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Exploring the Beauty of Pigeon Forge: A Guide to the Best Attractions

Exploring the Beauty of Pigeon Forge: A Guide to the Best Attractions

Pigeon Forge, a charming city nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, is an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Boasting an array of attractions, from breathtaking national parks to world-class theme parks, Pigeon Forge offers something for everyone. In this guide, we explore the best attractions in Pigeon Forge and give you a firsthand look at what makes this city so special. We have loved our visits to Pigeon Forge and feel like it’s one of the very best vacation destinations for families. Be sure to visit for help planning your next trip!

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located just minutes away from Pigeon Forge, is a must-see attraction for any nature lover. With over 800 miles of hiking trails, this national park offers stunning vistas of lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant wildflowers.

Scenic Drives and Overlooks

If you prefer a leisurely tour of the park, take a scenic drive through the Cades Cove loop, a historic valley boasting stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Along the way, keep an eye out for the park’s diverse wildlife, including white-tailed deer, black bears, and coyotes. The Foothills Parkway, a 33-mile stretch of road that runs along the park’s northern edge, offers breathtaking views of the Smokies and is a popular spot for sunset watching.

If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to take in the park’s stunning vistas, head to one of the many overlooks scattered throughout the park. Newfound Gap, located on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, offers panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains and is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch.

Hiking Trails and Waterfalls

For adventure seekers, the park offers an array of challenging hikes to its panoramic vistas, rushing waterfalls, and tranquil forests. The Alum Cave Trail, a 5.5-mile round trip hike, offers stunning views of the park’s highest peaks and is a popular spot for wildflower viewing in the spring. The Rainbow Falls Trail, a 5.4-mile round trip hike, leads to a stunning 80-foot waterfall that’s especially impressive after a heavy rain.

For those looking for an easier hike, don’t miss Laurel Falls, a 80-foot waterfall accessible via an easy 2.6-mile hike that’s perfect for families. Along the way, keep an eye out for the park’s diverse wildlife, including red squirrels, chipmunks, and salamanders.

Wildlife Watching Opportunities

The park is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, including black bears, white-tailed deer, and elk. Keep your eyes peeled along the hiking trails or head to Cades Cove for the best chance to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. The park’s many streams and rivers are also home to a variety of fish, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely scenic drive or a challenging hike to a panoramic vista, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers something for everyone. With its stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife, it’s no wonder this park is one of the most visited in the country.

Dollywood: A World-Class Theme Park

No trip to Pigeon Forge is complete without a visit to Dollywood, a world-class theme park that combines thrilling rides and attractions with entertainment and education. Dollywood is located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and it is owned by legendary country singer Dolly Parton.

Thrilling Rides and Attractions

With over 40 rides and attractions, Dollywood offers something for thrill-seekers of all ages, from the lightning-fast Wild Eagle roller coaster to the gravity-defying Mystery Mine coaster. The Wild Eagle is the first wing coaster in the United States, and it offers a unique and thrilling experience as riders soar through the air with nothing above or below them. The Mystery Mine coaster takes riders on a journey through an abandoned coal mine, with unexpected twists and turns that will leave you breathless. For younger visitors, there are plenty of kiddie rides and a splash pad to cool off on hot summer days.

Live Entertainment and Shows

Besides the rides, Dollywood offers a plethora of live entertainment and shows that celebrate the rich culture and heritage of the Appalachian Mountains. Take in a concert at the Celebrity Theater, where you can see performances by some of the biggest names in country music, or enjoy a toe-tapping performance of traditional bluegrass music at the Valley Theater. The park also features a daily parade, where visitors can see their favorite characters and performers up close.

Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Park

For a refreshing break from the rides, head to Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Park, where you can cool off on a lazy river or ride the waves in the 25,000-square-foot wave pool. The park also features thrilling water slides, including the Fire Tower Falls, which is the tallest and fastest water slide in Tennessee. And when hunger strikes, Dollywood offers an array of delicious dining options, ranging from Southern comfort food to vegetarian delights. The park also features several shops where visitors can purchase souvenirs and gifts.

Overall, Dollywood is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Pigeon Forge. With its thrilling rides, live entertainment, and refreshing water park, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can also learn about the history and culture of the Appalachian Mountains, making it both an entertaining and educational experience. So, pack your bags and head to Dollywood for a day of fun and adventure!

The Island in Pigeon Forge

The Island in Pigeon Forge is a one-stop destination for shopping, dining, and family-friendly attractions. Located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, The Island is a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike.

Shopping and Dining Options

With over 60 retail stores, The Island offers a wide variety of shopping options for visitors. From unique specialty shops to popular national brands, there is something for everyone. Be sure to check out The Island Trading Post, a rustic shop selling handmade crafts and souvenirs.

When it comes to dining, The Island has something to suit any palate or budget. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack or a sit-down meal, you’ll find it here. Don’t miss Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, a Southern-style buffet that serves up all-you-can-eat comfort food. Or, if you’re in the mood for something sweet, head over to Island Yogurt for a delicious frozen treat.

Family-Friendly Attractions

The Island is the perfect destination for families with kids. There are plenty of attractions to keep kids entertained, such as the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, a 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the Island Ropes Course, a challenging course that will test your balance and agility.

For a more laid-back experience, head over to the Island Show Fountain, a water fountain show set to music. The show features over 89 nozzles shooting water up to 60 feet in the air, creating a mesmerizing display of water and light.

And if you’re in the mood for a little friendly competition, check out Arcade City, an arcade featuring classic games like skee-ball and air hockey, as well as modern favorites like Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find something that everyone in the family will enjoy.

So whether you’re looking to shop, dine, or play, The Island in Pigeon Forge has it all. Plan your visit today and see for yourself why it’s one of the top destinations in the Smoky Mountains.

Outdoor Adventures and Activities

Pigeon Forge isn’t just about theme parks and shopping – there are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had as well. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just looking to relax and take in the beauty of the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge has something for everyone.

Ziplining and Ropes Courses

Get your adrenaline pumping with a ziplining adventure over the lush forests of Pigeon Forge or tackle a ropes course with swinging bridges and rope ladders. Many outdoor adventure companies offer packages that combine a zipline tour with other activities such as horseback riding, ATV tours, or white-water rafting.

As you soar through the trees on a zipline, you’ll feel the rush of wind in your hair and the thrill of adventure in your heart. The views from the treetops are breathtaking, and you might even spot some wildlife along the way. If you’re looking for a challenge, try your hand at a ropes course. You’ll need to use your strength and balance to navigate the obstacles and reach the finish line.

Whitewater Rafting and Tubing

The nearby Pigeon River offers opportunities for white-water rafting and tubing. There are packages available for beginners and experienced paddlers alike, and many tours offer the chance to spot wildlife such as river otters and bald eagles.

As you navigate the rapids of the Pigeon River, you’ll feel the rush of the water and the thrill of adventure. The scenery is stunning, with towering cliffs and lush forests lining the riverbanks. If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, try tubing down the river. You’ll float along at a leisurely pace, taking in the sights and sounds of the Smoky Mountains.

Horseback Riding and ATV Tours

For a more leisurely adventure, take a horseback riding tour through the lush forests of the Smoky Mountains or explore the mountains on an ATV tour. Either way, you’ll get a chance to soak in the natural beauty of the area.

On a horseback riding tour, you’ll feel the rhythm of the horse beneath you as you wind your way through the forest. The guides are knowledgeable and friendly, and they’ll point out interesting plants and wildlife along the way. If you’re looking for a more rugged adventure, try an ATV tour. You’ll navigate rocky terrain and steep hills, feeling the power of the ATV beneath you as you explore the mountains.

No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, Pigeon Forge has something to offer. So get outside, explore the Smoky Mountains, and make some unforgettable memories!


With its stunning natural beauty, array of family-friendly attractions, and world-class theme parks, Pigeon Forge is a destination that’s sure to please. Whether you enjoy hiking through national parks, experiencing thrilling rides, or shopping and dining, there’s something for everyone in this charming city. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Pigeon Forge today!