20 Things To Do In Pigeon Forge

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Ticked away in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge is a popular base for exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with 800 miles of hiking trails through stunning mountain scenery past waterfalls and forests. The national park alone is worth exploring but it is only part of what Pigeon Forge has to offer. With the Little Pigeon River flowing through it, there are many outdoor things to do in Pigeon Forge, like swimming, rafting and tubing.

This is small town punches way above its weight in the attraction stakes, with Dollywood and Splash Country being two of the most popular. Other things to do in Pigeon Forge include catching a show at one of the theatres in town, enjoying a tasting at a winery or distillery and visiting museums celebrating famous people, such as the Elvis Presley Museum.

Pigeon Forge is also an excellent dining destination. One of the iconic places to eat traditional Southern food is the family-run Old Mill restaurant that has been in business since the 1830s. The summers are long, warm and muggy, while the winters are short, cold and wet. Temperature varies between 0.55C (31F) in the winter and 30.55C (87F) in the summer. No matter what season, you’ll find enough things to do in Pigeon Forge to make a visit worthwhile.

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

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pigeon forge tennessee
Looking for things to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? You won’t have trouble filling your time!

20 Things To Do In Pigeon Forge

1- Turn Back Time At Old Mill Square

Old Mill In Pigeon Forge
Visiting the Old Mill is one of the things to do in Pigeon Forge.

Take a trip back to the 18th century when you visit Old Mill Square, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The square has been built around a large, wooden gristmill lined with old-fashioned shops, including a pottery store, a sweet shop, a creamery that sells delicious homemade ice cream, an iron forge, a distillery and two country stores.

In the pottery store, the pottery makers show you how they make their pieces, and you then have the opportunity to buy your favourites.

The Old Mill Restaurant is one of the two restaurants in the square, and it is famous for its southern fare and large portions. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Try their country breakfast, which has eggs, pancakes, grits, biscuits, potatoes, and sausage gravy, with the option of adding on sausage, ham, bacon, or even all three.

You won’t need much lunch after such a feast.

The Old Mill Restaurant is at 164 Old Mill Avenue, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

2- Have Fun At Dollywood And Splash Country

Dollywood is a theme park jointly owned by Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment open from the middle of March until early January.

To get acquainted with the park, take a ride on the Dollywood Express, an authentic steam train from the early 20th century.

It takes you around the park, allowing you to see where everything is.

The journey takes around 20 minutes.

The park covers 121.4 hectares (300 acres,) and there are plenty of rides for you to enjoy.

The Big Bear Mountain is a family-friendly roller coaster and is the longest coaster in the park at 1.2 km (0.75 miles).

The fastest roller coaster is the Lightning Rod, which has a top speed of 117 kph (73 mph) and is suitable for adults and older children.

There is an area in the park dedicated to young children with suitable rides.

Dollywood also has four theatres, which put on musical performances throughout the day and into the evening.

Splash Country is right next door to Dollywood and is a waterpark covering 14.16 hectares (35 acres).

There are plenty of attractions here to keep you occupied all day.

Highlights include slides such as Big Bear Plunge, a lagoon-style pool called Mountain Waves, and the relaxing Fire Tower Falls River.

Dollywood is at 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd., Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Skip the lines and prebook your Dollywood Theme Park Entry Ticket.

3- Spend A Day On The Island

The Island isn’t a real island, but an entertainment and shopping centre.

The highlight is the 60.96-metre (200-foot) Ferris wheel, which operates year-round with climate-controlled gondolas.

It is well worth taking a ride, as you will be rewarded with stunning views of the Smoky Mountains.

The Island is a paradise for shopaholics, as there are over 40 unique stores to visit, such as the Hand-Blown Glass Gift Gallery, the Toy Chest Company, and Sparkles Jewellery, Fashion, and Accessories.

You will also find a winery, a moonshine distillery, and a cider company in the centre.

There are plenty of restaurants where you can take a well-earned rest after shopping ’til you drop.

Pizza, steak, and barbecue are among the many choices you have.

Don’t miss going to the beautiful dancing fountain which puts on a spectacular display with coloured lighting. Of course, this is best seen when it is dark.

The Island is at 131 The Island Drive, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

4- Visit The Alcatraz East Crime Museum

If you have an interest in true crime, this museum is a must.

It is housed in a building that looks like a 19th-century prison.

In five galleries, it tells you about criminals who created reigns of terror, as well as giving you information about the penal system in the US, crime prevention, the justice system, and stories from some of the victims.

Famous criminals depicted include the notorious Al Capone, Ted Bundy, and O. J. Simpson.

Cars belonging to the criminals, their clothes, and pieces of evidence from their trials are among the exhibits.

There are over 100 interactive exhibits in the museum, providing fun for all the family, including a CSI Lab, Crack-a-Safe, computer interactives, and a scavenger hunt.

The Alcatraz East Crime Museum is at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

5- Enjoy The Outdoors At The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smoky Mountains National Park
Exploring the Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge for nature lovers.

Pigeon Forge is right next door to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so it is a great base if you want to explore the park.

If you enjoy hiking, you will be in your element, as there are more than 1287 km (800 miles) of trails ranging from easy hikes to challenging ones.

There are some beautiful waterfalls to be seen while hiking and streams where you can fish.

You can drive through the park as well as hike. Try the Cades Cove Loop Road, which is a 17.7-km (11-mile) road that takes you through a beautiful valley with historic houses, wildlife, and stunning views of the mountains.

Visit Clingman Dome, which is the highest point of elevation along the Appalachian Trail. Drive to Clingmans Dome Road and then hike 0.8 km (0.5 miles) to the summit.

The trail is paved and steep but the views from the observation tower at the top are worth the effort.

You can sign up for a one-day jeep rental package in the Smoky Mountains.

6- Visit The Awe-Inspiring Forbidden Caverns

10 km (6.3 miles) away from Pigeon Forge is Sevierville with its amazing Forbidden Caverns, well worth visiting for an afternoon out.

The name comes from a legend about a Native American princess who got lost forever in the caverns.

You can take a one-hour tour of the caverns, where you will see stalactites, stalagmites, and pretty grottos.

A clear stream runs through the caverns, and there is also a wall of rare cave onyx. Some of the caverns are lit up, and, with the addition of sound, you will enjoy a magical show.

The Forbidden Caverns are at 455 Blowing Cave Road, Sevierville, TN 37876.

7- See Your Favourite Celebrities At The Hollywood Wax Museum

If you are a little starstruck, you will be in your element at the Hollywood Wax Museum. Both past stars and current performers are portrayed over two floors.

Celebrities portrayed include Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Dolly Parton, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Robert Downey Jr.

The museum also houses an entertainment centre that has a hall of mirrors, a zombie escape adventure, and a 5D castle of chaos, among other attractions.

The Hollywood Wax Museum is at 106 Showplace Blvd., Unit A, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

8- Catch A Show At One Of The Theatres In Town

There are plenty of theatres in Pigeon Forge, so you can have a great night out.

If you are a fan of country music, try Country Tonite Theatre, which combines classic country with new hits.

It also puts on comedy sketches that are family-friendly.

The venue is the largest in town, seating 1,500 people.

The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show is a fun show, depicting the feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families in the 1890s through music and acrobatics.

The show is accompanied by a southern-style dinner of fried chicken, coleslaw, corn, rolls, and mashed potatoes.

The show at The Comedy Barn is family-friendly and includes performing animals, jugglers, and magicians. Your children will love it.

The Country Tonite Theatre is at 129 Showplace Blvd., Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.
The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show Is at 119 Music Road, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.
The Comedy Barn is at 2775 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

Recommended shows:

9- Enjoy A Tasting At One Of The Distilleries In Town

Cognac Or Whiskey In Glasses
Visiting distilleries is one of the things to do in Pigeon Forge for adults.

One of the best distilleries in Pigeon Forge is the Tennessee Shine Company, which produces moonshine, whisky and bourbon using the same methods that have been used for many years.

They offer free moonshine and whisky tastings, with an add-on fee if you want to try any of the bourbons.

Tennessee Shine Company produces some exciting flavours, such as butter pecan moonshine, espresso whisky, and caramel bourbon.

Old Forge Distillery produces small-batch spirits and has a tasting bar where you can try their 80% moonshine.

They also produce other spirits, such as bourbon, gin, and cream liqueur, and 60% proof fun-flavoured moonshines, including French toast and key lime.

As well as a tasting bar, they have a cocktail bar.

The Tennessee Shine Company is at 3435 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.
The Old Forge Distillery is at 170 Old Mill Avenue, Pigeon Forge, TN 37868.

10- Celebrate Christmas All Year At The Incredible Christmas Place

Outdoor Christmas Holiday Presents Decorations, Gift Boxes
Celebrating Christmas all year round is one of the things to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

The Incredible Christmas Place celebrates Christmas all year and if you love Christmas like I do, you will want to head here whatever time of the year it is.

The Incredible Christmas Place is a holiday village where you can buy Christmas ornaments, nativity scenes, designer trees, and dollhouses.

You can enjoy fudge and egg nog even when it’s hot outside, and your kids can get their photo taken with Santa.

Check their website to see when Santa is in town.

The lights and decorations around the village are beautiful and will give you that special Christmas feeling whether it’s July or December.

The Incredible Christmas Place is at 2470 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

Recommended tour: Famous Moonshine & Wine Tour From Pigeon Forge

11- Visit The Titanic Museum

If the tragic story of the Titanic fascinates you, come to this museum that is dedicated to showcasing artefacts from the ship, such as life jackets and telescopes.

The museum is on two floors and is shaped like the ship itself, but half the size.

There are interactive exhibits in the museum that will delight the kids.

Tap out a message on the ship’s wireless, hold the captain’s wheel, or take a walk around the decks, listening to stories told by the survivors.

The Titanic Museum is at 2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Skip the lines and book your Titanic Museum Pigeon Forge Admission Ticket.

12- Have Fun At Wonderworks Pigeon Forge

Wonderworks is an amusement park that is housed in an upside-down building with the ceiling on the floor and the floor on the ceiling!

You may feel a little disoriented to start with, but you’ll soon get used to it.

At Wonderworks, you will find over 100 interactive exhibits to enjoy in six wonder zones, such as the space discovery zone and the wonder art gallery.

There is more action in the basement with activities such as a glow-in-the-dark ropes course and a laser-tag arena.

Wonderworks Pigeon Forge is at 100 Music Rd., Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

13- Enjoy The Waterfalls At Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a few miles south of Pigeon Forge.

It is 8 km (5 miles) long and can be driven through.

If you enjoy hiking, you will find trails leading off the road, the most popular being the Rainbow Falls trail.

The round trip is 8.69 km (5.4 miles) and is difficult in parts as it climbs 457 metres (1,500 feet).

However, it is well worth it as the Rainbow Falls are stunning.

They cascade 24 metres (80 feet), and in the mist, you will see a beautiful rainbow.

The Place of a Thousand Drips is another waterfall close to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and is easier to reach.

It is formed by many small waterfalls, which cascade over rocks, giving the appearance of a thousand drips.

14- Take The Rocky Top Wine Trail

Glass Of Dry White Wine On Table In Vineyard
Wine tasting is one of the things to do in Pigeon Forge.

There are five wineries on the Rocky Top Wine Trail, with a total of 75 different wines between them.

To take part in the trail, you get a special passport and have it stamped at each winery after having a drink.

With three stamps, you get a prize, and with five, you get another prize.

You can do this trail at your own pace, but if you all want to have a drink, why not take an organised tour?

Two tours take you to three wineries each, and there is another tour called the Shots and Glasses tour, which visits two wineries, one hard cider house, and a moonshine distillery. Lunch is included in this tour.

The Rocky Top Wine Trail Company is based at 2174 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

15- Have Fun At The Outdoor Gravity Park

The Outdoor Gravity Park is the only place in Tennessee where you can go zorbing, which involves getting into a 3.35m (11-foot) inflatable ball and rolling down a hill or water slide.

Don’t worry, you are strapped in!

Bring your swimming costume as 45.46 litres (10 gallons) of water is added to the ball.

In the winter, the water is warm, and, in the summer, it is cold, so you’ll be fine.

Up to three people can go in one ball, except for the extreme zigzag course when you have to go it alone.

There are three different tracks, and you can start with an easier track and build up to the zigzag course.

Try it; it’ll be fun.

The Outdoor Gravity Park is at 203 Sugar Hollow Rd., Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.

16- Have Fun At Paula Dean’s Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park

A Wood Chopper Competes In An Event
Watching the Lumberjack Feud Show is one of the fun things to do in Pigeon Forge.

The Lumberjack Feud Show depicts the feud between two timber business families, the Dawsons and the McGraws.

It is an action-packed, family-friendly show with axe-throwing, wood chopping, tree climbing, and log rolling.

Supper is served during the show, and you get a BBQ sandwich, coleslaw, baked beans, a cookie, and a drink.

During the interval, you can have a go at cross-cutting.

When the show is over, have fun in the adventure park.

The highlight is the Flying Ox, which is the world’s first cable-to-rail zipline roller coaster.

Other activities include log rolling and a multi-level ropes course.

Paula Dean’s Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park is at 2530 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Skip the lines and book your tickets to this popular show here

17- Ride The Rocky Top Mountain Coaster Ride

If you have enjoyed the roller coasters at Dollywood and Paula Dean’s, don’t miss taking a ride on the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster.

It is the first coaster in the world to have four uplifts.

This coaster is a little different from standard roller coasters as you ride in unconnected sleds, seating two, which can go up to 48.28 kph (30 mph).

The great thing is that you control the speed, but don’t go too slow; otherwise, the people behind you might get annoyed.

The ride lasts for nine minutes, and you get beautiful views of the mountains, that is, if you can stop screaming!

There are 360-degree turns and a few tunnels to enjoy. The best time to take this ride is after dark, as it is lit up.

The Rocky Top Mountain Coaster Ride is at 2940 Veterans Blvd., Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Skip the lines and book your Rocky Top Mountain Coaster Admission Ticket here

18- Burn Off Calories At Top-Jump Trampoline And Extreme Area

This is a great place for the whole family with trampolines, a climbing arena with 21 different climbing lines as well as obstacle courses, such as the Fire and Ice Ninja Course.

The six-metre (20-foot) tall maze has ramps, beams and rungs to conquer.

There is a special area for younger children with trampolines and a foam pit.

If this isn’t enough, there are basketball and dodgeball courts and a games arcade.

If the adults want a break, there is a room for them to relax in that has TVs and Wi-Fi.

Top-Jump Trampoline and Extreme Area is at 3735 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Book an hour arena time here

19- Have Fun On The Little Pigeon River

Bridge Over The Little Pigeon River In Gatlinburg
The Little Pigeon River in Pigeon Forge.

If you enjoy water activities, head to the Little Pigeon River.

Part of it is shallow and perfect for tubing. However, in the upper and lower parts of the river, the water is suitable for whitewater rafting.

You can swim in the middle prong, and fish for rainbow trout and smallmouth bass.

Right next to the Little Pigeon River is a paved trail, 6.4 km (4 miles) long.

If you prefer to experience the river without going on it, take a stroll along the trail. You can also cycle if you prefer.

The scenery is lovely.

20- Visit The Elvis Presley Museum

If you’re a fan of ‘The King’, head to this museum set up in his honour by Mike Moon in 1979 to see the world’s largest private collection of Elvis memorabilia, including clothes, cars and jewellery.

The highlights are his cars.

You can see his last limousine and his honeymoon Cadillac.

There is a very interesting audio tour you can take that is narrated by Elvis’s friends.

The Elvis Museum is at 2530 Parkway, Suite 4, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. 

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Irena Nieslony was born in Windsor, England but now lives on the island of Crete, Greece, in a small village called Modi near the city of Chania. She has visited 32 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa. Her favourite country is Tanzania as she loves wildlife and was lucky enough to see ‘The Big Five”. She also loves Egypt, as ancient history intrigues her, the southern states of the US and the cities of Memphis, Nashville, and New Orleans for music. She has a B.A. Honours degree in English and Drama from Westfield College, University of London. She has been writing for over 13 years and has 13 novels, 7 short stories and thousands of articles published.