horse in a pasture surrounded by mountains

5 Affordable and Free Things to Do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

October 26, 2023

Vacations can be much-needed breaks from day-to-day life, but they can also pose financial challenges. Fortunately, when you decide to visit the Smoky Mountains, you will be able to enjoy a variety of fun activities without dropping tons of dough. Here are some of our top suggestions for the best affordable and free things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge:

1. Hike at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

If you’re looking to enjoy inexpensive fun, there aren’t many options better than hiking at Great Smoky Mountains National Park . With more than 850 miles of trails located throughout the park, you will have no shortage of choices for where to explore. Discover a gorgeous waterfall, explore a historic homestead, or climb to a stunning mountain view — the choice is yours! And since there is no entrance fee to the park and only a small parking fee, this activity will keep you right on budget!

2. Go for a Scenic Drive

newfound gap road

Another inexpensive way to enjoy your time staying in Gatlinburg is to go for a scenic drive along one of the many beautiful roadways that winds through the Smoky Mountains. Check out the Cades Cove Loop Road for an 11-mile journey with plenty of interesting hiking spots and historic sites, or head over to Newfound Gap Road for stunning views and even a look at the spot where Great Smoky Mountains National Park was first dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. No matter where you choose to go for a drive, you’re in for a fantastic time!

3. Visit Downtown Gatlinburg

One of the best free things to do in Gatlinburg is to visit the downtown Strip and see all that the town has to offer! The Gatlinburg Strip is filled with interesting shops, delicious restaurants, and exciting attractions, but you don’t need to drop lots of money to enjoy this vibrant area. You’ll love strolling along the Strip while breathing in the fresh mountain air, plus you can always hop on board the town’s free trolley for an easy and fun way to get around to all the top local destinations!

4. Check Out The Island in Pigeon Forge

the island in pigeon forge

Another spot you can go for fun where you don’t have to spend tons of cash is The Island in Pigeon Forge ! Although there are rides and attractions that do cost money, there are plenty of inexpensive and free activities here as well. Families love walking around this area and seeing all that it has to offer, including the free Island Show Fountain, complete with music and lights that make for an engaging show. And the best part? You can watch this stunning display for free!

5. Relax at Your Cabin

Of course, one of the best free things to do in Gatlinburg when you come to visit is to simply relax at your cabin! We offer a variety of cabin options that come with great features like stunning mountain views, hot tubs, fire pits, and more. Whether you’re sitting with a cup of coffee and watching the sunrise or roasting marshmallows while taking in the view of the mountain night sky, there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself right at your cabin!

When you check out some of these great affordable and free things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, you’ll be able to have a memorable and fun vacation in the Smoky Mountains without breaking the bank. And for even more ways to save, check out our cabin specials for the best deals and discounts on your next stay!

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