Things to do in Pigeon Forge: 32 best attractions ranked [2022]

The Island in Pigeon Forge TN

With several attractions, shops and restaurants to explore, all with free parking, The Island in Pigeon Forge is one of the best places to visit (photo by Ritu Manoj Jethani/shutterstock.com)

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Planning a vacation can be overwhelming.  

Especially when it involves the hottest family-friendly destination in the Smokies.

Are you thinking about staying in a nearby cozy cabin or will the hotel be a bit more convenient? Are you going to be one of those unfortunate visitors who accidentally plans a trip the same week as Rod Run? Have you made dining reservations for the more popular nights? Which attractions should you prioritize?

Finding the right balance of time and money and entertainment involves alchemy with a lot of pressure riding on the results.

Besides, most of us only plan one “big” vacation a year. And then, if we’re lucky, a smaller one. 

If you mess up your vacation planning, it can be a long year before you get a chance to relax and enjoy the days you spend the other 50 or so weeks working so hard to earn. 

So when you come to a place like Sevier County with so many entertainment options, how do you plan? The best way, for us, is to sectionalize and compartmentalize.

In Sevier County, that’s fairly easy. You can sectionalize geographically.

What are the things we want to do in Pigeon Forge? In Gatlinburg? Or in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Certainly, the surrounding area?

By breaking things down, tourist attractions become a little less overwhelming. Sevier County? Oh, that’s too much! Gatlinburg? OK. I’m properly whelmed. 

Still, even when you compartmentalize, it’s a lot. That’s why we’re here to help with the absolute, definitive, unimpeachable insiders’ list of the absolute BEST things to do in Pigeon Forge. At least, in our opinion.

A quick disclaimer about our rankings

This is the list of the things we like and the things we think you’ll like. But the world is a wide and wild place. Different folks will have different strokes and that’s totally cool.    

First, we lay a few ground rules: 

We’re not including eating establishments in this list. This is for things to do. Things to eat? That’s another list.

Read Also: Best restaurants in Pigeon Forge, 21 places to eat, ranked [2022]

Finally, the city limits of Pigeon Forge are of a shape not made in nature. It is an amorphous blob covered in janky angles. From a certain point of view, it looks like the head and spine of Barney’s sidekick Baby Bop – but maybe that’s just me.

The point is, things may be included in this list while something cooler right next to it may not. This is a Pigeon Forge list. We’re going to try and stick to the rules. 

This is why we’ve left out popular Gatlinburg-based attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium, Anakeesta and Cades Cove. And why we’ve left off popular Sevierville attractions like Forbidden Caverns.

Other than that? There are no rules. This is based on intuition and belief, if you’ve come here looking for logic and reason, you may well have chosen poorly. 

So with no further ado, here we go. Here are some of the most fun things to do around Pigeon Forge, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

32. Cheesy attractions

Listen, the Pigeon Forge area used to be full of things I could credibly make fun of. It’s a great place to enjoy cheesy.

There are a handful of decidedly low-rent attractions that are beloved by some but also easy targets for me.

Maybe I’ve gotten more forgiving as I’ve aged.

But I think the overall professionalism and quality of the attractions in Pigeon Forge have really grown. Anyway, I wanted to put something here to make fun of, but I couldn’t do it in good conscience. 

There’s not much left in Pigeon Forge for me to make fun of … except maybe Paula Deen, with all respect. And what is left, I’m afraid I’d hurt their feelings.   

Read Also: Not easy bein’ cheesy: Top 5 quirky attractions in the Smoky Mountains

A dinosaur inside the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride
The Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride is a ten-minute Pirates of the Caribbean with dinosaurs (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

31. Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride

It’s Pirates of the Caribbean with dinosaurs.

This should probably be No. 50, but it’s practically an icon along the Parkway, so we’ll include it on the list.

Read Also: Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride Pigeon Forge: Tourist trap or beloved icon?

Magiquest
MagiQuest is four attractions in one (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

30. MagiQuest

I do not feel like MagiQuest is a top 25 attraction, but I wanted to give it a shout-out.

Listen, I’m a nerd, a geek and a dad. Give me a place where I can crack a few Lord of the Rings jokes, make a couple of Harry Potter references, I’m a happy guy.

MagiQuest is four attractions in one, but don’t go here just for the arcade, mini golf or the mirror maze. For the life of me, I’ve never understood the appeal of mirror mazes. In fact, those things are ancillary to the main attraction.

MagiQuest is an enchanted realm where players use a magic wand to complete quests and adventures and I get to yell “You Shall Not Pass” at decibels that are probably imprudent for my vocal cords.

professor hackers lost treasure golf
Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Mini Golf used to be the site of the Magic World theme park. Some of the old props have even been integrated into the course (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

29. Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf

Mini golf is one of the core staples of the Pigeon Forge economy. As a result, the competition for your mini golf dollar is high. I’m not enough of a fan to rate green speed and hole location difficulty.

Specifically, I like that this course is high up on a hill overlooking the rest of the strip. You can take in some sights while waiting for the group in front of you to challenge a volcano or whatever obstacle it is.

Also, a distant relative once got busted for breaking into the Coke machines there at night. It was his thing for a while. When I go back, I feel like it’s a bit of make-up.

Read Also: Best mini golf in Pigeon Forge: A ranking with prices, coupons

Dolly Parton at the Wax Museum
The Hollywood Wax Museum is a fun and different way to spend an afternoon, with plenty of fun photo ops (photo by Dr. Candi Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

28. The Hollywood Wax Museum

Fun fact, Pigeon Forge almost got a much cooler Hollywood attraction.

The wonderful Debbie Reynolds – famous for Singin’ in the Rain and the dissolution of her marriage when her husband Eddie Fisher left for Elizabeth Taylor – had a massive Hollywood memorabilia collection. Her son Todd – brother of Carrie Fisher – had a deal to build a museum in Pigeon Forge to house the collection and do a whole lot more Hollywood-related stuff.

However, the deal fell through when the economy collapsed and they sold a lot of the collection. Debbie and Carrie passed away within a day of each other. It’s incredibly sad and what I think of when I go to the Hollywood Wax Museum, which is fun and good. Some of the wax figures are great, others look a little like rejects from better wax museums.

Overall, it’s a fun and different way to spend an afternoon. Check Tripster for discounts when you book.

Read Also: Is the Hollywood Wax Museum worth it: An honest review

Axe-throwing is big business in Pigeon Forge (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

27. The Axe House Tavern Pigeon Forge

Ah. We’re only a few rankings in and already I’m violating my rule.

Technically, I’m not sure the tavern should make the list because of their ethos of “Eat. Play. Throw.” leads with the food.

But the “newest” adventures in Pigeon Forge are hatchet tossing and escape rooms. It’s fun. It’s different. If you’re looking for something to do this vacation you haven’t done, try chucking hatchets. 

Read Also: The new Pigeon Forge Axe House will make you feel like a real lumberjack

Indoor Skydiving in Pigeon Forge
If you’re considering going skydiving, try Flyaway Indoor Skydiving first (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

26. Flyaway Indoor Skydiving

I’ve never jumped from a plane and at this point, if I ever do, something has gone incredibly wrong in my day.

I have, however, done indoor skydiving. It’s a blast.

In fact, if you’re athletic and adventurous, it might even be a good way to decide if you’d like to do the real thing. 

The Great Escape Room
The Great Escape Room is located next to McAlister’s Deli in Pigeon Forge (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

25. The Great Escape Room

Escape rooms are the new “it” thing. I get it. You don’t need a lot of space compared to mini-golf or a race track. Adults can play without feeling silly. They’re challenging mentally, but safe.

Escape rooms are popping up like mushrooms all over the place. Certainly, you couldn’t get away from them if you tried.

Lazerport fun center
There are a variety of things to do at the LazerPort Fun Center in Pigeon Forge (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

24. LazerPort Fun Center

If you’re looking for several activities at once, this might be a better option.

The mini golf or go-karts aren’t the best of either category. But the arcade is great and they have two large laser tag arenas, perfect for working out any family aggression that built up on the drive to the mountains.

They also have axe throwing – which for the record is not a perfect place to work out aggression. Gotta be zen when you’re throwin’ that axe. 

Shops at The Island in Pigeon Forge
The Island in Pigeon Forge offers a variety of attractions and shopping (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

23. The Island

Pigeon Forge, at one time, was the shopping mecca of the area.

But Sevierville got Tanger and other developments close to the interstate. So the best shopping isn’t necessarily in Pigeon Forge – or at least the best-centralized shopping. While you’re there, enjoy the Island fountain show.

While at the Island, you can try an escape game, visit a gift shop or grab some ice cream. You might even catch live music at one of the breweries if you’re lucky.

However, the last thing you want to do while shopping in Pigeon Forge is to drive all over the place. In fact, you need somewhere with several interesting shops where you can stop and stay awhile. That place is The Island.

Read Also: The Island in Pigeon Forge restaurants: Best places to eat, ranked

Alcatraz East Museum
Alcatraz East is a beloved attraction amongst true crime junkies (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

22. Alcatraz East Crime Museum

While you’re at The Island, consider hopping over to Alcatraz.

I’ve written before there’s something about the crime museum that appeals to our lower instincts but, I suppose, harmlessly so.

Why we have any interest in seeing items owned by the infamous Ted Bundy is a question I’m not sure I want an answer to, but we do.

Since it’s inside, it’s great for a rainy day. There is a lot of reading involved, so little kids could tire out quickly here.

Honestly, I don’t know why there’s an Alcatraz Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge but I do know it’s a diverting way to spend an hour or two. Check Tripster for discounts when you book.

The Lumberjack Feud attraction
Shop, dine and catch a show at Lumberjack Square (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

21. The Shops at Lumberjack Square

Again, with the shopping. Some variety. Some unique shops.

I like this one better because it’s surrounded by better entertainment and some of the best restaurants in town. So it may be cheating. 

The Christmas Place shops in Pigeon Forge
It’s Christmas year-round at The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

20. The Christmas Place

The Christmas Place is one of the premier Christmas shopping experiences in the nation. But it’s not for everyone. In particular, it can be a little disorienting in the middle of August.

But if you love Christmas and try to keep the Christmas spirit year-round, this is the place to do it. 

a woman shops at cvs
There are also plenty of pharmacies in the area. Ya know, just in case (photo bu QualityHD/shutterstock.com)

19. CVS

This is a long list. You’re gonna need some aspirin. 

Snow tubing
Rowdy Bear offers snow tubing in the colder months (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

18. Rowdy Bear Amusement Park

Located next to the Local Goat, the Rowdy Bear Amusement Park offers a couple of coasters – including the laser gun coaster and the power coaster. It’s great for kids and big kids alike.

Rowdy Bear’s snow tubing is billed as the largest outdoor snow tube course in East Tennessee. Non-snow tubing is also available in the warmer months. Rowdy Bear will sometimes offer discounts on Groupon.

xtreme racing center
Xtreme Racing claims to have some of the fastest go-karts in the Smokies (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

17. Xtreme Racing Center of Pigeon Forge

If you come to Pigeon Forge, you’ve got to do a little go-kart racing. Xtreme Go Karts claim to have the fastest karts in town. Turn your inner Ricky Bobby loose and let’s go ride. 

Read Also: Who has the best, fastest go-karts in Pigeon Forge? [2022]

The Hatfield and McCoy dinner feud
The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud is located along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge (photo by ehrlif/shutterstock.com)

16. Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show

There’s a stratosphere to the Pigeon Forge dinner shows with Pirates, Hatfield & McCoys and Dolly Parton’s Stampede as the top three. 

As one of the many dinner theaters shows in town, the Hatfield and McCoy dinner feud is one that has something for everyone in the family. Check Tripster for discounts.

Read Also: Is Hatfield and McCoy worth it? A review of the Pigeon Forge dinner show

A zorbing hill at Outdoor Gravity Park
If you’ve ever wanted to climb into a large inflatable ball and roll downhill this is your chance (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

15. Outdoor Gravity Park

If you’re looking for something new and different, this is it.

There aren’t many zorbing parks in the United States. When else will you be able to get in a giant ball and roll downhill? Plus, you can try it in any season.

You can sometimes find a deal on Groupon.

Parkway Playhouse
The Parkway Playhouse is located in the old Memories Theater building (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

14. Parkway Playhouse

Part of going on vacation is seeing something you ain’t never seen before.

Welcome to the magical show at Parkway Playhouse and Freckled Zelda’s Mythical Magical World, a two-hour extravaganza featuring astounding illusions – some of which you might get to be a part of.

The musical Freckled Zelda, a TikTok star, is a mystical ocarina-playing elf being pursued by Black Obsidian, played by Blake Walker – billed as direct from “The Little Mermaid”. I just don’t know specifically which version of Little Mermaid they mean.

Anyway, it’s all insane and yet quite entertaining. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, this is the place. Also, they have escape rooms because you’re legally obligated to have an escape room or axe throwing competition at this point. I think. 

country tonite theater
Country Tonite Theatre was voted “Best Show in the Smokies” by Reader’s Choice (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

13. Country Tonite Theatre

Country music lovers might enjoy the CountryTonite Theatre. Its shows feature live music, family-friendly comedy and dancing. And it’s repeatedly voted “Best Show in the Smokies” by Reader’s Choice.

So if you’re the kind of person who enjoys variety shows, country music and Reader’s Choice recommendations – add this one to the list.

Girl with parrot on shoulders
You can also pose for a photo-op with a bird perched on your hand, shoulders or head (lunamarina/stock.adobe.com)

12. Parrot Mountain

Do you love a good petting zoo? Do you love tropical birds? This is your place.

Walk through the beautifully landscaped grounds, have your picture made with a parrot and feed baby birds.

Read Also: Is Parrot Mountain worth the money? Our honest review

The Wonderworks museum in Pigeon Forge
WonderWorks is often referred to as the upside-down house (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

11. WonderWorks

This upside-down children’s museum is great and somewhat of an educational outing with interactive exhibits.

It’s also perfect if you get some bad weather and want something inside to do.

The last time we were there, a few of the attractions were a little worn from use and time. Still, the kids had a great time. Check Tripster for discounts.

Read Also: WonderWorks vs. Beyond the Lens: Which attraction is better?

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

10. Goats on the Roof

Shopping and a classic mountain coaster. And … goats on the roof. What more could you want?

I would recommend going to the main location on Wears Valley Road. To be sure, they must do a heck of a shopping business to warrant another location a mile or two down the road on the main strip. But if you’re going to go see the goats, might as well go all out. 

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)

9. Dolly’s Stampede

In addition to being the original dinner show in Pigeon Forge, Dolly’s Stampede remains the classic. And it is the gold standard in the genre for many. With animals, food and friendly competitions, it’s a show for the whole family.

Check Tripster for discounts for this attraction.

Read Also: Is Dolly Parton’s Stampede worth the money? What do they serve?

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

8. The Titanic Museum

Why is there a giant Titanic replica museum in the middle of Pigeon Forge? I remain flummoxed.

But it’s one of the best attractions in town.

Is the Titanic Museum interesting? Does it offer diverting exhibits? I can’t lie. It does. Go for the “why wouldn’t Rose let Jack on the door” jokes. Stay because the exhibits will pull you in. 

Check Tripster for discounts before you go on this one too. You can usually save a couple of bucks per ticket.

Read Also: Is the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge TN worth it?

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

7. Pirates Voyage Dinner Show

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. Quick’s the word, sharp’s the action, JP! Avast! Book your tickets on Tripster for discounts.

Read Also: Is Pirates Voyage in Pigeon Forge worth it? Review, prices and photos

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel offers great views of Pigeon Forge (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

6. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

It’s a giant ferris wheel in the middle of a tourist town in the mountains.

You get a slow ride and a great view. Worth it. 

Read Also: How much is the Ferris Wheel in Pigeon Forge? Is it worth it?

Mountain Valley Winery
Take a break from all the kid-friendly Pigeon Forge attractions and visit the Mountain Valley Winery (photo by Bill Burris/TheSmokies.com)

5. Mountain Valley Winery

Here, get free tastings. I can’t be the only one who needs a drink.

We’re 2,000 words in at this point. 

4. Gatlinburg Golf Course

Not all the golf in Pigeon Forge is mini.

The Gatlinburg Golf Course is 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.

I once caught a flier and launched a 9-iron over the green, over the sand trap, out of bounds and into traffic. The ball bounced in the intersection, over a van whose driver seemed more than a little surprised and harmlessly into a parking lot across the street. 

Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud features an ax-wielding competition between lumberjacks (media photo provided by Lumberjack Feud)

3. Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud

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.

They need to introduce betting. The competition seems genuine and it’s fun to watch. Truth is, I’d rather watch the feud than any of the dinner shows in town and then go eat at Calhoun’s next door. 

Check Tripster for discounts before you go.

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

2. The Comedy Barn

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.

Dollywood at Wildwood Grove
Dollywood guests dance during the Sweet Summer Nights celebration at Dollywood (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

1. Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country

Could there be any doubt?

Dolly Parton reigns supreme. You want to experience everything Pigeon Forge has to offer? Most of it can be found at Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park.

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. Maybe even the United States.

Read Also: Dollywood rides ranked: 10 best coasters and rides in the park

What are your top things to do in Pigeon Forge? Let us know in the comments.

View the web story version of this article here.

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 info@thesmokies.com for questions or comments.

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3 thoughts on “Things to do in Pigeon Forge: 32 best attractions ranked [2022]”

  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.

  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.

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