The 6 Best Museums in Gatlinburg

The 6 Best Museums in Gatlinburg

When it comes to fun in the Great Smoky Mountains, the possibilities are endless. This area is one of the top family vacation destinations in the country for a reason, and vacationers keep coming back, again and again.

In addition to the breathtaking natural scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains, there are numerous family-friendly Gatlinburg attractions, diversions, curiosities, and more around every bend. So once you’ve reached your fill of nature and are seeking a different kind of wonder, these top museums in Gatlinburg are sure to delight and entertain and keep your curiosity peaked.

1. Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum

The kooky, the quirky, the absolutely absurd, who doesn’t want to shake it up a little on vacation? Shake the salt shaker, I mean. Well, if you are seeking to visit a museum that is truly one-of-a-kind (in fact it’s the only one that exists in the United States, they do have a sister store in Spain), why not visit the Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakes?

Where else can you explore and view over 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers from all over the world?

You will see salt and pepper shakers big and small, of all shapes, colors, designs, textures and materials. Pairs you had never imagined coming together as one for the purpose of decorating your table, tickling the mind. There are animals like penguins, vegetables of every kind, shakers honoring Mt. Rushmore, shakers honoring the Beatles and your non-typical kinds like: skulls, witches, tombstones and more.

Visitors can purchase their own quirky shakers to commemorate their visit. In fact, your $3.00 admission to the museum goes towards this purchase. Now that’s more than you can shake some salt at!

Whether you’re looking for things to do in the winter in Gatlinburg, or just because, be sure to visit the Sale and Pepper Shakes museums during your family cabin stay in Gatlinburg. 

2. Titanic Museum Attraction

The tragic sinking of the world-famous luxury liner, the RMS Titanic, is a true-life story of infinite intrigue and mystery. Many people’s interest became even more piqued after the 1997 Hollywood motion picture, Titanic, hit theaters. Interest in this infamous ship and its quick demise has continued to build and today visitors to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area can live the experience at the Titanic Museum Attraction.

Visitors don’t just learn more about this grand ocean liner and its fateful night, but they experience it as the passengers themselves experienced this colossal ship and its short journey before sinking. Guests to the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge will walk replicas of the ship’s hallways, parlors, cabins, and famous grand staircase. In addition they will experience this “simulated” tour surrounded by 400 artifacts from real passengers that were aboard the ship.

3. Hollywood Star Cars Museum

Cars have long defined an era, a feeling, and a sense of their own character. Famous cars that have appeared in popular movies and television shows have had a similar impact on pop culture and been imprinted on our minds.

Visitors to the Hollywood Star Cars Museum in Gatlinburg can take a trip through time and see some of the most famous cars that defined an era or moment in pop culture. Visitors will see cars that have been stars or characters in their own right from famous movies and television series over the last 50 years. These cars are displayed in recreated movie settings with sound, lights and action to recreate that original feeling that so enraptured audiences at one time.

Hollywood Star Cars museum is a fun excursion for the whole family. Not only is it a blast from the past, but kids, youth and parents can appreciate and relive legendary motion pictures and television moments as they experience this museum.

4. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium

Ripley’s is known for the strange, mysterious and unexplained. Established in Gatlinburg in 1970, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium has been wowing and mystifying visitors for over 44 years.

The current Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium 12,500 square foot museum has over 500 exhibits and artifacts. With 16 themed galleries, spread over three floors, these oddities are sure to keep you intrigued and entertained for hours.

Visitors Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium can enjoy some of the artifacts Ripley gathered during his many travels and quests. Guests to the Gatlinburg Odditorium will step back in time and visit some of the cruel and inhuman torture devices, such as the “Iron Maiden.” This medieval torture device contained a hinged door front with a cabinet that displayed various spikes, short enough that victims wouldn’t die instantly, but instead experience a slow and agonizing death. For the truly exceptional and insanely weird, Ripley’s Odditorium is a place not to miss.

5. Gatlinburg Pinball Museum

If you’re staying in a family cabin in Gatlinburg, make sure to visit the Gatlinburg Pinball Museum with your loved ones. The museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of pinball, and all proceeds go towards maintaining and restoring the machines.

Upon entering the museum, you’ll be transported back in time as you explore the rows of pinball machines, each with its unique design and theme. 

One of the standout features of the Gatlinburg Pinball Museum is the interactive nature of the experience. Unlike traditional museums where you can only look but not touch, the pinball machines are fully functional and available for kids to play. This hands-on approach allows you to fully immerse yourself in the game and appreciate the artistry and engineering behind each machine.

The Great Smoky Mountains offer more than just beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. There are also several museums in Gatlinburg that provide visitors with unique and entertaining experiences. From the quirky and kooky Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum to the Titanic Museum Attraction, where guests can experience the ship’s fateful journey there is something for everyone. These museums are just a few of the many things to do when staying in your Gatlinburg cabin.