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The Best To See And Do In Gatlinburg And Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

My family and I went to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for Fourth of July this year. There was so much to do that we couldn’t fit it all in on our week long holiday. Every year we chose a new place to enjoy the 4th. Tennessee was very different from what we usually choose. The only requirement is that the location be listed as part of the top 10 places to visit for the holiday and be somewhere new to us. The mountains were an amazing and new scenery from the typical beach scene that I usually enjoy every vacation.


Places To Explore


The Outlook In The Smokey Mountains

Kick off your vacation by enjoying the scenery. Drive up the smokey mountains and find an outlook spot. This view will blow your mind. Can you see any burnt trees? I saw so many that it was unbelievable. In 2016 the smokey mountains were completely on fire known as five days of flames that changed Gatlinburg forever and claimed fourteen lives. If you keep driving around you can see buildings that got destroyed and just closed off. Even looking over the mountains you can see that the trees have no leaves at the tops. You can find the outlook on the Gatlinburg Bypass that runs between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg through the Smokey Mountains. There are four pull off areas on the bypass that will give you fantastic views and overlooks the entire town of Gatlinburg. Don't forget to take pictures with this amazing view


Three Bears

At Three Bears General Store located upstairs you can enter through the doors to the bear habitat for $3.25 per person and children under the age of two are free. You will find three bears. I found the baby bear chilling at the top of the waterfall, daddy walking around near the pond, and mama bear sleeping in her cave. These bears were all rescued from the nearby hunting farm. They have cared for these bears for over 25 years giving them a wonderful life in their 5,000 square foot home complete with cooling and heated dens, a waterfall, and a pond. You can view all of this from two level observation area and throughout the observation area you can find tubes to drop your food in. Bear feeding times are 10 am - Noon, 3-4 pm, and 7-8 pm. You buy a cup of food during those times for $1.25 during those times. The general store is also filled with gifts from Simply Southern shirts to moonshine jelly and everything in between. You can also relax in spa, take a spin in the arcade, build a new best friend, or sit down with a delicious treat.

Where: 2861 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

Hours: Feeding times 10am -noon, 3-4pm, and 7-8pm

Prices: Bear habitat entry $3.25

Food cups $1.25

Number: 865-453-2775



Mountain Coaster

Want to take an adventure? Then the mountain coaster is the place to be. Rest easy as the track pulls you up the mountain than zip around turns, down the mountain at speeds of 30+ mph. We have never been to the Smokey Mountains or even seen a mountain coaster except in videos scrolling through Facebook so, this was surely a new experience. After riding we just wanted to go again and again. The best thing about this mountain coaster is that they allow you to ride with someone else. After zipping through the trees, be sure to pick up your photo and a souvenir in the gift shop.

Where: 306 Parkway,Gatlinburg, TN (Traffic Light #2) 37738

Hours: Sunday – Thursday 10am – 9pm

Friday – Saturday 10am – 11pm (tickets unavailable after 8pm)

Prices: Single rider $16

Two adults $27

Parent/child $24

Hour pass $30

All day pass $50

Number: 865-430-5577



The Titantic

Have you ever touched an ice burg? At The Titanic museum you can. When you arrive you get these sound boxes that you can click numbers as you are going that give you a one on one tour guide. As you walk through the museum you can see so many artifacts from the real Titanic. My favorite thing that I saw is that the recreated the grand stairway that you get to walk up and experience it yourself. They also have a room of hand on activities. Be sure to try to walk up the Titanic at the times it was sinking. You can also touch the water that they had to deal with. Would you be able to survive? At the end of your tour you will pass an amazing lego Titanic model. This model was made by a 10 year old Autistic boy from Iceland. This was his dream to build and after 11 months and 56,000 legos, he accomplished this 26ft" X 5ft" model.

Where: 2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

Hours: Vary, check their calendar

Prices: Adult $27

Child $14

Children 4 and under are free

Family Pass $95

Number: 417-334-9500




Anakeesta has a lot to offer. Start your adventure by riding up the mountain in the scenic gondola. You can bring strollers and there is no age limit. Walk across the longest tree based bridge in North America on the treetop skybridge. Be sure to look around you because, you may see a bear like we did! Your kiddos will love the treehouse village adventure. Race side by side on Anakeesta's dueling zipline will enjoying the view. Ride down the rail runner, the single rail mountain coaster that is first of its kind in the United States. Search for gems and shark teeth at Anakeesta's gem mine. Don't forget to relax and enjoy the scenic view at Vista Gardens and the memorial forest walk. What ever you choose to do, you are sure to a blast at Anakeesta.

Where: 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Hours: Vary, check their calendar

Prices: Admission $21.99/adult


3 and under are free

The rail runner and deuling zipline are not included in admission. You can find prices online under pricing

Number: 865-214-6347



The Island

There is so much to find and do at The Island. Explore dozens of shops, restaurants, and attractions. On the website you can create your own itinerary for the day. My favorite shop was Puzzled, the home to the world's largest puzzle. I got the opportunity to get a puzzle that is the shape of a fish and I was so excited to go home and put it together. Don't miss out on anything. Take a ride the great smokey mountain wheel, climb through the sky on the island rope course, or try to beat the time in the escape room.

Where: 131 The Island DrivePigeon Forge, TN, 37863

Hours: Vary, check their calendar

Number: 865-286-0119



Ripley's Aquarium

Aquariums are always my favorite. The best about this aquarium is that offer a whole room based around your little ones. Travel down the slide into the discovery zone with hands on activities you are sure to have a blast. Have you ever touched a jelly fish? Make sure to make your way to the little jellies and feel one for yourself. Be sure to take a ride through the tunnel and watch as sharks swim above your head. You can even ride a glass bottom boat for an extra cost and watch as sharks swim under you boat. Don't forget to make time for the amazing shows and feedings that you can experience throughout the day. You can ever meet mermaids! Whatever you chose to do here you are sure to have fun and learn something new on this adventure!

Where: 88 River Rd, Gatlinburg,TN 37738

Hours: Memorial Day – Labor Day

Monday-Thursday: 9 am – 10 pm

Friday – Sunday: 9 am – 11 pm

Prices: Adult $32.99

Ages 6-11 $17.99

Ages 2-5 $7.99

Children 1 and under are free

Number: 865-430-8808



Ripley's Believe It Or Not

At Ripley's you can adventure through each room seeing the weird and unbelievable. Did you know way back when they used to shrink heads? Test your brain, discover the past, and have fun.

Where: 800 Parkway Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Hours: May – July: 9am to 12am

Prices: Adult $24.99

Ages 6-11 $14.99

Ages 2 -5 $4.99

Children 1 and under are free

Number: 865-436-5096



Guinness World Records

I have never been to a Guinness World Record room before. This was such a cool and hands on place filled with so many activities. When you first get here, you will receive passes that you use throughout the place. Scanning it at the first desk allows you to set up your pass and make your own character that will keep track of your score as you try to best the world records. My favorite game was the online game Stack and the game Ballon Blast where you had to throw balls at the target. I got in first place for the day and almost beating the record.

Where: 800 Parkway Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Hours: May – July: 9am to 12am

Prices: Adult $16.99

Child $12.99

Children 2 and under are free

Number: 865-436-5096



Places To Eat



Calhoun's is right in the town of Gatlinburg. If you are looking for some bbq pork, chicken, or a burger then this is the place to come.

Where: 1004 Parkway, Gatlinburg

Hours: Sunday - Thursday 11am to 10:30pm

Friday - Saturday 11am to 11pm

Number: 865-436-4100



The Caramel Candy Company

Need a treat to beat the heat? Try The Carmel Candy Co. With a super nice staff they are sure to answer all your questions, give you a sample, and make sure you leave with a delicious caramel treat to enjoy.

Where: 8020 Hwy. 290 E., Chappell Hill, TX 77426

Number: 979-830-5530



Cliff Top Bar And Grill

Want a dinner with a view? Well this is the place to be. Our whole table loved our food even the picky eaters. It's located at the top of Anakeesta Mountain so, you will have to ride the gondola to the top. It is worth the trip. Make sure you look for bears. We got to watch some adorable cubs playing when we were riding the gondola.

Where: Anakeesta, 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Hours: Opens at 11am

Number: 865-325-2400



Paula Deen's Family Kitchen

This is my absolute favorite restaurant. We always go every time I visit Myrtle Beach so, I knew I had to go to this one. As always the food was amazing. This restaurant is a little different. You get unlimited southern entrees and side dishes then at the end everyone gets a dessert of choice.They even have a huge store that everyone can enjoy while your wait or after dinner.

Where: 131 The Island Drive, Suite 8101, Pigeon Forge, TN, 37863

Hours: Breakfast: 8am-10:15am

Lunch: 11am-4pm

Dinner: 4pm-9pm

Fri.-Sat.: Open until 10pm

Number: 865-366-1510



The Melting Pot

If you want a more unique experience then this is the place to go. You order your food and they bring it out with a fondue pot. Each person gets to cook their food the way they want right at your table. The spinach artichoke cheese fondue and the flaming turtle chocolate fondue are my favorites that I get every time I go.

Where: 959 Parkway #2, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Hours: Monday - Thursday 4pm to 9pm

Friday - Saturday 12pm to 10pm

Sunday 12pm to 9pm

Number: 865-430-4430



*** I did not receive any compensation. However Ripley's did offer my family tickets to visit their attractions. All photo's are property of Britt's Creative Crafts. We were not paid to write this article. All information is based on my nonbiased opinion. ***



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