The 10 Best Things to Do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Aerial picture of the town of Pigeon Forge. There are assorted houses, plenty of greed fields with tree-covered mountains in the background

Kruck20 / Getty Images 

The Appalachian gateway to America’s most visited national park, little Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is home to just 6,000 permanent residents, but welcomes a whopping 10 million visitors each year. Defined by the gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains, cozy cabin accommodations, family-friendly attractions and wholesome entertainment steeped in Southern Hospitality, Pigeon Forge appeals to travelers of all ages and interests. Here are 10 of the best things to do while you’re in town.

01 of 10

Grab a Hearty Breakfast

Breakfast spread with chocolate gravy, waffles cut in quarters, cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, buscuits, fried chicken, bacon, sausage patties, grits, white gravy, strawberry jam and cornflakes served family style

Mama's Farmhouse 

208 Pickel St, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA
Phone +1 865-908-4646

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after all, and Pigeon Forge offers plenty of tasty ways to start the morning off right. Take your pick from any of the traditional pancake houses this region is famous for. Or, belly up to a table at Mama’s Farmhouse for a gut-busting feast of biscuits, waffles, chocolate gravy (!), cheesy grits, hash brown casserole, chicken tenders, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit and cinnamon pinwheel pastries served family-style. And when’s the last time you saw hickory-smoked pulled pork on a breakfast buffet? You will, along with a whole bunch of other yummy made-from-scratch items, at Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que.

02 of 10

Spend a Day at Dollywood

The Grist Mill at Dollywood a wooden watermill with a wheel with lights on it

Derek Cress / 500px / Getty Images

2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA
Phone +1 800-365-5996

Whether you’re a country music fan or not, everyone loves Dolly Parton. The sassy Smoky Mountain songstress was born and raised right here in Sevier County and generously gives back to the community through many philanthropic endeavors. Plan on spending at least one whole day at her namesake Dollywood theme park to fully appreciate everything from thrill rides and the Splash Country water park to live entertainment, great food and the “Chasing Rainbows” museum that commemorates Dolly’s incredible life, music and career. The largest addition in the already expansive park’s history, the recently unveiled $37 million Wildwood Grove section ups the ante with 11 new experiences including the Dragonflier roller coaster. 

03 of 10

Explore Old Mill Square

Watermill on the Little Pigeon river, in the mountain community of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee during the winter. Ice can be seen along the banks of the river


Aneese / Getty Images

Old Mill St, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA
Phone +1 877-653-6455

Perched on the banks of the Little Pigeon River, the Old Mill has been a Pigeon Forge fixture since the 1830s, and still processes grain for its own line of retail products the old-fashioned way using a water-powered grindstone. The charming shopping district that’s built up around the mill itself suggests souvenirs galore — bags of cornmeal, exquisite Pigeon River Pottery, and old-fashioned treats from the Candy Kitchen to name just a few. (For something with a bit more kick, stop in the Old Forge Distillery to sample some flavored moonshine.) For lunch, the Old Mill Restaurant serves up generous portions of country-fried steak, pot roast, chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, corn chowder, catfish and other country classic favorites. 

04 of 10

Take in a Show

Red, three story barn-style building with gray roofs and a white fence

Dolly Parton's Stampede


3849 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA
Phone +1 865-453-4400

Pigeon Forge supports a dozen different theaters, each with its own distinctive brand of entertainment. For example, Dolly Parton’s Stampede features dinner and a rodeo-style performance that incorporates live horses, buffalo and other animals, while Dolly Parton’s new Pirate Voyage offers shows with a high-seas flavor. Other venues to consider include the Smoky Mountain Opry, the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, Country Tonight, the Comedy Barn Theatre and Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show anchoring the new Lumberjack Square. 

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05 of 10

Embark on a Journey of Titanic Proportions

. The facade of the building resembles the world’s most famous luxury liner, RMS Titanic.

Aneese / Getty Images

2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863-2995, USA
Phone +1 417-334-9500

One of two permanent RMS Titanic museums in the country owned by the husband-and-wife team of Mary Kellogg-Joslyn and John Joslyn, a documentary filmmaker who’s personally made dives to the actual shipwreck, this emotionally moving attraction houses painstakingly recreated vignettes, authentic recovered artifacts and costumed interpreters to bring passengers’ stories to life. This summer, the museum unveils seven of the 12 remaining Titanic life jackets still known to be in existence from the doomed voyage, the largest collection ever assembled.

06 of 10

Go at Your Own Speed

Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster 

867 Wears Valley Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA
Phone +1 865-365-5000

Satisfy your need for speed with a ride on the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, the first attraction of its kind in the southern United States. Passengers use hand brakes to control the pace of individual carts up to speeds of 27 miles per hour through a scenic mile-long track full of twists and turns. The coaster operates year-round; for a real thrill, plan to go after dark for an illuminated night ride. 

07 of 10

Dine Like a King

Cheese burger with red onions, lettuce, and ketchup with a sesame seed bun. To the right of the burger is a mug of lite beer

Local Goat — New American Restaurant

2167 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA
Phone +1 865-366-3035

The Elvis Burger at the popular Local Goat restaurant has a secret-blend beef patty topped with bacon, peanut butter and fried bananas served alongside a stack of crispy shoestring fries and house-made ketchup. Elsewhere on the menu, the deep-fried deviled eggs appetizer with candied bacon and sriracha, the jumbo chicken wings, and the decadent signature bread pudding with ice cream also earn rave reviews from a loyal fan base of customers.

08 of 10

Frolic in the Snow All Year Long

Exterior of a blue building with a yellow and orange sign reading "Pigeon Forge Snow" The bottom of the building is painted white and there is fake snow hanging off the roof

Pigeon Forge Snow

2533 Teaster Ln, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA
Phone +1 865-366-1334

Don’t pay any attention to what the calendar says. Pigeon Forge Snow maintains state-of-the-art indoor slopes and play areas packed with man-made white stuff for tubing and snowman building all year long, even in the throes of summer. No need to pack a parka either; the climate-controlled facility always keeps the interior temperatures hovering between a comfortable 60 and 70 degrees. 

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Feel Like a Kid Again at WonderWorks

White building with Roman columns constructed upside down

Nathaniel Jordan / Pixabay

100 Music Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA
Phone +1 865-868-1800

With a startling upside-down façade and 35,000 square feet of interactive space to explore, WonderWorks appeals to guests of all ages with more than 100 mainly STEM-focused exhibits, a glow-in-the-dark indoor ropes course, a laser tag arena and live magic shows. If miniature golf’s more your jam, Crave Golf Club has candy-themed indoor and outdoor courses, mini-bowling alleys, soft-serve ice cream and a fully stocked sweet shop. 

10 of 10

Get Away to the Island

Illuminated fountains, shops and Ferris wheel at the Island entertainment complex in the Smoky Mountain resort town of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

ehrlif / Getty Images

131 The Island Dr, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA
Phone +1 865-286-0119

The landmark Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is visible up and down the Pigeon Forge Parkway, soaring 200 feet into the air for spectacular bird’s-eye views of the local scenery. It’s also the centerpiece of the Island — a one-stop destination for shopping at more than 60 unique retailers, a wealth of dining options, entertainment for the whole family and hospitable stays at the Margaritaville Island Hotel, where all accommodations include an in-room “frozen concoction maker.” 

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The 10 Best Things to Do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee