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, SkyTrail, & Tulip Tower

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.

As it continues to grow, SkyLift Park has added an extra thrill to the top! In addition to SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian sky bridge in North America, there is SkyTrail and Tulip Tower, a beautiful Observation Tower. Seasonal 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!

ice bumper cars Ober Gatlinburg.PNG
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, on its own, 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, here’s where the llamas come in.  IF you want to see a “Llama Train”, get there very early, say, not later than 7 am 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
Wild-Geranium-weetman-adj-dm_1.jpg

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
Alewine Pottery mug, "The Smokies are Calling and I Must Go"

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.

Check Availability of:

Gatlinburg Haunts Thrilling Dark History Walking Tour

Ghost & Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg

Loco Burro Mexican Restaurant, Gatlinburg Tennessee
Rooftop bar at Loco Burro Mexican Restaurant in Gatlinburg, TN

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, 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 Treehouse Cabin, Gatlinburg TN, exterior view

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 unique cabins here.

Anakeesta 10.PNG
map of Anakeesta.PNG

11.) New at 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, Ridge Rambler (truck) or chairlift, (your choice), tree canopy walk, ziplining, Firefly Village, Memory Walk, kid's playground, TreeVenture Challenge Courses and splash pad, Anavista Observation Tower, Mountain Coaster 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.

Cabins Near Anakeesta & the Downtown Gatlinburg Strip

Find Out the Truth About Black Bears

Pigeon Forge

Under canvas Glamping, girl sits in tent and looks up at stars at night
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.

Check Availability Here

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, Escape Rooms 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.

Check Availability of:

Crave Golf Club - 2 Courses of Mini Golf

Cute Kitten plays, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Smoky Mountain Cat House, exterior view of front of store in Pigeon Fore TN

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!

Cabin Connections

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

Recommended Wheelchair Accessible Cabins

Exterior view of Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Fore, TN
Alcatraz East Crime Museum display photo

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.  And did you know this museum has the famous O.J. Simpson Bronco? 

dulce nitrogen ice cream and bubble tea
bubble tea and bobas

6.)  Dulce Nitrogen Ice Cream & Bubble Tea

2656 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN

Boba Bubble Tea and Ice Cream in waffle cones or bowls.  Who wouldn't love it?

Choose your Bubble teas (they come in many flavors), pair it with freshly made ice cream, using liquid nitrogen to freeze it, and served in a waffle or bowl.

Nitro Shakes, Fruit Teas, Milk Coffees and more!  Mix ins and toppings available too.

mountain monster at night_edited.jpg
Mountain Mile Tower shops view from above

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, Guy Fieri's Downtown Flavortown, Cinnaholic, REI, Nashville's Famous Listening Room, Cream & Sugar Sweet Shop, Coffee Armory, Toy Town, Azul Cantina, free movies on the lawn and more!

Friendly Falls wedding reception, Sevierville, TN
Feindly Falls, Sevierville TN, couple kisses in front of 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 and romantic 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 for kids, 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
Sand Man's Pet Memorial Rock from Pigeon Forge, TN

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 is no end to the ideas of these personalized artisan craft stones.

The Missing Link Foothills Parkway, Wears Valley, Tennessee
Foothills Parkway, Autumn view from the Missing Link, view over Wears Valley, TN

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! (See my video on YouTube here)

 

See Wears Valley Cabins with Indoor Pools

Cabins on Lakes Creeks & Rivers

Pigeon Forge Cabins Near The Island

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
baby donkey and man at Smoky Mountain Deer Farm and Petty Zoo, Sevierville, TN

2.)  Smoky Mountain Deer Farm, Exotic Petting Zoo & Riding Stables

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.

Myers Brothers U Pick Farm fresh corn, with mountain view
Myers Brothers Farm in Wears Valley, TN, Sevierville Up pick farm, fresh picked vegetable displayed on a table for sale

3.) Myers Brothers Farm

Valley View Rd., Sevierville, TN  (Wears Valley)

Seasonal pick your own strawberries in late April, and honey and other vegetables later in summer. It's best to call ahead (865) 640-9002 or check their Facebook page out so you will know what is available and hours, before you visit.

Tomatoes, pumpkins, corn, squash, watermelons and peppers! Oh my! Let your kids do something simple, they will remember their entire life on vacation and take some farm fresh food back to the cabin for dinner.  

If you've never been to Wears Valley, make this a reason to go.

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

4.) City of Sevierville Dog Park

1005 Park Road, Sevierville, TN

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
Paintball logo for Tennessee Mountain Paintball

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 their 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