Best things to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

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You’ve made it to Pigeon Forge, one of the most exciting destinations in Tennessee! Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for adventure, a nature enthusiast wanting to explore the great outdoors, or a foodie eager to try delicious southern cuisine, Pigeon Forge has something for everyone. From heart-racing roller coasters to breathtaking mountain views, this charming town is packed with unforgettable experiences. Get ready to discover the best things to do in Pigeon Forge!

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the Great Smoky Mountains: Pigeon Forge is located near the stunning Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering countless opportunities for outdoor adventures like hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
  • Visit Dollywood: This famous theme park owned by Dolly Parton is a must-visit in Pigeon Forge, featuring thrilling rides, live music, delicious food, and entertaining shows.
  • Enjoy Dinner Shows: Experience unique dining experiences with entertaining dinner shows that combine delicious meals with live performances, offering fun for the whole family.
  • Shop at The Island: The Island in Pigeon Forge is a popular shopping and entertainment complex with a wide range of stores, restaurants, and attractions, including the iconic Great Smoky Mountain Wheel.
  • Explore WonderWorks: This interactive science museum offers over 100 hands-on exhibits designed to spark curiosity and imagination, making it a great place for families and science enthusiasts.
  • Go Ziplining: Experience the thrill of ziplining through the scenic Smoky Mountains, with several zipline and canopy tour options available in Pigeon Forge for adventure seekers.
  • Attend a Music Show: Pigeon Forge is known for its vibrant music scene, with numerous theaters hosting live music performances ranging from country and bluegrass to rock and gospel.

Outdoor Adventures

The Great Smoky Mountains are a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a plethora of activities for nature lovers. From hiking through lush forests to ziplining over the treetops, Pigeon Forge is the perfect destination for those seeking adventure in the great outdoors.

Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Hiking in the Smokies

The Smoky Mountains National Park boasts over 800 miles of scenic trails, making it a hiker’s dream destination. Exploring the Smokies on foot reveals breathtaking vistas, diverse wildlife, and stunning waterfalls. Whether you’re a novice hiker or an experienced trekker, there’s a trail for every skill level, offering a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

Ziplining Through the Forest Canopy

Adventures await those who are brave enough to soar above the treetops on a thrilling zipline tour in Pigeon Forge. Zooming through the forest canopy at high speeds provides an adrenaline rush like no other, offering a unique perspective of the lush surroundings below. Professional guides ensure a safe and exhilarating experience for all participants.

zipline tour in Pigeon Forge
zipline tour in Pigeon Forge

Through ziplining, participants can enjoy an unmatched bird’s-eye view of the Smoky Mountains while experiencing the thrill of flying through the air. With state-of-the-art equipment and expert guidance, ziplining in Pigeon Forge is an unforgettable adventure for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Theme Parks and Attractions

Dollywood: More Than Just a Theme Park

Now, let’s talk about Dollywood – the renowned theme park in Pigeon Forge that offers visitors an unforgettable experience. Dollywood is more than just your average amusement park; it’s a tribute to the rich heritage and culture of the Smoky Mountains. With thrilling rides, live entertainment, delicious food, and beautiful craftsmanship, Dollywood truly has something for everyone.


One of the highlights of Dollywood is the emphasis on showcasing traditional Appalachian arts and crafts. Visitors can witness skilled artisans creating beautiful handcrafted items right before their eyes. The park also features numerous festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from bluegrass music to barbecue.

Splash Country: Dollywood’s Water Park Fun

Now, let’s cool off and probe Splash Country – Dollywood’s premier water park. This refreshing oasis offers a variety of slides, lazy rivers, and splash pads for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush on the water coasters or just want to relax in a cabana, Splash Country has it all.

Dollywood's premier water park
Dollywood’s premier water park

Theme Park guests can upgrade their Dollywood ticket to include admission to Splash Country, making it easy to experience the best of both worlds in one visit. The water park is beautifully landscaped with lush greenery, providing a tropical escape right in the heart of the Smoky Mountains.

Entertainment and Shows

All of the wonderful entertainment and shows in Pigeon Forge are sure to leave you mesmerized and thoroughly entertained!

Country Music Nights: Live Performances

For a taste of authentic Tennessee music, don’t miss out on the Country Music Nights in Pigeon Forge. Live performances by talented musicians will transport you to a world of toe-tapping melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Whether you’re a country music fan or just looking for a fun night out, these shows are perfect for everyone.

Listen to classic tunes or discover new local artists as they showcase their talents on stage. The energy and passion of the performers will have you singing along and tapping your feet all night long!

Dinner Shows: A Feast for the Senses

Country dinner shows in Pigeon Forge are not just about the food – they are a complete sensory experience. Indulge in a delicious Southern meal while being entertained by spectacular performances that range from comedy acts to thrilling stunts. The combination of great food and live entertainment creates an unforgettable evening for guests of all ages.

Shows are designed to keep you on the edge of your seat while you savor every bite of your meal. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the culture and hospitality of Tennessee while enjoying top-notch entertainment.

Shopping and Artisan Crafts

Unlike many tourist destinations, Pigeon Forge offers a unique shopping experience that combines the charm of artisan crafts with the convenience of popular retail outlets. From handcrafted souvenirs to designer brands, visitors can find a wide variety of items to take home with them.

The Island: Shop, Eat, and Play

Crafts enthusiasts will love exploring the artisan shops at The Island in Pigeon Forge. This vibrant entertainment complex features a variety of unique stores where you can find handmade jewelry, pottery, candles, and other one-of-a-kind treasures. After browsing the artisan crafts, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the delicious restaurants or enjoy the entertainment options available at The Island.

Shopping at The Island is not just about buying souvenirs, it’s about supporting local artisans and appreciating the talent and creativity that goes into their craft. Whether you’re looking for a special keepsake or a gift for a loved one, you’re sure to find something special at The Island.

Local Craftsmen: Unique Souvenirs to Take Home

For those looking for authentic Pigeon Forge souvenirs, a visit to the local craftsmen is a must. These skilled artisans create beautiful handmade items such as woodcarvings, quilts, and home decor that capture the essence of the Smoky Mountains. Support the local economy and take home a piece of Pigeon Forge by shopping at these artisan workshops.

Local craftsmen take pride in their work and are always happy to share the stories behind their creations. Visiting their studios gives you a glimpse into the rich artistic heritage of the area and allows you to purchase truly unique souvenirs that you won’t find anywhere else.

Seasonal Events

Winterfest: Pigeon Forge Lights Up

To experience the magic of Pigeon Forge during the winter season, be sure to visit during Winterfest. On this magical time of year, the city comes alive with millions of twinkling lights, transforming the streets into a winter wonderland. Take a stroll through the dazzling light displays that adorn the city, from the Old Mill Square to The Island in Pigeon Forge.

Pigeon Forge Winterfest
Pigeon Forge Winterfest

Marvel at the festive decorations, enjoy live entertainment, and sip on delicious hot cocoa as you immerse yourself in the holiday spirit. Don’t miss the Christmas parades and special events that take place throughout Winterfest, making it a truly enchanting experience for visitors of all ages.

Summer Nights: Celebrating Warm Southern Evenings

During the summer months, Pigeon Forge lights up once again with special events and activities that celebrate the warm southern evenings. From outdoor concerts to fireworks displays, there’s always something exciting happening in town. Events like Dollywood’s Summer Celebration and the Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales bring music, dance, and entertainment to the streets of Pigeon Forge.

For instance, you can experience nightly street performances, storytelling sessions, and artisan demonstrations that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly fun or a romantic evening out, Pigeon Forge has something for everyone to enjoy during the summer nights.

Family Fun Beyond the Thrills

After experiencing the exhilarating thrills of Pigeon Forge, there are still plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy that cater to all ages. From attractions designed specifically for the little ones to interactive museums where everyone can learn and play, the options are endless!

Fun for the Little Ones: Kid-Friendly Activities

Thrills don’t have to be limited to the older kids—Pigeon Forge offers a wide range of fun activities for the little ones too. Take a trip to the Pigeon Forge Island, where children can enjoy rides, games, and even a beautiful fountain show. The Track Family Fun Park is another great option with go-karts and mini-golf courses that are perfect for family bonding.

For a more educational experience, head to WonderWorks, an indoor amusement park that combines education and entertainment with over 100 hands-on exhibits. Little explorers will love interacting with exhibits that cater to their curiosity and sense of wonder!

Interactive Museums: Learn and Play

Interactive museums in Pigeon Forge offer a fantastic way for families to engage in learning and playing together. Visit the Titanic Museum, where you can experience what it was like to be on the famous ship through interactive exhibits and artifacts. Another must-visit museum is the Hollywood Wax Museum, where kids can pose with their favorite celebrities and characters.

Titanic Museum, museums in Pigeon Forge
Titanic Museum, museums in Pigeon Forge

Plus, don’t forget about the Alcatraz East Crime Museum, where you can explore the history of American crime from the Wild West to modern times. With interactive exhibits and immersive experiences, this museum offers a unique way to learn about the darker side of history in a family-friendly environment.

Culinary Delights of Pigeon Forge

Southern Comfort Food: Local Eateries

For an authentic taste of the South, be sure to explore the local eateries in Pigeon Forge that specialize in southern comfort food. From crispy fried chicken to savory biscuits and gravy, you’ll find a wide range of dishes that will warm your heart and soul.

An vital stop is Dolly Parton’s Stampede, where you can enjoy a dinner show featuring delicious Southern fare served by a friendly staff. Another must-visit spot is The Old Mill Restaurant, known for its homestyle cooking and freshly baked bread.

Sweet Treats: Indulging Your Dessert Desires

Forge sweet memories in Pigeon Forge by indulging in a variety of sweet treats offered throughout the town. Whether you have a craving for homemade fudge, freshly baked pies, or traditional Southern desserts, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Your taste buds will thank you after a visit to The Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store, where you can sample apple-themed treats like cider donuts and apple dumplings. Don’t miss Mad Dog’s Creamery & Donuts for their decadent ice cream and handcrafted donuts.

For first-time visitors to Pigeon Forge, exploring the local culinary scene is a delightful way to experience the rich flavors of the South. Whether you’re a fan of hearty comfort food or have a sweet tooth that needs satisfying, Pigeon Forge has something to offer every palate. Be sure to indulge in the delicious creations this charming town has to offer.

Nature and Wildlife Experiences

Once again, Pigeon Forge offers a plethora of opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and encounter the local wildlife. From breathtaking mountain vistas to peaceful streams and lush forests, there is no shortage of natural wonders to explore in this charming town.

Horseback Riding in the Foothills

Wildlife enthusiasts and outdoor lovers alike will delight in the experience of horseback riding through the picturesque foothills surrounding Pigeon Forge. Guided tours offer a unique perspective of the landscape, allowing you to spot various animals such as deer, birds, and maybe even a black bear if you’re lucky. The serene atmosphere and gentle rhythm of your trusty steed make for a truly unforgettable adventure in the great outdoors.

Discovering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Park One of the most iconic natural attractions near Pigeon Forge is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Spanning over 500,000 acres, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a haven for wildlife and home to diverse ecosystems. Hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging wind through the park, offering opportunities to observe animals in their natural habitat and soak in the stunning scenery.

Foothills For a closer look at the park’s wonders, consider joining a guided tour led by knowledgeable naturalists who can point out interesting flora and fauna along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for white-tailed deer, elk, and the elusive synchronous fireflies that light up the night skies in late spring. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a true gem for nature enthusiasts seeking an authentic wilderness experience.

Relaxation and Leisure

Cabin Retreats: Unwind in the Mountains

Not much beats the serenity of a cozy cabin retreat nestled in the lush mountains surrounding Pigeon Forge. Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life as you breathe in the fresh mountain air and take in the breathtaking views. Whether you prefer a secluded hideaway or a luxurious cabin with all the amenities, there’s a perfect mountain retreat waiting for you.

Cabin rentals in Pigeon Forge offer a peaceful refuge where you can relax on a rocking chair on the porch, soak in a private hot tub, or cozy up by a crackling fireplace. Enjoy the tranquility of nature while still being close to all the entertainment and attractions the area has to offer, making it an ideal setting for a rejuvenating getaway.

Spa Services: Pampering in the Heart of Nature

Any visit to Pigeon Forge is incomplete without treating yourself to luxurious spa services surrounded by the beauty of nature. Indulge in a variety of pampering treatments like massages, facials, and body wraps that will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Let the skilled therapists melt away your stress as you unwind in a tranquil setting.

A spa day in Pigeon Forge is the perfect way to escape the demands of everyday life and focus on your well-being. Many spas in the area offer unique treatments using natural ingredients sourced from the mountains, providing a holistic experience that nourishes both body and soul.

Tips and Tricks for Your Trip

Keep your trip to Pigeon Forge running smoothly with some helpful tips and tricks. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or returning to this popular destination in the Smoky Mountains, these suggestions will enhance your experience:

  • Plan ahead: Make sure to book your accommodations and tickets to popular attractions in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Stay flexible: Pigeon Forge has a lot to offer, so be open to adjusting your itinerary based on weather or unexpected discoveries.
  • Keep an eye out for deals: Save money on shows, dining, and activities by checking for discounts online or at local visitor centers.
  • Try local cuisine: Don’t miss the chance to sample Southern specialties like barbecue, fried pickles, and homemade pies.

The key to a successful trip is to be prepared but also willing to go with the flow. Enjoy your time in Pigeon Forge!

Best Times to Visit Pigeon Forge

One of the best times to visit Pigeon Forge is during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. The weather is mild, the crowds are smaller, and you can take advantage of off-season rates at hotels and attractions. If you prefer warmer temperatures and bustling activities, summer is the peak tourist season in Pigeon Forge.

Another great time to visit is during the winter holiday season when Pigeon Forge transforms into a magical winter wonderland with dazzling light displays and festive events. Just be prepared for colder weather and holiday crowds during this time.

Transportation and Getting Around

To make the most of your time in Pigeon Forge, consider renting a car for the flexibility to explore the area at your own pace. The town is easy to navigate by car, and having your vehicle allows you to visit nearby attractions like Great Smoky Mountains National Park or Gatlinburg.

A convenient alternative is to use the trolley service that runs through Pigeon Forge and connects to Gatlinburg. The trolley is affordable and a stress-free way to get around without worrying about parking. Just hop on and enjoy the scenic ride!

A quick tip: The trolley route can get busy during peak seasons, so plan your schedule accordingly to avoid long waits or crowded rides.


Now you have a fantastic list of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge! From exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to enjoying thrilling rides at Dollywood, this charming city has something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature lover, thrill-seeker, or just looking for a fun family getaway, Pigeon Forge has it all.

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Pigeon Forge. With so many exciting activities and attractions to choose from, you’re sure to make memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t forget to indulge in some delicious Southern cuisine and take in the beautiful scenery that this vibrant city has to offer. Your Pigeon Forge getaway awaits!


Q: What are some of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge?

A: There are so many wonderful things to do in Pigeon Forge! Some popular activities include visiting Dollywood theme park, exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, enjoying a show at the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, and experiencing the beauty of The Island in Pigeon Forge.

Q: Are there any outdoor activities to enjoy in Pigeon Forge?

A: Yes, Pigeon Forge is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, go ziplining at Adventure Park Ziplines, enjoy a picnic at Patriot Park, or go horseback riding at Five Oaks Riding Stables.

Q: What family-friendly attractions can I visit in Pigeon Forge?

A: Pigeon Forge is a fantastic destination for families. You can visit the Titanic Museum Attraction, have fun at WonderWorks interactive exhibit, explore the Alcatraz East Crime Museum, or have a splashing good time at Dollywood’s Splash Country water park.

Hi there! My name is Sushanta Das, and I'm a passionate traveler and explorer. I've always had a deep curiosity and thirst for adventure, which led me to start my travel blog.

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