcatraz East, which is located near The Island in Pigeon Forge, is a fantastic new crime museum that will have crime geeks drooling. The huge, 25,000 square feet museum includes five unique galleries and over 100 interactive exhibits!

The design of the Alcatraz East building was modeled after the first prison in the State of Tennessee and Alcatraz. The museum incorporates the castle-like look of the 1898 Tennessee State Prison just outside of Nashville and the watch towers of Alcatraz.

A few of our favorite exhibits include:

American Crime-
Remember O.J Simpson speeding away in the white Ford Bronco? That vehicle and many other famous getaway cars can only be seen at Alcatraz East. There are plentiful artifacts and souvenirs including guns, papers, vehicles and more that remind us of some of the most famous criminals in our country’s history.
Want to hang out in a jail cell for the afternoon? Now, you have your chance to get behind bars! Spend some time getting your mug shot taken, take a lie detector test, and then experience jail life… temporarily.

In addition to the permanent exhibits, Alcatraz East rotates through temporary exhibits – this was actually one of our favorite facets of this cool museum. The ugly truth of wildlife trafficking was the temporary exhibit the day we visited. As a local who loves our black bears, it was interesting to discover that our beloved creatures are being illegally killed to produce medicines. The temporary exhibit was a collaborative production with several non-profits and government agencies meant to highlight the dangers of the multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trafficking industry.

There are also two interactive exhibits (requires upgraded ticket):

The Heist-
Get ready to experience the adrenaline rush of participating in a museum burglary! As you try to steal a valuable museum piece, you will have weave your way through an advanced laser-based security system. Can you do it?
Top Detective Challenge-
Do you have what it takes to solve a crime? Put yourself in the shoes of law-enforcement attempting to solve a museum heist. The clues throughout Alcatraz East  will help you crack the case!

Insider Tip:
If you are travelling with young children, we recommend upgrading to the VIP admission (only $5 more than general admission with audio). Some of the static exhibits may be disturbing to young children and the VIP admission includes all of the interactive exhibits.

The Alcatraz East crime museum is located in Pigeon Forge between Lights #3 and #4 on the main Parkway. It is near The Island