Posted by Darryl Payne in Pigeon Forge Attractions
Imagine that summer is here and you're finally getting to take that family vacation you've waited for since last year. And let's say you've narrowed your travel destination down to the Great Smoky Mountains, and let's say you've narrowed it down even further to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. You've made a great choice. Pigeon Forge has it all when it comes to a total summer-vacation getaway – tons of hotel, motel and overnight rental choices; dozens of restaurants for your dining pleasure; and shops and outlet stores galore.
You're probably also aware that Pigeon Forge is home to scores of great family attractions – so many, in fact, that you may have trouble deciding which ones to prioritize for your trip. After all, there are only so many days of vacation and so many places you can visit in that time frame. Hopefully, we can help you narrow down your options by suggesting what we think are the 10 best attractions in Pigeon Forge. Even if you can't take on all of them, you'll at least have an awesome short list of contenders from which you can make your final selections.
It should come as no surprise that this theme park winds up in our top 10. It's been around for 35 years now, offering folks from all over the world a total Smoky Mountains funfest thanks to world-class rides and attractions, arts and crafts, mountain cuisine and some of the best music shows in town. Each year, the park hosts a number of seasonal events that add a whole new dimension to the Dollywood experience, including a new one - the Flower and Food Festival. This five-week event features hundreds of flower installations throughout the park as well as a new lineup of tasty vittles. And don't forget about Dollywood's Splash Country, the 35-acre theme water park located adjacent to the original theme park.
This multipurpose development is another Pigeon Forge stop that lets visitors kill several birds with one stone. It's home to a bunch of cool attractions, including the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel - a 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel from which passengers can see for dozens of miles in all directions at the top, all while riding in climate-controlled comfort. While you're at The Island, you can browse unique specialty shops, dine at eateries like Paula Deen's Family Kitchen and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Café, and you can even stay overnight at the Margaritaville Island Hotel. The Island also hosts several special events and live entertainment shows throughout the year.
Here's an attraction that will give your vacation a real bounce. Yep, trampolines are the name of the game at Top Jump, but in addition to open-jump activities, you can go to the extreme on their Cliffhanger climbing challenge, Boneyard stunt tower, AirStrike dodge ball and the new Fire & Ice ninja course. There's even a 5,000-square-foot arcade and Sugar Rush Candy Store for those with a sweet tooth. If you're taking the kids, maybe let them get all sugared up and THEN turn them loose on the trampolines…
This highly rated zipline attraction is only two miles off the Pigeon Forge Parkway, but its remote location provides a truly unique mountain experience. Professional zipline guides will get you geared up for your adventure, which starts with a transport-truck ride up the mountain. From there, you'll zipline your way through their canopy tour on seven different ziplines, which total nearly a mile in length. Highlights include zipline heights of more than 150 feet off the ground, unique pole towers that offer stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains, and a vertical-descent feature that lets you rappel 30 feet down from one of the zipline platforms to the ground with the assistance of your guide. They also have an outpost that's ideal for hosting group events and celebrations.
This is the sweetest miniature golf place in town! Their indoor course is practically like a journey through Candy Land, with features like ice cream canyons, cocoa cliffs and ice cream cone characters. That's just the beginning of the fun at Crave. This attraction also offers an outdoor rooftop miniature-golf-course adventure, escape rooms, mini bowling and, no surprise, a candy store and soft-serve ice cream. It's been rated as Pigeon Forge's best mini-golf attraction, so if miniature golf is on your agenda, this would definitely be a sweet place to check out.
Alpine roller coasters are all the rage here in the Smokies, and this mini coaster, located at the Goats on the Roof attraction on Wears Valley Road, is one of the wildest rides in town. Measuring nearly a mile in length and reaching top speeds of nearly 30 miles per hour, this coaster allows passengers to control the brake, which means you can make the ride as tame or as hair-raising as you can handle. Along the way, you'll enjoy stunning mountain views and one of the smoothest (but wildest) seven-minute rides in town. While you're there, check out the Goats on the Roof attraction. Yep, they really have goats on the roof.
This is one of the easiest attractions to find in Pigeon Forge. Just look for the upside-down building! Exactly how that building wound up in that condition is all part of the legend behind WonderWorks, an interactive museum of the mind. Its multiple galleries offer a wide range of fascinating hands-on experiences. See how you can handle hurricane-force winds, lie on a bed of nails, design your own roller coaster, explore outer space or tour one of the craziest art galleries you'll ever see. WonderWorks is also home to a live magic show, indoor ropes challenge and a laser tag arena.
Ever wanted to rub elbows with A-list Hollywood celebrities? This wax museum in Pigeon Forge might be your best chance, as it's home to dozens of incredibly lifelike wax figures of some of Tinsel Town's biggest stars, both past and present. Stars include Sandra Bullock, Lucille Ball and Michael Jackson, just to name a few. There are lots of opportunities to interact with the stars too, whether it's singing on stage with them or posing for the paparazzi.
This is the place to go for the ultimate outdoor go-cart racing adventure. Three different tracks offer a wide range of racing experiences. The Xtreme Track is 3,500 feet long and filled with winding turns and narrow straightaways. The Reverse Track allows drivers to experience the Xtreme Track in reverse and on more powerful racing carts. The Elevated Track is a 1,500-foot-long course on a smooth, paved surface. On this course, drivers can choose either single- or double-passenger carts.
Here's another Pigeon Forge attraction that's hard to miss. This half-scale replica of the doomed passenger liner that sank in 1912 is an unmistakable sight along the Parkway. Inside, the self-guided tour tells the story of Titanic as well as the crew and passengers who embarked on its maiden voyage, many of whom also lost their lives. All guests receive a boarding pass that tells the story of an actual Titanic passenger or crew member, and the tour includes $4.5 million in artifacts, a replica of the ship's Grand Staircase, the chance to experience 28-degree water, shoveling coal in the boiler room and sending an SOS distress signal.
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