15 Top-Rated Things to Do in Pigeon Forge, TN

Written by Colin J. McMechan
Nov 24, 2021

You and your family have no end of choice when it comes to planning which attractions to see and things to do in Pigeon Forge. World-class parks such as Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country are the main drawcards, but there are many other places to visit in town. Head to the Island in Pigeon Forge for an afternoon of browsing shops, catching live music, or riding the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. For history buffs, the interactive Titanic Museum contains the largest collection of Titanic artifacts in the world.

Aerial view of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Aerial view of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Pigeon Forge was established in 1961 on the site of a former farming community and an iron forge that was constructed in 1817. The grist mill, built in 1830 to produce flour from harvested grain, still stands at Old Mill Square. It is the most photographed mill in America. The town that you see today is a playground for millions of tourists, who flock to its array of amusement parks.

Complementing any visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge offers more than 70 tourist spots to consider on your travel itinerary. Narrow your focus with our list of the best attractions and things to do in Pigeon Forge.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Dollywood

Dollywood | Michael Gordon / Shutterstock.com

A day at Dollywood gives you a taste of life in the Smoky Mountains with all the trimmings. Dollywood dazzles the eyes every season of the year. As an internationally recognized theme park spread over 150 acres, Dollywood preserves its reputation by constantly updating its displays and amusements.

Thrill seekers line up to ride Dollywood's Wild Eagle and Firechaser Express, while the Dragonflier allows you to imagine flying on the back of a dragonfly. Part of every day, most visitors travel aboard the Dollywood Express–the oldest ride in the park, powered by a steam locomotive that makes a 2.5-mile loop.

Mystery Mine appeals to people with a passion for speed, spookiness, and death-defying spins in a haunted showcase. In addition to rides, Dollywood's Eagle's Nest promotes appreciation for bald eagles and other raptors.

You are guaranteed to find something that will arouse your appetite for fun and entertainment at Dollywood. Speaking of appetite, the Spotlight Bakery is where you can stave off hunger with a fresh cinnamon roll and hot beverage. If deep dish is more to your liking, purchase a 25-pound apple pie for $189.99 (or $18.99 a slice!)

Address: 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: https://www.dollywood.com/

2. Titanic Museum

Titanic Museum
Titanic Museum | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

The Titanic Museum balances human ingenuity, melancholy, and grace in a moving tribute to the best-known cruise ship–and worst maritime disaster–in history.

Your ticket of admission to the Titanic Museum is also your boarding pass. It shows the name, photo, and background of an actual Titanic passenger, and you can learn more about this person during your visit. With audio tours in English and other languages, a separate audio tour is designed for young visitors.

Photo and informational exhibits are tastefully arranged in chronological order, from the ship's design and construction in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to its ill-fated maiden voyage from Southhampton, England to New York City. Purchase a souvenir in the gift shop as a memento of your sailing aboard the Titanic.

Address: 2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: http://titanicpigeonforge.com/

3. Go to the Island in Pigeon Forge

Island in Pigeon Forge
Island in Pigeon Forge | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

The Island in Pigeon Forge is an entertaining hamlet within the resort town of Pigeon Forge. There are 60 small shops, places to eat, and venues to make you laugh and get your heart pumping. Live music stages energize the air while you relax in an Adirondack chair surrounding the massive Island Show Fountain.

There's a ropes course to challenge you and carnival rides to thrill you. The biggest ride can be seen from miles around: The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel rises 200 feet. Take one of the 42 gondola cars to the top for an incredible view of The Smokies.

A Floridian-style villa hotel means that you can extend "island time" to an overnight stay while visiting Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains.

Address: 131 The Island Drive, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: http://islandinpigeonforge.com/

4. Get Wet at Dollywood's Splash Country

Waterslides at Dollywood's Splash Country
Waterslides at Dollywood's Splash Country | Photo Copyright: Dollywood's Splash Country

Dolly's Splash Country, located next door to Dollywood, is a huge gulp of fun for the whole family. This award-winning water park fills a verdant Smoky Mountain hollow with rides and slides designed to create the biggest splash during your visit to Pigeon Forge.

Mimicking whitewater rafting adventures, RiverRush and Raging River Rapids allow you and your family to experience the rides of a lifetime on inflatables. Firetower Falls gives you the feeling of dropping off a 70-foot waterfall. Tunnel down Mountain Scream if you dare!

More mellow water pursuits will remind you of lazy river floats. The Cascades, an 8,000-square-foot lagoon-style pool, is built for a relaxing soak with a picturesque cascade backdrop.

Splash Country is the closest thing to experiencing the cascades, creeks, and waterfalls in nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Be prepared to get drenched.

Address: 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: https://www.dollywood.com/waterpark

5. Wander through Old Mill Square

Old Mill Square
Old Mill Square | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

When Isaac Love built a grist mill on the West Prong Little Pigeon River in 1830, his goal was using hydropower to grind grain into flour. The grist mill still produces flour, and generates more photographs than any other mill in the United States.

The Old Mill Square is a favorite place to visit for Southern hospitality, with places to eat, find accommodation, and browse old-time shops that inspire nostalgia.

Address: Old Mill Street, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: https://www.old-mill.com/

6. Escape to Alcatraz East Crime Museum

Alcatraz East Crime Museum
Alcatraz East Crime Museum | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

Connecting crime and punishment is a "deadly" combination for a tourist attraction. The Alcatraz East Crime Museum is so popular, you might question why people say, "crime doesn't pay." Permanent galleries add to the intrigue of famous crime stories. They focus on the application of punishment, methods to investigate and fight crime, and how crime and punishment are portrayed in popular culture.

The imposing façade of Alcatraz East Crime Museum is based on the castle-like design of Tennessee State Prison, built in 1898. Throughout the year, the museum invites speakers to talk about what it's like to work in crime-related occupations such as forensics and investigative journalism.

Address: 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: http://www.alcatrazeast.com/

7. Be Amazed at WonderWorks

WonderWorks | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

Driving up to WonderWorks, you suspect disaster has struck and might think of running to the hills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Look again in disbelief as you stand in front of a mammoth colonial-style building turned upside down. This first impression lasts throughout your visit to WonderWorks, where scientific discovery defies belief at every turn.

WonderWorks is one of the most imaginative and interactive tourist attractions in Pigeon Forge. With more than 100 tactile exhibits, you experience applied science. Some exhibits are active, such as the Physical Challenge Zone. In the Hurricane Shack, your body is exposed to the force of 84-miles-per-hour wind. In the Bubble Lab, you create bubbles large enough to encase you. To train for your dream job, the Astronaut Training Gyro simulates the feeling of being in space.

Address: 100 Music Road, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: http://www.wonderworksonline.com/pigeon-forge/

8. Hollywood Wax Museum

Hollywood Wax Museum
Hollywood Wax Museum | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

Driving into Pigeon Forge, your kids will be the first to point out the iconic statue of King Kong swinging from the Empire State Building. This realistic–yet surreal–copy of the silver-screen classic is suspended above the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center.

While you might plan to focus on taking selfies with waxed lookalikes of favorite celebrities, features in this museum offer entertaining diversions. From getting turned around in "Hannah's Maze of Mirrors" to immersive encounters in the "Castle of Chaos" and "Outbreak–Dread the Undead," you'll experience more than the whole ball of wax.

Address: 106 Showplace Blvd Unit A, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: https://www.hollywoodwaxentertainment.com/pigeon-forge-tn-attractions/hollywood-wax-museum/

9. Kart Away at Rockin' Raceway Arcade

Rockin’ Raceway Arcade
Rockin' Raceway Arcade | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

For speed demons and arcade enthusiasts, Rockin' Raceway Arcade is the most popular place to grab the wheel and push the accelerator of your gas-powered go kart. Feel the grip of rubber on tight turns as you race to the finish line!

The sizable collection of new and classic pinball and video terminals at Rockin' Raceway means that you have more than 150 games to choose from in this arcade palace. It's a bonanza for gamers and pinball wizards of all ages.

Address: 2839 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: https://faceamusement.com/rockin-raceway-arcade/

10. Find Winter Fun Anytime in Pigeon Forge Snow

Pigeon Forge Snow
Pigeon Forge Snow | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

Pigeon Forge Snow is the place to go when you have a hankering for wintertime fun, especially when it's a blistering 90 degrees in the August shade. With up to 10 lanes on an indoor bunny hill of ice, you and your family will enjoy this tube-sliding adventure while racing to the base of the hill. Want more winter bliss? Check out the SnowPlay area, where snowmen and other creations come to life.

For parents observing from the sidelines, capture a video of your child. While you wait, enjoy the 60- to 70-degree year-round comfort, and relax in a massage chair. On the second floor, the snack bar zone is the perfect place for your "aprés tube" experience.

Address: 2533 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: http://pigeonforgesnow.com/

11. Roll Down the Hill at Outdoor Gravity Park

Outdoor Gravity
Outdoor Gravity | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

Outdoor Gravity is designed for people who love to get totally soaked while sliding down a 1,000-foot hill, headfirst, feet first, or both, in a transparent bubble or orb. Welcome to the sport of zorbing.

At Outdoor Gravity, you have the choice to run three different courses with varying speed in a zigzag motion. Each orb can hold up to three passengers at a time. While your speed depends on the course and number of people in the orb, each ride or "roll" lasts about 1.5 minutes.

Address: 203 Sugar Hollow Road, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: https://outdoorgravitypark.com/

12. Take a Sightseeing Tour of the Scenic Wears Valley

Wears Valley dawn
Wears Valley dawn | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

A scenic drive into the countryside awaits as you make your way through Wears Valley to the Smoky Mountain community of Townsend. Downtown Wears Valley boasts cafés, restaurants, arts and crafts shops, and open-air workshops of chainsaw carvers.

Head out of Pigeon Forge before sunrise in autumn to catch mist rising from the glens and streambeds. If you are a photographer, you will appreciate how the hills hold the light during the magic hour of daybreak.

Carry on to Townsend, or extend your drive to complete Cades Cove Loop Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

13. Paula D's Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park

Paula D's Lumberjack Feud
Paula D's Lumberjack Feud | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

Borrowing from days when Tennessee had a burgeoning logging industry, Paula D's Lumberjack Feud Show is an exciting logger sports event. For 1.5 entertaining hours, watch the skills and strength of modern-day Paul Bunyans. They duke it out on rolling logs, speed climb a tree, and perform competitive duels involving axes, double-end bucksaws, and chainsaws.

During the day, the Adventure Park maintains the logger sports theme for you to attempt controlled logrolls, boom runs, and pole climbs. The park has an impressive ropes course and a unique zipline rollercoaster.

Address: 2530 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: https://lumberjackfeud.com/

14. Have Your Fill at Dolly Parton's Stampede Dinner Show

Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show
Dolly Parton's Stampede Dinner Show | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

Dolly Parton's Stampede Dinner Show is a blockbuster performed in a 32,000-square-foot arena. Backed by music from the Queen of Country Music, Dolly Parton, the 1.5-hour dinner theater comes complete with the zany antics of Skeeter & Nugget, stunning acrobatics, and a scrumptious dinner. The meal starts with Dolly's acclaimed combo: Original creamy vegetable soup and hot homemade biscuits.

On its continuous run of 35 years, performances are always built around familiar themes, including seasonal hits such as the Christmas Show. The extraordinary skill and beauty of 32 equestrian performers add pizazz to one of the most recognizable and celebrated events in the country.

Address: 3849 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: https://dpstampede.com/pigeon-forge

15. Zip along in the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster
Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster | Photo Copyright: Colin J. McMechan

The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is an extended monorail zip down a track that seemingly goes on forever. It's the longest ride of its kind in the country and gets top marks for thrilling speed and distance.

Whether you are driving solo or with a co-pilot, you are always in control of how fast you want to go (up to 27 miles per hour) on a forested track of more than one mile. A popular feature of the Alpine Coaster is the magical run you can take after dark when the track is illuminated by a rainbow of colorful LED lights.

Address: 867 Wears Valley Road, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Official site: http://www.smokymountainalpinecoaster.com/

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