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Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg attract millions of visitors from around the world each and every year.  Thrilling rides, sky-high views, family-friendly attractions, and the most visited national park in the country are only a few of the exciting options for your visit to the Smoky Mountains.  With the vacation season in full swing, take a look at a few of the new things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in 2020.

Pigeon Forge Axe House

An axe rests on a block of wood in front of targets

Lumberjacks are always in style at Pigeon Forge Axe House! Billed as “the ultimate adventure for those looking to step outside of your comfort zone.”  Axe throwing has been getting more popular all across the country and it finally comes to Pigeon Forge.  Similar to playing a game of darts, you’ll be throwing your axe toward a target with a bullseye.  After your group gets the hang of things, Pigeon Forge Axe House offers other games to keep you entertained.  

Each group will have an axe coach watching over your group to ensure for safety and offering tips during your time at Pigeon Forge Axe House.  They’ll also go over plenty of safety precautions and teach you a few skills before letting you try your hand at throwing.  

Of course, you’ll work up an appetite once you really get going.  Pigeon Forge Axe House has you covered.  Pizza at the Cove offers not only pizza and chicken wings, but apps, sandwiches, and even desserts.  They even offer a nice cold beer, so grab a brew and a few buddies and get ready for some fun vacation memories at one of the new attractions in Pigeon Forge in 2020.    

Located at 2850 Parkway, Suite 13 in Pigeon Forge.  Reach Pigeon Forge Axe House at 865-366-1476 or check out their website for more information.  

Double Decker Bus Tours


The iconic double decker buses of the UK are now a staple of the Pigeon Forge Parkway.  These buses come straight from Europe, and the bus driver even sits on the right hand side.  No longer will your family miss anything around them on the Parkway.  Let the bus driver do the work for you while you sit back and enjoy the sights.  These buses are definitely one of the coolest new attractions in Pigeon Forge in 2020.  

Double Decker Bus Tours currently offer 14 stops throughout Sevier County, including into Gatlinburg & Sevierville.  The busses are able to make these loops all day long, giving you the opportunity to hop off and enjoy attractions before hopping back on and continuing the route.  

Specialty tours are also available for booking.  If you’re in town for a girls weekend or a guys trip, consider renting the Party Bus Tour.  The 2-story, open air bus allows for seating up to 40 people.  Bring your own beverages, listen to some tunes on the premium sound system and sit back to enjoy the ride!  A tour guide is also included.  

For families, consider booking the Cades Cove bus tour.  Savor the beauty of the mountains without having to pay attention to traffic.  The open air bus is a great place to sit and take in the fresh mountain breeze and spot the local wildlife.  

Visit Double Decker Bus Tours’ website or give them a call at 877-258-5876.  

Soaky Mountain

pool floats in a swimming pool

A brand new outdoor water park is set to open in Sevierville on June 27th, 2020.  Soaky Mountain is a one-of-a-kind water park built into the hillsides just outside of Pigeon Forge.  This 50-acre attraction isn’t just for kids though.  T here are some exciting thrill rides for adults too!  

For families, Appalachian Falls Tower offers five-person rafts to ride together.  Start by flying down an enclosed flume, followed by back-to-back zero G wall rides.  Appalachian Falls Tower also showcases eye-popping lighting in the Ranbow Revent.  

Rocky Top Raceway Speed Slide Tower is sure to fulfill your need for speed!  Race up to three other people while hurtling along through tunnels & a braided section, speeding toward the checkerboard finish.  

Of course, plenty of food and beverage options are at Soaky Mountain.  Whet your appetite with the Rolly Macaroni food truck – featuring different takes on the classic comfort food, or any number of meals at Base Camp Bistro.  Wipe Out Bar offers hand-crafted cocktails, beer, and snacks overlooking the Smokies.  

Visit Soaky Mountain’s website to learn more about pricing, location, and all their offerings.  

Rowdy Bear Mountain Adventure Park 


Gatlinburg’s #1 Adventure Park made its way into Pigeon Forge late last year.  One of the park expansions new in Pigeon Forge in 2020 though – the park has built a new play area.  The play area has plenty of netting to crawl through and a slide, too.  It’s located right next to the laser gun coaster – North America’s first alpine flyer.  Rowdy Bear Mountain Adventure Park in Pigeon Forge also offers a tubing hill – no snow or water required.  

Rowdy Bear Adventure Park’s Pigeon Forge location is located at 2155 Parkway, Pigeon Forge right next door to one of our favorite places for burgers – The Local Goat!  Reach them at 865-365-1883.  

Anakeesta Expansion 

Chondola at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, TN

Get ready for the largest Anakeesta expansion yet in 2020.  The Gatlinburg attraction, already a favorite with locals and visitors alike, has some major upgrades ready for your visit this year.  The additions make this a must stop new attraction in Gatlinburg in 2020.  

Included in the upgrades?  The Observation tower at the summit.  The tower, when completed, will be the tallest point in Gatlinburg and offers 360-degree views into downtown Gatlinburg & the national park.  

Also included is a water play area designed to look like a mountain stream.  There’s even a waterfall to cool you off on a hot summer day.  

All that extra activity is sure to make you hungry and thirsty.  Anakeesta is also adding the Smokehouse and Brewery restaurant.  Have a local craft beer and southern style barbecue.  Relax after with a frozen yogurt and take in the mountain views from inside or outside.  

For the latest updates on the happenings at Anakeesta and information on the opening dates, Anakeesta recommends people sign up for their newsletter

Anakeesta is located at 576 Parkway in Gatlinburg; 865-325-2400.


pizza on a cutting board

Wondering what new restaurants are open in the Smokies in 2020?  Here are a few local eateries opening their doors this year.  

Ruby Sunshine

Love brunch? You are in for a treat!  Ruby Sunshine is now open in Gatlinburg.  Based on the New Orleans eatery, Ruby Slipper Cafe, Ruby Sunshine offers all day breakfast options.  

Start your meal with some sweet french toast bites – a brioche bread, fried and covered in cinnamon sugar, topped with cream cheese & praline sauce.  Follow that treat with a savory round of breakfast tacos – served vegetarian or with just about any meat you choose.  

Ruby Sunshine also offers a cocktail menu featuring an award-winning bloody mary.  The house-made spicy bloody mary mix includes your choice of vodka, a bacon-infused vodka, or tequila blanco.  If a sweet drink is more your style, try the boozy iced coffee – vodka, cold brew coffee, milk with cream, vanilla syrup, and whipped cream on top!

Check out all their tasty offerings over on their menu.

Ruby Sunshine is located at 105 Regan Drive and can be reached at 865-412-9710.  

Byrd’s Famous Cookies

The Savannah bakery favorite is now one of the new restaurants in Pigeon Forge in 2020!  Family owned Byrd’s Famous Cookies resides in the Island in Pigeon Forge.  A Gatlinburg location plans to open in the summer.  

The Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg locations both offer a cookie bar filled with free samples, as well as retail to buy and ship your cookies to friends and family around the country.  

Sunliner Diner

Opened in December 2019, The Sunliner Diner in Pigeon Forge is set with classic 1950s diner decor.  From the shiny chrome exterior of the building to the checkerboard floors to the classic car booths – you’ll think you’ve stepped back in time when you dine here.  

Like any classic diner, breakfast is served all day.  Classic breakfasts include different types of egg benedict, corned beef hash, and country fried steak.  For the more modern take, avocado toast with a Beyond Patty or seasonal fruit are sure to satisfy your breakfast desires.  

Of course, what’s a diner without dinner specials?  Classic Burgers, patty melts, meatloaf, and chicken and waffles all round out this menu.  

Located at 2302 Parkway, Pigeon Forge.  Reach the Sunliner Diner at 865-366-1263. 

Book a Stay

Mountain views and a cabin deck at Heaven's Hill, a Gatlinburg cabin rental

With so many great new attractions in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in 2020, it’s definitely time for visit!  Whether it’s your first visit to the Smokies or your fiftieth, American Patriot Getaways has a cabin for you.  From studio-style economy cabins all the way to 13 bedroom palatial chalets, any family or group can be accommodated in the our cabins.  Book a cabin close to the Parkway and you won’t miss any of these new Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge attractions in 2020 on your vacation.  Book right online using our website, or give our friendly Reservation staff a call at 800-204-5169 to get started planning that much-needed trip.  

Be sure to follow us on social media – we have Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest to help you plan your best possible trip to the Smoky Mountains ever!  


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