Adventure Travel

Mountain-bound: 9 Things To Do in Pigeon Forge for the Great Smoky Mountains Experience

Smile, shop and sip your way through eastern Tennessee

The Vacationeer
The Great Smoky Mountains with the glowing rising sun in the distance, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Beautiful aerial shot of quaint mountain nestled in verdant foot hills, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.    

Set amongst the rural rolling foothills and river valleys of the Great Smoky Mountains in Eastern Tennessee, you'll find Pigeon Forge. This idyllic mountain town offers panoramic views of hazy, ridged mountains, friendly folks serving comforting Southern cuisine, proximity to other charming towns such as Gatlinburg and a full roster of things to do.          

Choose from Tennessee mountain-style adventures with Great Smoky Mountains National Park as your backdrop — or make your way to The Pigeon Forge Parkway for a little Southern glitz and year-round fun. 

Here are nine things to do for a Pigeon Forge vacation that your whole crew will love. 

Relive the Maiden Voyage of the Titanic 

The Titanic Museum is a two-story museum built half-scale to the original ship, offering visitors a unique and interactive experience to discover what life was like as a passenger on the famous vessel. Through a two-hour self-guided tour, guests visit the museum's 20 galleries to explore 400 pre-discovery artifacts. 

Experience the Smoky Mountain Monarch Butterfly Migration

Close up shot of a Monarch butterfly sitting atop a wild mountain flower with a hazy mountain range in the distance, Tennessee.    

Each summer, Monarch butterflies leave the Smoky Mountains and migrate south to spend their winter hibernating in parts of Southern California and Mexico. And you can be part of the action.

Sign up to participate in the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont monarch butterfly tagging program. This experience is a group effort to monitor the monarch population's health and track the butterflies' progress along their migration route. Then, each year in late summer and early fall, volunteers flock to Cades Cove to find the butterfly you tagged thousands of miles away. 

Pay Tribute to the King of Rock 'n' Roll 

Add a little rock ‘n’ roll to your trip with a visit to the Elvis Presley Museum, home to numerous exhibits and hundreds of artifacts from the "King of Rock ‘n’ Roll." For the full experience, consider taking the audio tour hosted by Ed Hill and Donnie Sumner, both friends and colleagues of Elvis Presley. The hosts' comments and memories bring the artifacts to life for a memorable experience. 

Couple smiling while sitting on a roller coaster.    

Thrills for the Whole Family at Dollywood 

Dollywood, an Appalachian-themed amusement park and the brainchild of beloved Tennessee local Dolly Parton, is one of the most popular Pigeon Forge family activities. Visitors enjoy heart-pumping rides, a mountain-themed water park, a museum showcasing Parton's costumes and memorabilia, and, of course, plenty of musical events.

Sip Tennessee's Best Wines

Nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, Mountain Valley Winery specializes in producing French and German-style wines and sweet fruit regional wines such as muscadine. The winery offers guided tours each day, and tastings are free. 

Continue Sipping at Old Forge Distillery

The Old Forge Distillery, located in a historic barn near The Old Mill, is a unique small-batch distillery. The head distiller creates moonshines inspired by recipes from The Old Mill Kitchens. Sample a variety of spirits, including bourbon, rum, and vodka, to taste a Smoky Mountain happy hour. 

Explore the Historic Old Mill Square 

Historic Old Mill Square lit up at night, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.    

Head to Old Mill Avenue in Pigeon Forge to explore Old Mill Square and its collection of shops and restaurants. Be sure to check out the historic water-powered gristmill dating back to 1836. Then, comb through the General Store, pottery shop and jewelry store for the perfect souvenir. 

Kick Back with a Wild West Dinner Show 

Dolly Parton's Stampede is one of Pigeon Forge's mainstays and combines food and entertainment for a boot-stomping good time that'll have you wanting to sing along. The fun begins in the Carriage Room with bluegrass and country music by the band Mountain Ruckus. Afterward, head to the arena for dinner and a Wild West revue consisting of more than 30 horses and various animals. 

Read "8 Easy Smoky Mountain Hikes" more things to do in Pigeon Forge. 



The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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