9 New Smoky Mountain Attractions to Visit in 2020

The Ole Smoky Barn at The Island in Pigeon Forge.
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The new year is bringing new attractions, restaurants, shops and more to the Smoky Mountain area! In 2019 we got Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Gatlinburg, Wildwood Grove and the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park. You can expect even more exciting additions in 2020! Here are 9 new Smoky Mountain attractions to visit in 2020.

1. Double Decker Bus Tours

Visitors to the Smoky Mountains will be able to enjoy Double Decker Bus Tours! If you’ve been to any major cities around the world, we’re sure you’ve seen the big red double decker buses driving around. When you visit the Smoky Mountains in 2020, you’ll have the same opportunity to explore the sights from these buses! The Smokies Double Decker Bus Tours officially started rolling out early on Dec. 23, 2019, but you will love experiencing everything they have to offer in the new year. The bus tour features 10 stops in Pigeon Forge and 4 in Gatlinburg. See the Smokies in a whole new way from these buses! They even offer combo packages with local attractions, like CLIMB Works and Rowdy Bear Mountain.

2. Flying Theater at The Island

The Island in Pigeon Forge fountain and wheelIn early 2020, Smoky Mountain visitors will be able to have the experience of a lifetime at The Island in Pigeon Forge. Soar to new heights on a state-of-the-art ride that includes the movements, sounds, scents and mists of an aerial adventure across the United States. This flying theater ride is a $20 million investment and will be located adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and the Show Fountain. During the ride, you’ll be watching a custom film that features some of the country’s most beautiful natural wonders and landmarks. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to try this ride and enjoy all the other fun things to do at The Island!

3. Shops at The Tower Shops at The Mountain Mile

While an exact date for everything to be open at The Mountain Mile has yet to be determined, you can expect a few shops and eateries to open at The Tower Shops in 2020. In spring of 2020, a new REI location will open! The store typically features activities like camping, backpacking, hiking and more. Mountain Rifle Coffee Company will be opening next year too, as well as Currahee Vineyards.

4. Chicken Guy Restaurant

chicken tenders and fries in basketOf course one of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains is eat, and you’ll have a delicious new place to dine soon. Guy Fieri is bringing his famous chicken restaurant to East Tennessee! Opening in Gatlinburg in 2020 is Chicken Guy! This restaurant offers something for everyone, including all-natural chicken tenders and chicken sandwiches with one-of-a-kind flavors. The chicken can be paired with more than 20 different sauces. You’ll also be able to enjoy “Flavortown Frozen Treats,” including Triple Double Mint, hand-spun mint chocolate soft serve with crushed Oreo cookies, chocolate mints, chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

5. Flower and Food Festival at Dollywood

Dollywood offers a new experience for visitors each year, and its 2020 season is no different! Coming in May of 2020, enjoy the brand new Flower and Food Festival at Dollywood! The festival will run from May 8 though June 14 and allow visitors to enjoy nearly half a million flowers and plants throughout the park. See tributes to “I Will Always Love You” and “Coat of Many Colors” and a number of interactive displays. There will also be delicious food and drink options, like spring beef over crispy potatoes, caprese skewers and rose lemon spritzer!

6. 360 Tower at Anakeesta

Firefly Village at AnakeestaAnakeesta began its 2019-20 expansion this year, and there is still plenty to come in the next year. A wood and steel observation tower is opening in summer of 2020, providing 360 degree views of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. The observation tower stands 55 feet above the attraction’s Vista Gardens and 655 feet above downtown Gatlinburg. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see as far as Kentucky! This new tower just adds another reason to why Anakeesta is one of the most popular Smoky Mountain attractions.

7. Buzzed Bull Creamery

An ice cream shop perfect for adults is opening in Pigeon Forge in 2020! Buzzed Bull Creamery offers liquid nitrogen ice cream with boozy options. Everything is made to order, and you can even watch as it’s being made! See your treat start as a liquid, then transform into a frozen state in a matter of seconds. While the shop does offer frozen treats for all ages, guests 21 and over can choose from alcohol-infused made-to-order ice cream, milkshakes and coffee. Some of the popular desserts that will be offered are Death By Chocolate and The Dreamsicle.

8. Ruby Sunshine

eggs benedict on a plateA brand new diner is coming to Gatlinburg! Ruby Sunshine has plans to open in early 2020 and will serve delicious breakfast items all day. The restaurant puts a New Orleans-style twist on Southern brunch classics. Enjoy everything from “Eggs-traordinary Benedicts” to shrimp & grits. The menu also has a variety of cocktails for you to sip during your brunch, including the restaurant’s award-winning Bloody Marys!

9. Pigeon Forge Chairlift

While not many details have been released about this attraction yet, we do know that Pigeon Forge is getting its own chairlift in 2020. While there are several chairlift attractions in Gatlinburg, this will be the first of its kind in Pigeon Forge! You’ll be able to enjoy breathtaking views of Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains.

More Smoky Mountain Attractions

While you eagerly wait for these new things to do in the Smoky Mountains to open in 2020, you can spend your time enjoying other area attractions! Learn more about the best Smoky Mountain attractions and start planning your visit.

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