Unique Attractions in the Smokies


Are you looking for something unique on vacation? Do you love scoping out secret spots, surprising attractions, and things you wouldn’t expect to find in the mountains? Read on for some fun and unique things to check out in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg on your next Smoky Mountain getaway! Whether it’s your first time to the Smokies or you’ve been here dozens of times, you’re sure to find something new to do, see, or explore!

After having some fun downtown, head back to your comfortable Pigeon Forge cabin to cozy up by the fireplace, play games in your own rec room, watch movies, whip up meals, and enjoy mountain views and the peace of nature. 

Snow – Indoors!

Pigeon Forge Indoor Snow keeps you cool year-round! Come play with the kids in this temperature-controlled attraction, where you can go snow tubing, have snowball fights, build your own snowmen, and more! 

Real-Life Mermaids
For all the skeptics out there, simply head to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in summer and see for yourself! At the coral reef exhibit, you can see real-life mermaids swimming with the colorful fish. 

*Show temporarily on hold; generally runs June and July

Even if you miss the mermaid show, Ripley’s Aquarium—which is rated the #5 aquarium in the world and the #1 aquarium in North America —has plenty of unique exhibits that are open all year long, including Waddle with Penguins, Splash with the Rays, and Sleep (yes, spend the night!) with the Sharks. Check them out during this year’s visit to the Smokies.

Life-size Candy

Willy Wonka meets miniature golf at this unique and fun family attraction in Pigeon Forge! Crave Golf Club offers multiple putt-putt courses to choose from, all set among giant candy decorations that are whimsical and a bit unbelievable! Finish your fun with some sweet treats – perfect for taking back to the cabin to enjoy.

Goats … on a Roof
You always wanted to feed a goat, right? Well, this year’s family vacation to Pigeon Forge is your chance to make that dream a reality! Okay, so maybe it’s not a “dream” of yours, but it’s still fun. And it’s still an exciting attraction in store in the Smokies!

Other fun things to do at Goats on the Roof in Pigeon Forge? How about gem mining, tasting homemade fudge and ice cream, and shopping for everything from children’s toys to hillbilly-themed novelty items? Better still, this unique attraction has its own alpine coaster that zips through the woods at speeds of nearly 30 miles per hour! Bring the family for an only-in-the-Smokies experience at Goats on the Roof!

A Pot of Gold
No, you won’t find a little green man at the end of a rainbow in Pigeon Forge. But you will be on the hunt for a pot of gold at The Island! This popular attraction features all kinds of unique experiences for visitors, including The Escape Game.

With a variety of ways to play the game—from breaking out of prison to hunting for a gold prospector’s buried loot—you’ll participate with 2 to 6 friends, doing your best to solve puzzles, crack codes, and find clues before you run out of time. Up for the challenge? We’ll see you at The Escape Game during this year’s Pigeon Forge visit!

A-List Celebrities
Yes, we’re talking Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Johnny Cash, and Johnny Depp. Still not interested? How about if we list John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Charlie Chaplin? Okay, so you’ve probably figured out by now that these celebrities don’t actually live in Pigeon Forge, but you can still get your picture beside them at the Hollywood Wax Museum! A tribute to the U.S. film industry, this museum features all your favorite actors, past to present.

Let’s say you’re really only interested in one Hollywood figure, and let’s say that figure’s name is better known as “The King.” If so, head to the unique attraction completely dedicated to Elvis Presley in Pigeon Forge: the Elvis & Hollywood Legends Museum! You’ll have the chance to view Elvis’s cars, clothes, and collectibles as well as hear a full audio tour recorded by two of his closest friends.

A Tropical Wonderland
Mountains, black bears, pine trees. You expected that in the Smokies. But how about this: secret gardens, colorful toucans, and exotic plants. You’ve arrived at Parrot Mountain and Gardens in Pigeon Forge! Filled with manicured gardens, a replica of Thomas Kinkade’s “Stairway to Paradise,” and hundreds of tropical birds housed in English-style cottages, Parrot Mountain is your chance to steal away in the Smokies for a sneak peek at paradise.

Along with general admission to Pigeon Forge guests, Parrot Mountain and Gardens offers special tours for school groups, church groups, and more. Be sure to visit this beautiful attraction during your stay—you might even find a newly hatched parrot to take home!