You don’t have to break the bank to have a great time on your Smoky Mountain vacation! There are plenty of activities that are fun for the whole family and that won’t cause you to go over budget. To help you make the most of your trip, here are 6 of the top inexpensive and free things to do in Gatlinburg that you are sure to enjoy!


1. Go for a Hike

One of the best ways to experience the Smoky Mountains is to spend an afternoon hiking through them! There are over 850 miles of hiking trails, each with its own special views and geological features. Many of these trails are also rich in history, so you might just learn a thing or two about what life was like before the national park was established.


2. Enjoy a Scenic Drive

cades cove roadIf you are in the mood to relax, but still want to enjoy the beauty of the Smokies, don’t worry! You can go for a scenic drive on one of the popular roads that go through the national park. You’ll be able to see the breathtaking mountain vistas, all from a comfortable seat in your car! There are even pull outs along the roads that you can use to park and hop out for a picture or two.


3. Window Shop at The Village

The Village in Gatlinburg is conveniently located right off the Parkway and near the entrance to the national park. It’s home to over 27 unique shops, restaurants, and galleries, and you can explore them all without spending a dime, unless you want to. You can also just kick back in front of the fountain and take in the Old World atmosphere.


4. Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community

The Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community is located along the yellow trolley route, so you can get there for only a few dollars! This 8 mile loop features over 100 artists and craftsmen. You can often find them demonstrating their skills in front of other visitors, and answering questions about their trade. It’s the perfect place to find souvenirs and buy unique gifts for friends and family members back home.


5. Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum

Stop by and see over 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers from around the world at the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum! The admission cost is only $3 and goes toward any salt and pepper shaker purchase from the gift shop. The best part is that children 12 and under can enjoy this unique attraction for free!


6. Sample Some Moonshine

Ole Smoky HollerNo trip to the Smokies is complete without a sample of some of the country’s finest moonshine! When you visit Ole Smoky Moonshine, The Holler, you can try all of their top signature and seasonal flavors for just $5! There’s also nightly live music there, so you can enjoy some bluegrass tunes during your tasting.

Now that you know all about the best inexpensive and free things to do in Gatlinburg, it’s time to start planning your getaway! Be sure to check out our Food & Fun page to learn more about all the other exciting attractions, entertainment, and restaurants in the area.