The Great Smoky Mountains are a playground for the entire family with fun for grandparents, grandkids, and everyone in between! Natural beauty, adventure, and entertainment exist among great food and shopping, making Pigeon Forge in the Smokies a perfect destination for your next family getaway. Come see how many fun things to do in Pigeon Forge there are for your whole family.
Places to Visit for Adults
Along with the many fun family-friendly activities in Pigeon Forge, there are several great places for adults to go and relax, as well! Moonshine, nightlife and great memories are on the agenda.
A family tradition steeped in the history of the Smoky Mountains, Junction 35 Spirits is bringing the art of distillery to you! The Master Distiller at Junction 35 Spirits is committed to creating the best spirits you can find, in the Smokies and nationwide. They create their own vodka, gin, rum, moonshine and whiskey, and you can enjoy them straight or mixed up into cocktails. Their restaurant serves up scratch-made food that pairs perfectly with their spirits – order an array of dishes and cocktails, and discover your favorite pairings! With fun events like Burger & Beer Mondays, Trivia Tuesdays, and Whiskey and Wing Wednesdays, there’s never a shortage of excitement at Junction 35 Spirits.
Things To Do For Nature Lovers
We begin our survey of things to do in Pigeon Forge by rounding up a couple of fun-filled outdoor activities that are certain to catch the nature lover’s eye.
If you’re looking for free things to do in Pigeon Forge, an outdoor hike like Ramsey Cascades Trail is your best bet. Walk through some of the oldest and most whimsical parts of the lush forest that lead you to stunning views of the tallest waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is a tough hike, so make sure to pack plenty of water and a snack for your journey. The sooner you leave, the sooner you’ll get there! If you’re not into the intense hikes, there are plenty of additional outdoor spaces that allow you to bask in the beauty of the Smokies without breaking a sweat or the bank.
Cades Cove Loop is the perfect family-friendly adventure, without the intense inclines. The Loop is filled with historical homesteads and meadows packed with wildlife and beautiful scenery. Walk, bike, and hike with the Smoky Mountains as your backdrop. Leave plenty of time to explore the rich history that lives in these mountains.
Looking for more free things to do in Pigeon Forge, TN? Explore the Chimney Tops Trail. These views are some of the most sought after in the area, accompanied by fields of wildflowers and great chances to spot local wildlife. Start your journey on the trailhead just outside Gatlinburg. Winding creeks flow beneath storybook bridges, which are particularly beautiful in the spring and summer months. This is a difficult but short hike to the near summit of Mount LeConte. Due to the unfortunate wildfires that plagued this region recently, there is a new observation point just 1.8 miles up the Chimney Tops Trail that allows visitors to stay safe while taking in the beautiful mountain views. If you are willing to spend a few extra dollars, some of these great outdoor activities should definitely be on your list.
Enjoy three and a half miles of beautiful mountain scenery as you are saddled on one of Big Rock Dude Ranch’s horses. Enjoy a relaxing experience viewing the Smokies as you try and catch a fish from their stocked pond (bait, rod, and reel are provided for a nominal fee). Or, if you want something to pump your adrenaline, take a 4×4 ATV through some gorgeous mountain areas.
Take a guided trail ride on an ATV through the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. There are trails for families and experienced riders alike. Take advantage of access to 6,000 acres of terrain, providing numerous opportunities to take in majestic mountain views. Come prepared to snap photos of breathtaking picturesque scenery. The pacing is perfect for a scenic tour and less of an adrenaline rush.
Thrills For Adventurers
Those thrill seekers looking for a rush won’t be disappointed by the adventures found in Pigeon Forge!
Named for East Tennessee native, singer-songwriter and humanitarian Dolly Parton, Dollywood celebrates the Great Smoky Mountains area with 160 acres of family-friendly entertainment. Ranked as one of the world’s best amusement parks, Dollywood supports over 50 thrilling rides and recreational games. Dollywood is not just a theme park, but a full vacation in and of itself with shopping, dining, and even seasonal festivals like Smoky Mountain Christmas and the Summer Celebration. Make electrifying memories with your loved ones, whether laughing after a death-defying roller coaster or enjoying one of their shows, any time of year at Dollywood.
For over 15 years, Dollywood Splash Country has been Tennessee’s favorite place to cool off during the hottest days of the year. The water park features 16 rip-roaring rides and water adventures. Test your bravery in the whirling and twirling corkscrew courses of pitch-black water slide tunnels, or quench your need for speed on a free-falling open water slide towering 70 feet in the air! Take a sun-bathing break on a 1,500-foot lazy river and enjoy the refreshing power of its 200-foot waterfall. Sample these laughter-inducing, full-body-soaking rides and many more when you plan your visit to Dollywood Splash Country this summer. At the end of a sunny afternoon of exhilarating rides, tasty sweet treats, and restoration in the canopies, you’ll want to do it all over again tomorrow as well as next year!
Flying through the trees over 25 mph is one of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge for adventure seekers. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, professionals are there to guide you as you glide through the Smoky Mountains. Channel your inner mockingbird (the state bird of beautiful Tennessee), as you and your family create unforgettable memories above the canopy, getting a once-in-a-lifetime view of our beautiful Smokies.
If you’d rather be a little closer to the ground, but still want to spread your wings and fly, test your skills in the art of body flight at Flyaway Indoor Skydiving. This is one of those bucket-list experiences that you do not want to miss. Can you imagine what it’s like to truly fly? Now is your chance! Experience one of the most fun things to do in Pigeon Forge and learn to fly like a pro.
If you’re looking for even more fun things to do in Pigeon Forge, then look no further than MagiQuest. This magnificent place is four attractions in one! Experience their interactive, live-action role-playing game, where you’ll embark on quests and adventures in a fantasy world. In addition, you can get lost in their 5,000 square foot mirror maze, play 18 holes of black light mini-golf set in a Caribbean pirate village, or navigate through a room full of lasers.
Barrel down a 1,000-foot hill in a giant OGO ball with ten gallons of water slushing around you. Do it solo or with up to two other friends. This activity is great for any season. They keep the water cool in the summer and warm in the fall. If you have younger thrill seekers in your party, the OGO can handle kids five and up.
It’s not just “a track.” The Track is a family recreation center that has big thrills and fun for everyone. With go-karts, mini-golf, and bumper car rides, there’s fun for the whole family. What about the little ones, you ask? They have an area just for your pint-sized adventurers that includes a train, carousel, ferris wheel, and kiddie carts. If you want to fall your way into adventure, take a 65-foot drop from the bungee tower. Plus, one of the best features of The Track is that when you buy their Bonus Packs, they never expire!
Of all the gorgeous spots to find a panoramic eye-full of the Smoky Mountains, Scenic Helicopter Tours takes the crown, flying you hundreds of feet in the air for impressive aerial views. Choose from over ten different magnificent tours surveying the National Park, the French Broad River, Douglas Lake, the towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and more. Their 6-person flights are approved by the FAA and National Park Service and piloted by veteran tour guides with over 45 years of experience. Scenic Helicopter Tours offers an unforgettable way to take in the Great Smoky Mountains landscape’s most enthralling views.
Perfect for the adventure-seekers and adrenaline junkies in your family, Adventure Raceway is an attraction you must visit! This Pigeon Forge landmark features a wooden elevated Go-Kart track all year round, as well as Bumper Boats in the summer months. The Go-Kart track takes you up over a steep three-story spiral to “The Hump” and back down again – fostering intense competition and lots of fun. On a hot day, the Bumper Boats offer a fun way to cool down – you can your family and friends in the boats, hoping for a big splash, or you can soak them with water guns from a distance!
As the longest roller coaster in east Tennessee, Rocky Top Mountain Coaster spans over 20 acres for nine full minutes of speedy thrills. The ride features four uniquely themed tunnels that spit you back out into the open air for more drastic 360-degree turns and 30 mph top speeds. Unlike other coasters, you get to ride in a cart all to yourself and even control how fast you go! As a result, the ride is suitable for everyone: small children, seniors, and thrill-thirsty riders of all ages. Try riding during the daytime for stunning views of the mountains or at night to enjoy the coaster’s colorful glowing lights.
Whether you’re visiting from out of town or aren’t sure if your car can handle the rough mountain trails, a stop by Wranglers & Razors is a must. Their 2-door and 4-door Jeep rentals will keep you comfortably air-conditioned, or exposed to the invigorating mountain air as you wish, and allay any concern for being able to traverse rocky or uneven terrain. Explore the Great Smoky Mountain driving trails at Cades Cove or Clingman’s Dome in a robust 4-seat Razor 900 UTV — or, wend your way through Pigeon Forge’s hotspots in a Polaris Slingshot, a sleek and eye-catching whip that looks a lot like the Batmobile. When you plan to go off-roading or want to cruise around town in style, begin your mountain adventure behind the wheel at Wranglers & Razors.
There is no more authentic hometown country experience than throwing axes with your friends over pizza and beer! The interactive dining experience at Country Roads Axe Co. involves axe-throwing games like Zombie Challenge, AXE-Tac-Toe, and rotating bullseyes. Their digital targets draw you into the world of gaming while making it easier to keep score. Between plays, munch on any of the delicious Appalachian-named pies from West by God CoalFired Pizza, whose New Haven “apizza” style incorporates fresh Italian ingredients roasted in a coal-fired oven. Plus, you can keep the craft beer flowing all you want with their innovative iPourIt system, a series of taps you pour for yourself with digital screens detailing their selection of 20 unique beers. Country Roads Axe Co. is a remarkably unprecedented and modern take on axe-throwing entertainment.
Entertainment In Pigeon Forge
From historical dramas to side-splitting comedy, Pigeon Forge offers a wide range of entertainment to satisfy any taste! After a day of shopping in town or hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, an evening spent taking in a live show is the perfect way to experience a different side of Pigeon Forge.
Get ready for a heart-stopping show, abound with the impassioned antics and raw talent of 32 handsome horses. Dolly Parton’s Stampede combines a mouth-watering four-course feast with a demonstration of amazing competitive riding, set to fantastic music performances and immersive special effects. Dig into Southern home-cooked rotisserie chicken and hickory-smoked barbecue pork loin, and warm up with homemade creamy vegetable soup, plus sides of buttery corn-on-the-cob and herbed potato. Before you leave or find your seats, don’t forget to take an excursion down Horse Walk and greet our regal equine starlets. Both a first-rate dinner and a vivacious show, Dolly Parton’s Stampede lives up to its title as the Smokies’ Most Fun Place to Eat.
Ready, set, go! To the Xtreme Racing Center in Pigeon Forge, where friendly competition and adventure awaits you and the whole family. Your go-kart skills will be tested on tight turns and you’ll receive the full race report at the end of your experience. There are three different tracks for all ages and experience levels. Prepare to satisfy your need for speed at one of the most exciting things to do in Pigeon Forge.
If your dream has always been to walk inside from a hot summer day and jump on a snow tube in Pigeon Forge…well, dreams really do come true! Pigeon Forge Snow is a 100% indoor, state-of-the-art amusement park for winter lovers open year-round. Featuring tubing and a play area for snow angels and hot chocolate, it’s the perfect place to cool down and frolic in real snow. Not to mention, it stays a comfortable 60-70 degrees all year long! There is no shortage of unique and fun Pigeon Forge attractions, and snow days really are the best kind of days.
If you’re looking for some more things to do in Pigeon Forge, why not grab a selfie with one of your favorite celebrities at the Hollywood Wax Museum and Entertainment Center? Four great attractions for one price make this Pigeon Forge museum affordable and highly entertaining. For the puzzle solvers, there is a creepy breakout room for you to master while saving the world from the zombie apocalypse. The Castle of Chaos will send your mind into a tailspin as you hold on for dear life on this wild 5D adventure ride. Lastly, you and your family and friends can save princess Hannah in the Maze of Mirrors as your final adventure of the day. Do not forget your camera. There are endless, priceless moments to capture at this exciting destination!
The Island in Pigeon Forge is a walkable entertainment destination packed with 23-acres of shops, restaurants, amusements, and entertainment to excite the entire family! The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is a 200-foot tall observation wheel featuring an unparalleled view of the Great Smoky Mountains day or night! Heated, all glass gondolas ensure your ultimate comfort. Rides begin at 10:00 AM daily. The Island Show Fountain is a state-of-the-art, multi-tiered show fountain featuring a jaw-dropping presentation of water and light choreographed to music for an experience to delight all the senses. Shows play every 30 minutes at the top of the hour, Monday-Sunday from 10:00 AM – 11:30 PM. The Island Mirror Maze is one of the country’s largest mazes at over 3,000 square feet. You’ll get lost in fun as you experience this mind-bending labyrinth of illusions! Also featuring an arcade, carousel and many more attractions, The Island has entertainment for everyone and is as close to a one-stop destination the Smokies have to offer.
May’s the starting point for tubing at Smoky Mountain River Rat. Enjoy a family-friendly float for ages 2 and up, or the upper section of the Pigeon River for ages 6 and up. You can get a season’s pass if you don’t want just one ride. At $29.99 (subject to change), it’s a steal! Reservations can be made directly through the website or you can call 865-448-8888.
Fun for all ages, WonderWorks is an upside-down adventure park featuring more than 100 exhibits and interactive displays showcasing the work of the world’s greatest scientist, Professor Wonder, and his attempt to create a man-made tornado and harness its power. This master experiment gone awry created a vortex that carried the laboratory from a remote island in the Bermuda Triangle and dropped it on its head in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! Explore the lab and the wonders of science and nature by experiencing a 5.3 magnitude earthquake, the force of hurricane winds, or put yourself inside of a bubble. Featuring a 4-story glow-in-the-dark ropes course, laser tag arena, and the #1 magic show in the Smokies, WonderWorks has something for everyone! Group discounts are offered, and they have several rental options for private groups, including wedding receptions.
Looking for a fun, exciting family activity during a night out in Pigeon Forge? The Murder Mystery Dinner show brings all of the laughter, intrigue and collaboration you can find! The comedy murder-mystery shows are executed by professional actors, and the stories revolve around local “legends” – like The KillBillies, Moonshine Murders, and Who Shot the Sheriff! Your entire group will be working together to figure out the mystery, while laughing hysterically at the engaging, interactive show. The live comedy shows are family-friendly, but they are just as much fun for adults, too. And, you’ll be treated to a delicious three-course meal throughout the show – win, win!
Pigeon Forge is home to the Buttonwillow Civil War Theater – the dramatic historical production in the South! Join the talented players at the Buttonwillow Civil War Theater and enjoy a show that is thought-provoking and educational, with an authentic portrayal of period characters, all presented within a light-hearted and enjoyable atmosphere. You will love the beautiful costumes, believable sets, and the story of two Southern siblings who support opposing sides during the Civil War. Throughout the production, you hear perspectives from the Union and Confederate sides and watch the siblings come to a deeper understanding of each others’ passionate beliefs.
If you’re visiting Pigeon Forge with your kids and you are looking for a family-friendly, inspiring, and hilarious experience, head on over to The Comedy Barn – the most successful (and most enthusiastically attended) clean comedy theater in the entire world! Hilarious antics, slapstick comedy, adorable puppets, and endlessly fun jokes fill up the two-hour show that will create an unforgettable memory for you and your family. The talented actors, performers, puppeteers, and musicians at the Comedy Barn will have you experiencing side-splitting laughter in new and creative ways – all while remaining clean and welcoming to theater lovers of all ages.
The Microtorium in Pigeon Forge is home to a truly unique and unforgettable experience: Micro Wrestling. Put on by The Micro Wrestling Federation, Micro Wrestling in Pigeon Forge is a full-scale, WWE type event supported by an entire cast – all of whom are under five feet tall. It is also the longest-running organization within the Little Person wrestling industry, founded in 2000, and has performed more events than any other group since its inception. The Micro Wrestlers provide a fun, exciting, and family-friendly show in Pigeon Forge, complete with high-flying, body-slamming, and gravity-defying top rope action!
Relive the memories of the Golden Age of Television and share them with new generations with Brian Hoffman’s Remembering Red – A Tribute to Red Skelton. Initially known as the longest-running Red Skelton show in Las Vegas, Brian has now brought his uproarious comedy tribute to Pigeon Forge. This clean and family-friendly show brings back all of Red Skelton’s best-loved characters and captures his signature style as America’s Clown Prince. For those who enjoyed Red Skelton’s appearances on television, sharing his talents on best-loved shows like Johnny Carson and Dick Van Dyke, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce your kids and grandkids to his unforgettable humor and creative genius.
Alcatraz East Crime Museum tells stories from American history that you never knew! From over 100 interactive activities across two floors, you’ll uncover the secrets of notorious American criminals like Ted Bundy, hear their victim’s stories, and learn about the ways of forensic science and the justice system. The building itself features watchtowers modeled after the famous off-shore prison, Alcatraz, combined with Tennessee’s first state prison’s thick stone fortress design. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of crime and punishment while exploring the galleries, exhibits, and kids’ experiences at Alcatraz East Crime Museum.
The Grand Majestic Theater is home to several musical shows that will bring tears of laughter and magical fun to your family. Soul of Motown grooves to old school hits from Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, and more. Hit Parade brings back memories of playing Elvis on the jukebox in the ’50s and ’60s. ‘Tis the Season mixes modern holiday jams with classic Gospel hymns to celebrate everyone’s favorite time of year. In Hazzard Hoedown, Daisy Duke’s gang competes in a talent contest to save their uncle’s farm. Terry Evanswood’s magic show flaunts the most mind-melting magic tricks from sleight of hand to grand illusions. Starlight Drive-In brings Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, Marilyn Monroe, and Elton John to the stage to evoke sweet nostalgia from the ’50s to ’70s. No matter your flavor of musical entertainment, Grand Majestic Theater slings knee-slapping fun and carnivalesque dance alongside delicious eats and drinks.
Embark on a sea-faring adventure with pirates, treasure hunters and mythical mermaids at Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show! Will the notorious Captain Blackbeard and Quartermaster Calico Jack win the treacherous battle on the high seas and earn their right to Davey Jones’ enviable treasure? Find out over a four-course dinner with the whole family! Keep an eye out for Salty the Sea Lion while you chow down on some Cracklin’ Pan-Fried Chicken, Corn on the Cob, and Walk the Plank Peach Turnover. You’ll grow to love the Crimson and the Sapphire as much as any pirate crewmate through sword fights and cannon blasts, fiery lagoons and raging storms, and supernatural skeletons from the shipwrecked depths!
Aside from singing and dancing, unbelievable stunts and hilarious jokes, the Hatfields and McCoys are most preoccupied with feuding! During the 2-hour theatrical performance at Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, you won’t stop laughing for as long as these country cousins never stop fighting. Watch the chaos unfurl as the two families compete on a mountainside swimming hole unique to this set. Meanwhile, dig into your delicious Southern-style dinner of barbecue pulled pork, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, buttered corn and coleslaw. Which hillbilly family will win your favor by the end of their over-the-top shenanigans?
The Biblical Times Dinner Theater presents scripture-based theatrical productions featuring a live cast and holographic multimedia effects. Embark on the path of God’s Will alongside your favorite Biblical heroes like Jesus, Moses, and Noah. Their productions are written based on comprehensive research and consultation with religious scholars in order to most authentically portray the Bible’s message. Don’t be too shy to sing along to southern-style gospel music, contemporary hymns and Christmas songs. Sit back in your deluxe rocking theater chair and dine on a delicious multi-course feast. When you enjoy the educational and immersive entertainment at Biblical Times Dinner Theater, you strengthen your faith in the Lord and celebrate the miraculous gift of His Word!
At Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park, real-life lumberjacks perform jaw-dropping feats of athletic ability and then offer you the chance to try it for yourself! The Dawson and McGraw family lumberjacks compete throughout the 1.5-hour show in challenges like axe-throwing, wood chopping, log rolling, speed climbing and more. Children are invited on stage during intermission to try their hand at some of the activities. After the show, explore the Adventure Park to ride the Flying Ox zipline roller coaster, compete in the lumberjack-themed ropes course and other loggersports, and test your will at the Timber Tower 80-foot free fall jump.
Things To Do For Foodies
There is nothing quite like traditional Appalachian cooking. The crackling sounds of hot barbecue and the taste of perfectly braised, home-grown vegetables define our Smoky Mountain region, and we are quite proud of it! Restaurants in Pigeon Forge have been perfecting the art of Appalachian cooking for centuries. If you want to fill up on some hearty comfort food, check out these best places to eat in Pigeon Forge.
Locally owned and operated for over two decades, Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que serves award-winning ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken and brisket in two locations, one in Pigeon Forge and one in Gatlinburg. They make their own special sauce and smoke their meats over smoldering hickory wood for up to 14 hours. If you’re visiting for breakfast, Bennett’s serves up an all-you-can-eat breakfast bar that’s loaded with all of your favorites: Belgian waffles, eggs, sausage, biscuits, and their famous pulled pork. For dinner, check out their unique dishes like deep-fried deviled eggs, buffalo cauliflower and fried catfish.
With locations in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Mad Dog’s Creamery is the place to be for sweet treats of all varieties – ice cream, banana splits, milkshakes, donuts and funnel cakes! They offer a wide range of ice cream flavors, both hand-dipped and soft-serve, made with the finest natural ingredients. Mad Dog’s Creamery boasts an impressive array of donut flavors and concoctions as well, so it’s easy to enjoy your favorite: glazed, iced, fruity or cream-filled varieties. For your four-legged friends, Mad Dog’s Creamery is dog-friendly – they even offer two different types of special dog treats made in-house with human-grade ingredients.
With locations in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, Big Daddy’s Pizzeria is the best place around to enjoy real wood-fired pizza! The one-of-a-kind brick oven turns their handcrafted, homemade dough into crispy, chewy perfection. They are so committed to freshness that there isn’t even a freezer on the premises! Instead, they source the freshest ingredients, toppings and sauces to create the tastiest Neapolitan pizza possible. Big Daddy’s Pizzeria also offers wood-fired wings, handmade meatballs and wood-baked soft pretzels as a precursor to your meal. Don’t forget to try their traditional cannoli for dessert, a perfect ending to a satisfying meal.
If you’re looking for the best barbecue in town, there are multiple options that are sure to impress any bbq aficionado. One of the best places to eat in Pigeon Forge is Corky’s Ribs & BBQ. Smoked meats, juicy and full of flavor, will leave you coming back for more faster than you can say “baby back ribs!”
Why stop at just one BBQ joint? JT Hannah’s Kitchen is another great Pigeon Forge restaurant specializing in barbecue for those looking to experience a tasty Appalachian food tour. An all-American menu of fall off the bone ribs, tasty burgers, steaks and much more!
Enjoy family style food served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Mama’s Farmhouse. Bring your little ones, because kids five and under eat free! Part of the Johnson Family of Restaurants, which also includes our friends, Mad Dog’s Creamery, Alamo Steakhouse, Bid Daddy’s Pizzeria, J.O.E. and Pop’s Sub Shoppe, Mama’s Chicken Kitchen, Bennett’s Pit BBQ, you will find the same quality cooking and friendly atmosphere here. Be sure to go with an empty stomach, because it’s all-you-can-eat and nothing you can take home! If you do want to take a souvenir, they have a great gift shop with shirts, sauces, peach butter, mixes, honey, and collectibles.
Have you ever met a dessert you didn’t like? Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen serves up the best mouth-watering desserts and home-cooked meals. Come thirsty and hungry and enjoy a true Southern dining experience. After your meal, you can visit the 4,000 square foot Paula Deen Retail Store. You’ll find everything from cookbooks to cookware, and accessories and gifts in between.
After a busy day of hiking, sightseeing, and enjoying the many attractions in Pigeon Forge, there’s nothing better than gathering around a hot, delicious pizza. Family owned and operated since, Geno’s Pizza offers dough made fresh in-house daily and the very best quality ingredients available. Voted best pizza by locals, they allow you to create your own pie with a wide variety of toppings. Geno’s also allows you to choose thin, hand-tossed or pan pizza-style crust, so your pie is exactly to your liking. They have more than just pizza on the menu – they are also known for their calzones, subs, salads, and desserts!
A favorite of the locals – and one of the highest-rated budget-friendly restaurants in Pigeon Forge – Mel’s Diner will take you back in time to the “good ol’ days”. Located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, close to all of the major attractions, this 1950s homestyle diner offers something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Visit during breakfast and enjoy a plate of pancakes, bacon and eggs, just the way you like them – or stop in for lunch and dig into a juicy burger. When dinner time rolls around, they offer their signature plates featuring the old classics like liver and onions or chicken pot pie – just like your grandma used to make. And don’t forget about dessert – Mel’s Diner is famous for their legendary banana splits!
In a state so beloved for its musical artists, the Hard Rock Cafe in Pigeon Forge is a shoo-in for lunch or dinner in the company of music celebrity memorabilia. Their three main dining areas are adorned with items once belonging to iconic stars like Jimi Hendrix, Madonna, and Tennessee’s own Dolly Parton. Don’t miss the cafe’s proudly displayed fashion statements like Taylor Swift’s lace dress, Shania Twain’s worn pants, the coat from Priscilla Presley, and the gorgeous rhinestone skirt of Dolly Parton. The Hard Rock Cafe is the perfect combination of juicy, multi-layered burgers with an upbeat museum-like learning experience on music history.
With two locations at either end of the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Reagan’s House of Pancakes has got your back no matter where you’re staying when the brunch munchies hit you. Voted “Best Pancake House,” this family-owned breakfast joint serves up a tasty buffet plus a full menu of your favorite morning grub. Order a gigantic plate of sausage, eggs and biscuits for a protein punch to keep you energized throughout your day of adventures. Or, keep it on-theme with your choice of fifteen sweet and fruity varieties of pancakes, french toast and waffles. Reagan’s House of Pancakes is also open for lunch. Make sure to bring a healthy appetite when there are juicy country ham, decadent bacon cheeseburgers and savory fried green tomatoes on the line.
You know that feeling you get at the end of a long day of fun activities when you could smash a whole rack of ribs? In moments like this, Wood Grill Buffet comes to the rescue. Their wood grilled steaks and hickory wood-smoked ribs say it all with mouth-watering tenderness and smoky aromatics. Even their roast beef and barbecue is cooked to finger-licking perfection in their 4000-pound smoker. Not sure where to eat when everyone wants something different? Their fresh buffet offers a diverse cast of cuisine styles, including Asian, Italian, Southwestern and American. A meat lover’s paradise, Wood Grill Buffet is guaranteed to hit the spot and become your top restaurant choice.
Attractions For Shoppers
To top off our list of fun things to do in Pigeon Forge, here’s just one of many shops where you can find original products that make perfect souvenirs. After all, what’s a vacation destination without shopping?
What better treat to take home with you than something sweet, like some home-made fudge or tasty taffy? In addition to the Candy Kitchen, there’s also a General Store, The Old Mill Restaurant, the Old Mill Creamery, and Pigeon River Pottery. There really is something for everyone at The Old Mill Square. Make sure you try one of their famous Bear Paws, made the old fashioned way—slow and sweet!
Three pairs are better than one! Experience one of the more unique shopping options in Pigeon Forge—the Boot Factory Outlet. This shop always rocks “buy one pair, get two pair free” deals that will knock your boots off! You can walk away with a pair for hiking the mountains, a pair for some traditional dancing, and a pair for a friend. We are just generous like that in the mountains!
A huge variety of souvenirs and real live bears? That sounds like a Pigeon Forge shopping dream! This is the perfect place to stop in Pigeon Forge for some genuine Southern shopping. Items in the shop range from cute clothes that will remind you of your time here in the Smokies to delicious, locally made fudge and treats to enjoy right there on the spot. Did we mention a chance to meet four live bears that were rescued and are being taken care of by talented staff right on the premises? There’s even a spa and an arcade onsite! You’ll have to see for yourself at one of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge.
One of the newest shops located on The Island in Pigeon Forge, Farmhouse 9110 is the perfect place to shop for high-quality, home decor and gifts. Bring home some unique pieces for your home or go on an entire redecorating spree! In addition to beautiful reclaimed wood signage, antique displays, and modern farmhouse style decor, Farmhouse 9110 has plenty of gifts to share with friends and loved ones. This new spot is one of the many unique and exciting places to shop in Pigeon Forge.
Celebrating 27 years, Lid’l Dolly’s has over 300 different quilt designs as well as locally handcrafted girls’ heirloom dresses for your little southern belle. They boast over 25,000-square-feet of shopping space. Come and find the wide selection of keepsakes on-site, including unique houseware items, lid’l dolls, and accessories.
If you want to commemorate your trip to Pigeon Forge, or you’re looking for a memorable gift for a loved one, stop by Sandman’s Workshop! Custom stone carvings, pet memorials, and slate signs are just a few of the products this great Pigeon Forge store offers to visitors. You can also create unique slate photo holders, oil stone candles, and custom stone coasters – perfect to take home and create a reminder of your happy memories. Choose a pre-carved stone with a funny saying or joke to put a smile on your face every time you see it. With a wide range of unique and customizable items, Sandman’s Workshop is a “must-visit” for shoppers on the hunt for the perfect gift.
Family Fun in Pigeon Forge
A family vacation in the Smokies wouldn’t be complete without a day of laughter, adventure, and family bonding. Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf in Pigeon Forge is a fun and unique way to enjoy the activity beloved by families for generations: miniature golf! Follow Professor Hacker on an exciting expedition through two 18-hole mini golf courses with caves, waterfalls, a temple and a volcano. Complete with an impressive pirate ship and a mining car to take you to the first holes, a few hours spent playing mini golf with your family at Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf is sure to be remembered as a great one – even after you head home.
It’s no wonder Crave Golf Club has been rated the #1 Mini-Golf Course in America by The Travel when there are two original and exciting 19-hole courses to explore! One course guides you through an indoor arena of chocolate cliffs and ice cream canyons, while the other course journeys through sweet rooftop landscapes like Rock Candy Mountain, Jellybean Jungle and Bubblegum Garden. These all-ages adventures are sure to whet your appetite for a post-game visit to their sweet shop to stash up on your favorite treats. Don’t forget to check out their two unique escape room challenges and their kid-friendly mini-bowling alley. Crave Golf Club is so much more than just a mini-golf course!
Right off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, you can fly, flip, jump and climb all in one place. TopJump Trampoline & Extreme Arena is not just the Smoky Mountains’ top open jumping trampoline park, but it’s also the venue for seven other adventures that kids and adults of all ages will enjoy. Test your climbing skills on the 21 colorful lines at the Cliffhanger Challenges, or zoom through the maze of obstacles at the Fire & Ice Ninja Course. Children under five will love having exclusive access to the foam pit and slides in the Toddler Zone, while the whole family can compete together at classic and new games in Arcade Alley. The Boneyard Stunt Tower is only for those who dare to pull off sky-high stunts. Live your dream of becoming a slam-dunking hero at Pro-Slam Basketball, and see how many other kids you can strike out in the ultimate game of Airstrike Dodgeball. Lastly, a visit to the Sugar Rush Candy Store is a must after your full afternoon of family-friendly fun at TopJump Trampoline & Extreme Arena.
Places To Stay In Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge has been a beloved travel destination for people from all over the country for decades, and with good reason; there’s just so much to do in this mountain town! Pigeon Forge offers lodging options that cater to all tastes. Here are some of our favorites!
Finding the perfect place to stay is the best way to take your vacation experience from good to AMAZING! Bluff Mountain Rentals offers beautiful cabin and condo rentals in Eastern Tennessee. From rustic cabins that provide a close connection with nature, to updated condos close to the action in Pigeon Forge, your ideal “home away from home” is waiting for you. Briar Cliff Condos in Pigeon Forge are located close to the beloved Dollywood theme park, so if you are traveling with your family, a condo rental may be just the ticket. The specialists at Bluff Mountain Rentals can help you select the perfect location from which to enjoy the beautiful scenery and exciting activities in the Smokies.
A favorite of travelers who want to experience the peace and quiet of the mountains, while remaining close to the action of town, All Season Suites in Pigeon Forge, offers all you need for a relaxing getaway. Located near the Parkway, it’s an easy jaunt to the bustling area for shopping and dining, or to the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for fun outdoor activities. Many of their rooms also offer fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs, kitchenettes, and a delicious breakfast every morning! All Season Suites is committed to offering comfortable, beautiful and affordable rooms for everyone visiting the Pigeon Forge area.
Camp Riverslanding is the premier campground in the heart of Pigeon Forge, where you and your family can enjoy a relaxing vacation in the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. Offering fantastic amenities like free WiFi, dog park, a pool and splash pad, Camp Riverslanding is the place to be for outdoor family fun. Their gorgeous riverside campground is complete with fire rings, a centrally located bathhouse, and a playground. They offer free cable TV throughout, as well. For those who want to enjoy a getaway that allows them to connect with nature without sacrificing the comfort of modern amenities, Camp Riverslanding is our top pick!
Clarion Inn is not only within a few minutes’ drive of Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country, but it’s also a cheap cab ride away from the airport as well as most Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg attractions. Their meeting facilities, event parking, and catering services make Clarion Inn the ideal choice for your next family reunion or business gathering. Featuring a fitness center, delicious breakfast every morning, free WiFi, and a fabulous outdoor pool with a waterslide, Clarion Inn is your tranquil home-base close to the action.
This family-owned and operated business understands the importance of spending quality time with family. Auntie Belham’s Cabin Rentals has over two decades of experience providing southern hospitality to the Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Gatlinburg areas. Their luxurious cabins with mountain views and enchanting chalets are elegantly furnished and feature clean hot tubs and spacious back decks. Plus, they offer special deals on cabin rentals for seniors, first responders, military, and more, to make your stay affordable without compromising.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the area or a frequent flyer, Courtyard by Marriott will reliably offer customer service that goes above and beyond every time. Adventure awaits nearby at Dollywood, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and The Island, where the highest rated restaurants in Pigeon Forge will leave your family happy and in good humor. When you’re not out perusing the local amusements, Courtyard by Marriott is like a mini-paradise all on its own with an outdoor and indoor pool, fire pits, hot tub, game room, complimentary WiFi, and more. Feel at ease on your private balcony in view of the magnificent mountains or river.
Located within walking distance of the Parkway, La Quinta Inn & Suites is right next door to the hustle and bustle of the heart of Pigeon Forge. Discover the serenity of the Smoky Mountains from the comfort of one of the top-ranked La Quinta Inn & Suites in the world. Family vacationers or travel buddies will adore their spacious accommodations and free waffle breakfast. Aside from their variety of rooms and suites, amenities like the 24-hour indoor pool open all year, upscale patio area with modern grills, and free parking set them apart from the average hotel. Not only this, they even offer pet-friendly rooms so that you don’t have to stress about finding a pet-sitter.
Quality Inn is guaranteed to live up to its name with over 190 lavish rooms with a full range of amenities to satisfy the contemporary preference. Choose between smoking and non-smoking rooms, or reserve a King Suite with a hot tub for a romantic weekend with your significant other. Take a stroll at your convenience right from your hotel on the Parkway to check out the shops, eats, and amusements at The Island. Alternatively, hop on the trolley and go for a sightseeing tour against the timeless backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains.
At Quality Inn & Suites at Dollywood Lane, you can expect the same certified quality and comfort of Quality Inn hotels plus the added convenience of its location near Pigeon Forge’s famous Dolly Parton-inspired amusement park, Dollywood. Don’t tarnish a perfect day of thrilling rides and family fun by making the long drive back home afterward. With so many adrenaline-pumping rides to try at Dollywood, plus water rides you’ll want to do over and over again at Dollywood’s Splash Country, your time won’t have to be cut short when you stay at Quality Inn & Suites at Dollywood Lane. If roller coasters aren’t your thing, Quality Inn & Suites at Dollywood Lane is only minutes away from other popular attractions such as WonderWorks, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Come for the seasonal festivals like the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival or Smoky Mountain Winterfest, and stay for the tranquility and lavishness of Quality Inn & Suites.
Considered one of the “best value” hotels in the Pigeon Forge area, EconoLodge delivers award-winning quality without breaking your bank. Their recently renovated suites are a superb choice for couples and families looking for easy access to nearby attractions like Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country, the Titanic Museum, and NASCAR SpeedPark. The vacation doesn’t stop when you come home to their indoor pool, in-suite whirlpool hot tubs, game room, and HBO TV access. Most notably, the property features a scenic 500-foot walkway alongside the Little Pigeon River, dotted with fire pits, picnic areas, BBQ grills, and adorable baby ducks to feed.
Going on vacation should never mean leaving the comfort of your home. At Comfort Inn & Suites, your daily routine won’t be disturbed when you have access to all your favorite amenities, including free WiFi, a flat-screen TV, and a microwave in every suite. Get a good night’s sleep in their spacious King and Queen bedrooms, suited for couples or families, and with handicap accessible options available. Wake up to the smell of coffee from the in-suite coffee maker, and then head on downstairs for a free breakfast every morning. Conveniently located close to Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, The Island, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, your stress-free vacation awaits at Comfort Inn & Suites at Dollywood Lane.
Home 2 Suites by Hilton should be number one on your list of eco-friendly and pet-friendly lodging options in Pigeon Forge. Their complimentary self-parking lot provides electric vehicle charging, and their laundry and fitness room operates on an innovative spin-to-cycle system. Every contemporary-designed suite and studio room comes with a full kitchenette, storage space, and free WiFi. A short distance away from the Cal Ripken Baseball Experience, the LeConte Event Center, and Dollywood, you’ll look forward to turning in at the end of the day at Home2 Suites by Hilton.
Flexibility, exceptional customer service, and convenience are the most practical factors to consider when making travel plans. Howard Johnson by Wyndham Pigeon Forge sets itself apart from other hotels due to its proximity to popular Pigeon Forge attractions like Dollywood, the Comedy Barn Theater, The Island, and more. Their multilingual staff and 24-hour reception will help you book the right accommodations for you, even including baby cribs and accessible rooms. Mobile check-in and express check-out allow you the flexibility to come and go on your own time. Plus, Howard Johnson provides all the first-rate amenities you’re accustomed to, including a business center with printing, free WiFi and parking, indoor and outdoor pools, and free breakfast.
Park Grove Inn achieves the impossible, combining friendly customer service and affordable pricing. Your comfort comes first in their Double Queen rooms, King suites with or without a jacuzzi, two-room suites and accessible accommodations. While you enjoy the indoor heated pool, outdoor pool or fitness center, the kids will love their game room and kid’s pool. When you prefer a moment of blissful relaxation, drink your morning coffee by the fireplace or outside on your private balcony before heading down to a complimentary breakfast. Not only does the Pigeon Forge Trolley make a stop nearby, but the hotel is also within walking distance of the Parkway’s most popular restaurants and attractions, including MagiQuest, The Island, Mel’s Classic Diner and Pirate’s Voyage Dinner & Show.
Voted the #1 Best Hotel in Pigeon Forge, The Inn On The River boasts more than 2,500 five-star reviews from happy guests and a certification from Tennessee Green Hospitality. The hotel now offers 128 updated rooms and renovations like the guest laundry facility and the fire pit on the bank of the Little Pigeon River. This scenic hotel is ideal for families and reunions, couples and newlyweds, groups and business travelers. Take advantage of the daily hot breakfast on your way out to adventure, or grab a midnight snack of popcorn and sweet tea when you don’t want the fun to end yet. By the time you check out of your luxurious room with an in-suite jacuzzi and fireplace, you’ll be saying, “I could get used to this!”
When you observe your fellow travelers keeping to tight schedules lacking a single idle moment, you probably wonder why they would do that to themselves! You’re the kind of vacationer who prefers a stress-free experience and a chance to finally relax. When you stay at the lavish resort at RiverStone, their full-service spa is only a few steps away from your room. Gift yourself a euphoric massage to work out your tense muscles or tired feet, or rejuvenate your skin with a deep-cleansing facial and moisturizing body treatment. Their nail treatments, waxing and make-up services will enhance your natural beauty, leaving you feeling as gorgeous as an angel before your wedding, honeymoon or special day of self-love. Pamper yourself to the maximum and vacation your way at The Spa at RiverStone.
Tru by Hilton has the coziest rooms for travelers of all varieties. Solo vacationers, couples and families will love their Double Queen, King and bunk bed accommodations. Those with disabilities will be delighted to discover an accessible haven at this hotel. Not only do they offer a range of accessible rooms to choose from, but the property was designed with hearing impairments, visual impairments and wheelchairs in mind, from visual alarms, ramps and braille room numbers to accessible parking spots, swimming pools and elevators. For animal parents, pet-friendly rooms are available. Dine in at the daily complimentary breakfast before you head out to the nearby LeConte Convention Center or Cal Ripken Experience. With free WiFi and free self-parking to top it off, Tru by Hilton saves you a pretty penny while meeting all your individual needs.
It’s obvious why RiverStone Resort has been rated Pigeon Forge’s #1 Resort. Their luxury one- to four-bedroom condos and cabins come fully decked out with elegant furnishings and cozy, plush bedding to enhance the relaxing Smoky Mountain backdrop. Perfect for couples and newlyweds, the resort offers romantic private balcony views of the mountains and the Little Pigeon River. For large groups, events or business meetings, consider RiverStone Resort’s 3,600 square-foot ballroom with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment. RiverStone Resort is not just another convenient and family-friendly place to stay near popular Pigeon Forge attractions like Dollywood. It also includes an entire spa dedicated to making you feel relaxed and beautified with massage therapy, nail and hair treatments, skin-care treatments, makeup services, and more.
Visitor Resources & Coupons
There’s no more need to worry about how to afford your Smoky Mountain vacation when you can shop smart with Monster Discount Coupons! This beast of a booklet contains a map of the area, plus coupons and discounts to a vast number of attractions, restaurants and shops in the Smoky Mountains area. Plus, you might just find out about a new and exciting attraction to try with your family and friends as you leaf through 100 free downloadable pages of money-saving specials. When you’re getting $10 off here and 15% off there, the savings can really start to add up!
If you’re considering a trip to beautiful Pigeon Forge, a stop by the Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce should be top on your list. They offer a wide range of resources to help you make the most of your time in this lovely area. Are you interested in hiking with breathtaking mountain views, or possibly enjoying whitewater rafting on the Pigeon River? How about a list of restaurants that cater to every taste and age range? Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce can assist you with finding the information you need to enjoy every moment of your travels in the Smokies.
Looking for more travel inspiration? The Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism provides expert assistance on finding fun attractions, seasonal events, top-rated restaurants, the most luxurious and affordable hotels, and more. Visit the City of Pigeon Forge Welcome Center or Visitor Information Center on your way into town, or check out their website for a variety of free online travel resources. Everything you need to get the ball rolling on your next vacation can be found in My Pigeon Forge’s travel guides, discounts, maps, travel tips, videos and more.