Gatlinburg#19 in Best Things To Do in Pigeon Forge
Situated just 10 miles south of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg is another charming small town in eastern Tennessee. Numerous people stay in Gatlinburg and use it as a jumping off point for exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's especially popular with outdoor enthusiasts thanks to the numerous biking, hiking and horseback riding trails, and beautiful scenery. Gatlinburg is also home to souvenir shops, art galleries and family-friendly attractions.
For more inspiration on things to do, places to eat, when to visit and where to stay, check out our full Gatlinburg travel guide.
More Best Things To Do in Pigeon Forge
Dollywood is likely one of the main reasons you're planning a visit to Pigeon Forge: It's a sprawling amusement park that boasts more than 50 rides and attractions, music and entertainment shows, multiple dining options and festivals and events galore. Owned by legendary country music singer Dolly Parton, the park is a Pigeon Forge staple. Popular rides include rollercoasters like the Barnstormer, Dragonflier and Wild Eagle, and kid-friendly attractions like a carousel, a scrambler, bumper cars, swings and more. In addition to rides and attractions, Dollywood hosts '50s- and '60s-themed a capella shows and wildlife demonstrations. If you're planning to visit around a holiday, check out the events during Dollywood's Harvest Festival in the fall and Smoky Mountain Christmas in the winter. Not to mention, the park has several souvenir shops, craft stores and dining outlets.
As expected, Dollywood receives rave reviews from recent parkgoers, with many praising the number and quality of the rollercoasters (a surprise for some). Several patrons said the theme park was a bit bigger than they anticipated and recommend purchasing the two-day pass to ensure you have time to try most or all of the rides you want, in addition to exploring the craft shops and seeing shows. Visitors also say the staff members here are friendly and helpful. A few people warned, though, that the Dollywood app, which has info on ride wait times and a map, can be unreliable. You may want to download and print off a map of the park before you go.