Tucked away in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge are the hidden gems of the South. With breathtaking vistas, charming local shops, and a seemingly endless array of activities, these destinations allow you to escape the ordinary and experience something truly extraordinary.
To ensure you have a memorable vacation, we have compiled a list of the best things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge:
1. Go White-Water Rafting
Searching for an adrenaline-pumping adventure that will get your heart racing? Look no further than white-water rafting. Imagine cruising down the rapids, the wind in your hair, and the water splashing all around you. You will feel alive and invigorated.
White-water rafting also lets you connect with nature and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. As you navigate the rapids, you will be surrounded by the lush greenery of the Smoky Mountains. If you are lucky, you could even catch a glimpse of a rainbow stretching across the sky.
If you are worried about safety, rest assured that white-water rafting in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is a well-regulated and controlled activity. You will be outfitted with all the necessary safety gear, including a life jacket and helmet. Moreover, seasoned guides will give you a thorough safety briefing before you hit the water.
2. Watch The Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show
The Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud is among the most popular Smoky Mountain dinner shows. It is a hilarious and interactive show that tells the story of the infamous Hatfield and McCoy feud while you enjoy a delicious dinner. You will be treated to a mouthwatering feast of Southern-style favorites such as fried chicken, pulled pork, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob, while the talented cast of characters keep you entertained throughout the evening.
The show features singing, dancing, comedy, stunts, and more. You will witness the Hatfields and McCoys try to settle their differences through various competitions, like high diving!
Watching The Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud show is the perfect evening activity for families, groups, or couples looking for a night of entertainment, great food, and laughter. You will leave the show feeling full, happy, and with a newfound appreciation for the art of hillbilly comedy.
3. Visit The Hollywood Wax Museum
The Hollywood Wax Museum is the ideal place to rub elbows with your favorite celebs, snap some funny photos, and let your imagination run wild. It is home to many lifelike wax figures, sure to astound and excite visitors of all ages.
Head over to Castle of Chaos to buckle into a seat and embark on a wild ride through a virtual world. The stunning 3D visuals and pulse-pounding soundtrack will have you on the edge of your seat, and the friendly competition between you and your friends will keep the excitement level high.
If you want something a little more mysterious, check out Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors. In this immersive attraction, you will journey through a twisting, turning labyrinth of mirrors as you search for Princess Hannah of Savannah. This maze will leave you bewildered and smiling from ear to ear, thanks to optical illusions and unexpected discoveries.
So why not spice up your day with a visit to these exciting exhibits at the Hollywood Wax Museum? Whether you are a thrill-seeker or just looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, you will not be disappointed.
4. Explore The Salt And Pepper Shaker Museum
Are you a collector of all things quirky and unique? If so, then you simply cannot miss the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg! This one-of-a-kind museum houses an incredible 20,000 salt and pepper shaker sets. These shakers come in various styles, from presidential sets to animal patterns and beyond.
However, the museum is more than just a display of shakers. It is a journey through history and culture. You will see shakers dating back to the 16th century and learn about how people seasoned their food throughout the ages. The museum will surprise you with all the variations that exist within the world of shakers.
Andrea Ludden, the museum’s founder, started her collection with a simple need for a pepper mill in her kitchen. That desire led her down a rabbit hole of collecting, and eventually, the museum was established. It is a testament to how one person’s passion can become a beloved attraction for visitors from all over the world. If you are vacationing with your furry friend, you will be ecstatic to know that the museum is pet-friendly.
5. Hike Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome is an iconic peak that stands tall at 6,643 feet, making it the highest point in not only the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but also the state of Tennessee. To reach the summit, drive the scenic access road from Newfound Gap. From there, it is just a half-mile hike to the top. As you make your way up, take in the sights and sounds of the surrounding forest.
Once you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains and valleys. And if that is not enough, climb the spaceship-like observation tower for an even better vantage point. The tower provides 360-degree views and a unique perspective on the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.
But be warned; this peak is a popular spot. So try to get there early in the day to avoid the crowds. Be sure to come prepared with plenty of water and snacks for the hike, and do not forget to snap some photos at the top to commemorate your adventure.
The Great Smoky Mountains are a treasure trove of fun and excitement, and Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are the gateways to all the action. Whether you are into hiking, shopping, or just relaxing in the great outdoors, they have you covered. So why wait? Come discover all the amazing things to do in these two charming towns.