Fan of trying new things? Love unique experiences? Nestled in the scenic Great Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville, Tennessee, are loads of brand-new attractions, additions to favorite places, shops with one-of-a-kind goods, eateries with fresh flavors, and new cabins with awesome amenities and views. Plan YOUR next memorable stay in the Smokies and check out what’s NEW! Here’s what you’re missing.
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer staple attractions, restaurants, and activities that have stood the test of time. At the top of many vacationers’ must-do lists are skiing at Ober Gatlinburg, exploring underseas at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, perusing the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, riding roller coasters at Dollywood, and enjoying dinner shows on the Parkway.
And while you probably look forward to the classics when you’re in the Smoky Mountains, it’s always nice to try something new. Gatlinburg and the surrounding towns are nothing if not forward-thinking when it comes to creating fun new experiences for visitors. While even more new attractions are on the horizon — including SkyLand Ranch entertainment and amusement, The 407: Gateway to Adventure complex, The Pines renovated theater, and Sky Pirates Mermaid Bay mini-golf — here’s what’s open now!
Come play 100+ high-tech games and difficulty levels at Activate Games, the latest interactive gaming experience for ages 10+ in Gatlinburg. A wristband tracks your score and progress within the hour you’ll have to explore the modern game rooms. You can keep it casual or play to win!
Gatlinburg Axe House
Axe throwing is trending in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, so Gatlinburg’s opened its own axe house. You can plan fun parties, throw hatchets, and participate in cool blacklight events at this new downtown Gatlinburg attraction! Military and first responder discounts are available.
Guy Fieri’s Downtown Flavortown
Award-winning food? YOU bet! So much fun? Oh yeah, this brand-new attraction and restaurant combo in Pigeon Forge delivers — with Guy Fieri’s flavor-packed menu and a 14-lane Duckpin bowling alley. Spread across 43,000 square feet, Downtown Flavortown even has a tiki bar and a loaded arcade with prizes.
Patriot Park Transit Center
Featuring the United States’ 3rd-largest rural transit system, Pigeon Forge has expanded with a new $5.3-million mass transit center. Off Old Mill Avenue, next to Patriot Park and The Old Mill, the Patriot Park Transit Center offers covered porches, 10 new trolley berths, an 8,000+ square-foot facility, plenty of parking, and affordable transportation.
The Great Escape Game
New to Pigeon Forge, The Great Escape Game has been voted #1 across America. Along with escape rooms that feature a murder mystery, a wild poker night, or a spooky seance, there are scavenger hunt rooms for all ages and even a portable game experience you can book for YOUR cabin.
While brand-new attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are great, it’s also fun to experience additions or updates at established places you know and love. In fact, we’re super excited for the Lumina Enchanted Night Walk coming soon to Anakeesta! What’s new and open right now? See below.
At Soaky Mountain Waterpark, a wild ride has been unleashed to the public. Climb into double tube slides (as long as 2 small football fields) at the top of a 70-foot tower and take off when the light turns green as you race to the splash line! There’s a 3-story drop, uphill blasts, and laser lights.
Little Creek Falls Splash Pad
Found at Dollywood’s Splash Country, the old slides at Little Creek Falls have been replaced with a more accessible splash pad for all ages and abilities. The whole area has had a nice facelift, and there are 100+ new water play elements as well as shady spots beneath giant butterflies.
3D Light Show — MORE Drones!
Dollywood’s Summer Celebration at the main theme park is sparkling with something extra! They’ve added even more drones plus larger ones to make the 3D light and fireworks show super spectacular. Before 100s of drones light up the night sky with 3D animation, head to Wildwood Grove for the best view before the show starts at 9:40 p.m.
Along with the Philly UP! food truck coming soon to Soaky Mountain Waterpark, there are a variety of new restaurants in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. From chicken burgers and crazy milkshakes to smooth moonshine and mountaintop cocktails, the Smokies has some of the best new eats and drinks for your latest and greatest mountain retreat.
Cluck cluck — Guy Fieri has done it again! Not only did he open a new foodie attraction in Pigeon Forge, but he’s also opened Chicken Guy! in Gatlinburg. Featuring signature sandwiches with hand-breaded chicken tenders plus 2 FREE sauces with every visit, it’s a great place to treat the whole family at mealtime.
Created by Danielle Parton, Dolly Parton’s niece, with women in mind, Shine Girl is a new line of Smoky Mountain spirits that takes the throat punch out of harsh whiskey for a smooth sip from start to finish. Shine Girl uses honey, sugar, and molasses instead of mostly corn and pours a little Parton heritage into every bottle.
The Crazy Mason Milkshake Bar
This funky milkshake bar is literally over the top! Every milkshake features sweets and treats that spill over the top of a Mason jar, creating a fun dessert experience for all. The Crazy Mason Milkshake Bar even features pies, cakes, and scoops of ice cream between 2 homemade cookies. It’s also right next to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum.
The Watering Can Bar
How about a stunning view of Mt. LeConte while sipping local craft beer or seasonal cocktails at the highest bar in downtown Gatlinburg? Anakeesta has recently opened this new full-service bar at the base of AnaVista Tower. Menu items currently include margaritas, mojitos, spiked lemonade, mules, and brews on tap. There are also kid craftails, so the whole family can join the scenic experience!
Entertainment and shopping complexes continue to develop and grow in and around Pigeon Forge, TN. Shops are always popping up and offering even more for visitors of all ages. Next time you’re in town, check out The Island and The Mountain Mile for a fresh shopping experience.
- Farmhouse 9110 (updated & expanded)
- Hatley Boutique
- Toy Town
Always adding to our collection of vacation rentals in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Cabins for YOU features new cabins every month of the year! Amenities include breathtaking mountain views, private indoor/outdoor swimming pools, steamy hot tubs, fun game rooms, stone fireplaces and firepits, big screen TVs, booming home theaters, and king suites…for starters.
Never been to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge? Follow our mini-guide for first-time visitors so you don’t miss out on YOUR best Smoky Mountain experience!