Pigeon Forge, although a small mountain town, is full of life. The majestic views of the Great Smoky Mountains, the warm and welcoming locals, and the chin-dripping good Southern food - what's not to love? It's no wonder Americans flock to this cozy slice of heaven in droves.
However, first-timers might feel lost and overwhelmed by the abundance of things to do here. What should one do first in Pigeon Forge? Where should you go? What should you eat?
8 Best Places You Should Visit in Pigeon Forge
Luckily, we know Pigeon Forge's best spots, inside and out. We can guide you to places that'll make your trip one to remember. Ready to spend your Pigeon Forge trip creating unforgettable memories? Stick with us!
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Pigeon Forge without Great Smoky Mountains National Park is like Nashville without Music Row - unimaginable! The park is the jewel in Pigeon Forge's crown and a must for anyone visiting the town. We recommend heading out to the park in the morning when it's less crowded.
You can spend days exploring here, hiking the mountain trails, picnicking by streams, and spotting wildlife. For an adventurous holiday, hike to one of the park's numerous waterfalls and take in the magnificent views of rolling mountains. White water rafting, fishing, and horseback riding are other popular outdoor activities in the park.
2. Dinner Show
Have you ever imagined watching pirates face off in battle while you dine on a delicious four-course feast of fried chicken and more? That’s the level of epic pirate fun you’ll be able to find in Pigeon Forge. Located in the heart of town (as well as in Myrtle Beach), the Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show should definitely be on a to-do list for anyone visiting.
Watch as pirates scale their full-sized pirate ships and show off their acrobatic talents as they battle for the coveted treasure while you get treated to a four-course meal. If you have little ones in tow, you’ll be delighted to find that the show has a kid-friendly environment. The show also features beautiful mermaids, tropical birds, sea lions, and daring dogs!
3. Dollywood Theme Park
Rides, rides, and more rides. Dollywood is a great place for families with kids, adventurous couples, and thrill-seeking friends looking to have some fun.
The theme park has all levels of rides. If you prefer the tamer ones, the Dollywood Express and Dizzy Disk are good choices. But for those looking for a thrill, Wild Eagle and Tennessee Tornado definitely won’t disappoint.
Dollywood, America's #1 theme park, also has restaurants where you can grab a bite when you're done screaming your lungs out and braving the rides. Make sure you try the world-famous cinnamon bread from The Grist Mill!
4. Factory Outlet Mall
Ladies, this one's for you! Shopping in Pigeon Forge is fun and affordable. Hurrah! You can score some great deals if you know where to shop.
Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall is your best bet. It has plenty of quirky stores and some that tout the latest fashion trends at incredibly low prices. Get yourself a new pair of shoes or grab a handbag at affordable prices. It's also a great place to pick up a souvenir for someone back home. Thanks to its convenient location right off the Parkway, you can easily squeeze in some shopping time even if your trip is short.
5. The Island
The hub of shopping, food, and endless fun, The Island is one of the main attractions of Pigeon Forge. You can treat your taste buds to some delicious food, from Southern favorites like fried chicken to seafood dishes like crab cakes and fish tacos. It’s your choice.
The Island also has plenty of stores selling souvenirs and other knick-knacks. The best part about The Island is The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. On a clear day, the views from the top of the wheel will take your breath away. There’s also an arcade if you and your companions are looking for some friendly competition.
6. Titanic Museum
Looking for a one-of-a-kind experience? The Titanic Museum is your spot. This two-story building is an A-list replica of the original ship. From the grand staircase to the first-class cabins, you'll be able to get a feel for what the ship was really like.
The museum also features artifacts and historic photographs. Plus, there are more than 20 interactive exhibits to walk you through the tragic story of the ship.
The museum also has an ice wall that enables visitors to feel what it was like inside the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean when the Titanic sank. Sounds interesting? We recommend that you book your tickets online to avoid any last-minute hassle.
7. Parrot Mountain and Gardens
Nature is truly at its best in Pigeon Forge, and the Parrot Mountain and Gardens are proof. This lush botanical garden is 5 miles east of Pigeon Forge. It mimics the landscape of a tropical rainforest and is home to more than 500 parrots and other colorful, exotic birds.
You'll also spot some beautiful native wildflowers, including rhododendrons, azaleas, and mountain laurels. If you want to experience this place beyond its surface, book a private tour. Your guide will show you around the gardens and tell you about the interesting parrot species. You'll even be able to get up close with a Toucan if you're lucky.
8. Old Mill Square
This is where the old-town charm of Pigeon Forge really comes to life. The Old Mill Square is one of the oldest operating grist mills in Tennessee. The square is home to a range of attractions, including mini shopping outlets, rustic restaurants, and a distillery.
The highlight, however, is the old-fashioned restaurant inside the mill itself. It serves up some of the best comfort food in town. When here, make sure you pick some freshly ground flour or grits. Trust us; it doesn't get any fresher than this.
Make the Most of Your Pigeon Forge Trip
Pigeon Forge is for everyone. Whether you're a family with kids or a group of elderly folks, you'll find something here to keep you entertained. Luckily, all seasons are pleasant in this cozy mountain town. But if you're keen on avoiding large crowds of tourists, March-April and September-October are your best options.
Remember, no matter where you go around Pigeon Forge, keep the camera clicking. Memories last forever, after all!