8 Can’t Miss Things to Do in Pigeon Forge

07/28/2023 | by BuildUp Bookings | Local Activity Guide

Nestled snugly in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty and man-made entertainment. From hiking trails to go-karts, there’s something for everyone in this cozy little town, making this bustling town deserving of an addition to your itinerary during your Mountain Vibes cabin getaway.

Pigeon Forge is decidedly one of the biggest visitor draws in the South. There is a myriad of activities, attractions, and nature-themed adventures that can keep even the most jaded tourist entertained. 


Take a stroll through the charming boutiques and souvenir shops, or get your adrenaline pumping on one of the many amusement park rides. For a taste of old-fashioned mountain hospitality, be sure to swing by one of the local pancake houses or BBQ joints. 

There are so many fun things to do here that it is nearly impossible to see everything in one visit. Lucky for you, Pigeon Forge is a year-round destination, so you can start planning your next trip before you even finish the first one! This is your guide on can’t miss things to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. 

Visit Dollywood

Photo Credit: Chad Robertson Media
  • Address: 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd.Pigeon Forge, TN
  • Website: dollywood.com

A visit to Pigeon Forge wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Dollywood, one of the most famous attractions in East Tennessee. Dolly Parton’s impressive amusement park has more than forty rides ranging from the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster to a relaxing ride through the woods.

When you aren’t getting your adrenaline rush on an indoor coaster, you can watch a live performance while you indulge in only some of the best Southern comfort food in Tennessee. The Dreamland Drive-in Show features top hits from the 50s and 60s. If you’re in the mood for live music, the Loose Strings Band will provide the perfect soundtrack with their lively, toe-tapping bluegrass tunes.

Can’t get enough of Dolly? Neither can anyone else. That’s why Dolly Parton has extended her franchise to include other popular attractions throughout Pigeon Forge, like Dolly Parton’s Stampede, a dinner show featuring thrilling horse stunts, or Dollywood’s Splash Country, one of the top 10 outdoor waterparks in the country!

Explore Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Photo Credit: Weidman Photography

While the overload of attractions is part of Pigeon Forge’s appeal, it is nice knowing there is a place you can run off to when you want to spend some quality time with nature in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Known as the most visited national park in America, Great Smoky Mountain National Park has a reputation for being one of the best places to get outside in Tennessee. The park stretches out more than 500,000 acres and offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Drive through Cades Cove at sunrise to look for wildlife, stand at the park’s highest point at Clingmans Dome, hike to one of many waterfalls, explore an abandoned resort town, and kayak around Fontana Lake. The Great Smoky Mountains are the perfect nature reset.

This is one of the few national parks that does not charge an entrance fee! However, parking tags are needed to park anywhere within the Smokies for more than 15 minutes due to limited parking ($5 daily).

Go Museum Hopping

When you arrive at Pigeon Forge, you are immediately hit with a sensory overload. Attractions of all kinds stand along the main strip, each one looking more impressive than the last. Your eyes won’t know where to look first, but it’s impossible to miss the giant upside-down house, a replica of the Titanic, King Kong climbing a towering building, and the uncanny double of Alcatraz. It just so happens that these eye-catching landmarks are also home to some of the most exciting museums in Pigeon Forge.

Titanic Museum

Photo Credit: ehrlif

A half-sized replica of the true Titanic, the Titanic Museum goes above and beyond to transport its guests back in time. Board the ship with a pass matching the name of one of the original passengers and learn whether your passenger survived the journey’s end. Walk amongst rooms that have been remodeled to look exactly like the original ship and marvel at more than 400 artifacts acquired from the wreck.

Alcatraz East Crime Museum

Boasting a collection of infamous crime-related artifacts, like Ted Bundy’s Volkswagen Bug, the Alcatraz Museum is a true crime lover’s dream. You can explore five unique galleries that dive deep into the history of American crime and temporary exhibits, making every museum visit a new experience.

Hollywood Wax Museum

Photo Credit: Aneese

It’s time to finally get that selfie with your favorite celebrity as you walk through two stories worth of life-like wax sculptures. There are even props provided to take your photoshoot to the next level! You will be whipping out your camera before you even get inside to take a picture of King Kong and the Mount Rushmore replica of Elvis, Marylin Monroe, John Wayne, and Charlie Chaplin.


Photo Credit: ehrlif

The upside-down building is what initially draws people to Wonderworks, but once they are inside, it becomes that much harder to leave. This museum is fun for the entire family with more than one hundred hands-on exhibits that will favor to the curiosity of all ages.

Enjoy a Pigeon Forge Dinner Show

With endless attractions to choose from, it only makes sense that the entertainment follows you to dinner. And if there is anything Pigeon Forge is known for, aside from its undeniable ties to Dolly Parton, it’s the dinner shows that combine entertainment with the finest in Tennesee hospitality.

Pirates Voyage Dinner

Laugh, cry, and act like a pirate as you enjoy a four-course meal of biscuits, pan-fried chicken, sugar-cured ham, corn on the cob, and herb-basted potatoes. You’ll be at the edge of your seat as swords clash, canons fly, and the fight for Davey Jones’ treasure comes to a head.

Hatfield & Mccoy Dinner Feud

Photo Credit: ehrlif

It’s not every day that you experience the longest-running feud in history. Let alone with a delicious plate of fried chicken, pulled pork, smashed taters, corn on the cob, and a homemade dessert in front of you. Sit back and watch Hatfield and Mccoy battle it out using a variety of stunts, jokes, and audience participation.

Go Whitewater Rafting on the Pigeon River

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Take a break from Pigeon Forge’s many indoor attractions and make your way over to the Pigeon River for an exhilarating afternoon of whitewater rafting. The Pigeon River is perfect for all skill levels, with rapids ranging from Class I to Class IV and plenty of outfitters that are ready and willing to get you out on the water. These are some of the best tour operators in Pigeon Forge:

Go Winter Snow Tubing

Photo Credit: Ground Picture

Visiting during the winter months? Consider snow tubing! With multiple tubing lanes and varying degrees of difficulty, this activity will keep everyone entertained. Zip down the slopes at lightning speeds, feeling the rush of wind in your hair as you laugh with friends and family. Pigeon Forge has both indoor and outdoor options so that you can enjoy a winter wonderland at any time of year. These are some of the best places to race down the slopes:

Take a Self Guided Rollercoaster Tour

You can plan an entire trip to Pigeon Forge around thrill rides alone, so put on your seatbelt because you are in for a wild ride! If you are a roller coaster enthusiast, add these Pigeon Forge gems to your list!

Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

Photo Credit: Jeremy Thompson via Flickr CC2.0

The first and greatest alpine coaster in the Smokies. Not to mention the longest alpine coaster in the country! Control your speed as you zip down more than a mile with incredible mountain views from start to finish.

Rocky Top Mountain Coaster

Photo Credit: Martin Lewison via Flickr CC2.0

Send your sled up to 30 MPH as you make your way around the scenic grounds of Rocky Top and admire the views of the Great Smokies all around you. With nine minutes of fun, you definitely get enough bang for your buck!

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

Photo Credit: Jeremy Thompson via Flickr CC2.0

While not a roller coaster, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel makes the list thanks to its undeniable fame. Sitting at the center of The Island, the wheel is considered one of the tallest rides in the Southeast and offers views of the Smokies from 200 feet in the air!

Zipline Through the Pigeon Forge Tree Canopy

Photo Credit: Yusnizam Yusof

Imagine soaring through the trees, feeling the wind in your hair and the thrill of adrenaline pumping through your veins. Pigeon Forge offers multiple zip line courses, with some reaching up to 500 feet in length and speeds up to 50 miles per hour! So whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time flyer, there’s a zipline course for everyone. And the views? Breathtaking. You’ll feel like you’re flying above the majestic Smoky Mountains.

Smoky Mountains Ziplines offers seven lines on a two-hour course that will take you 150 feet above the forest floor and zipping through the tree canopy at up to 25 miles per hour! They accommodate large groups, although riders must be at least 60 lbs to participate.

A Perfect Pigeon Forge Getaway

Pigeon Forge is the gift that keeps on giving. With the Great Smokies right at your doorstep and an overflow of attractions on Pigeon Forge’s main strip, you’ll have endless choices on how to spend your day while staying at a Mountain Vibes vacation home rental!