When you think of museums, you probably bring up an image of a marble building with dusty, boring exhibits. The many museums you find in Pigeon Forge turn that concept on its head. They offer interactive exhibits, one-of-a-kind objects, and a fun atmosphere. With so many to choose from, you could take a day trip to the Smokies just checking out museums! But you want the best, so we’re here to help you find the 5 best museum attractions in Pigeon Forge!
1. Alcatraz East Crime Museum
The newest museum in Pigeon Forge, Alcatraz East Crime Museum, opened in the Fall of 2016. Since then, it’s been described as “a must see for CSI fans” and garnered a 4.5 stars rating on Trip Adviser. Located at the entrance to The Island, this 24,000 sq. ft. behemoth is designed like a 19th-century prison and inspired by the famous Alcatraz of San Francisco. Inside you’ll be able to explore more than 20 different exhibit areas covering five major themes: 1) history of American crime, 2) consequences of crime, 3) crime scene investigation, 4) crime fighting, and 5) pop culture.
Families who transverse the museum are in for an amazing adventure through American crime. There are lots of interactive exhibits that let you feel like you’re a part of history. The museum is also host to several exclusive artifacts, including the cars of John Dillinger, Al Capone, and even the white Bronco OJ Simpson used to evade police! You won’t leave this museum without learning something new, and there’s something for the entire family to enjoy. Be sure to check out this newest addition to the best museums in Pigeon Forge.
2. Bush’s Baked Beans Visitor Center & General Store
Love Bush’s Baked Beans? Love history? Love dogs? Then you have a perfect museum to visit in Bush’s Baked Beans Visitor Center & General Store. This amazing museum brings visitors fun interactive exhibits that tell the fascinating history of Bush’s Baked Beans. See the journey of the company from the very beginning, grab a photo with Duke, see how much you weigh in beans, and so much more! After you’re done checking out the museum, head over to the Old-Fashioned General Store, where you can grab plenty of assorted candies and Jay and Duke memorabilia. You and your family are guaranteed to love this museum, especially since admission is 100% free!
3. Cooter’s Place
For those of you who grew up watching the hit TV show The Dukes of Hazzard, you can’t miss out on Cooter’s Place. Ben “Cooter” Jones takes visitors through this tribute to the original show. The museum features original costumes, props, memorabilia, thousands of collectibles, and The General Lee! One cool thing about this museum is that the owner is consistently bringing in celebrity guests, like the famous Daisy Duke herself! When you’re done checking out the museum, you and the family can enjoy Cooter’s themed indoor go-kart track and their 18-hole mini-golf course.
4. Elvis & Hollywood Legends Museum
Fans of The King of Rock and Roll shouldn’t miss checking out the Elvis and Hollywood Legends Museum. The museum has been honoring the memory of Elvis Presley for over 35 years. Their recent move to their new location at Walden’s Landing has only made their museum better! Here you’ll enjoy a self-guided audio tour narrated by two of Elvis’ closest friends, Donnie Summer and Ed Hill.
You’ll find plenty of exclusive artifacts from Elvis’ life and the lives of other celebrities through history. Be sure to check out the amazing collection of The King’s automobiles, wardrobe, jewelry, firearms, and other personal items. From the Spring until Fall, be sure to stop by on the weekends for a free concert by one of the preeminent Elvis performers in the Southeast!
5. Titanic Museum
You can’t get closer to understanding and experience the story of the Titanic than at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. This museum is a a completely interactive experience, from the staff being decked out in authentic uniforms from the early 1900s to the ticket from the real-life passenger you receive at the start of your journey.
Each exhibit of the museum has an interactive element that helps you fully understand the experiences of Titanic passengers. The museum regularly hosts special events, like Irish Month during March, where they especially focus on the story of the Irish passengers of the ship. At the Titanic, you’ll find one-of-a-kind exclusive artifacts, such as the violin of William Hartley, the musician who famously played as the Titanic went down. There’s always something new to discover at the Titanic!