4 Unusual Museums in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Published Aug 10, 2021

For a memorable, unique day out, drop in at one of these four small, local museums. If you love country music, classic games, quirky collections, or mind-blowing flavors, you’ll find a museum that’s right for you!

1. Pinball Museum and Arcade

Flex your fingers and get ready--this museum encourages you to play with the exhibits! At Gatlinburg’s Pinball Museum, check out modern and vintage pinball machines including rare special editions and classic pinballs from the 1960s. You’ll find amazing artwork and exciting play on machines with themes including The Walking Dead, Lord of the Rings, Metallica, Star Wars, AC/DC, and more. 

2. Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

Boggle at the 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers from around the world. These charming collectibles probably include some you’ll remember from childhood. Every imaginable shape and theme is here. Every fruit and vegetable, plates of sushi, animals large and small, shakers shaped like dice, or presidents, or pandas, shakers promoting your favorite restaurants or sports teams--see all these and more! Museums don’t get more whimsical than Gatlinburg’s Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum.

3. Chasing Rainbows: The Dolly Parton Story

Located inside Dollywood theme park is this hidden gem, a museum highlighting the remarkable, creative life of Dolly Parton. Dolly’s famous “coat of many colors,” her childhood love notes, her high school marching band uniform, are all here. See original handwritten song lyrics, memorabilia from Dolly’s career, stage costumes, and movie costumes and props. If you visit Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, don’t miss this affectionate tribute to a country music legend. 

4. Hot Sauce Museum

Inside Gatlinburg’s Pepper Palace specialty foods store, you’ll find a museum that really sizzles! The Hot Sauce Museum shows you how hot sauces from all over the world fire up our palates. Learn the history of hot sauce and the heat scale used to judge a sauce’s eye-popping power. 

Check out sauces with names to make your taste buds sweat, like Fire Mountain Inferno, Sudden Death, and Bottle of Poor Judgement. For less terrifying packaging, turn to sauces bearing the logos of your favorite college and pro sports teams. You’ll find antique bottles, familiar household brands, and rare, special-batch sauces. Hunt down the sauce packaged in a realistic, life-sized grenade. If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know, you’d better lay off the sauce!

You’re close to all these fun museums when you stay in a rental cabin in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. Reserve your vacation cabin today.

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