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12 Things to Do While Vacationing in Pigeon Forge

Situated in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, Pigeon Forge is a bustling mountain town that offers an array of attractions and activities for every kind of traveler. Known for its family-friendly atmosphere and stunning natural beauty, Pigeon Forge is a place where adventure and relaxation meet. Whether you’re drawn to thrilling amusement rides, serene mountain hikes, or the unique charm of Southern culture, this town has something special for everyone. 

From the famous Dollywood theme park to the scenic beauty of the nearby mountains, the town is brimming with ways to make your vacation memorable. Let’s explore some of the top things to do in Pigeon Forge that should be on every visitor’s itinerary.

1. Visit Dollywood

Dollywood isn’t just an ordinary theme park; it’s a blend of Smoky Mountain tradition and world-class entertainment. Here, you can experience everything from thrilling roller coasters and water rides to traditional crafts and live music shows reflecting the region’s heritage. The park’s friendly atmosphere and beautifully landscaped grounds make it a delightful place for visitors of all ages.

2. Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The proximity of Pigeon Forge to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers endless opportunities for nature enthusiasts. Apart from hiking, the park provides chances for wildlife spotting, photography, and scenic drives. Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park, offers panoramic views that are particularly stunning at sunrise or sunset. The park’s diverse ecosystem also makes it a fantastic destination for birdwatching and wildflower viewing, especially in the spring.

3. Enjoy Dinner Shows

Pigeon Forge dinner shows are renowned for their quality entertainment and delicious meals. These shows offer a variety of themes and styles, from comedy acts and musical performances to stunt shows and magic acts. It’s a perfect evening activity where you can enjoy a great meal while being entertained by some of the best performers in the region.

4. Experience the Thrill of Amusement Rides

For those seeking a rush of adrenaline, the amusement parks in Pigeon Forge offer a wide array of thrilling rides. Besides the high-speed roller coasters, there are also numerous family-friendly rides and attractions, making it an enjoyable experience for every family member. Many of these parks also offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, adding to the excitement.

5. Take a Scenic Helicopter Tour

A scenic helicopter tour over Pigeon Forge and the surrounding Smoky Mountains is an unforgettable experience. It provides a unique vantage point to view the vast expanse of the mountains, lush forests, and the layout of the town. These tours vary in length and offer a thrilling adventure, especially for those who love photography or are looking for a special way to commemorate their trip.

6. Visit Local Museums and Attractions

Pigeon Forge is home to a diverse range of museums and attractions that offer fun and education for the whole family. These include interactive exhibits where children can learn and play, as well as specialty museums that cater to specific interests like history, cars, or even pop culture. Many of these attractions provide a hands-on experience that is both entertaining and informative.

7. Go Shopping at Local Stores and Outlets

Pigeon Forge is a shopper’s paradise, offering a delightful mix of local stores, outlets, and specialty shops. Whether you’re looking for unique Smoky Mountain souvenirs, handmade crafts, or the latest fashion trends, the shopping experience in Pigeon Forge caters to all tastes. The town’s shopping centers also provide a pleasant ambiance for leisurely strolls and window shopping.

8. Indulge in Southern Cuisine

A visit to Pigeon Forge is not complete without indulging in authentic Southern cuisine. The town boasts a wide array of dining options, from classic barbecue joints to elegant Southern-style restaurants. Be sure to try local favorites such as smoked ribs, fried catfish, and grits, and top off your meal with a slice of homemade apple pie or a serving of banana pudding.

9. Enjoy Outdoor Activities

The natural beauty surrounding Pigeon Forge makes it an ideal spot for a variety of outdoor activities. Aside from hiking and exploring the national park, visitors can enjoy horseback riding, fishing in the mountain streams, or playing a round of golf with scenic views. The area’s outdoor attractions offer a refreshing counterpoint to the town’s more bustling activities.

10. Attend Seasonal Festivals and Events

Throughout the year, Pigeon Forge hosts numerous festivals and events that highlight the town’s culture and traditions. These events range from seasonal celebrations like winter light festivals to music and food festivals in the summer. Attending these events is a great way to experience the local community spirit and enjoy unique entertainment.

11. Relax and Unwind in a Cozy Cabin

Staying in a cozy cabin is one of the quintessential Pigeon Forge experiences. Tucked away in serene mountain settings, these cabins offer a perfect blend of rustic charm and modern amenities. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family retreat, the cabins provide a peaceful escape into nature.

12. Explore the Arts and Crafts Community

Pigeon Forge is surrounded by a vibrant arts and crafts community, particularly in the nearby areas. These local artisans are known for their skill and creativity in crafts such as pottery, glass blowing, and woodworking. Exploring these studios and shops is not only a chance to purchase unique handcrafted items but also to observe and appreciate the artistry of the Smoky Mountains.


Pigeon Forge is a destination filled with endless possibilities. From thrilling theme parks and beautiful natural parks to unique dining experiences and cozy cabin stays, the town offers a diverse array of activities to suit every traveler. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Pigeon Forge is a place where lasting memories are made. So pack your bags, head to the Smokies, and get ready to explore all the wonders that Pigeon Forge has to offer!