On the heels of our recommendations for the most popular attractions in the nearby Smokies, we have a number of less well-known, less advertised and more selectively interesting places we recommend you take a look at and consider for your Smoky Mountain getaway itinerary.
Sometimes going off the beaten path can yield surprising treasures and memories! Let’s look:
* Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre
Gatlinburg’s premier theater for serious comedy and theatrical entertainment enthusiasts, Sweet Fanny Adams has had over 35 successful seasons in town with no signs of slowing down! If country music isn’t your thing, come to Sweet Fanny Adams for comedy stylings in the vein of Monty Python, Mel Brooks, and more. http://sweetfannyadams.com/
* Hollywood Star Cars Museum
You know you’ve always wanted to see the Batmobile up close and personal, and at Hollywood Star Cars Museum, you can do that alongside the Ecto-1, the Flintstones car, The Munsters Drag-u-la, The Beverly Hillbillies Jalopy, and cars from famous films/TV shows in history, like Charlie’s Angels, The Fast and The Furious, Fast Five, and even vehicles owned by Elvis Presley, Bob Hope and Dolly Parton. Over 40 authentic cars! http://www.starcarstn.com/
* Cooter’s Place
A family fun center on the main parkway in North Gatlinburg, near the Mountain Mall and Ripley’s Aquarium, Cooter’s place is both an afternoon of fun with go-karts and an indoor mini-golf course and a museum for Duke’s of Hazzard fans who come to the Smokies. Museum is free admission. http://www.cootersplace.com/
* NASCAR Speed Park
If you’ve got fans of the raceway, bring them to Pigeon Forge where you can have a full day of fun at the NASCAR Speed Park! The park features 8 go-kart tracks, 10 rides, a 3-story rock wall and 2 18-hole minigolf courses which will please fans and visitors of all ages. http://www.nascarspeedpark.com/tn.aspx
* Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride
Journey back to the time when dinosaurs weren’t just confined to zoos at the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride next to Lazerport in downtown Pigeon Forge. There are 700,000 cubic feet of excitement and terror just beyond the gate and it’s one of the most thrilling animatronic experiences you can find in East Tennessee. http://www.thejurassicjungleboatride.com/
* Professor Hacker’s
How many mini-golf places let you take a magnetic mine cart ride to the starting hole? Professor Hacker’s offers some interesting charms just like this, with two 18-hole golf courses going through caves, waterfalls, jails and more, it’s one of the most fun mini-golf stations in the county. http://losttreasuregolf.com/miniature-golf-locations/pigeon-forge-tn
* Flyaway Indoor Skydiving
There’s nothing like this for miles around in the Smokies! In downtown Pigeon Forge, next to Stewart Drugs, is the only place you can go Skydiving without launching out of an airplane. Safe fun and a thrill ride at the same time! www.flyawayindoorskydiving.com.
* The Tomb
An Indiana Jones-style adventure in Walden’s Landing, you are trapped inside the eponymous tomb by the curse of a Pharaoh and you must solve its challenges to make it out alive. A 45 minute expedition and definitely something quite different here in the Smokies. www.tombadventure.com.
A fantasy role-playing game has come to life in Pigeon Forge next to Mellow Mushroom on the parkway – an interactive medieval magic fun zone where dragons, pixies, wizards and such, like a video game you can actually travel inside of! www.magiquest.com
* TopJump Trampoline Park
Bring out your inner ninja, gymnast or saiyan with a visit to the TopJump Trampoline Park in downtown Pigeon Forge! This is the Smokies’ first trampoline park and it offers a lot of exciting athletic opportunities you can’t easily reproduce at home. There is a giant room with lots of trampolines, a “Clip ‘n’ Climb” climbing adventure, arcade, candy store for some additional energy (just don’t overdo it!) and more. www.topjump.com
* The Captured – A Live Escape Experience
By now, you’ve seen that the Smokies have quite a bit to choose from in the “escape game” genre. The Captured is one of these with a little twist – instead of offering a bunch of different scenarios, the ones here follow a story where you get to explore the Craft family and their super dark habits. Each scenario is a different chapter of the story and it’s definitely the most horror you can get from an escape game in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge. http://thecaptured.com/
* Smoky Mountain Outdoors
Ride the white waves of the Pigeon River with Smoky Mountain Outdoors! Choose the 6.5 mile Upper Section 2 hour ride or the 5.5 mile Scenic Lower Section for more of a scenic tour through the waters of the Smokies. Either road you go will be worth it! http://www.smokymountainrafting.com/
We hope this is a good starting list for you to consider for your itinerary. For more attractions in the Smokies, visit www.gatlinburg.com, www.mypigeonforge.com and www.visitsevierville.com.