Posted by Darryl Payne in Things To Do
Be honest. When you hear the word "museum," what's the first thing that comes to mind? A stuffy, boring place full of sculptures, paintings, tapestries and, if you're really lucky, maybe some dinosaur bones?
If you're going to be visiting the area soon and plan to stay in a hotel, we should probably tell you to leave your typical museum expectations back at home. That's because in the Smokies, museums can be some of the most fun places to visit! We're talking interactive, hands-on attractions where guests of all ages can immerse themselves in some pretty fascinating subjects. Let's dive right in to the good stuff.
Located on Tenn. 66 as you approach downtown Sevierville, this attraction pays tribute to some of America's legendary iconic muscle cars and vintage show cars. The exhibit features more than 90 vehicles from the '50s, '60s and '70s, including Firebirds, Camaros and Mustangs.
You'll find this gem adjacent to the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport, which is actually in Sevierville. Inside, the museum takes you on a chronological discovery of the Tennessee people and events that have contributed to the history of aviation. Inside the museum's massive hangar, see actual aircraft of all types, from vintage to modern.
This half-scale replica of the famous passenger liner takes guests on a fascinating look inside the legendary ship as well as its passengers, crew and legacy. Interactive exhibits offer an inside glimpse at what it might have been like to sail on Titanic on its ill-fated maiden voyage in 1912.
This classic wax museum showcases America's favorite movie stars in life-size, lifelike wax representations. The self-guided tour offers plenty of photo opps while teaching lots of interesting facts about the stars depicted, which include Morgan Freeman, Michael Jackson, Christian Bale and more.
A self-billed "amusement park for the mind," WonderWorks combines entertainment and education in a fun, hands-on manner. For starters, the 82-foot-tall building appears to be turned upside, and inside, exhibits like an “anti-gravity” chamber, Mercury spacecraft replica, hurricane chamber and earthquake simulator help guests take part in out-of-this-world experiences.
This museum is actually a part of Dollywood theme park, so you have to pay park admission to see it. But if you're a Dolly Parton fan, this one's a must-see. The tour takes you, stage by stage, through Dolly's life and career, as exhibited by personal memorabilia, outfits and multimedia displays.
This Dukes of Hazzard-themed museum and gift shop is operated by Ben Jones, who played Cooter on the beloved 1970s TV show. Come and experience the photos, props, costumes and memorabilia from the show.
Billed as “the strangest place in Gatlinburg,” this Ripley Entertainment attraction proves that truth really is stranger than fiction. This three-story self-guided tour features more than 500 amazing artifacts and exhibits from around the world, including an eight-legged buffalo, two-headed calf, shrunken human head and much more.
This inspirational family attraction utilizes lifelike three-dimensional scenes with life-size figures and dramatic settings to tell the story of the life, death and resurrection of Christ.
The Guinness Book Of World Records comes to life at this downtown attraction thanks to hundreds of displays, interactive games, trivia, themed galleries and videos. Learn about world records from such categories as sports, space, animals, food, human achievement and more. The tour features memorabilia from such well known record holders as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson, to name just a few.
This automobile showplace is home to more than 40 authentic vehicles representing some of Hollywood's best-known and most beloved films and TV shows. With exhibits that date back more than 50 years, this self-guided tour showcases vehicles used in films such as The Avengers, Batman Returns, Gone In 60 Seconds and the Fast And Furious series as well as TV shows such as The Beverly Hillbillies, NCIS, The Andy Griffith Show, The Munsters and more. One of the showpieces is the Batmobile used in the 1966 Batman TV series.
Yes, there's a salt and pepper shaker museum, and it's in Gatlinburg! This attraction is home to more than 20,000 sets of shakers collected from around the world. They even have a huge pepper mill collection.
So if you're planning a stay in one of our cabins in the Smokies this spring or summer, get ready to have your typical museum expectations challenged. That's because the museums you'll find in our neck of the woods are interactive, hands-on attractions where guests of all ages can immerse themselves in some pretty fascinating subjects Our main point was that in contrast to the imagery that usually comes to mind when you hear the word “museum,” the museum attractions of the Smokies are very fun, very interesting and offer a great way for family members of all ages to enjoy some vacation time together.
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