The Smokies are full of family-friendly activities for the whole family to enjoy! The best part is that many of them are free of charge! So, you can have a fantastic time without having to worry about going over your budget. To help you have a fun and affordable getaway, we put together a list of free things to do in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.
1. Visit the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is home to over 100 artists and craftsmen. You’ll have a great time exploring the work of carvers, weavers, watercolor artists, soap makers, potters, and many other talented craftsmen. You can even watch as they demonstrate their abilities before thousands of visitors. This 8-mile loop is also accessible by way of the Yellow Trolley, so you can relax on the drive there.
2. Enjoy a Scenic Drive
If you don’t feel like hiking through the Smokies, you can always go for a scenic drive to enjoy the breathtaking views. The Newfound Gap Road travels 33 miles from Gatlinburg, TN all the way to Cherokee, NC. There are numerous pullouts where you can park your car and hop out to take a few pictures of the majestic mountains surrounding you!
3. Stop by the Sugarlands Visitor Center
The Sugarlands Visitor Center is open every day of the year except Christmas Day, and is completely free to visit! You can enjoy admission to a 20-minute film about the park. You can also browse the extensive natural history exhibits to learn more about the plants and wildlife in the park. There is even a bookstore and shop there if you do happen to want to buy some souvenirs to commemorate your trip. Otherwise, it’s a fun spot to simply browse through.
4. Spend the Day at Patriot Park
Enjoy some fresh mountain air when you and your family have a picnic at Patriot Park! You can enjoy your meal under one of the pavilions there or even spread out a blanket and eat lunch in the sunshine. There’s also a half-mile walking trail lined with the flags of all 50 states and several memorials to the veterans of Pigeon Forge. You can even attend one of the music festivals, Bluegrass concerts or 4th of July fireworks shows at this park.
5. Explore The Island in Pigeon Forge
There is no admission cost to get into The Island in Pigeon Forge! If you enjoy window shopping, there are a ton of unique stores for you to explore. You can also sit in a rocking chair in front of the show fountains and watch as the water dances to the tunes of all your favorite music! You can even enjoy live music at certain times of the year right around the corner from the fountains.
Now that you know all about the best free things to do in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains, it’s time to start planning your trip! Be sure to check out all the other fantastic Gatlinburg attractions while you’re in town so that you can have an unforgettable visit.