One of the best things about vacationing in Gatlinburg is the affordability of the things to do.  There are a nice variety of free attractions and outdoor adventures which are sure to please the entire family.  Plus, when you take advantage of the free activities available you’ll have extra money to spend on where you lodge, memory-keeping souvenirs or be able to treat yourself to some of the quality Gatlinburg restaurants.

Free things to do in Gatlinburg include:

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park:  With over 500,000 acres creating the Great Smoky Mountains National Park there are plenty of places to explore.  Go for a scenic auto tour, hike through the mountains, rent a bike and cycle the area or saddle up for a horseback ride.  There is no end to the ways you can see the Smokies.  Plus, there are no entrance fees to the park!

Cades Cove: Located within the boundaries of the National Park, Cades Cove is home to historic cabins, churches, farmhouses and other structures preserved from its time as an 1819 settlement.  A one-way, 11 mile stretch of road winds through the valley of Cades Cove, marked with 19 self-guided tour stops highlighting the prominent structures and beautiful scenery of the area.

Gatlinburg Riverwalk:  Go for a stroll in downtown Gatlinburg on the Riverwalk.  Located a block off the parkway, the Little Pigeon Riverwalk is a peaceful place to soak up the serenity of the mountains.

Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community:  Hop on a trolley for a free ride to visit this independent arts and crafts community.  Almost 100 artist studios, galleries and shops are located on the 8-mile loop of the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community.  Internationally recognized, the arts and crafts community in Gatlinburg is free to visit.

Sugarlands Visitor Center: Stop by the Sugarlands Visitor Center at the northern entrance of the National Park for a free educational film and to see mounted specimens of animals found in the park, as well as reproductions of journals kept by early park naturists.  A visit to Sugarlands Visitor Center is also helpful if you’re planning on spending much time exploring the National Park. They have trail guides and a variety of pamphlets regarding the park, each on sale for a $1 each.