Pigeon Forge was an isolated mountain hamlet close to Sevier County, Tennessee dating back to the early 20th century with no major roads. The name comes from an iron forge that was built sometime around 1820 and refers to its location along the Little Pigeon River. Today, it is a mountain resort city that offers attractions, rides, restaurants, and natural beauty that attracts approximately 11 million visitors each year. There are so many things to see and do at this resort that it can be difficult to choose, so a top ten list of things to do in Pigeon Forge has been created for you.
10. Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster
This coaster is being raged as one of the best and longest, alpine coasters in the United States. For those who are unfamiliar with alpine coasters, think of a sled ride on tracks through nature. The cars are designed to carry two riders comfortably but can easily be handled solo. The rider is in control of how fast the car goes which can reach a speed of around 30 miles per hour; but don’t worry, as there are safety mechanisms in place to prevent the car from accelerating too fast around the curves. The track is more than a mile long and takes around seven minutes to complete. The line tends to be long so make sure you arrive in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds. The cost is $5 for children below 12 years old and $15 for 12 and up.
9. Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show
The Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show is an extraordinary event for family and friends with a pre-show at the Dixie Belle Saloon, live music, a four course meal, 32 horses, and a cast of top-notch riders. If you show up early, you can enjoy a stroll through the open-air stables to look in on the horses and meet the stars. The pre-show includes live entertainment from bluegrass and country comedy band Mountain Ruckus. The four-course dinner is a southern-style meal that includes desert, and unlimited Pepsi, tea, or coffee. The show is held in a 35,000 square foot arena and offers up a talented cast of performers, costumed servers, singing and dancing, trick riding, and the spectacular “Roman Ride of Fire”. You definitely don’t want to miss this.
8. Mountain Valley Winery
Mountain Valley Winery, located past the Titanic Museum and WonderWorks, is the largest winery in Tennessee that has been producing wine since 1991. They produce more than a dozen French, German, and sweet fruit wines from the vineyards that are grown locally. You can sample the fruits of their labor, take a winery tour, and learn how the wine is produced for free. If you visit during September through October, you’ll have the opportunity to see the wine being bottled and the grapes being crushed. Once you have completed the tour, stop by the Mountain Winery Gift Shop to pick up some goodies that are made locally.
The most wondrous tourist attractions in Pigeon Forge await you at Magiquest. Upon entering the realm, the mundane world is left behind as the kids choose their wand to fight against dragons and goblins, or aid the fairies and other wizards that they will find upon their quest. Each completed quest will make you stronger for the next challenge. Once you and your family have completed the assigned quests, stay cool by visiting the other attractions within Magiquest. Play some black-light mini-golf in a Pirate-themed mini-golf course, get lost in the Mirror Maze, or play a round of laser tag at The Vault.
6. Horseback Riding and Carriage Rides
There are many horseback riding stables within Pigeon Forge that offer guided trail rides for novice riders or those wanting to visit a particular location. For those who are experienced, you can bring your own horse, or rent one, and venture out on your own. If you want to do something romantic, try a carriage ride. The carriages are decked out with white lights and roll along the main thoroughfare. These are very popular during the Smoky Mountain Christmas event or for marriage proposals. Whether on the back of a horse, or in a horse-drawn carriage, this will provide a unique way of enjoying the great outdoors.
5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Another exceptional among the places to visit in Pigeon Forge is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Whether you are an avid hiker, a zip liner, or someone who prefers to view the sites from your car, your options to explore are numerous. The park’s most popular area is Cades Cove that offers an 11-mile, one-way loop with plenty of “pull-off” spots for vehicle touring in addition to a visitor’s center. You can also hike or bike up the summit of Mount Cammerer and see the crashing waterfalls and scenic vistas. There is so much wildlife here that you will want to make sure to bring a camera with you, no matter where your journey takes you.
4. Zip Line Canopy Tour
For those who are more extreme, there are plenty of zip line tours to be found. Some companies offer canopy and river tours with staff committed to ensuring that this is an unforgettable experience. With zip lines up to 800 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 120 feet above the air that fly you beside, above, and across the Pigeon River and back again, this is a breathtaking adventure. Pigeon Forge sits right at the cusp of the Great Smoky National Park, so this is a perfect way to sightsee all there is.
This attraction is also known as the upside-down house as it turns your world upside-down where everything is inverted. Once through the inversion tunnel, you and your family will enjoy fun interactive zones that include the Space Zone, the Physical Challenge Zone, and the Natural Disasters Zone. Kids can lie on a bed of nails without getting hurt, experience what an earthquake feels like, and land a space shuttle. Other features include a magic show, laser tag, and a giant Light Bright Board. This is a super fun option for kids of all ages.
2. Titanic Museum Attraction
This museum takes you back to the turn of the 20th century and pulls you into the lives that were onboard the Titanic. Upon entering this two-story building, you will receive a boarding pass of an actual Titanic passenger of which you find out their fate at the end of the tour. You will be able to gaze upon some of the only passenger photographs in existence today, and other genuine artifacts that were collected from the debris shortly after the ship wreck. The museum is interactive, so you will be able to shovel coal into the engines and see a stairway flood while the lights flicker off and on. They have also recreated the deck, complete with a 10 foot iceberg and freezing water. Make sure you leave your camera at home, as there is no photography allowed.
1. Dollywood/ Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Adventure Park
This amusement park is owned by Dolly Parton and is the most popular attraction in Pigeon Forge. It pays homage to East Tennessee’s rich cultural history with rides and activities. Children get to mine for gems and make their own candles, among other activities. The park has America’s only winged roller coaster called the Wild Eagle, among other thrilling rides, live shows, shops, restaurants, and a huge water park. The water park has exciting water slides and interactive, water-filled play areas. It has received numerous awards over its 27 years in operation and is the number one attraction to visit.
The best time to visit this spectacular place is during the month of October when the average temperature is around 71oF and precipitation is low. At any other time, the weather tends to be rainy and the temperature can go from around 73oF to the mid 80’s. Whether you go for a week, or a weekend, Pigeon Forge has activities, events, and attractions for the whole family.