For some people, Smoky Mountain attractions are all about the serene, majestic beauty of the outdoors. For others, it’s the excitement and glitz of Dollywood or the Hollywood Wax Museum. But for a few brave souls who are in the know, the best attract
ions in the Smokies are all about the monsters!
talking about the mysterious Skunk Ape or famed Bigfoot roaming around, but if you’re interested in monster-sized attractions, or those that have monsters waiting to scare you, the Smokies have many to fit the bill. T-Rexs, monsters of the deep, monster trucks, and a plethora of generally creepy things all await you in the Smokies.
If you’re looking for the loudest fun you can have, look no further than Sevierville, Tennessee, where you’ll not only watch monster trucks, but actually ride in one. Each truck is 12 feet tall, has 66-inch wheels, and weighs a whopping 12,000 pounds. Each truck can carry up to 12 passengers around its dirt track.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not & Aquarium
Finally, in your tour of monster Smoky Mountain attractions, there’s the king of the odd, unusual, and creepy: Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium and the Ripley’s Aquarium. One has old monsters preserved, the other features live monsters of the deep.
As the self-proclaimed “strangest place in Gatlinburg,” the Odditorium is a creepy place with a surreal, eerie atmosphere. You can run through it, just glancing from display to display, but if you stop to read the history behind the items, it’s easy to scare yourself silly.
But a longtime favorite of all these attractions is Ripley’s Aquarium. Never mind that the middle of the Appalachian Mountains isn’t necessarily the most logical place for an aquarium. The range of fishes and sea life you’ll see here is simply astounding.
At this water otherworld you’ll be intrigued by little monsters like piranhas and jellies, and the huge monsters like the aptly named Giant Pacific Octopus, which has an arm span of 14 feet. Then there are the evil-looking sharks in Shark Lagoon. As you glide quietly on a conveyer belt underneath
the aquarium, the sharks and other fishes swim above you. Look closely and you’ll learn from firsthand experience what scary teeth Sand Tiger Sharks have!
If that’s not enough to draw you, there’s hands-on entertainment as well, at the Touch a Ray pool. Here, you can lay your hands on small sharks and sting rays under the supervision of the Aquarists. Even the littlest kids in your family will be able to say they’ve pet a sea monster and lived to tell the tale.
So, if you’re looking for monster-themed adventures, these Smoky Mountain attractions have got you covered. Many will send you gleefully running for cover, too!