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11 Family-Friendly Pigeon Forge Museums

By Molly Weinfurter


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Pigeon Forge museums are popular places for visitors to check out. Many people think of Pigeon Forge as a nice area near the Smoky Mountains, but there are also plenty of great attractions in and near Pigeon Forge that aren’t part of the national park.

Museums are great places for all ages to learn in a fun environment. So, let’s look at what museums in Pigeon Forge TN are worth visiting.

Why Should You Visit Pigeon Forge?

11 Family-Friendly Pigeon Forge Museums

Pigeon Forge is a great Tennessee destination because it has a wide variety of things to do. The city is full of nature sights, historical spots, kid-friendly attractions, and unique shopping and dining. So, no matter who you’re traveling with, Pigeon Forge is worth a visit. Many people stay in Pigeon Forge if they want to check out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park too.

Best Museums in Pigeon Forge

If you’re looking for museums near Pigeon Forge TN, there are a lot to choose from. Some are in the heart of Pigeon Forge while others are Gatlinburg museums. Within a half hour radius, you’ll be able to find a museum that interests everyone in your family.

1. Titanic Museum Attraction

This is the largest Titanic museum in the world, and it’s located in a half-scale model of the original ship. It’s an interactive exhibit where guests get to walk through rooms and hallways that resemble those of the Titanic, and each person gets to feel like a real-life passenger. Upon entering, you’ll get a boarding pass of someone who was aboard the Titanic in real life. You’ll get to explore various areas of the ship during your visit, and in the end, you can find out what the fate of the person on your boarding pass was.

2. Alcatraz East Crime Museum

The Alcatraz East Crime Museum is a great destination for anyone fascinated by crime. Inside, you’ll get to see galleries including criminal’s profiles, victim’s stories, and information about law enforcement and the judicial system. The museum has two floors and 25,000 square feet to explore, and many of the exhibits are interactive.

3. Hollywood Wax Museum

Hollywood Wax Museum

If you’re looking for less learning and more silly entertainment, your family may want to stop by the Hollywood Wax Museum. This Pigeon Forge museum is full of realistic wax versions of celebrities. It’s the closest you can get to hanging out with actual famous people. There are plenty of photo opportunities throughout the museum, and guests are even provided with props to go with their poses.

4. Beyond the Lens!

Beyond the Lens is a unique museum experience where guests can walk through exhibits from the 1960s to today. Throughout the attraction, there are plenty of interactive exhibits, which include photo opportunities, virtual reality rides, and interactive games. It’s the perfect place for kids to learn about technology in a fun and flashy environment.

5. Mountain Wildlife Museum

If someone in your party loves learning about animals, you’ll need to check out the Mountain Wildlife Museum. It’s a taxidermy museum in Pigeon Forge that allows guests to learn about various species and conservation efforts. A lot of the animals displayed are ones that you might come across in the Smoky Mountains.

6. Ripley’s Believe it or Not!

Ripley’s Believe it or Not is located in Gatlinburg, which isn’t far from Pigeon Forge. This tourist attraction chain is in many of America’s big cities, but the Gatlinburg museum is one of the best-rated. This “Odditorium” features lots of bizarre artifacts and hands-on exhibits showcasing the oddities that appear in the Ripley’s Believe it or Not books. This location also offers a haunted adventure for those feeling brave.

7. Hollywood Star Cars Museum

This is another one of the best museums in Gatlinburg TN, which is near Pigeon Forge. As the name implies, this museum showcases many of the most famous cars in Hollywood history. For example, you’ll see plenty of cars from the Fast & Furious and Avengers movies. This location is also home to many cars driven by celebrities. If you’re a car enthusiast, you won’t want to miss this destination.

8. Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

A Gatlinburg salt and pepper shaker collection probably isn’t something you anticipated to see, but its uniqueness makes it worth the trip. It has over 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakes on display, which came from 1,500 different pepper mills worldwide. The tickets for this museum are much cheaper than the other museums near Gatlinburg TN.

9. Gatlinburg Pinball Museum

The Gatlinburg Pinball Museum doubles as an arcade because you can play the many games on display. It’s known as the “largest collection of pinballs in the Smokies.” There isn’t much information about this museum online, but it seems to be a popular choice for visitors who love retro games.

10. Wonderworks


Wonderworks Pigeon Forge is a museum and amusement park all in one. With admission, guests can access a wide range of interactive activities with something for all ages to enjoy. Some areas of the attraction include the extreme weather zone, physical challenge zone, space discovery zone, light and sound zone, imagination lab, and wonder art gallery. Many tourists are drawn to this place because the exterior looks like an upside down building.

11. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

While this Gatlinburg destination is technically an aquarium instead of a museum, it’s still a great place for families to learn. It’s home to over 10,000 incredible sea creatures, including penguins, sharks, and turtles. There are some interactive exhibits, including a glass bottom boat adventure and a petting pool. This destination is located right by the Smoky Mountains.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you plan to visit some of the best museums in Tennessee, here are some questions you might want answered.

How Far is Gatlinburg From Pigeon Forge?

The center of Pigeon Forge is about an 18-minute drive from the center of Gatlinburg. So, if you visit one city, you might as well check out both.

Why is Wonderworks Pigeon Forge Upside Down?

Wonderworks buildings look upside down because they attract attention that way. However, according to the website, the story behind the design is that a tornado sent a laboratory in the Bermuda Triangle flying and it landed upside down in the United States. 

Is Dollywood in Pigeon Forge?

Yes, Dollywood is located in Pigeon Forge. Dollywood is open from late March to early January.

Plan Your Pigeon Forge Trip!

Pigeon Forge is a great place to visit, whether you want to explore nature, learn some history, or try some good food. There are plenty of museums in or near Pigeon Forge, so consider which ones appeal to your family the most.

If none of the attractions on this list stood out to you, you might want to check out some of the most fun things to do in Tennessee.


About Molly Weinfurter

Molly Weinfurter is a freelance writer and editor that specializes in family, travel, and animal-related topics.

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