Updated: Feb 13
People from all over the world flock to Pigeon Forge every year to catch a glimpse of the famed Great Smoky Mountains. These mountains are among the most beautiful in America, and the park is actually the most visited national park in the United States. With 11 million visitors a year, it makes sense that you may want to plan a trip of your own to see what there is to offer.
The answer to that questions is: everything. Pigeon Forge has such a wide variety of things to do, that there’s no way you could ever get bored. Although the park itself rests up the road in Gatlinburg, many people opt for staying in this happening city. This post will take you a bit in depth on what to do in Pigeon Forge.
Dollywood is known all around the world thanks to its association with country music legend Dolly Parton. It features some amazing rollercoasters: the Wild Eagle, Tennessee Tornado, and the award-winning Thunderhead. It also has a great children’s section for those who are not quite ready to tackle the large coasters. Furthermore, Dollywood digs deep into southern culture by serving some of the most authentic Tennessean food you can get anywhere. One of the most famous places is Aunt Granny’s Restaurant, which serves cornbread, biscuits, and a variety of other foods that taste better down south.
Just outside the theme park is a high-end hotel with a large pool and playground area called Dollywood's DreamMore Resort. Besides the extremely close location to Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country, this hotel puts you right at the foot of everything Pigeon Forge has to offer.
2. The Island
Despite the name, the Island isn’t actually located over a body of water. Instead, it portrays the vibe of a small town, housing numerous shops, restaurants, and even an arcade. The most famous part of the Island has to be the giant Ferris wheel that serves as a focal point to those driving by. It has something for both kids and adults, with escape games, frozen yogurt, and a Margaritaville serving up some top-notch beverages. The best part? It’s completely free to enter and walk around.
If this area interests you, you can actually book a room at the Margaritaville Island Hotel or the Margaritaville Island Inn. They are both quite glamorous, but the prime location might be the best part of all.
3. The Titanic Museum
This museum recreates the grand staircase and some of the cabins from the White Star ocean liner RMS Titanic. Upon entering, you will receive a boarding pass with someone’s name on it who actually sailed upon the ship. At the end, you will discover the person’s fate, whether they died or lived during their journey. Visitors will get the chance to touch an actual iceberg to feel just how cold the water was below the Titanic. You will also get to try walking up slanted ramps, which demonstrate the ships’ angle while breaking apart before sinking. To authenticate your experience, it also has more than 400 artifacts from the Titanic itself. Interested in booking tickets? Click here.
4. Mini Golfing
Pigeon Forge is home to many mini golf courses. So many, in fact, that it wouldn’t be right for you to visit without taking a “swing” at one of them. I’m going to list a few of my favorites to give you a choice on which one is best for your family.
Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf. This location has 2 different courses to choose from, and a mining train gives you a ride to the first hole to amplify your experience.
Crave Golf Course. This course literally has powdered sugar in the air, making you feel a need for sweets. It serves a variety of milkshakes and has an entire candy store in the front. It also boasts both indoor and outdoor courses and a miniature bowling alley.
Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm. This golf course has 3 unique courses to choose from. It features a variety of cute farm animals and differing difficulties to cater to both children and adults.
5. The Track
I’ve visited The Track my whole life while growing up, and I have to say it’s superior when it comes to family fun. It has mini-golf, go-karts, an arcade, and bungee jumping. They recently opened a second location in Pigeon Forge, so there is actually a park closer to Sevierville and one closer to the end of the Pigeon Forge strip. There are kid rides as well, so even the youngsters can enjoy their time at this park.
6. Dinner Shows
If you’re a fan of dinner shows, Pigeon Forge has them. Among the most popular is Dolly Parton’s Stampede, where half the stadium represents the north and the other half represent the south. The food here is wonderful, but don’t expect to get silverware. You have to eat with your hands only. Another dinner show with traction in the area is Hatfield & McCoy. It tells the story of 2 feuding families, featuring singing, dancing, and comedy.
7. Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster
This winding rollercoaster offers scenic views on a 7 minute ride through the mountains. The sleds reach a maximum speed of 27 miles per hour, which feels pretty fast when going downhill. Two people can ride together on this track, and it operates in rain, snow, and sunshine.
Places to Stay:
Luxury: The Inn on the River offers gorgeous views with sizeable rooms. You can walk to The Track and The Island from here.
Mid-Range: The Music Road Resort Hotel has a pool with a lazy river and an arcade, making it perfect for visitors with children.
Economy: Timbers Lodge is a nice, budget cabin-esque hotel.
Thanks for reading this post on the top things to do in Pigeon Forge. As a Tennessee native, I grew up only 30 minutes away from all the action. If you have any other recommendations you’d like to share, please leave a comment.
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