If you’re looking for an exciting and entertaining destination to visit in Tennessee, look no further than the Island in Pigeon Forge. With a variety of attractions, dining options, and shopping opportunities, this island has something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what the Island in Pigeon Forge has to offer and provide tips for making the most of your visit.
History of the Island in Pigeon Forge: From a Flooded Marshland to a Top Tourist Destination
Nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, the Island in Pigeon Forge has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a flooded marshland. Today, it is a popular shopping, dining, and entertainment destination that draws millions of visitors each year. Let’s take a closer look at the history of the Island and how it became the top tourist attraction it is today.
The Island in Pigeon Forge was first inhabited by Native American tribes, who used the land for hunting and fishing. In the 1700s, European settlers began to arrive in the area, and the Island became part of the frontier landscape. By the 1800s, the Island was used primarily for farming and timber production.
The Flood of 1972
In 1972, a devastating flood swept through Pigeon Forge, causing extensive damage to the Island and the surrounding area. The Island was left submerged in water, and many of the businesses and homes on the Island were destroyed. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the Island began to be redeveloped.
Redevelopment of the Island
The Island saw new businesses and attractions in the 1980s and 1990s. The Great Smoky Mountain Brewery, opened in 1995, became a local and tourist favorite.
In the early 2000s, a group of investors saw the potential for the Island to become a major tourist destination. They purchased the land and began to develop it into what would eventually become the Island in Pigeon Forge.
The Island is Born
The Island in Pigeon Forge was officially established in 2013, with a grand opening ceremony attended by thousands of people. Pigeon Forge was designed to be a one-stop destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment, and it quickly became one of Tennessee’s top tourist attractions.
Continued Growth and Development
Since its opening, the Island has continued to grow and evolve, with new attractions and restaurants being added on a regular basis. Some of the most notable additions include the Island Show Fountain, which features water dancing to music and lights, and the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, a 200-foot observation wheel that offers breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains.
In 2016, the Island also became home to the Escape Game, a popular interactive game that challenges players to solve puzzles and clues in order to escape a themed room.
The Future of the Island
Pigeon Forge’s Island plans to keep growing and developing. The Island’s management has pledged to keep it a top tourist destination and local pride.
The Island plans to build a new hotel and expand existing attractions. This hotel will put guests in the middle of all the Island’s attractions.
Attractions and Activities on the Island in Pigeon Forge: Fun for the Whole Family
The Island in Pigeon Forge is a one-stop destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. With so many attractions and activities to choose from, it’s no wonder that the Island is one of Tennessee’s top tourist destinations. Here are some of the must-visit attractions and activities on the Island.
1. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
One of the most iconic attractions on the Island is the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. This 200-foot observation wheel offers breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains, with 42 climate-controlled gondolas that can hold up to 8 passengers each. Whether you’re looking for a romantic ride with your significant other or a fun family outing, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is a must-visit attraction on the Island.
2. Island Show Fountain
The Island Show Fountain is another popular attraction on the Island. This fountain features water dancing to music and lights, creating a mesmerizing display that’s sure to delight visitors of all ages. The Island Show Fountain is a great place to take a break and relax, and it’s also the perfect spot for a photo op.
3. The Escape Game
If you’re looking for a fun and challenging activity on the Island, look no further than the Escape Game. This interactive game challenges players to solve puzzles and clues in order to escape a themed room. With different themes to choose from, including “The Heist” and “Prison Break,” the Escape Game is a great way to test your problem-solving skills and have fun with friends or family.
Dining and Shopping on the Island in Pigeon Forge: A Foodie and Shopper’s Paradise
The Island in Pigeon Forge is not just a fun-filled entertainment destination, but also a foodie and shopper’s paradise. With over 60 retail and specialty shops and a wide variety of dining options, there is something for everyone on the Island.
1. Shopping on the Island
Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs or trendy clothing boutiques, the Island has it all. Here are some of the top shopping destinations on the Island:
- Ole Smoky Moonshine This popular distillery is known for its wide variety of moonshine flavors, including classic flavors like apple pie and peach, as well as more unique flavors like peanut butter and jelly. Visitors can also shop for souvenirs and moonshine-related merchandise in the gift shop.
- Puzzled This unique puzzle store offers a wide variety of jigsaw puzzles, brain teasers, and other games and toys. With over 1,000 different puzzles to choose from, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your shopping list.
- The Island Trading Post This gift shop offers a wide variety of souvenirs, including t-shirts, hats, and other Island-themed merchandise. It’s the perfect place to pick up a memento of your visit to the Island.
2. Dining on the Island
When it comes to dining, the Island has a wide variety of options to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack or a sit-down meal, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your appetite. Here are some of the top dining destinations on the Island:
- Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen This Southern-style restaurant is known for its delicious comfort food, including fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. The family-style dining experience is perfect for large groups or families.
- Margaritaville This popular chain restaurant is known for its island-inspired cuisine and signature margaritas. The restaurant also features live music and a fun, tropical atmosphere.
- Mellow Mushroom This funky pizza joint offers a wide variety of unique pizza toppings and craft beers. The restaurant also has a fun and eclectic atmosphere, with colorful murals and a laid-back vibe.
Events and Entertainment on the Island in Pigeon Forge: A Non-Stop Fun-Filled Destination
The Island in Pigeon Forge is a destination that never sleeps. There is always something happening on the Island, from live music and concerts to special events and festivals. Here are some of the top events and entertainment options on the Island:
1. Live Music and Concerts
The Island in Pigeon Forge is known for its live music and concerts, featuring some of the best local and national talent. Here are some of the top music venues on the Island:
- The Island Show Fountains This free daily show features a choreographed display of water and light set to popular music. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy some entertainment with the whole family.
- The Island in Pigeon Forge Summer Concert Series During the summer months, the Island hosts a free concert series featuring some of the best local and regional acts. The concerts take place on the Ole Smoky Moonshine stage and are free to attend.
- Margaritaville Island Hotel The Margaritaville Island Hotel is known for its live music performances and events, featuring some of the best local and national talent. Guests can enjoy live music while sipping on a signature margarita or enjoying a delicious meal.
2. Special Events and Festivals
In addition to its regular entertainment offerings, the Island in Pigeon Forge also hosts a wide variety of special events and festivals throughout the year. Here are some of the top events to look out for:
- Winterfest During the holiday season, the Island transforms into a winter wonderland with millions of twinkling lights, festive decorations, and special events. Visitors can enjoy ice skating, meet Santa Claus, and take a carriage ride through the winter wonderland.
- Island in Pigeon Forge Birthday Bash The Island celebrates its anniversary every year with a birthday bash featuring live music, giveaways, and special discounts at Island shops and restaurants.
- Fourth of July Celebration The Island hosts a Fourth of July celebration featuring live music, patriotic activities, and a fireworks display over the Great Smoky Mountains.
Tips for Visiting the Island in Pigeon Forge: Making the Most of Your Trip
The Island in Pigeon Forge is a popular destination for families and tourists looking for a fun-filled day or night out. To make the most of your trip, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Plan Ahead
To avoid long lines and crowds, it’s best to plan ahead and arrive early. Consider visiting during the off-season or on a weekday to avoid the biggest crowds.
- Arrive Early The Island in Pigeon Forge opens at 10am, but arriving early can give you a head start on the crowds and lines.
- Visit During the Off-Season The Island is busiest during the summer months and holiday season. Consider visiting during the off-season for a more relaxed experience.
2. Wear Comfortable Clothing and Shoes
The Island is a large outdoor entertainment complex, so comfortable clothing and shoes are a must. Dress for the weather and wear shoes that can handle a lot of walking.
3. Take Advantage of Discounts and Special Offers
The Island offers a variety of discounts and special offers that can help you save money on your visit.
- Join the Island Passport Club The Island Passport Club is a free loyalty program that offers discounts and special offers at Island shops and restaurants.
- Check for Coupons and Deals Check local coupon books and websites for discounts on Island attractions and activities.
4. Try the Local Food
The Island is home to a variety of dining options, from quick bites to sit-down restaurants. Don’t miss out on the chance to try some of the local cuisine.
- Local Favorites Some of the local favorites include the Island Creamery for ice cream and the Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen for Southern comfort food.
5. Enjoy the Nightlife
The Island offers plenty of entertainment options after dark, including live music and a variety of bars and restaurants.
- The Island Show Fountains The Island Show Fountains feature a choreographed display of water and light set to popular music, making for a great evening entertainment option.
- Margaritaville Island Hotel The Margaritaville Island Hotel features live music and events, along with a variety of food and drink options.
Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a weekend trip with friends, the Island in Pigeon Forge is the perfect destination. With its unique blend of entertainment, dining, shopping, and natural beauty, it offers an unforgettable experience that you won’t find anywhere else. From the thrill of the rides to the awe-inspiring views of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Island has something for everyone. So, pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to make unforgettable memories at the Island in Pigeon Forge.
READ MORE HERE: The Island in Pigeon Forge – Family Fun Center