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Top 20 Attractions to NOT Miss on Your Great Smoky Mountain Vacation

Are you planning a Great Smoky Mountain Vacation? I’ve got a list of 20 attractions that you should NOT miss on your next visit!


I received complimentary tickets to some of these attractions, but was under no obligation to share them in this post.  All opinions are 100% my own… the Smoky Mountains really are my beloved second home!

This is a continuance of my Top 20 Smoky Mountain Attractions to NOT miss on your next vacation. Did you miss Part 1 of this post? Go back and catch up!

11.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Moving right along down the list, I suppose we should actually cover an area that a lot of readers chimed in on the last post and said “the mountains!”  The mountains are a favorite place of mine too and although Cades Cove made it’s own number, there are a ton of other areas, trails, and sights to see in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Some of my favorite that come to mind are ElkMont, Chimney Tops, and Clingmans Dome – those are just a very few of the MANY sights to see in the Park.

12.  Titanic Museum

titanicmuseumIf you think the outside of the Titanic Museum is impressive, wait until you see the inside!  It truly is like stepping right aboard the ship itself – with actual items recovered from the Titanic, replicas from the era, and so many hands-on activities for visitors, well, I couldn’t possibly share them all here, which is why I wrote an entire post on our visit to the Museum here!

13.  A Visit to a Mountain Winery

You might be surprised to find out that there are actually quite a few wineries located in the Smoky Mountains.  If you’re looking for a bit more of a romantic experience or just like to take in the sights, scents, and tastes of a local winery, you can visit one or all!  My favorite is probably the Apple Barn Winery, simply because I just love visiting the Apple Barn – it’s definitely one of the places we go most often on our visits!

14. WonderWorks

Pigeon Forge is a city that has a lot of attractions and buildings that are each trying to grab your attention… a lot.  But there’s one that definitely grabs everyone’s attention…

wonderworksA building that is literally upside down is bound to get everyone’s attention and while I’ve never actually been inside, I have only heard great things about WonderWorks!  We’re just waiting until the girls are old enough to enjoy the activities they offer – like Rock Climbing, Earthquake Simulator, and other hands on type activities.

15.  Outdoor Activities

Since we just spoke about Rock Climbing, the Smokies are often known for their Outdoor Activities like Hiking and Whitewater Rafting.  There are also numerous places, especially in Townsend, TN {where Cades Cove is located} that offer Tube Rentals.  These are SO fun to do, tubing down the Pigeon River.  The Smoky Mountains are also beginning to be known for the Zip Line Trails that are popping up all over the mountain.  Zip Lines are on our To-Do List one of these days!

16.  Winterfest

While the Fall is a very popular time to visit the Smoky Mountains because of the trees changing color, one of the most beautiful times to visit is Winter!  Preferably between early November and January.  Why?  Pigeon Forge’s Winterfest!  While Dollywood {in my opinion} totally takes the cake on the Christmas Lights Decor, Pigeon Forge does just as well!  The entire city is a-glow with large snowflakes on every street pole and my favorite is the 12 Days of Christmas represented in lights in the median down the Pigeon Forge Strip!

winterfestPhoto courtesy of

17.  The Island

The Island is a very new attraction that is in the process of being built, right off the downtown Pigeon Forge Area.  Right now there are a couple of shops and small amusement rides and a very large, 200ft tall Ferris Wheel. There are large additions being made as we speak, including a Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Resort and Restaurant to open in Spring of 2014!  I have a feeling it’s going to be a very popular place in the Smokies next year!

18.  Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center

We had a fabulous time at the Hollywood Wax Museum and Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors – so much fun, in fact, I wrote an entire post about our visit!  It was one of our favorite places that we visited and is definitely a must-see!


 19.  The Old Mill

One of the most serene places right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Pigeon Forge is the little village centered around the The Old Mill.  There’s a couple of restaurants, snack shops, old style toy shops, and lots of fun to be had walking around enjoying the scenery and the waterfall!

20.  Family Fun Attractions

Totally generic, I know, but I couldn’t possibly leave out the numerous Mini Golf Courses, Race Cart Tracks, Bungee Jumping Areas, and Arcades!  When you go up and down the strip of Pigeon Forge, TN and the rest of the Smoky Mountains it’s impossible to not get excited by the flashing lights and all the fun to be had!  We always make a family “putt putt” trip a mandatory event and I spent years {and way too many quarters} in all the arcades!

I hope you had fun letting me share my favorite attractions in the Smoky Mountains with you and hopefully you’ll plan a Great Smoky Mountain Vacation soon so you can enjoy them too!!!

A list of the top 20 Smoky Mountains Attractions that you definitely do NOT want to miss on your next visit.

What is YOUR favorite attraction to visit during a Great Smoky Mountain Vacation?

Top 20 Smoky Mountains Attractions that You Do NOT Want To Miss [part 1]
Titanic Museum - Top 20 Attractions to See in the Smoky Mountains