Top 10 museums and walk-through attractions in the Smokies

Ripleys Aquarium is one of Gatlinburg's most popular attractions (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Ripleys Aquarium is one of Gatlinburg's most popular attractions (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

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No trip to the Smokies is complete without checking out at least a couple of museums and walk-through attractions. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite attractions to help you plan your next trip with family-friendly attractions in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.

The penguin playhouse at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies (photo courtesy of Ripley's)
The penguin playhouse at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies (photo courtesy of Ripley’s)

1. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is an amazing family attraction with state-of-the-art facilities, more than 10,000 exotic sea creatures and 10 themed galleries.

  • Adult ticket prices: $37.99 (may vary by season, subject to change)
  • Address: 88 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Phone: 1-888-240-1358
  • Website: ripleyaquariums.com
  • Insider tip: Save a little money by purchasing a combo pass

Read More: Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Review: 6 reasons why it’s the best

The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN (photo courtesy of Titanic Museum)
The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN (photo courtesy of Titanic Museum)

2. Titanic Museum Attraction

The Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge opens a door to the past with a one-of-a-kind “passenger” experience. Guests get to experience what it was like to walk the hallways, parlors, guest quarters and the Grand Staircase while surrounded by more than 400 artifacts sourced directly from the ship and its passengers. Each guest will receive a boarding pass of an actual Titanic passenger or crew and learn of their fate.

  • Adult ticket prices: $27.00 (may vary by season, subject to change)
  • Address: 2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
  • Phone: (800) 381-7670
  • Website: titanicpigeonforge.com
  • Insider tip: This self-guided tour includes your choice of an adult or child’s audio player! The children’s tour involves a fun scavenger hunt.

Read More: You won’t regret climbing aboard the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge

Alcatraz East in Pigeon Forge, TN (photo by Alaina O'Neal/TheSmokies.com)
Alcatraz East in Pigeon Forge, TN (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

3. Alcatraz East 

Alcatraz East gives guests a chance to explore American history from a unique perspective in the five galleries featuring criminal profiles, the penal system, victims’ stories, crime prevention, forensic science, law enforcement and the justice system. The museum also features over 100 interactive and seasonal exhibits.

  • Adult ticket prices: $26.95 (may vary by season, subject to change)
  • Address: 2757 Parkway Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
  • Phone: (865) 453-3278
  • Website: alcatrazeast.com
  • Insider tip: Alcatraz East offers discounted tickets for seniors 61+, law enforcement, military and Sevier County residents.

Read More: Alcatraz East review: A fascinating crime museum with little on Alcatraz

Wonderworks in Pigeon Forge, TN (photo by Alaina O'Neal/TheSmokies.com)
Wonderworks in Pigeon Forge, TN (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

4. Wonderworks

Wonderworks features 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment” and is described as an “amusement park for the mind.” This attraction features more than 100 hands-on exhibits that challenge the mind and spark imagination. Popular exhibits include: the Extreme Weather Zone, the Physical Challenge Zone, the Space Discovery Zone, the Light and Sound Zone, the Imagination Lab and the Wonder Art Gallery.

  • Adult ticket prices: $34.95 (may vary by season, subject to change)
  • Address: 100 Music Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
  • Phone: (865) 868-1800
  • Website: wonderworksonline.com
  • Insider tip: Dresses, skirts and open-toe shoes are not permitted on the ropes course. Comfortable clothing is strongly recommended. 
Beyond the Lens in Pigeon Forge, TN (photo by Alaina O'Neal/TheSmokies.com)
Beyond the Lens in Pigeon Forge, TN (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

5. Beyond the Lens

Beyond the Lens invites guests to explore the best of pop culture with interactive games, photo ops and entertaining exhibits the whole family will enjoy. Popular activities include: Search for Bigfoot, The Alien Egg Pit, A Human Kaleidoscope, Augmented Reality Games, Virtual Reality Games/Escape Room, Crimes of the Century and 4D VR motion rides.  

  • Adult ticket prices: $26.99 (may vary by season, subject to change)
  • Address: 2115 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
  • Phone: (865) 366-1609
  • Website: beyondthelens.com
  • Insider tip: Don’t visit this attraction on an empty stomach – food and drink are prohibited inside.
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium in Downtown Gatlinburg, TN (photo courtesy of Ripley's)
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium in Downtown Gatlinburg, TN (photo courtesy of Ripley’s)

6. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! features hundreds of unusual artifacts and hands-on, interactive exhibits. Guests can venture through themed galleries featuring curiosities, art, animal oddities, pop-culture memorabilia, interactive games and stories of people and places that are incredibly hard to believe but “undeniably” true.

  • Adult ticket prices: $27.99 (may vary by season, subject to change)
  • Address: 800 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Phone: (865) 436-5096
  • Website: ripleys.com
  • Insider tip: Save a little money by purchasing a combo pass

Read More: Ripley’s in the Smokies – A breakdown of each attraction (with coupons!)

Hollywood Wax Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN
Hollywood Wax Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

7. Hollywood Wax Museum

The Hollywood Wax Museum gives guests a chance to mingle with the stars – at least realistic wax versions, which is the next best thing! Props and accessories are provided during the tour to enhance photo-ops with these life-sized wax creations.

  • Adult ticket prices: $29.99 (may vary by season, subject to change)
  • Address: 106 Showplace Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
  • Phone: (865) 428-5228
  • Website: hollywoodwaxmuseum.com
  • Insider tip: Upgrade to an all access pass for just $39.99 and receive admission to Hollywood Wax Museums other attractions: Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors, Castle of Chaos and Outbreak. 

Read Also: REVIEW: Pigeon Forge’s Hollywood Wax Museum satisfies selfie culture needs

Ripley's Mirror Maze in Gatlinburg, TN (photo courtesy of Ripley's)
Ripley’s Mirror Maze in Gatlinburg, TN (photo courtesy of Ripley’s)

8. Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze

Spend a lot of time looking at yourself as you attempt to find your way out of a labyrinth of mirrors and LED lights at Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze in Downtown Gatlinburg, 

  • Adult ticket prices: $9.99 (may vary by season, subject to change)
  • Address: 623 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Phone: (865) 436-5096
  • Website: ripleys.com/gatlinburg/mirror-maze
  • Insider tip: Save a little money by purchasing a combo pass
Ripley's Haunted Adventure is located in downtown Gatlinburg (photo courtesy of Ripley's)
Ripley’s Haunted Adventure is located in Gatlinburg (photo courtesy of Ripley’s)

9. Ripley’s Haunted Adventure 

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure takes your typical haunted house to the next level. This attraction features live actors, kitschy oddities, shrunken human heads and rare animal skeletons.

Mysterious Mansion in Downtown Gatlinburg, TN (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
Mysterious Mansion in Downtown Gatlinburg, TN (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

10. Mysterious Mansion 

Victorian-style haunted house featuring year-round self-guided tours and spooky surprises.

  • Adult ticket prices: $14.58 (may vary by season, subject to change)
  • Address: 424 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • Phone: (865) 436-7007
  • Website: gatlinburgsmysteriousmansion.com
  • Insider tip: This attraction is temporarily closed for repairs and will reopen soon. This attraction is not recommended for young children.

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.

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