Visit Sevierville

Visitors to this beautiful and interesting part of the world enjoy natural wonders, including the Great Smoky Mountains, world-class entertainment and high-end, name-brand outlet shopping, all served up with signature southern charm.

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Visit Pigeon Forge

While staying in Pigeon Forge, you are truly in the middle of all the excitement.

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Visit Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is one of America’s great mountain resort destinations.

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Museums to Visit in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains

Museums can add education and entertainment to any Tennessee Smoky Mountain vacation

Whether you’re seven years old or 70, museums can provide an entertaining afternoon for everyone. Throughout the towns around the Tennessee Smoky Mountains you will find some of the most unique museums, displaying all sorts of interesting exhibits. Take a day to see one of these exciting attractions to make your stay in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains that much more enjoyable, and maybe learn a thing or two.  

 

Museums in Gatlinburg

Guinness World Records Museum

631 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN • (865) 430-7800

If you’re a fan of the record book, you will enjoy seeing the things on the page come to life. The museum features crazy displays, interactive games, videos and much more!  

Hollywood Star Cars Museum

914 Parkway, Gatlinburg | 865- 430-2200 | Website

This museum is like seeing your favorite movies come to life…at least the ones that feature cars. Come out to see some of the most famous automobiles of both the big and small screens.  Some favorites include the cars from “Ghostbusters,” “The Dukes of Hazard,” and “The Fast and the Furious.”  

Ripley’s Believe It or Not

800 Parkway, Gatlinburg | 865-436-5096 | Website

This “Odditorium” is not your run-of-the-mill museum. Sixteen themed galleries will make you scratch your head or gasp in awe as you view interesting artifacts like shrunken heads or two headed animals. Come witness some of the wonders of the world we live in!   

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

561 Brookside Village Way, Gatlinburg | 865-430-5515 | Website

With over 20,000 shaker sets from around the world, this surprisingly fascinating and fun museum is the only one of its kind! And for only $3, its worth a look-see.  

Christ in the Smokies Museum

510 River Road, Gatlinburg | 865-436-5155 | Website

This inspirational attraction features life-size 3D, dioramas that highlight scenes from the life of Jesus. If it’s an uplifting, spiritual experience you are looking for, look no further! Click here to watch a preview video for the museum.   

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

88 River Rd, Gatlinburg | 865-430-8808 | Website

One of the world’s top five aquariums, this attraction has everything your family could want in an aquarium! Walk through a tunnel, surrounding yourself with aquatic life on all sides, pet the sting rays, enjoy interactive displays or get a manicure from a swarm of fish. This beautifully designed museum is chock full of fun for the whole family.  

Museums in Pigeon Forge

Elvis & Hollywood Legends Museum

2530 Parkway #4, Pigeon Forge | 865-428-7852

The Elvis Museums, located all over the world, commemorate the contribution the King of Rock and Roll made to popular culture. This Pigeon Forge location highlights personal items as well as the props from some of Presley’s best known films.  You can also visit the gift shop for your own Elvis collectible.  

Hollywood Wax Museum

106 Showplace Blvd., Pigeon Forge | 865-428-5228 | Website

The only wax museum in Pigeon Forge dedicated to celebrities of film and music, with figures so life lifelike you would swear they are alive! Each life-size figure is handmade by seven people and takes about three months to make! This two-story museum is great for fun and unique photo opportunities, and will be entertaining for the whole family! Click here for a coupon!  

Titanic Museum Attraction

2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge | 417-334-9500 | Website

Honor the memory of those who sailed on the illustrious Titanic over a century ago by visiting this one-of-a-kind, ship-shaped museum nestled at the foot of the Smokies.  Visitors will relive the experience of the passengers and crew by hearing their stories and seeing over 300 artifacts left behind. Interactive exhibits allow you to see what it might have been like onboard that infamous night.  

Museums in Sevierville

Floyd Garret’s Muscle Car Museum

320 Winfield Dunn Pkwy, Sevierville | 865-908-0882 | Website

Over $8 million dollars worth of American-made muscle cars are on display at this exciting museum. See the automotive changes over the decades, and imagine yourself behind the wheel of one of these rare and beautiful bad-boys.  

Tennessee Museum of Aviation

135 Air Museum Way, Sevierville | 866-286-8738 | Website

The lore of historic aviation will ignite your imagination when you visit this museum. And every visit will be fresh, as exhibits and aircraft frequently change. You can even speak to local veterans who will share exciting stories about their experiences in the sky.  

Museums in Townsend

Little River Railroad and Lumber Museum

7747 E Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend | 865-661-0170 | Website

Experience the history of the region at the turn of the century, when the Little River Lumber Company expanded the railroads over the Smoky Mountains. A look at this museum, will give you a glimpse into the people who established the Tennessee Smokies.  

Cades Cove Visitor Center & Museum

Cable Mill Road, Townsend |865-448-4122 | Website

Cades Cove is not just a beautiful portion of the majestic Great Smoky Mountains National Park, rich history comes alive here. From the Cherokee natives to 19th century homesteaders, if it’s the history of the Smokies you want to learn about, this is the place to do it.    

Spending Winter in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains

Imagine beautiful, snowcapped mountains, peaceful small towns and exploring eastern Tennessee with your family. In the winter, we may be tempted to hibernate like the bears do, but this is the best time to leave home and visit those places that may be overcrowded during those hot summer months. Tourist season isn’t the only time to come to the Tennessee Smoky Mountains; winter holds its own delights. A snowy vacation among the majesty of the mountains will bring serenity and special memories with your family.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make your winter vacation in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains a success:

Step 1: Find a Warm Place to Stay

Snuggling around a fire, drinking hot cocoa, playing a family game, waking up to beautiful vistas right outside your door—what more could you want from a winter vacation? The area around the Tennessee Smoky Mountains is known for rustic and comfortable cabins that are available to rent. Many locations offer special rates during the winter months, so now is the time to plan your escape. Click here to find your cabin.

Step 2: Visit a Local Festival

The towns around the Tennessee Smoky Mountains feature festivals that draw you into the culture and community of eastern Tennessee. During the winter months, Winterfest gives you a glimpse of what makes this region special. Though the first months are dedicated to the holidays, the lights remain up until the end of February. The lights celebrate the beauty and wildlife of the Smoky Mountains. And until January 31, you can enjoy the lights from a heated trolley. Click here for more info.

Step 3: Bundle Up and Get Into Nature

During the summer in the Smoky Mountains, you may have to fight the crowds to enjoy some of the most popular hiking trails, but winter offers a rare opportunity. You can hike the trails in the peaceful quiet of nature. You may even be able to see historical buildings of early Smoky Mountain settlers which are usually hidden by the foliage of spring and summer. Click here to learn more about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited park in the U.S.

Step 4: Hit the Slopes

There is only one place in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and even snow tubing. At Ober Gatlinburg, whether you’re a novice or an expert, you can enjoy the thrill of winter sports. Don’t worry if you’ve never skied before or if you don’t own the equipment, Ober has got you covered. There are tons of things to do all winter long, including a restaurant where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Smokey Mountain peaks. Learn more here.

Step 5: Take Advantage of Winter Sales

The Tennessee Smoky Mountains has one of a kind shops that you won’t find anywhere else. Find arts and antiques at the Dogwood Mall or mountain and rustic gifts at My Favorite Things. Or if you want to shop till you drop, visit the Tanger Outlets in Sevierville or the shops at the Island in Pigeon Forge. Whether local goods or designer brands, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Step 6: Fill Your Belly With Warm Southern Style Food

If you’re not from the south, then you would be foolish not to stop into a local restaurant for some southern, home cooked, comfort food. After a cold, snowy day, you’ll need some warm food in your belly. Some restaurants close during the winter months, but at these restaurants, you are sure to find a meal that makes you say, “mmmm.” ​

Click on one of these to get your mouth watering: Mamas Farmhouse | Bennett’s BBQ Greenbrier Restaurant

Step 7: Too Cold? Then Visit an Indoor Attraction

The Tennessee Smoky Mountains have attractions all year long, including indoor places that are fun for the whole family. Want to learn about this incredible region, then take advantage of a local museum, both fun and educational. Click here for a full list of museums.

Or try something exciting, like laser tag or indoor skydiving.

There are also a variety of shows, from magic to country music to mysteries. Click here to view them.

Atop A Steed: Horseback Riding in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains

Become one with the natural surroundings of the Tennessee Smoky Mountains on the back of a beautiful horse

Hiking in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains is a must! There are tons of trails where you can view gorgeous panoramas, beautiful flora and wildlife up close. Imagine getting to take all this in from the back of a horse. There are many horseback riding opportunities you can take advantage of! Here are just a few options.  

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, established in 1934, is a national treasure. This portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains is the most visited national park in the United States. Over 800 square miles of nature is preserved for your enjoyment. There are several equestrian experiences you can have on these scenic trails.

  • Guided horseback rides (lasting from 45 minutes to several hours
  • Hayrides
  • Carriage ride
  • Wagon ride​
  • BYOH (bring your own horse)

CLICK HERE to find out more about these Smoky Mountain adventures.

Local Ranches & Stables

There are a variety of ranches and stables in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains that offer unique experiences and one-of-a-kind insight into this region. Don’t worry if you have little to know experience. The professional equestrians will make sure you are safe and sound before you head out. Some even offer child-oriented experiences so your kids will have the time of their lives! Check out these locations and plan your Smoky Mountain horse riding adventure today!

Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa

909 Little Cove Road, Pigeon Forge | 865-428-9398 | Website

Davy Crockett Riding Stable

505 Old Cades Cove Road, Townsend | 865-448-6411 | Website

Five Oaks Riding Stables

1630 Parkway, Sevierville | 888-353-4986 | Website

Jayell Ranch

1131 Jayell Road, Sevierville | 865-776-1593 | Website

Bringing Your Pets to Gatlinburg

Your Guide to Bringing Your Pet on Vacation to Gatlinburg

Don’t leave your beloved pet behind! Plan your Gatlinburg vacation with your four-legged friend in mind. There is so much to consider when planning your vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee! What amazing city will you stay in? Pigeon Forge? Gatlinburg? There’s also tons to do! Will you do some outdoor activities? But everything gets rearranged when you decide to bring your beloved pet along for the ride. There’s lots of reasons to bring your pets on vacation!

  • Your pet is a beloved part of the family, and it isn’t a family vacation without him.
  • You can’t find a pet-sitter.
  • You want your pet to experience the great outdoors.

Whatever the reason, there’s lots of things to consider before bringing your pet on your Smoky Mountain getaway.  

Planning Ahead With Your Pet For Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you leave on vacation with a pet.

  • Plan your route carefully, especially if you have a dog. There will have to be places you can stop for walks and bathroom breaks. And be sure to stop every few hours.
  • If flying, research the airline’s policies for transporting your pet. Smaller pets may be allow in carriers under your seat, but larger animals may have to fly in the cargo hold.
  • Make sure that your type of pet is allowed to stay in your vacation rental or hotel. Some hotels and resorts have strict pet policies, so check these before booking. Our suggestion, always call!
  • Find the closest veterinarian, just in case of emergencies.
  • Don’t just leave your animal behind in the hotel or rental. They may get stir crazy and do things that are out of character, like marking the floor or chewing.

Pet-Friendly Activities in Gatlinburg

 

You can’t just bring your pet on vacation and leave it in the room all week. Here are some pet-friendly activities (for dogs in particular)in Gatlinburg.

Hiking in and around Gatlinburg with your pet

If you hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park remember that dogs are not allowed on every trail. Certain trails are fine such as the 1.9 mile Gatlinburg Trail. However, your pet must always be on a short leash, and you have to clean up any messes.

Camping in Gatlinburg With Pets

Pets are allowed in most camping areas. Just be sure your pet is well-behaved and don’t let them loose.

Find out more about Gatlinburg Campgrounds here

Gatlinburg Sky Lift

Dogs are allowed to ride the lift to the mountain top when accompanied by their owner.

Check out more information about the Gatlinburg Sky Lift Here

Doggie Daycare In Gatlinburg

If you need a day sans pet, check out a doggie daycare, like the Barker Lounge in Sevierville.

Downtown Gatlinburg Pet Shops

Of course, there are indoor activities for a rainy day with a pet too. Downtown Gatlinburg is home to a number of pet gift shops like Paws & Claws Pet Fashion, Simply Animals, and Holly and Willows Pet Barn. You can even rent a pet stroller for walking around downtown.   

Doggie Daycare

If you need a day sans pet, check out a doggie daycare, like the Barker Lounge in Sevierville.

Of course, there are indoor activities for a rainy day with a pet too. Downtown Gatlinburg is home to a number of pet gift shops like Paws & Claws Pet Fashion, Simply Animals, and Holly and Willows Pet Barn. You can even rent a pet stroller for walking around downtown.   

Looking for Pet Friendly Cabins In Gatlinburg?

Check out this article about dog friendly cabins in Gatlinburg, TN

Things to Do in Gatlinburg

Making Memories in Gatlinburg

Images and editorial supplied by the Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau

History of Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Things stayed pretty quiet around Gatlinburg for a long time until the ultimate game changer arrived in the 1930s. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: big name, big park. Quite a few families were required to move from where they’d lived for so long and for so many generations in order for the park to be established. Many of the families were given years, even after the park’s opening day, to find new homes for their families outside park boundaries. This was all done in accordance with President Woodrow Wilson’s signing of an act creating the National Park Service. President Wilson’s vision was spot-on and has carried over into the modern-day Gatlinburg experience.

Now boasting over 10 million visitors a year, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has transformed Gatlinburg from a sleepy little town of 70-plus years into the perennial mountain getaway choice of generations of families. Countless adventures await those that make the most of exploring the park’s sprawling landscape, cascading falls, and countless species and ecological communities at the most biodiverse park in America.

Gatlinburg Arts Community

Long before the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains inspired travelers to visit Gatlinburg, the stunning scenery inspired artists and crafters to create. Today, creativity abounds in Gatlinburg as the site of two major arts and crafts intuitions, Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft and Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. Established in 1937, Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is the largest group of independent artisans in North America, forming an eight-mile loop of artisans dedicated to creating unique handicrafts for purchase and preserving the area’s renowned craft heritage. For more than a hundred years, the Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft has been a vehicle of education in Gatlinburg and stands today as a nationally-recognized arts intuition, whose galleries and seasonal workshops can be experienced by artists and visitors alike.

Things to Do in Gatlinburg

A leisurely stroll on the downtown Parkway opens up a world of opportunities when you’re in Gatlinburg. From the amazement of seeing 14-foot sharks swim over your head in an underwater tunnel at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to gazing at all the incredible mysteries and amazing findings at Guinness World Records Museum and Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. You can also try mountain bobsledding, barreling down the side of a mountain on one of Gatlinburg’s three mountain coasters, soaring through the sky on Ober Gatlinburg’s Aerial Tram or Anakeesta’s Chondola, miniature golfing and an evening of entertainment at Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre.

If you are looking for leisure and love to shop, Gatlinburg’s got you covered! With more than 400 specialty shops, you can easily find a special collectible or unique piece in this mountain resort. A great, one-stop retail destination to begin with is the Village Shops. Forged from European architectural items handcrafted across generations and continents, the Village easily transports you back in time as you shop its many stores, boutiques and galleries. In the summer of this year, Gatlinburg will celebrate the Village Shops’ 50-year legacy as one of the most unique retail destinations in the Southeast. And dozens upon dozens of dining choices, from national chains to family-owned, provide menus featuring pancakes to prime rib and everything in between.

Find adventure along the way when you get out of the car and join in the great family tradition of the downtown Parkway stroll. You might just choose to play miniature golf, experience the world’s largest underwater aquarium tunnel, ride America’s largest aerial tram, take a chairlift to the top of the town, visit the unique museums or take a turn on live-action rides along the way.

When you get tired of perusing on foot, jump in the car and explore a collection of historical sites on Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, including the preservation of a homestead owned by the Noah “Bud” Ogle family who lived in Gatlinburg after the Civil War. It’s all here and more when you plan a vacation to one of the most celebrated gateway towns in the Smokies. 

Outdoor Attractions in Gatlinburg

If you are still in need of more outdoor adventures, discover Cades Cove, a western valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 11-mile, one-way road passes by 19 numbered tour stops. Be sure to bring your camera in hopes of spotting wildlife, such as deer, bear, turkey, owl and fox. If you prefer, you can also experience the loop on horseback or bicycle!

Staying in Gatlinburg

From hotels to cabins and everything in between, Gatlinburg provides a home away from home with a variety of unique and private accommodations for visitors looking for that perfect place to retreat. From its earliest days, Gatlinburg’s resort legacy drew from the hospitality of small mom and pop hoteliers like the Greystone Lodge on the River, Gatlinburg Inn, and Appy Lodge, Gatlinburg’s newest family owned and operated hotel, which pays homage to the history of the Appalachian Trail and Gatlinburg’s mountain community. Ambiance and privacy can be found in a number of Gatlinburg’s coziest cabins, condos and chalets, or nearby at a pampering bed and breakfast, where the area’s friendliest folks are often the proprietors. Hotels such as the Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg provide the best in luxury and location when guests check-in and experience fabulous services at this Jimmy Buffet-inspired resort, just steps away from Gatlinburg’s lively downtown area.

Explore Downtown Gatlinburg

Explore a world of exciting activities and venues when you take part in the great family tradition of the downtown Parkway stroll. More than ever, Gatlinburg offers variety and entertainment on every corner, with new businesses and attractions providing something for every member of the family. Country music star Blake Shelton’s newly opened restaurant and venue, Ole Red Gatlinburg, hits all the right notes with unforgettable live performances and delicious Southern dishes inspired by the star himself. Opening in spring 2019, Gatlinburg Skylift Park will bring two new spectacular experiences to visitors with the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, and the Gatlinburg SkyDeck. New outdoor adventure park Anakeesta offers 72-acres worth of fun, starting with a Chondola ride to magical Firefly Village, where dueling zip lines, tree canopy walks, scenic mountain views, a full-service restaurant and one-of-a-kind mountain coaster await visiting guests.

Click here to learn more about hotels in downtown Gatlinburg.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hiking Trails

From hiking the peak of a mountain to taking in the scenery on horseback, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park has hundreds of miles of trails that run throughout Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Cades Cove And Townsend. Perfect for the whole family or a challenging trek, the opportunities to explore new terrain are endless. Here are some of our favorite trails in the Great Smoky Mountain s National Park.

Cooper Road Trail

Just off the Cades Cove Loop, this 10.9-mile trail is perfect if you are seeking an all-day hike. Starting off surrounded by maple, oak and pine trees, the trail soon rises over a few ridges along a creek, then descends into a ravine leading to a great area covered with beautiful spring wildflowers. The trail is almost entirely flat and goes all the way to the edge of the park.

Porters Creek Trail

A 4-mile round trip to Fern Branch Falls and back, the trail is famous for its luscious green forest floor and abundance of wildflowers in the spring. Following the windy Porter’s Creek, there are plenty of beautiful stopping points and three bridges to cross along the way.

Ace Gap Trail

A 5.6-mile-long trail from Rich Mountain Road to Beard Cane Trail, this trail is considered a part of Cades Cove. The Ace Gap Trail is one of the most peaceful trails offered and parts are covered with beautiful Pink Lady’s Slipper wildflowers. You will distinctly know you’ve reached Ace Gap when you pass the biggest cave in Cades Cove, Bull Cave, and the old railroad bed that crosses the trail.

Laurel Falls Trail

A 4-mile, round-trip hike, the Laurel Falls trailhead is located between Sugarlands Visitor Center and Elkmont Campground. This trailhead is very busy during the summer and on weekends year-round. By hiking 0.75 mile beyond the falls you can enjoy an old-growth forest and big trees.

Andrews Bald

The hike used to traverse one of the most rugged and rocky trails in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, but after much construction, Andrews Bald is much easier now, not to mention a lot safer. Situated along Forney Ridge, the 3.6-mile hike is known for its spectacular displays of azaleas and leads to a gorgeous panoramic view of the Smoky Mountain Highlands. 

Deep Creek Loop Trail

A 4.6-mile, round-trip loop known for its streams and waterfalls and abundant wildlife throughout, the wide gravel trail is connected to several campsites and a short spur trail that leads to Indian Creek Falls, which is a 45-foot waterfall with a large pool ideal for wading. The trail is also used as launching point for tubing.

Charles Bunion

Beginning at the Newfound Gap parking area, the hike to Charles Bunion travels eastward on the Appalachian Trail leading to a popular rock outcropping. Along the way, you will enjoy a gorgeous view of the Smokies, a wide variety of wildflowers and outstanding views of Mount LeConte and Myrtle Point. Your destination offers spectacular views of the Mt. Kephart to the north, The Jump Off to the west and Mount Guyot toward the east.

The Jump Off

The trail leading to The Jump Off steeply climbs on a rugged path that will begin to level in an open, grassy area on the unmarked summit of Mt. Kephart. After a long, steep climb, your efforts will be amply rewarded. The Jump Off sits atop a 1,000-foot cliff on the northeastern side of Mt. Kephart providing amazing views of Eastern and Central Smokies.

Gregory Bald

To get here, you can take the 5-mile Gregory Ridge Trail from Forge Creek Road to its intersection with the Gregory Bald Trail at Rich Gap; however, there are five trials that lead to Gregory Bald. It is perhaps most famous for the flame azaleas that bloom atop its summit each summer, which are so unique that the British Museum of Natural History has collected samples of them. Gregory Bald is a 10-acre, high mountain grass meadow, which burns with orange and wine-colored blooms.

Ramsey Cascades Trail

Discover an 8-mile round-trip hike. Take Highway 321 east of Gatlinburg, Tenn. to the Greenbrier entrance to the park. Follow the signs to the Ramsay Cascades Trailhead. The Ramsey Cascades Trail passes through a hardwood forest filled with beautiful plants and flowers, such as silverbells, yellow birches and large tuliptrees, and then leads to the Ramsey Cascades, the tallest waterfall in the park and one of the most spectacular.

Rocky Top

The hike to Rocky Top begins at the Anthony Creek Trailhead in the far end of the Cades Cove picnic area. Continue walking east along the Appalachian Trail and you will end up at Thunderhead Mountain, which consists of three summits, the first being Rocky Top. Located roughly 1.2 miles from the Appalachian Trail junction, Rocky Top requires a fairly steep climb to reach the small bald area, but the effort is well worth it. The views are outstanding and some of the best in the entire park.

Mount LeConte

The most popular trail to get to Mount LeConte is the Alum Cave Bluffs Trail, about 5 miles one way, but is without a doubt one of the park’s favorites. There is also the Boulevard Trail, the longest trail to the summit at 8 miles long. No matter how you get there, the views at Mount LeConte are considered the most prominent feature of The Great Smoky Mountains. There are even lodging cabins available on the top of the mountain for visitors to stay overnight.

Click here to read about kid-friendly hiking trails at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Things to Do in Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge: The Center of Fun in the Smokies

Editorial supplied by the Pigeon Forge Dept. of Tourism

Welcome to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! In our special corner of the Great Smoky Mountains, you’re never far from a huge variety of unique vacation experiences. Pigeon Forge is your perfect base camp for your Smoky Mountain vacation. We’re minutes away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg and lots of amazing outdoor adventures. Here in Pigeon Forge, you have hundreds of places to shop ‘till you drop, attractions for the entire family, live shows for every taste and top-tier dining options.

Shows in Pigeon Forge

Whatever type of entertainment you’re looking for, you can find it in Pigeon Forge. Our little corner of the Smokies is nationally known for its world-class live entertainment. Featuring lumberjacks, cloggers, aerialists, vocalists, bluegrass bands, amazing choreography and so much more—there is a show for every genre.

Each show is filled with laughter, excitement and some good old southern hospitality, from the singing, dancing, comedy or drama. Entertainment in Pigeon Forge goes on year-round. During the holidays, shows have a special seasonal flair to them. No matter which you choose, you’re sure to have memories of these shows to share with friends and family back home.

Outdoor Adventure in Pigeon Forge

Thrill seekers will love the daring adventures that await in Pigeon Forge. From upside down rollercoasters to tubing, there are so many adrenaline-pumping activities to choose from. Looking for an unforgettable outdoor adventure? In Pigeon Forge you can find an adventure perfect for you, like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, ziplining, aerial tours, indoor skydiving, off-road tours and more—the only limit is your imagination!

More Things to Do in Pigeon Forge

Want to slow things down for a bit? In Pigeon Forge, you’ll also find a diverse variety of relaxing and fun activities, including putt-putt courses, go-carts, laser tag, arcades, aquariums and indoor ice skating. Take a break from the fast-paced entertainment by visiting one of the many museums in Pigeon Forge. Visit celebrities at the wax museum or discover something unusual at Ripley’s Believe It or Not. There’s something for everyone in the base camp of the Smokies!

Shopping in Pigeon Forge

Shopping continues at one of the 300-plus stores, boutiques and outlets. Pigeon River Crossings is an outlet mall with over 80 stores. Find great deals on clothing, accessories, shows and so much more. Don’t forget to pick up a handcrafted souvenir. A one-of-a-kind gift like blown glass, handmade pottery or another beautiful piece of arts and crafts makes the perfect gift for someone you know or yourself.

Speaking of handcrafted products, the Smokies is also the home of the first legal winery and moonshine distillery in the state of Tennessee. You can find a wide variety of wineries, distilleries and breweries throughout our area, most offering free samples to those wanting to give their products a try.

Restaurants in Pigeon Forge

Enjoy a handcrafted spirit at a locally owned restaurant. There are dozens of restaurants on or near the Parkway to satisfy every craving and budget. Enjoy dinner at a local barbecue joint or feast on seafood, steaks and Southern cuisine. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In Pigeon Forge, you will find over 50 kinds of pancakes. End your day with ice cream, a homemade pie or another dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Explore Cades Cove

Be sure to check out Cades Cove. You’ll find lots of things to do there like biking, hiking, camping, horseback riding, animal viewing and picnicking. Cades Cove features a one-way, 11-mile loop where you can see buildings dating back to the first European settlers, some of the most popular trails in the park and breathtaking views. The loop is open from sunrise to sunset. As you cruise along, going 20 miles per hour, take in the gorgeous views of the Smoky Mountains, as well as the wildlife, historic churches and more.

Take a Scenic Drive through Pigeon Forge

As you drive around these beautiful Smoky Mountains, take some time to really enjoy the view. Stop along one of the many scenic pullouts throughout the park. You’ll have panoramic views of the mountain streams, waterfalls and valleys. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail allows visitors to take in the remarkable views of the forest, rushing streams and historic buildings. Roaring Fork gets its name from one of the largest flowing mountain streams in the park. Be sure to have your camera ready because you never know when you’ll come across some of the park’s wildlife.

So, come spend some time with us this year in Pigeon Forge! We know you’ll just love our hometown hospitality and all the adventures you’ll have as you take our scenic byways to other delights in our surrounding mountain region. You could spend weeks here and still not see it all. So, what are you waiting for? Come on, and let’s get the show on the road! We’ll see you soon in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee—the vacation capital of the Smokies!

History of Pigeon Forge

In its earliest start, Pigeon Forge was a hunting ground for the Cherokee. The Cherokee followed what is now known as the “Indian Gap Trail,” which allowed them to cross the Smoky Mountains from North Carolina. Europeans later used the Indian Gap Trail to get to Pigeon Forge.

In 1783, Colonel Samuel Wear, a soldier of the Revolutionary War became one of the first permanent Euro-American settlers in the area. Wear built his fort in the Walden Creek and Little Pigeon River area. The area is now known as Wear’s Valley.

Mordecai Lewis, a pioneer, received a 151-acre land grant along the Little Pigeon River, following the Revolutionary War. Lewis used the land to build the now historic Old Mill. In 1817, Isaac Love, Lewis’ son-in-law, established an iron forge on the banks of the Little Pigeon River. The forge, along with the large amount of passenger pigeons flocking to the river, gave the town its name. These passenger pigeons were so numerous that the sky darkened when they flew through the valley. Although passenger pigeons are now extinct, the town of Pigeon Forge preserves the memory of that bygone era that recalls the rich diversity of life in this wilderness frontier.

The 1950s saw a tourism boom in Pigeon Forge. The green fields along the parkway were quickly being purchased for business development. Residents began seeing a new Parkway, different from what they had always known. Family-style restaurants, drive in theaters and motels opened to entice travelers. As years went on, more sophisticated attractions opened on the Parkway—much like what we see today.

While the mountain ranges of Pigeon Forge appear to be the same as when the Cherokee traversed the river path, the town itself has introduced modern attractions to complement the rustic, friendly resort atmosphere.