28 New, Unique Attractions in

Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & Sevierville

  • Unique, Fun Things to Do 

  • Off the Beaten Path Places to Visit

  • Unusual Places to Go

  • New Places and Attractions You Might not Know About

Anakeesta  Gatlinburg, little gnome houses

Gatlinburg

Skylift Park, Skybridge in Gatlinburg Tennessee
Skybridge at  Christmas time in Gatlinburg Tennessee

1. )  SkyBridge, 756 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN

The Skylift in Gatlinburg is an icon of Gatlinburg scenery. It was one of the original attractions that helped the area become so well known as a great family vacation spot. After the notorious wildfires in 2016, an entirely new chairlift system was installed.

Now they are adding an extra thrill to the top! Its called SkyBridge, and as of this date, it is the longest pedestrian sky bridge in North America. New lighting and breathtaking views will be just a few of the things you will experience at the top of Crockett Mountain. 

Skylift is open year-round.

2. )  Ice Bumper Cars at Ober Gatlinburg, 1001 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN

Ober Gatlinburg is a well known staple of Gatlinburg. It’s an amusement park with alot of winter related themes, but it’s open year round. It sits on top of a mountainside on Ski Mountain Road, and they continuously up their game each year.  They’ve had an ice skating rink for years, and have recently added ice bumper cars.

 

Ober Gatlinburg also has an aerial tramway, alpine slides, mountain coaster, ski slopes, ice rink, shopping, snow tubing, a scenic chairlift, wildlife encounter, rock wall, water slides, mini golf, arcade, kiddie rides, Amaze’n Maze, Carousel and more.  

 

If you haven’t been there in a few years, or ever...it’s a must do!

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Rowdy Bear Mountain zip.PNG

3. )  Rowdy Bear Mountain Zip Glider, 386 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN

This place is located right downtown Gatlinburg for easy access and has 2 rides to choose from. One is a gravity driven mountain coaster and the other is a unique - and the FIRST OF ITS KIND IN THE WORLD - mountain glider.  The official website describes it as “a suspended single rail coaster that safely soars through the treetops of Rowdy Bear Mountain. This amazing adventure combines free falling and hang gliding into a safe, fun experience.”

 

To me, it kind of looks like a zipline roller coaster, or a swing roller coaster.  Very cool! Definitely unique. The track is fully lighted with all kinds of different lights, so you can ride at night too. Also, you can save 20% if you get tickets for both.
 

 

If you haven’t been there in a few years, or ever...it’s a must do!

Grotto Falls sign
pack llama

4.) Llamas at Trillium Gap Trail, Grotto Falls, Roaring Fork Motor Trail (closed in Winter), Gatlinburg, TN

Roaring Fork Motor Trail, just by itself, is an excellent choice for a relaxing drive, and a historical adventure.  It’s a 1-way loop, just over 5 miles drive where you will see the very birthplace of Gatlinburg. The historic cabins and wildflowers alone are worth going on a drive there.  At traffic light #8 on the Gatlinburg Parkway, turn onto Historic Nature Trail. Go about a half mile to the Cherokee Orchard entrance to the national park. About 2 miles, you will hit Roaring Fork Nature Trail.

 

Once you are on Roaring Fork Nature Trail, about 2-3 miles in, you will come upon the trailhead for Trillium Gap. Parking is on the left, trail head is found on the right.  

 

This will take you to Grotto Falls for a great, easy and beautiful hike. It’s a little less than 1.5 miles to these beautiful waterfalls.

 

OK, Llamas. Here’s where the llamas come in.  IF you want to see a “Llama Train”, get there very early, say, not later than 7am on Monday, Wednesday or Friday. This is approximately when the Park Services uses several llamas to pack supplies on the trail up to Mt. LeConte, the highest point, which is approximately 7- miles past the Falls.

 

There is no guarantee you will see them, but it’s a regular thing the park has done for years, so there’s a good chance!  Probably a once in a lifetime thing to see for most people. So worth it!  Check out Easy Wildflowers & Waterfall Trails Near Gatlinburg, TN

cades cove carriage ride
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5. )  Carriage ride in Cades Cove, 10018 Campground Dr, Townsend, TN

(March - November) Cades Cove Riding Stables offers more than horseback riding. They offer hayrides and horse drawn carriage rides.

 

During a carriage ride, the guide will tell you all about the historical and beautiful Cades Cove, which you will most likely find fascinating.  Wildlife is abundant in the cove, so you may just see some wild deer, wild turkey or a few black bears along the way.

 

Cades Cove is about 30 miles west of Gatlinburg inside the National Park.

See More New, Unique & Unusual in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge

Alewine pottery plate

6.) Alewine Pottery, 623 Glades Rd # 10, Gatlinburg, TN

Located on the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Loop.  This is one of my favorite stops in the famous Arts and Crafts Community, just outside of town.  Stop in and have some free, fresh popcorn, and browse the gorgeous handmade pottery pieces that are truly works of art.  

 

You can watch how the pottery is made right onsite, each piece becoming a work of art. These are true artisans. This pottery is collectible and well-known for its quality.

White Oak Flats Cemetary, Gatlnburg, Tennessee, historical graveyard, tombstones

7.) Ghost & Haunt Tours, 404 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN

Ghost and Haunt Tours are walking or van tours given by knowledgeable and entertaining guides.  They use real ghosting equipment (what’s that?) and you will be amazed at the history of the town as you enjoy the many stories Gatlinburg has hidden in its history!

 

Another company, "Tennessee Mountain Tours" in Gatlinburg, offers a variety of guided tours from lifelong locals, with tours like Moonshine and Wine, Trees of Many Colors (fall tour) and Roundabout Gatlinburg, just to name a few.  There is a tour for everyone. Both companies have rave reviews.

Loco Burro Mexican Restaurant, Gatlinburg Tennessee

8.) Loco Burro Rooftop, 735 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN

A Tex-Mex restaurant right on the busy, exciting Gatlinburg Parkway where you can get a drink on the rooftop bar overlooking all the action.  Sit near the firepit on the rooftop patio and enjoy the night air as you people watch. Inside, you will find a bucking mechanical burro, you can ride-if you dare.  Or just watch the other crazy (drunk) people try and ride it!

 

Live entertainment including open mic nights, tournaments and other events make this place a must-go-to on this list.

Blake Shelton, owner of Ole Red and Gwen Stefani as a couple
Ole Red Entertainment Bar and Restaurant and live music venue coming to Gatlinburg TN 2019

9.) Ole Red, 511 Parkway, Coming Spring of 2019, Gatlinburg, TN

Famous Country Star and The Voice Judge, Blake Shelton and Ryman Entertainment our of Nashville are opening this entertainment venue is right downtown in Gatlinburg.  

 

According to the website, it is a “$9 million, multi-level 16,000-square-foot with two-story bar and restaurant, retail area, performance space, dance floor and exterior terrace. Its chef-driven, Shelton-inspired menu will feature a few Nashville classics like Hot Chicken & Waffles as well as BBQ, burgers and additional Southern favorites.”

 

Ps. Don’t forget Blake Shelton’s wife is Gwen Stefani. Just sayin…Should be lots of fun!

"Castle in the Smokies", Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge Tennessee unique cabins for rent
Unique Cabin in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, "Golf on Thunder Mountain" cabin with mini golf

10.) Stay in a Crazy Cool Cabin, Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg, TN

Don't miss these unique cabins with unusual amenities if you want something new and different and fun! 

Features like onsite mini golf course, rock climbing walls, a castle theme, a creek to swim and fish in, a cabin on the river, a neon glowing outdoor kitchen to grill on, and much more!  Find details and see these cabins here.

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11.) Anakeesta - New Additions, 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN

If you haven’t been to Anakeesta yet, that’s ok, because it’s still growing.  Anakeesta is a treehouse themed mountaintop amusement venue. It includes a ride up to the top of the mountain in a chondola or chairlift, (your choice), tree canopy walk, ziplining, Firefly Village, Memory Walk, kids playground and more.  

 

Rail Runner Mountain Coaster, and The Smokehouse Restaurant and Bar at The Top of the World, an extra zipline, garden walk, sunset deck and more night time lighting. This place is already beautiful. Sounds like its just getting better and better…see my review of Anakeesta or my video of Anakeesta.

Find Out the Truth About Black Bears

Pigeon Forge

Inside an Under Canvas tent, a girl looks through the window on top of the tent to see the stars
An Under Canvas tent in Pigeon Forge, Tn

1. )  Under Canvas, Glamping, 1015 Laurel Lick Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN

Have you ever heard if Glamping?  It's a funny word for "Glamorous Camping". You could also describe it as “luxury camping”.  Here, you will go off the grid, about 30 minutes away from the hustle and bustle to a serene, quiet area outside Pigeon Forge, and also not far from Gatlinburg and Wears Valley.

These are really cool tents you rent and enjoy camping but with a few perks, like indoor plumbing, beds, linens, various sizes and packages, solar lighted pathways, community firepits, and night views of the stars from your tent.

 

Under Canvas has 24-hr onsite staff and a variety of activities packages.

Pigeon Forge Snow Inside view from top of slide
mom and son snow tubing

2. )  Pigeon Forge Snow, 2533 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN

This place is all about fun. America’s first indoor snow park.  It’s all real snow in a temperature controlled building so you don’t need to freeze your buns off. Great indoor activity for kids and adults as well.  

Getting up to the top involves standing on a moving sidewalk.  No climbing required. Then you can race your with others down the hill on a tube!  There is also a snow play area where you can build snowmen or have snowball fights.

There is a 2nd level where friends and family can watch and also get snacks.

Crave Golf club
Crave signature milk shake

3. )  Crave Golf Club, 2925 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN

Rooftop mini-golf, Indoor mini-golf, Mini-bowling, Sweet Shop, and Milkshake Bar. Everything is a bright, colorful dessert theme, and lit up for day or night.

Just one of the reasons Crave is unique, are the game spinners at each hole. Spin and follow directions, plus you can win free stuff from concessions.

Great place for birthday parties! Both the indoor and outdoor golf areas are handicapped accessible. I love that. Everyone should have the chance to enjoy it.

Cute Kitten plays, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

4. )  Smoky Mountain Cat House, 3327 Old Mill Street, Pigeon Forge, TN

Who among us doesn’t know a cat lover?  This cute little shop in the charming Old Mill District of Pigeon Forge is for those people. And if you are not a cat lover, then maybe you need a gift for someone who is.

This place was actually rated 2018 Best Place in a Pigeon Forge contest.  You will find all the “Cattitude” here you could ever want!

What's the Best Steakhouse in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge?

Alcatraz East Crime Museum

5. )  Alcatraz East Crime Museum, 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN

A 25,000 square foot, 2-story museum with interactive displays takes you into the world of crime and punishment, crime scene investigation, notorious criminals and artifacts throughout our history.

The museum also hosts special guest speakers and events like The Graffiti Contest, Teacher Appreciation, and temporary special exhibits.

Bubble Waffle Ice Cream
bubble tea and bobas

6. )  Teaffle Bubble Tea & Waffles, 2656 Parkway, Suite 3, Pigeon Forge, TN

Bubble Tea and Bubble Waffles.  What? Yep, you read that right.  

So, Bubble teas come in many flavors, and are milk-based or non-milk based, and tea and lemonade based.  “Boba” are the flavor “bubbles” in the bottom of your tea. Just some of the flavors they have are Strawberry, Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, Pistachio, Almond, Banana, Lavender, Honeydew and Coffee

The waffles are fresh made and filled with ice cream and all kinds of yummy stuff.  And they have other things like cheesecake, and cotton candy too. I know I’m definitely going to try this place!

7. )  The Mountain Mile, 2655 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN

If you’ve visited Pigeon Forge in the past, and driven on Teaster Lane, you may have noticed an old mall there, that seemed like it’s days were numbered. Well, if you thought that, you were right!

What used be called Belz Mall, has been turned into The Mountain Mile, an attraction with shopping, restaurants, hotels and the trio of thrill rides called The Mountain Monster.  The ride includes a 200 foot tower, diving, swinging and probably screaming. Described by the inventor as “intense, but smooth” - Very exciting! 

Includes Junction 35 Spirits Kitchen & Bar, Currahee Winery, Downtown Flavortown, Cinnaholic, Cream & Sugar Sweet Shop, free movies on the lawn and more!

Friendly Falls Waterfall

8. )  Friendly Falls, 2135 Wears Valley Rd., Pigeon Forge, TN

So, I have passed this on the way to Wears Valley over the years, and finally figured out what it is.  From the front, it’s not all that obvious.

This is a cute little roadside attraction doubles as an area wedding venue and has a beautiful creek and waterfall in the back.  You can also get a snack, visit their gem mine, a craft shop and see the waterfall light show at dusk. Easy parking, fun for all ages, and everyone is welcomed.

Sandman's Workshop, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, rock art

9. ) Sandman's Workshop, 182 Old Mill Avenue, Pigeon Forge, TN

I thought this was a unique little place. They make personalized, engraved stones of all kinds.  From art, to decorations, to yard ornaments to memorials, these rock and stone carvings are custom made right onsite.

Oil stone candles, military memorials, benches, anniversary gifts,  pet memorials, crosses, salt lamps, photo stones, garden ornaments and more.  There are no end to the ideas of these personalized artisan craft stones.

The Missing Link Foothills Parkway, Wears Valley, Tennessee

10. ) Foothills Parkway Missing Link, Wears Valley, TN

“The Missing Link” is 1.6 mile portion of a stretch of mountain bridges corridor that has been in the works for over 50 years.  Many things held up construction over the years, and still hold up some parts from being finished. But this 1.6 mile connection of scenic mountain bridges opened to the public in late 2018, which allows for a beautiful 33-mile portion to be travelled from start to finish by the public from Wears Valley to Chillhowee.

This is truly a drive in the clouds, and is now open!

Check Car Show Schedules

Sevierville

foxfire mountain
foxfire mountain ATV Bear Crawler going through water

1. ) Foxfire Mountain, 3757 Thomas Lane, Sevierville, TN

A family farm was about to be sold in 2009.  But then, the owners had a change of heart, and thankfully this amazing place was born.

This beauty has America's longest swing bridge, a waterfall zipline, The Gorilla Climbing Wall, an immense 60-foot climbing wall, kid's obstacle course, play area, the Goliath Zipline, which is the highest, longest and fastest zip line in the Smoky Mountains, aerial ropes course, a Cider Barn, and a Barbecue Shack.  

You can also enjoy hiking trails, creeks, waterfalls, and the Bear Crawler 8-wheeled ATV tour.  Located 20 minutes from downtown Sevierville and Pigeon Forge.  This place gets 1000's of excellent reviews.

baby goats Smoky Mountain Deer farm

2. ) Smoky Mountain Deer Farm Exotic Petting Zoo, 478 Happy Hollow Lane, Sevierville, TN

This is a combination petting zoo, riding stables, and miniature pony ride park.

Most people have been to a zoo, but have you ever wished you could pet those animals in them?  Well here you can - and feed them too.  The pony rides for kids are park allow for parents to walk along side of the kids when they ride the miniature horses.  If you are an animal lover like me, this place is for you.

Floyd Garrett Muscle Car Museum.PNG

3. ) Floyd Garrett Muscle Car Museum, 320 Winfield Dunn Parkway, Sevierville, TN

A constantly changing and nationally recognized display of about 90 rare muscle cars.

Do you or someone you know get excited when you hear someone mention things like "rare Plymouth Hemi" or "Fastback" , "big block" or "GTO Judge"?  Those are just a few things you might see as you look through the beautiful and rare cars in like-new condition here.

Garrett's collections have been featured in places like The History Channel, Muscle Car Review, Car Collector Magazine, TNN Motor Trend, SpeedVision, Mopar Muscle and many more.

Sevierville Dog Park, Sevierville Tennessee
Happy Dog at Dog Park playing

4. ) City of Sevierville Dog Park, 1005 Park Road, Sevierville, TN

My son convinced me to bring a dog I regularly pet-sit here and meet up with him and their dog. I was glad I did!

This is a free, unleashed, "PetSafe" dog park that has separate fenced in areas for small and large dogs.  Also includes agility playground for your dog, and doggy water fountains. Picking up after your pet is not hard. They provide plastic bags you slip over your hand, and throw into convenient trash cans so the place stays clean.

The park is right across from City of Sevierville public areas like the city pool, city playground, tennis courts, and baseball park.  If you need to get out in the fresh air and let your dog run in a safe, clean place, whether on vacation or living locally, this is a great option.

paintball player

5. ) Tennessee Mountain Paintball, 729 Happy Hollow Lane, Sevierville, TN

Just a few minutes out of downtown Sevierville by Douglas Lake.  Plenty of options here including low Impact, low pain paintball, lazer tag, after hours, and group reservations options so the whole family can play. Exciting military style combat, yet safe environment for everyone.

There are several "villages" or courses to play in, ledges, foxholes, and bunkers.  This place gets rave reviews.

Sevier Air Ninja Warrior Park
Sevier Air Trampolines

6. ) Sevier Air Trampoline & Ninja Warrior Park, 266 Collier Drive, Sevierville, TN

This is the place is billed as the area's largest indoor adventure park.  Great for a rainy day or for rambunctious kids with tons of energy.

 

Be prepared for obstacle courses, dodgeball, climbing challenges, friendly competitions, jumps into a foam pit, swinging, hanging, sliding, crawling and climbing. There's a net system made just for ages 2-10 and play areas for the smaller ones as well as a junior ninja warrior course. 

 

Includes a concessions area for when you are hungry. A waiver must be signed before beginning, and a safety talk is given  beforehand.

Tennessee Legend Distillery Sign Free Tastings
Tennessee Legend Whiskey lineup

7. ) Tennessee Legend Distillery, 2874 Newport Hwy, Sevierville, TN

There are a lot of (now legal) shine distilleries in the Smoky Mountains nowadays, but this one makes my list because of the excellent reviews it gets on TripAdvisor.  Everyone seems to love the products for there taste, quality and also high marks on customer service. 

 

This place is just about 10 minutes from downtown Sevierville and off the beaten path. Free tastings (as of this writing) and not as crowded as some of the other places. Choose from Moonshine, Whiskey, Vodka, and Creme Liqueur. Lots of flavors to choose from. 

 

If you can't make it to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or the Smoky Mountains right now, check out these live Smoky Mountain WEBCAMS