Pigeon Forge is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, offering tourists a magnificent scenic backdrop and a range of fun activities. With a fractional population of nearly 6,500, this small town of Tennessee hosts over 10 million visitors each year.
The town is amongst the top tourist destinations in the country due to its scenic location, family-friendly atmosphere, and variety of attractions for people of all ages. If you’re planning to visit Pigeon Forge this year, here are eight popular Pigeon Forge landmarks you shouldn’t miss during your trip:
1. The Old Mill, Pigeon Forge
The Old Mill is one of Pigeon Forge’s most iconic landmarks. Nearly 200 years ago, farmers from neighboring areas brought bags of grain to a newly constructed gristmill that later became known as the Old Mill. The area soon became a community, laying the foundation for Pigeon Forge.
The Old Mill is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. It is built on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in a picturesque location. This area also had an iron forge, thus the name Pigeon Forge.
Visitors can still tour this functional gristmill, which crushes grains for the Old Mill Restaurant. There’s more to Old Mill Pigeon Forge than just history. You can enjoy delicious food with a Southern flair, satisfy your sweet cravings, watch pottery demonstrations, and much more. Don’t forget to witness the famous waterwheel and the lovely Little Pigeon River on your trip to Pigeon Forge this year.
2. The Titanic Museum
The Titanic Museum is another iconic landmark in Pigeon Forge, dedicated to the history of the world-famous glorious luxury liner. The museum reminds us of the magnificence of the ship itself and its tragic sinking in 1912. The museum displays over 400 artifacts in 20 different galleries. It’s a half replica of the ship created with ultimate perfection and attention to detail.
Visitors can walk through the hallways and learn about the ship, its history, and the unique stories of the passengers. You can also experience an artificial iceberg or dive into 28°F water to feel the human perspective of the tragedy. The self-guided audio tours and immersive experience provide visitors with a more in-depth look at the exhibits and displays, making the trip more interesting and enjoyable.
3. Alcatraz East Crime Museum
If you love crime stories and movies, you will love Alcatraz East Crime Museum, a unique museum that offers visitors a look at the history of crime in the US. Visitors can take part in an interactive session where they can become detectives and solve criminal cases.
The museum features a variety of exhibits, including those on the history of law enforcement, the science of forensic investigation, and information related to famous crimes and criminals. The museum has a large collection of artifacts, including weapons, tools, and other objects used by criminals and law enforcement agencies. You come across personal stories of victims and criminals and witness a replica of a crime cell.
4. Patriot Park
Pigeon Forge indeed offers a wide range of family-friendly tourist destinations, but one of the most popular ones can be found along Old Mill Square, such as the Patriot Park. Patriot Park is a riverside oasis dedicated to veterans from Sevier County who served in the military during wars. As the name implies, the park was named after the iconic Patriot missiles that were made famous during the first Gulf War in the early 1990s.
A stroll along the walking path will take you to the Little Pigeon River, where you can take a dip in the river itself. Also, the park is home to numerous annual events and festivals in Pigeon Forge, such as the annual Pigeon Forge Rotary Club Crafts Festival, Easter Egg Hunts, and the famous Patriot Festival.
5. Old Forge Distillery
Old Forge Distillery is one of the oldest distilleries in the US, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Old Forge Distillery is famous for its world-class moonshine, cream liqueurs, whiskey, and vodka. Apart from that, Old Forge Distillery also produces its distinctive Rock & Rye brand. On top of that, the distillery crafts spirits from stone-ground grains from The Old Mill. You can taste exotic flavors and purchase their iconic decanters and other specialties.
6. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
Your visit to Pigeon Forge is incomplete without visiting The Island – one of the most famous tourist destinations in the Smoky Mountains. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is a popular landmark inside The Island, providing a bird’s eye view of the town and the Great Smoky Mountains. The Ferris wheel takes you as high as 200 feet from the ground, equaling a 20-story building. If you’re planning a getaway with your partner, you can make your romance fantasies come true as you climb atop the Great Smoky Mountain wheel and witness the city’s twinkling lights at night through a glass gondola.
The Island is packed with fun activities. You can take fun rides, taste delectable food, listen to live music, watch dancing fountains, and shop till you drop.
7. Hollywood Wax Museum
The Hollywood Wax Museum is a must-see for those who love films and entertainment, and it features some of the most renowned and iconic people in the entertainment industry. You get to see life-like wax figures of celebrities, such as Johnny Depp, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Dolly Patron, and many others.
This famous landmark is popular for the King Kong figure from the 1933 movie climbing the building. You can take selfies with the wax figures and watch exhibits on Hollywood’s history and the entertainment industry. Visit Chambers of Horrors and see wax figures from your favorite horror movies. To top it all, you can watch behind the scenes of Hollywood movies, TV shows, and the music industry.
8. The Historic Elkmont Ghost Town
Another well-known landmark in Pigeon Forge is the Elkmont Ghost Town, famous for dozens of abandoned homes and clubhouses. These homes were part of a famous vacation community in the nineteenth century. Elkmont has some of the oldest intact structures in the Great Smoky Mountains area, and you can also visit some of the renovated cabins.
This historic landmark showcases both contemporary history and the early residents of the Great Smoky Mountains. The structures and construction represent three periods: early homesteaders, railroad and logging evidence, and a vacation town between the 1920s and 1930s.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is a small town with dozens of tourist attractions. This article has highlighted some of the most significant features that distinguish Pigeon Forge from other tourist sites in the Great Smoky Mountains region. If you’re planning a vacation to Pigeon Forge, make sure you give yourself enough time to make the most of your trip and see all these landmarks and other tourist attractions.