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  • Lindsey Markwood

Unlock the Best of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville: Top Activities for Your Next Vacation

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

If you are looking for a fun 4 day getaway for your family vacation, you might want to consider the Smokie Mountain area in Tennessee. Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville are three close cities that are only a short 3.5 hour drive from Atlanta, GA or 5.5 hours from Raleigh, NC. Our family loves going here for a quick escape. The area is best known for Dollywood. While Dollywood is awesome, there is so much more you can do. The entire Smokie Mountain area is beautiful. Looking for things to do in Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and/or Pigeon Forge? Check out the article below for a suggestion of activities.


Activity List:

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Top Activities in Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge coveres about 12 square miles near the Great Smokey Mountains. Fun fact: Most attractions can be found in and around along Pigeon Forge Parkway.


Dollywood Dollywood is a 150+ acre amusement park/theme park. It consists of Dollywood and Splash Country, a water park. Owned by Dolly Parton, you might get to see this famous singer if you are visiting. This is good for all ages.


Titanic Museum -Click here The titanic museum is home to a half scale model of the Titanic including cabins and suites. There and over 400 artifacts from the Titanic in this museum. Advanced reservations are recommended for peak travel times. (summer and major school breaks). This is good for middle school and up.


Beyond The Lens - Interactive Museum Admission Ticket – Click here

This museum has over 150 interactive exhibits including one that is a 4 story flying adventure. The museum calls itself Techno-Entertainment. You can see the infusion of techology through out the museum. This is good for elementary school and up.


WonderWorks – Click here

This indoor amusement park is a must do for all ages with over 100 hands-on exhibits. WonderWorks is home to the Wonder Coaster. This similar makes you feel like you are riding a roller coaster. (our family really enjoyed this ride). This is good for all ages.


Pigeon Forge Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center – click here

Take selfies with replicas the stars in film, television and music. Bonus: This museum is open year round. this is good for middle school and up.


Pink Jeep Tour’s Smoky Mountains: Foothills Parkway – click here Learn about the Foothills project, history, geology, flora and fauna from a Certified Interpretive Guide. Its a fun/different way to explore the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. This is good for elementary age and up.

Dinner show: Hattfield and McCoy: Click here A dinner show that takes family fueds to another level! this is good for all ages.


Parrott Mountain click here

If someone in your traveling party loves animals, then this is an adventure to consider. You can even hold a parrot! This good for all ages.


Moonshine & Wine tour - click here

Moonshine is a high grade liquor and used to be made illegially. Most moonshine is generally whiskey. If you are traveling with only adults and looking for something different, then this is a fun tour to experience.


Top Activities in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is known as the gateway to the Great Smokie Mountains and is a very popular tourist area with many activities and things to do for the whole family. If you are not staying at a resort in Gatlinburg, you can park offsite and use the free trolley to get into town. The Park-n-Ride Lot is located at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center. Pro tip 1: Try to get to the attractions here as early as possible to avoid the crowds and get tickets in advance. Pro tip 2: Make sure to get restaurant reservations for lunch and dinner prior to arrival. Espicially during peak travel times.


Horseback riding – click here.

Our family did the 2 hour ride and loved it! Get there early as they do not take reservations. This activity is great for late elementary school age and up.

Anakeesta – Click here:

garden area of Anakeesta. an oversized orange paint tube displays with orange flowers coming out.
Anakeesta

Anakeesta is home to North America’s longest treetop skywalk and 270 Degrees of unobstructed Smoky Mountain Views. Note: Zip lines and Rail Runner are an additional cost - they will sell out so if you are interested, purchase early. This is another attraction where you want to beat the crowds. Arrive early and purchase tickets in advance. This is for all ages.


Gatlinburg Skylift Park – Click here: This is home to the longest pedestrian bridge in North America. After you walk the Skylift Bridge take the Sky Trail to Tulip Tower. Standing at 70 feet, Tulip Tower offers impressive view of the Great Smokey Mountains. This is for all ages.


Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster Ride – click here:

Both single and double rider options are available for this fun adventure down the mountain! This is for elementary school age and up.


Ober Moutain - Click here

In the winter, try your hand and skiing, snowboarding, and snowtubing. In the warmer months you can go white water rafting on the Pigeon River, race down the alpine slide, enjoy zip lining, and more. This is best for middle school age and up.



Top Activities in Sevierville

Sevierville is where Dolly Parton was raised. When our family comes to this area of Tennesse we usually stay here and then drive to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.


Picture of a sign for the Avalaunch
Soaky Mountain

Soaky Mountain – click here:

Soaky Mountain is home to my favorite aquacoaster, Avalaunch. Don't worry, it has the classic water park attractions like a lazy river and a wave pool It is across the street from the resort Wilderness in the Smokies. You can easily spend a 1/2 to full day at this water park in the summer. This is good for elementary school and up.


Dolly Parton Statue

a statue of a women holding a guitar on a rock
Dolly Parton Statue in Sevierville

You can find a statue of Dolly Parton by Sculptor Jim Gray in downtown at the Sevier County Courthouse lawn. Once you visit the statue, take a short walk to Bruce Street. There you can find “Wings of Wander” mural by Pinkie Mistry which was inspired by Dolly Parton's song "Love is Like a Butterfly".

Ziplining - click here

Calling all those who love the feel of an adrenaline rush. Check out ziplining at Sevierville Nature Park. This is good for late elementary school and up.


Buc-ee's Family Travel Center

Some might argue that this is its own attraction. It is the world's largest Buc-ee's and is worth a stop. Pro tip: get the brisket sandwich. it is delicious. You can read my article here on the Warner Robin's location. This is good for all ages - there are a lot of bathrooms.


Baseball - click here

About 20 minutes from Sevierville is home to the Tennessee Smokies, a Double-A Affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. This is good for all ages.


Top Activities in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Cherokee people considered the Great Smoky Mountains to be sacred. They called this area Shaconage which means place of the blue smoke. For the best chance at seeing wildlife, make a visit to Cades Cove. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to over 800 miles of hiking trails. Visitors can find some breathtaking views and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife. Many families enjoy the hike to Cataract Falls. Use an app like All Trails to determine which trail is a great fit for your preferred activity level. Pro tip: Don't forget to pack a snack (or lunch) and water bottle for your hike.


Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail


Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a 5.5 mil loop. Here you can see many log cabins, gristmills (and other historic buildings), streams, and some of the old growth forest. Please note: It is not open during the winter. Click here for more information. I can help find the perfect place for your family to stay in this area and book some of these experiences for you. For those that book with me I can give dining suggestions and personalized activities based on family interests. Click below to schedule a consultation.





Happy travels!

Lindsey Markwood




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