If you think the Great Smoky Mountains and Pigeon Forge have nothing to offer but nature trails and amusement parks, it’s time to take a second look. This favorite family vacation destination also has plenty of fun for lovers of history, including a close-up look at aviation and maritime history that is hard to beat.
The Wright Brothers Never Dreamed of These Planes
Got an aviation enthusiast or military history buff in your group? Be sure to hit the Tennessee Museum of Aviation. Next door to the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge airport you’ll find 50,000 square feet of aviation history, from before Orville and Wilbur through modern-day fighter planes and helicopters. Most of these planes are air-worthy, so you never know which one you’ll see coming in for a landing.
In addition to the aircraft, the museum includes an indoor gallery showcasing thousands of pieces of memorabilia dating back to the earliest flights. With its extensive collection of painstakingly restored aircraft and dedication to military history, the Tennessee Museum of Aviation has earned its place as one of the Great Smoky Mountains’ must-see destinations.
A Heartbreaking Disaster Story Unfolds
Step inside the Titanic Museum of Pigeon Forge and you’ll quickly forget that you’re miles from the nearest ocean. Your unforgettable tour begins with a breathtaking look at what life was like aboard the great ship as you climb the incredible grand staircase. Inside the beautifully appointed first-class stateroom, you’ll listen as survivors tell their heartbreaking tales of loss and rescue. And don’t miss a chance to visit the captain’s bridge, where you’ll see just what an iceberg looks like.
For youngsters, the interactive children’s area offers a chance to steer the ship, build a model, and scan the horizon for icebergs. The Discovery Room provides a stunning view of the wreckage as it sits today, two miles below the icy surface of the North Atlantic. Hear all the details from the crew that’s researched the ship and her history.
American History as Told by Detroit
If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic for the “good old days,” perhaps a trip to the Floyd Garrett Muscle Car Museum is what you need. Whether you owned one or only dreamed of it, you’ll love seeing the 90 beautifully restored cars on display at this unique showplace.
Camaros, Corvettes, and GTOs once ruled the roadways. Today you won’t find many of these remarkable vehicles on the road, but a visit to the Muscle Car Museum lets you enjoy them once again. Pose for a picture next to that 67 Firebird you always wanted, or take a peak under the hood of a 63-1/2 Fastback. Whether you grew up in the 50s or the 90s, you’ll find plenty to admire among these classic cars.
If you’re looking for something fun and educational to do this summer, consider a trip to Pigeon Forge, TN. From vintage planes to unforgettable sea disasters to the heartwarming nostalgia of American muscle cars, there’s something to entertain everyone in your family. Whether you spend a weekend or a week, you’ll find plenty to do and see in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.