10 Best Things To Do in Pigeon Forge According to a Local

ole smoky and the ferris wheel at the island in pigeon forge at dusk

The Island in Pigeon Forge has several shops, restaurants and attractions with free parking (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

These are the best things to do in Pigeon Forge, according to a local

As someone who has lived in and around the Smoky Mountains and Pigeon Forge for the better part of 35 years, you can say I’ve “seen and done” it all. And that’s quite the feat because there are hundreds of restaurants and attractions packed into the otherwise small tourist town of Pigeon Forge (population roughly 6,000). And in this article, I am going to break down some of my all-time favorites. After all, vacation time and vacation dollars are a finite resource. And I want to make sure you’re making the best of both.

Some of my favorite things to do in Pigeon Forge include the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, Goats on the Roof, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Old Mill Square, The Titanic Museum, Pirates Voyage, the ironically named Gatlinburg Golf Course, Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud, The Comedy Barn and Dollywood.

Best Things To Do in Pigeon Forge

RankAttractionBest for …
1DollywoodLovers of theme parks.
2Old Mill SquarePeople who enjoy southern-themed shops and restaurants.
3The Comedy BarnConnoisseurs of cheesy slap-stick comedy.
4The Titanic MuseumHistory buffs and Titaniacs. This is also a great rainy-day activity.
5Great Smoky Mountain WheelPeople looking for a unique, romantic view of the city.
6Goats on the RoofPeople who love mountain coasters, mini golf and ya know, goats.
7Dolly Parton’s StampedePeople who love an Americana-themed dinner show with southern food.
8Pirates VoyagePirates and lovers of pirate-inspired dad jokes. (This is the sister diner show to the Dolly Parton Stampede).
9Gatlinburg Golf CourseSerious golfers.
10Lumberjack FeudVisitors looking for an open-air theater and interactive show.
A sign at the entrance of Dollywood
Dollywood is still the #1 attraction in Pigeon Forge (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

1. Dollywood

Tip: check the calendar before you go

Of course, Dollywood is perhaps the best attraction in Pigeon Forge. Dolly Parton reigns supreme. With roller coasters for thrill seekers, cinnamon bread for foodies, and live entertainment for all, not only is it one of the top attractions in Pigeon Forge. It’s one of the best in the state. Tickets average $92 per person. Pro-tip: Bundle your Dollywood tickets with other area attractions to save a little extra dough.

the old mil
The Old Mill Square has shops, restaurants and a working grist mill (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

2. Old Mill Square

Tip: Arrive early for dining

The old mill was built in 1830 and still functions today. The area surrounding this original structure is known as the Old Mill District and offers restaurants and shops, and it’s free to explore. The Old Mill Restaurant often has lengthy wait times and does not take reservations, but it’s worth it. Limited free parking is available around the Old Mill District but spaces are limited.

Actors perform on stage at The Comedy barn
An actor performs on stage at The Comedy Barn (photo by Marie Graichen/TheSmokies.com)

3. The Comedy Barn

Tip: Eat before you go

The Comedy Barn isn’t for everyone. But for those who tend to enjoy shows that bill themselves as “side-splitting comedy”, The Comedy Barn tends to deliver just that. Fans of the slapstick comedy genre report that it’s one of the best shows in the Smokies. People who don’t, fervently disagree. Know thyself. Also, be warned, while snacks are available, this isn’t a “dinner show”. Runtime is about 90 minutes. Pricing varies by day.

The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge
The giant Titanic replica is hard to miss along the Parkway (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

4. The Titanic Museum

Tip: CHECK FOR DISCOUNTS ONLINE

This is one of the best museums in town. Is the Titanic Museum interesting? Does it offer diverting exhibits? I can’t lie. It does. Walk down the grand staircase, see real artifacts, and touch a real iceberg. Stay because the exhibits will pull you in. Allow at least a couple of hours for this attraction. General admission is $35 for adults and $15 for kids 5-12. Check for discounts on Tripster.

the smoky mountain wheel
The Smoky Mountain Wheel is located at The Island in Pigeon Forge (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

5. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

Tip: Print the $2 Coupon Below

Located in the center of The Island at Pigeon Forge, The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is a 200-foot tall, slow, and steady Ferris wheel with incredible views of Pigeon Forge. Discounts are available for the military, seniors, and locals. Pro-Tip: There’s also a printable $2 coupon on the official Wheel website. Ride time is 8-10 minutes. General admission is $16.99 for adults and $11.99 for kids (3-11).

goats on the roof
The second biggest attraction at Goats on the Roof (next to ya know, the roof goats) is the mountain coaster (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

6. Goats on the Roof

Tip: Feed the roof goats

Shopping, golf, and a classic mountain coaster. And … goats on the roof. What more could you want? It is important to note, there are two Goats on the Roof locations. But the Parkway location is simply a storefront. If you want to ride the Goat Coaster (or is it the G.O.A.T coater?) and see/feed real live roof goats, visit the Wears Valley Road location. There’s also golf, gem mining, and Jurassic Tymes Mini Golf (new for 2023) on-site. Coaster tickets are $12 per person. Mini golf tickets are also $12 per person (for 18 holes) or $20 per person for 18.

Dolly Parton's Stampede
Attending a show at Dolly Parton’s Stampede is practically a rite of passage for East Tennessee youth (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

7. Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Tip: arrive early

In addition to being the original dinner show in Pigeon Forge, Dolly’s Stampede remains the classic. It is the gold standard in the genre for many. The Christmas version of the show is an annual tradition in our household. With animals, food, and friendly competition, it’s a show for the whole family. Call ahead if you have special dietary needs. Tickets average about $59-$79 per person depending on the season. The show’s runtime is right at 1.5 hours.

Pirates Voyage
Pirates Voyage is basically a pirate-themed Dolly Parton’s Stampede (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

8. Pirates Voyage Dinner Show

Tip: Practice your pirate jokes

For my money, this is the best of the top-tier dinner shows in Pigeon Forge, but your mileage may vary. Generally, people of all ages will enjoy the show. It goes over the top for allowing me to talk like I’m in Master and Commander and tell my kids to look sharp and step lively. Tickets average about $59-$79 per person depending on the season. But always check for discounted tickets before you book. Call ahead if you have special dietary needs. The average show runs for 1.5 hours.

a golf cart and a mountain backdrop
Don’t be confused by the name. The Gatlinburg Golf Course is located in Pigeon Forge (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

9. Gatlinburg Golf Course

Tip: rental clubs are available

Not all the golf in Pigeon Forge is mini. The Gatlinburg Golf Course, located squarely in Pigeon Forge, is a well-maintained course with challenging tee box locations. Also, it is a great way to spend a few hours outside and enjoy your vacation with some physical activity and competition. But be warned. This course is in the heart of the city, just off Dollywood Lane and a few of the fairways are tight. Off-season prices (Dec 1- April 14) are $30 for 9 holes or $50 for 18. In-season prices are $40 for 9 holes after noon or $75 for 18 holes. Discounts are available for kids and seniors. Rental clubs are available for an extra charge.

lumberjack wielding axe at lumberjack show in pigeon forge
Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud features an ax-wielding competition between lumberjacks (media photo provided by Lumberjack Feud)

10. Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud

Tip: USE PROMO CODE TSC

If you’d prefer to just watch someone else do a little exercise and compete, The Lumberjack Feud is legitimately entertaining from a sporting point of view. It’s a great attraction. The competition seems genuine and it’s fun to watch. Prices for the supper show are $49.99 for adults and $24.99 for kids. Pro-Tip: Save $5 on Lumberjack Feud when you use the promo code TSC at online checkout or use this printable coupon on-site. Arrive 45 minutes prior to showtime.

Note: Prices mentioned are as of the time of this writing and may vary.

RELATED VIDEO: 30 Things To Do in Pigeon Forge

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Disclosure: We have used and experienced all the products and activities recommended on The Smokies. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products and experiences featured.

3 thoughts on “10 Best Things To Do in Pigeon Forge According to a Local”

  1. Wow! I’m shocked that you didn’t put SkyFly Soar America on this list. Especially since USA Today ranked it as the #1 attraction in the United States in 2021.

    Reply
  2. Sky Fly Soar is one of the best attractions ever. No long lines to wait in and very affordable for the whole family. Better than Soaring at Disney World.

    Reply

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