Best Things to do with Your Family in the Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountains offer a multitude of family-friendly activities and attractions. After a short drive through Pigeon Forge Parkway and Gatlinburg, you’ll be faced countless options of things to do with your family during your stay at Smoky Mountains Lodge. Here are the 10 best things to do with your family in the Smoky Mountains (and driving times from our cabin:

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (10min drive): Explore the most visited national park in the United States, known for its stunning natural beauty, hiking trails, wildlife, and scenic drives. Don’t miss Cades Cove, Clingman’s Dome, and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

2. Dollywood (30min drive): Visit Dolly Parton’s popular theme park in Pigeon Forge, featuring thrilling rides, live entertainment, shows, and family-friendly attractions suitable for all ages. It’s the #1 ranked theme park by Tripadvisor.

3. Outdoor Gravity Park (29min drive): Roll down a hill inside a giant inflatable ball! This unique and memorable attraction is sure to garner some laughs and memories with the family. This is a great summer activity and bring your swimsuit because you’ll likely get wet.

4. Ober Gatlinburg (40min drive): Enjoy year-round family fun at Ober Gatlinburg. Ride the aerial tramway to the mountaintop, do some snow tubing, skiing or snowboarding in winter, try ice skating, ride the alpine slide, and experience other attractions and activities.

5. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies (30min drive): Voted best aquarium of North America by USA Today, this is a must see indoor attraction. You’ll discover a fascinating underwater world with over 350 species at this acclaimed aquarium in Gatlinburg. Explore interactive exhibits, walk through their unbelievable Shark Lagoon underwater tunnel, and marvel at a wide variety of marine life. In addition of exploring the aquarium, some of their most popular add-on experiences are the Penguin Encounter and Turtle Time. We recommend booking these in advance as they can sell out! Kids under 2 are free.

6. Anakeesta (35min drive): Take a scenic chairlift ride to Anakeesta Mountain in Gatlinburg. Once there, enjoy treetop canopy walks, ziplining, a mountain coaster, gem mining, and picturesque views from the observation tower. Also check out their incredible Astra Lumina night walk!


Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

Look no further, and book your stay with us!

Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

7. Foxfire Adventure Park (46min drive): Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Smoky Mountains, Fox Fire Adventure Park offers an exhilarating escape for families seeking outdoor fun. This immersive park caters to adventurers of all ages, making it an ideal destination for families with kids. From thrilling zip lines, to challenging obstacle courses and swinging bridges, to rock climbing walls, there’s no shortage of excitement here. The park’s emphasis on safety ensures a worry-free experience for parents, allowing them to join in the excitement or relax and enjoy the scenic beauty. Located a bit out East past the Parkway, Fox Fire Adventure Park promises unforgettable memories and endless opportunities for family bonding amidst nature’s wonders.

8. Dinner Shows: There are several dinner shows in the area and most are expensive, but fantastic! It’s probably best for kids who are 8 and up (younger kids might not make it through). Some of the top recommended are Dolly Parton’s Stampede (high production value), Hatfield & McCoy (great food & comedy), Pirates Voyage (best for kids), the Comedy Barn, and the newest show in 2023, Array.

Pirates Dinner Show
Pirates Dinner Show
Hatfield and McCoys dinner
Hatfield and McCoys dinner

9. Goats on the Roof (17min drive) is a unique attraction where you could easily spend a half-day. They have goats running around their roof and have a great mountain coaster. As of May 2023, they’re in the process of installing some large-scale dinosaurs along the track, so watch out for the T-rex! Another great mountain coaster alternative for the family is Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. Experience an exhilarating ride on the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, an individual coaster cart that zooms through the mountains, providing thrills for the whole family.

10. WonderWorks (26 min drive): Explore this interactive indoor amusement park in Pigeon Forge, featuring over 100 hands-on exhibits and activities that blend education and entertainment.

11. Smoky Mountain Deer Farm & Exotic Petting Zoo (41min drive): Visit this petting zoo in Sevierville, where you can interact with a variety of animals, including deer, kangaroos, camels, zebras, and more.

12. Knife Forging: Go forge a one-of-a-kind knife at Circle Bar T Forge (29min drive), Iron Mountain Metal Craft (26min drive), or Viking Blade Forge (47min drive): This is an awesome and unique experience for your family to be a blacksmith and forge your own knife. Not only will you learn about the process of forging and making a knife, but you’ll actually be able to MAKE it and bring it home with you.

13. Soaky Mountain Water Park (38min drive): The summer months can be hot, so why not take the family to a huge water park!? This has several massive water slides, pools, and rides for all ages. Located in Sevierville.

14. Wilderness at the Smokies (36min drive): Right across the street from Soaky Mountain Water Park is this hotel and water park. You don’t have to have to stay at the resort to enjoy their water park. They offer a limited amount of day passes available between $40-$80/day per person, depending on the time of year. Be sure to check out their new and expanded for 2024 Kaleidoscope Kavern Lazy River.

15. Wild Bear Falls Water Park (33min drive): This is an exhilarating and safe aquatic adventure, and you don’t need to stay at Westgate Resorts to visit their water park. With thrilling water slides, a lazy river, and splash zones, it offers endless entertainment for all ages regardless of the weather outside. Parents can relax in the hot tubs while kids enjoy the interactive play areas, creating unforgettable memories in a vibrant and family-friendly environment. Plus, its convenient location near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park makes it a perfect addition to any family vacation itinerary. Day fees: Adults $35, Kids $18, and kids under 3 are free

16. Activate Gatlinburg (37min drive): Activate Gatlinburg offers an exciting adventure experience for both kids and adults, featuring a variety of interactive games and challenges. From thrilling obstacle courses, light games, light-up basketball, lazer tag, blacklight rock climbing, to virtual reality experiences, the attractions cater to groups of kids ages 10+ up to adults. With its immersive activities and state-of-the-art facilities, Activate Gatlinburg promises a memorable and engaging entertainment destination.

17. The Brown Buffalo Farm (45min drive): This hidden gem is worthy of a visit…plus it’s free! When you need a break from the crowds, hop in the car and drive the 15 scenic minutes through the Arts & Crafts Loop to have some time watching several of these magnificent, wild animals. Click here for directions.

18. Parrot Mountain (36min drive): Enjoy a wildlife sanctuary of many varieties of parrots and the surrounding gardens. A visit here would get you up close and personal with these beautiful birds and the lush gardens that the live in. Note that they typically close down during the slow months of January and February.

19. Skyland Ranch (27min drive): SkyLand Ranch combines all your favorite things about the Smoky Mountains into one exciting Sevierville attraction. Gorgeous views, exciting rides, shops and eateries, live entertainment, miniature animals, and more are waiting for you at SkyLand Ranch.

20. Jayell Ranch (30min): This is a premier outdoor adventure destination nestled in the scenic Smoky Mountains. Known for its thrilling ziplining experiences, visitors can soar through the treetops while enjoying breathtaking views. The ranch also offers horseback riding adventures, ATV tours for those seeking an adrenaline rush, and a family-friendly petting zoo where guests can interact with farm animals. With gem mining activities, pony rides for children, and the backdrop of the stunning Smokies, Jayell Ranch provides a diverse range of outdoor activities for visitors of all ages, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

21. Smoky Mountain River Rat Tubing & Rafting (14min drive): Embark on a thrilling family rafting adventure along the Pigeon River. Choose from calm float trips or more exciting whitewater rafting experiences suitable for different age groups.

22. Visit Mountain Mile (24min drive): As one of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee’s most unique shopping, dining, and entertainment destinations, there is something for everyone. They have a few thrill rides for the older kids and thrill seekers, but also have fun lawn games like checkers and corn hole. It is also a fantastic place to shop, get dinner, or relax on the lawn.

23. Lorelei’s Candles (42min drive): This handmade candle shop is a great hidden gem in Gatlinburg. They have tons of unique candles and you can also create your own hand-dipped candles. Let your imagination go wild!

24. Forbidden Caverns (48min drive): Take a guided tour of these mysterious underground caves near Sevierville. Learn about stalagmites, stalactites, and the intriguing history of the caverns.

Remember to check the operating hours, availability, and any specific requirements for each activity before visiting. The Smoky Mountains offer a wide range of attractions that cater to various interests and age groups, ensuring a memorable family vacation. Have fun and make memories with the family!

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What are your must-see things to do with your family in the area? We’d love to hear and add to our list! Comment below.

Best Nature Hikes in the Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a wide range of beautiful nature hikes with stunning scenery and diverse wildlife.

Parking pass for the Park

There is no entrance fee for the Smoky Mountains National Park, however, as of March 2023, you will need to purchase a parking pass if you plan to park anywhere inside the park. You can get a daily ($5), weekly ($15), or annual ($40) parking pass. They can either be purchased online and printed or purchased in-person:

Best Nature Hikes in Smoky Mountains

Here are some of the best nature hikes you can explore in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Abrams Falls Trail (medium): This 5-mile round trip hike takes you to Abrams Falls, a picturesque 20-foot waterfall. The trail offers scenic views of the forest and crosses over Abrams Creek. It’s conveniently located right off the Cades Cove scenic loop.

2. Cataract Falls (easy): Hiking Cataract Falls in the Smoky Mountains offers a scenic adventure through lush forests and alongside cascading waterfalls. The trailhead starts just behind the Sugarlands Visitors Center, a couple miles inside the park from Gatlinburg. The trail spans approximately 2.6 miles round trip with a moderate elevation gain of 400 feet, making it accessible for hikers of various skill levels. Along the way, hikers are treated to stunning views of the falls as they tumble gracefully over rocky ledges, providing a refreshing and rejuvenating experience amidst the tranquil beauty of the mountains.

3. Clingmans Dome (easy): This isn’t much of a hike, in fact you just drive up the road and walk up 0.5 miles up the paved, but steep walkway to the observation deck. At 6,643 feet, this is the highest point in Tennessee, and on clear days you can expect to see 100 miles in any.

Clingmans dome by Kirk Thornton

4. Cave Trail (medium): This 4.4-mile round trip hike is one of the most popular in the park. It takes you through an arch rock formation, past Alum Cave Bluffs, and offers stunning vistas along the way.

5. Rainbow Falls Trail (medium): This 5.4-mile round trip hike leads to Rainbow Falls, a majestic 80-foot waterfall. The trail has about 2,000 feet of elevation gain and is known for its colorful wildflowers and the possibility of seeing a rainbow in the mist of the falls.

6. Mount LeConte via the Alum Cave Trail (hard): This challenging 10-mile round trip and 3,000 ft elevation gain hike takes you to the summit of Mount LeConte, the third-highest peak in the park. This is one of the most popular trails in the park, so start early. Check out LeConte Lodge cabins while you’re there. Along the way, you’ll encounter unique geological features and enjoy sweeping views from the mountaintop.

7. Spruce Flats Falls (easy): This 1.6-mile out and back is one of the most underrated falls hikes in the Smokys. The journey to Spruce Flats Falls takes you through lush, dense forests filled with towering trees and diverse flora. The well-maintained trail follows the course of the Middle Prong of the Little River, creating a serene atmosphere as the sound of flowing water accompanies you throughout the hike. Along the way, hikers may encounter vibrant wildflowers, moss-covered rocks, and the occasional wildlife, adding to the natural charm of the surroundings.

Upon reaching Spruce Flats Falls, visitors are greeted by the sight and sound of a mesmerizing 30-foot waterfall cascading over layered rocks into a tranquil pool below. The falls are surrounded by a scenic amphitheater of moss-covered boulders, creating an ideal spot for a restful break or a peaceful picnic.

8. Laurel Falls Trail (easy): This 2.6-mile round trip and 500 ft elevation gain of paved trail leads to Laurel Falls, a beautiful 80-foot waterfall. It’s a relatively easy hike and is suitable for all skill levels.


Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

Look no further, and book your stay with us!

Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

9. Cades Cove Nature Trail (very easy): This 0.8-mile loop trail offers a leisurely stroll through the historic Cades Cove valley. It provides opportunities for wildlife spotting and features beautiful meadows and mountain views.

10. Little River Trail (easy): This 4.9 mile (up to 7.6 miles) hike is popular amongst families and kids. This trail offers a leisurely stroll along an old logging road, providing a tranquil escape into nature suitable for hikers of all abilities. Beginning at the trailhead near Elkmont Campground, the path winds alongside the picturesque Little River, revealing remnants of the area’s logging history, such as railroad rails and steel cables from the early 1900s. While there isn’t a specific endpoint like a waterfall or viewpoint, hikers have the flexibility to tailor the hike’s length according to their preferences. Springtime brings vibrant wildflowers, while autumn showcases the fiery foliage, making it an ideal destination year-round. Furthermore, the trail’s connection to the Elkmont area offers a unique opportunity to witness the mesmerizing display of synchronous fireflies during early summer nights.

11. Grotto Falls Trail (easy): This 2.6-mile round trip hike and 550 ft elevation gain takes you to Grotto Falls, the only waterfall in the park that you can walk behind. This trail is extremely popular so START EARLY, otherwise parking might be difficult. The trail is known for its lush vegetation and is particularly beautiful in the spring.

12. Ramsey Cascades Trail (hard): This strenuous (2,200 ft elevation gain) 8-mile round-trip hike leads to Ramsey Cascades, the tallest waterfall in the park, with a 100-foot drop. This is one of the most popular and best nature hikes in the Smoky Mountains. The trail passes through old-growth forests and offers a challenging but rewarding experience.

13. Mingo Falls (medium): This stunning waterfall located in on the North Carolina side near Cherokee, North Carolina. The hike is 0.4 miles in and is well-maintained, offering a relatively easy trek for those who wish to enjoy the beauty of the waterfall and its picturesque surroundings. The waterfall itself stands at approximately 120 feet (37 meters) tall, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in the southern Appalachians. The falls are surrounded by lush greenery and are accessible via a relatively short hike, providing visitors with a rewarding natural spectacle.

14. Andrews Bald (medium): This 3.6-mile round trip hike takes you to a grassy bald atop the Great Smoky Mountains. It offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and is especially popular during the peak wildflower season.

15. Charlies Bunion (hard): This 8-mile round trip hike follows the Appalachian Trail to a rocky outcrop known as Charlies Bunion. From there, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

16. Deep Creek (hard): This trail is known for its scenic beauty and diverse features. It’s a popular trail in the park, showcasing waterfalls, lush forests, and the soothing sounds of Deep Creek. The hike is moderate in difficulty and covers about 5.4 miles one-way to reach the popular Juney Whank Falls. Hikers can enjoy the serenity of the forest, cross footbridges, and experience the cascading waterfalls along the way, such as Tom Branch and Indian Creek waterfalls.

Remember to check with the park authorities or visitor center for trail conditions and any specific guidelines or restrictions before embarking on your hike. Enjoy exploring the beauty of the Smoky Mountains!

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What are the best nature hikes according to you in Smoky Mountains? Which of the above hikes would you do again and again? Add your comments below!

Things to Do in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a wide range of outdoor activities and attractions, here are some of the most popular things to do:

Hiking

There are numerous trails available in the park, ranging from short and easy walks to strenuous all-day hikes, including the famous Alum Cave Trail and Charlies Bunion.

Scenic Drives

Drive along the Newfound Gap Road for breathtaking views of the park, or take the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail for a more scenic and historic route.

Wildlife Watching

The park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including black bears, elk, deer, and wild turkeys.

Camping

The park has several drive-able campgrounds, offering a unique way to experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. There are also several backcountry campsites for those who want the adventure of backpacking.

Fishing

The park has over 2,900 miles of streams, offering ample opportunities for trout fishing.

Nearby Towns

The nearby towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer additional activities such as the popular Dollywood theme park, the SkyBridge, and a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options.


Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

Look no further, and book your stay with us!

Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

Visit historical sites

There are several historical sites in the park, including the Cable Mill Area at Cades Cove and the historic LeConte Lodge. On the North Carolina side, you have Oconaluftee Visitor Center and the Mingus Mill.

No matter what your interests, there are plenty of things to do in the Smoky Mountains. Truly something for everyone!

Book Now: This goes to our secure portal to review your info and confirm booking.

Send Inquiry: If you’re not quite ready to book, you can send an inquiry with any questions.

What are your favorite, things to do in the Smoky Mountains National Park? Comment below!

Things to do in Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a popular vacation destination, known for its attractions, entertainment, and scenic beauty. Here are some of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge:

Visit Dollywood

As the #1 rated theme park in America, according to Tripadvisor, Dollywood is the world-famous theme park offering exciting rides, live shows, and plenty of Southern-style hospitality. It’s a bit pricey, but well worth it. They have leveled-up their roller coaster game with the addition of Big Bear Mountain in 2023.

Dollywood firechaser roller coaster
Dollywood firechaser roller coaster

Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Take a scenic drive or go hiking in the National Park, which is only a short drive from Pigeon Forge. You can either enter through Gatlinburg or through Wears Valley. This is the most visited National Park and it’s free park admission! There are hikes, waterfalls, historic cabins and many other adventures in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Grotto-falls-smoky-mountains

Mini Golf along the Parkway

With dozens of Minigolf places along the Parkway, you’re sure to find one that piques your interest. From the candy-themed Crave, Hillbilly golf, Toybox golf, Pirate themed adventure golf, blacklight golf, Egyptian safari golf, and more, you’ll have choices for all shapes and sizes. There are golf courses that are both indoor or outdoor, and all are guaranteed to give you quite the memorable experience.

Visit the Titanic Museum Attraction

You can’t miss it from the Parkway, since the Titanic Museum is a massive replica ship. Explore the history and legacy of the famous ship through interactive exhibits and recreated scenes. It features many items recovered from the actual wreck. Tickets for adults are about $30.

Visit the Unique Experiences

WonderWorks is an indoor amusement park that combines education and entertainment. Housed in an upside-down building, the attraction offers over 100 hands-on exhibits and interactive displays across six different wonder zones. These zones cover various themes such as physical challenges, space exploration, and natural disasters. WonderWorks aims to make learning fun for visitors of all ages.

Beyond the Lens is an interactive museum and attraction that explores the world of pop culture, technology, and conspiracy theories. The exhibits cover a wide range things including virtual reality experiences, celebrity encounters, pop culture, and immersive games. Beyond the Lens aims to engage visitors with multimedia presentations and hands-on activities, making it a place where technology and entertainment converge.

Ultimately, the choice between WonderWorks and Beyond the Lens depends on your personal interests. If you enjoy a mix of science and adventure with a focus on hands-on exhibits, WonderWorks may be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if you’re intrigued by pop culture, technology, and interactive experiences, Beyond the Lens might be more appealing. Both attractions contribute to the vibrant entertainment scene in Pigeon Forge.

Outdoor Gravity Park

Roll down a hill inside a giant inflatable ball! This unique and memorable attraction is sure to garner some laughs and memories with the family. This is a great summer activity and bring your swimsuit because you’ll likely get wet. More details here.

Take a scenic drive along the Pigeon Forge Parkway

This popular road is lined with attractions, shops, and restaurants, and offers beautiful views of the Smoky Mountains. You’ll find everything from go-kart racing, dinner shows, museums, about 30 mini-golf options, entertainment options, and restaurants galore! Avoid the tourist traps and eat like a local.

Visit the Island

This shopping, dining, and entertainment complex features a variety of attractions, including the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and the Fountain Show. There’s something for everyone in the family at the Island.

Enjoy a dinner show at the Pigeon Forge theaters

There are many theaters in the area, offering a variety of live shows and performances, including music, comedy, and magic. Some of the top recommended are Dolly Parton’s Stampede (high production value with horses), Hatfield & McCoy (great food & comedy), Pirates Voyage (best for kids), and the newest show in 2023, Array.


Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

Look no further, and book your stay with us!

Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

Gatlinburg Sky Lift

The Gatlinburg Sky lift is a classic attraction in Gatlinburg takes you up to the top of Crockett Mountain directly from the heart of town. This chairlift ride has been a landmark on the Parkway since 1954.

Float the river

During the summer/fall, you can rent a tube or hire a whitewater raft guide to float the Little River or Pigeon River. The is a wonderful time to cool off and enjoy the scnery from the river. Contact River Rat (in Townsend, TN) for tubing, Rafting in the Smokies (in Gatlinberg), or Smoky Mountain Outdoors (SMO) rafting (in Hartford, TN) for whitewater rafting.

Visit the Mountain Mile

As one of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee’s most unique shopping, dining, and entertainment destinations, there is something for everyone. Between the Monster Drop, Monster Launch, or Monster Swing, this big shopping center and entertainment area is great for the thrill seeker. It is also a fantastic place to shop, get dinner, or play lawn checkers.

Go shopping

Pigeon Forge has a variety of shopping options, ranging from souvenir shops to unique boutiques. The Island is a great place to window shop.

No matter what your interests, there is something for all ages.

Book Now: This goes to our secure portal to review your info and confirm booking.

Send Inquiry: If you’re not quite ready to book, you can send an inquiry with any questions.

What are your favorite things to do in Pigeon Forge? Comment below!

Free things to do in Pigeon Forge

While Pigeon Forge is known for its many attractions and entertainment options, there are also plenty of free things to do in the area. Here are some of the top free activities in Pigeon Forge:

Visit the Little Pigeon River Greenway

This peaceful trail offers scenic views of the Little Pigeon River and is a great place to take a walk or go for a picnic.

Take a scenic drive along the Pigeon Forge Parkway

This popular road is lined with attractions, shops, and restaurants and offers beautiful views of the Smoky Mountains. There’s plenty of fun things to see as you drive along and a great way to get some orientation to the area. If you catch the Parkway during one of the many car shows (Hot Rods, Jeep Invasion, Poniacs) you’ll sure find some fun entertainment seeing all the unique vechicles.

Ober Gatlinburg

While not free, Ober Gatlinburg is a fun amusement park with lots to do and 360° mountain views. Instead of taking the gondola up, you can drive up yourself and park for $5. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon, strolling through the shops and vendors.

Explore the local farmers markets

Pigeon Forge has several farmers markets, offering a variety of fresh produce, handmade goods, and other local products.

Gatlinburg Farmers Market in the Great Smoky Arts and Craft Community at 849 Glades Road. Open mid-May to mid-October.

Sevierville Farmers Market open every Friday from 8am to 1pm (food trucks come on the 1st Fridays) at 133 Bruce Street

Walk around the Pigeon Forge community center

This community center offers a variety of recreational activities, including a walking track, indoor pool, and fitness center.

Stroll through the Pigeon Forge Art District and Check out the Old Mill

This small and charming section of Pigeon Forge features a variety of galleries, studios, and artisan shops, offering a more relaxed and cultural atmosphere. The Old Mill is a historic grist mill built in 1830 by Isaac Love and his sons. It’s one of the oldest operating grist mills in the country and is an important part of East Tennessee’s heritage (see directions). See one of the best views, walk across the bridge on Old Mill Ave, over the Little Pigeon Forge river.

Pigeon Forge arts district and Old Mill

Drive & Walk up Clingmans dome

Clingmans Dome is the highest point in Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Appalachian Trail. It’s located on the state line of Tennessee and North Carolina at 6,643 feet. You can drive up (see directions) and walk up the paved, curved observation deck to take in the incredible views. Or check out one of the many spectacular hikes in the Smoky Mountains.

Clingmans Dome overlook
Clingmans Dome overlook

Visit the Buffalo at The Brown Buffalo Farm

This hidden gem is worthy of a visit…plus it’s free! When you need a break from the crowds, hop in the car and drive the 15 scenic minutes through the Arts & Crafts Loop to have some time watching several of these magnificent, wild animals. Click here for more info and click here for directions.

Play lawn checkers at Mountain Mile

As one of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee’s most unique shopping, dining, and entertainment destinations, there is something for everyone. While there’s plenty to spend money on here (thrill rides, shopping, restaurants, etc.) they do have a large lawn with outdoor chairs as well as lawn games like checkers and corn hole. It is a fantastic way to spend the afternoon in good weather.

Swimming holes

The Sinks is a natural wonder where the Little River rushes through a narrow gorge and plunges into a deep pool. It’s a great spot for picnicking and photography with the family.You can access this scenic location via car on Little River Road, just East of Townsend (Click here for directions). Also in Townsend, you’ll find the Wye (known by locals as the Y), this is a great swimming hole for families on a hot summer day (Click here for directions). There’s also Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Pavilion, which is another swimming hole to splash around and wade in the water. Closer to Gatlinburg, there is Greenbriar swimming hole, next to Greenbriar Cove on the Little Pigeon River (Click here for directions). It’s a peaceful stream for swimming and sunbathing on large rocks. As a bonus, it’s lesser known by tourists.


Still looking for the perfect family cabin in the Smoky Mountains?

Look no further, and book your stay with us!

Mountain views from the deck
Mountain views from the deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Cabin view of the back deck
Fire pit at dusk
Fire pit at dusk
7-seater hot tub
7-seater hot tub
Game room equipped with ping pong, foosball, and pool
Spacious Game room and movie space
Open living room
Open living room
Dedicated movie space + Popcorn machine!
Battle on the arcade games
Battle on the arcade games
Dining room + Kitchen island
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Upstairs king master bedroom with mountain views
Second upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
2nd upstairs king bedroom with views of the mountains
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
Downstairs queen bedroom and Roku TV
2 twin bunk beds in the open game room
Jacuzzi off the 2nd king bedroom
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Newly remodeled kitchen + island
Driveway at dawn
Driveway at dawn
Access to the community pool
Access to the community pool

Watch the fountain show at The Island in Pigeon Forge

This beautiful and tranquil fountain show is free to watch and a great place to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the water.

Picnic in Patriot Park

Patriot Park is home to many events and festivals in Pigeon Forge year-round. It’s a prime area to watch the fireworks for 4th of July. It’s an expansive park with ample parking. Unfortunately there’s no playground for the kids, but it’s a great cost-saving option to forgo paid parking at Dollywood and take the Trolley in instead. (See directions)

Sevierville Family Aquatic Center

Although it’s not free, it’s only $5 admission, The Family Aquatic Center in Sevierville is a fantastic alternative to Soaky Mountain Waterpark. It boasts a fully-renovated 25-meter outdoor pool and 2 fun slides with a plunge pool and a splash pad to entertain kids of all ages!

Mountain Bike in the trail network of Vee Hollow

Further out West lies the little town of Townsend, and Vee Hollow offers 14 miles of bike trails free to use. It has trails made for bikers from beginner to expert.

Dark Island Swinging Bridge

Just outside Townsend is this little gem to walk across the Dark Island Swinging Pedestrian Bridge overlooking the Little Rriver. You may see some geese, fish or and likely several tubers from River Rat Tubing and Rafting.

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What are your favorite, FREE things to do in Pigeon Forge? Comment below!