The Smokies are filled with interesting history! Whether you love Appalachian relics, true crime stories or unique vintage finds, there is something for everyone here. History buffs from all over come to the mountains every year to explore these unique spots. Here are 5 attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for history lovers:
1. The Titanic Museum
Pigeon Forge is lucky enough to be home to tons of artifacts recovered from the real RMS Titanic! The ship that goes down in history as one of the worst tragedies in maritime history has been replicated right on the Pigeon Forge Parkway. This museum walks guests through what a trip on the Titanic was really like, including providing each visitor with a name of a real passenger. In the end, you’ll find out the fate of your assigned passenger and learn their story of that tragic night.
2. Alcatraz East Crime Museum
Calling all true crime lovers! Alcatraz East Crime Museum is filled with memorabilia from some of the most infamous criminals in history. From Ted Bundy’s Volkswagen and OJ Simpson’s Bronco, to crime scene evidence from Bonnie and Clyde, this museum has a little bit of everything. You’ll also get to learn about law enforcement and the justice system of yesterday and today that played a part in solving these crimes and catching these criminals.
3. Cades Cove
If you don’t feel like exploring indoor museums all day, hop in the car and head to Cades Cove for a few hours. Drive the 11-mile loop road and check out all the historical sights along the way, including old churches, barns, cabins and more. There is so much Appalachian history within the valleys and mountains of Cades Cove that you’ll be an expert on the area but the time your drive is over. You may even get to see some wildlife on your way!
4. Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum
One of the most unique attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum. If you’re a fan of adorable vintage treasures, this museum is the perfect place to visit. With over 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers, this attraction has so much to explore. Admission is only $3, making it also one of the most affordable things to do in the Smokies. Plus, children 12 and under are free! Make sure to pick up a few shakers for yourself in the gift shop on your way out!
5. Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center
The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center prides itself on preserving the unique and rich history of our Appalachian region. Here, you’ll find exhibits of Native American culture, historic transportation and architecture and much more. If you’re at all interested in learning more about the people and traditions that founded the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area, this is a can’t-miss spot!
Now that you know more about attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for history lovers, you can begin planning your trip. Looking for something a little different? Check out our Luxury Pass that offers free attraction tickets to tons of places in the Smokies!