cantilever barn in cades cove
December 12, 2016

Gatlinburg, TN is one of the most affordable places to take a vacation! While there are plenty of wonderful paid attractions in the area, there also a variety of excellent activities that don’t cost a cent to enjoy. To help you make the most of your getaway, Parkside Cabin Rentals has put together a guide to the top six free things to do in Gatlinburg TN.

1. Take a Scenic Drive in the Smokies

Driving through the Smoky Mountains is one of the best ways to enjoy the area’s natural beauty for free. None of the roads in the Smokies impose a toll, so gas is the only expense you’ll have while auto touring. Here are a few of our favorite places for a scenic drive in the Gatlinburg area:

  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

  • Newfound Gap Road

  • Upper Tremont Road

  • Cades Cove Loop Road

2. Explore the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community

The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is the nation’s largest group of independent artisans. Located off of the East Parkway in Gatlinburg, this 8 mile loop is home to numerous galleries, studios, and shops that showcase the incredible products created by the artists in the community. While there are many opportunities to purchase items, there is no charge for just browsing and enjoying the artwork.

3. Go for a Hike in the National Parkhiking trail in the smoky mountains

Hiking is another one of the most popular free things to do in Gatlinburg TN. There are over 800 miles of beautiful trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so you are guaranteed to find the perfect hike for your group. The national park does not charge an entrance fee, so traveling through all of the majestic scenery in the Smokies doesn’t cost any money. For help planning your hiking adventure, check out our guide to trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

4. Listen to Live Music

Much like Memphis and Nashville, Gatlinburg is a very musical city. Country and bluegrass are the genres of choice, but you’re likely to hear a little bit of everything during your vacation. There are a number of moonshine distilleries and restaurants that offer live music for guests to enjoy for free. Here are some of the best places to take in some tunes around town:

  • The Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery

  • Sugarlands Distillery

  • Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill (live music every night)

  • Three Jimmy’s (live entertainment most nights of the week)

  • Smoky Mountain Brewery (live music Monday through Saturday)

  • Loco Burro (live entertainment on weekends, and during the week in the summer)

5. Have a Picnic

Having a picnic is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors without working up a sweat. Mynatt Park, Mills Park, and Herbert Holt Park all offer picnic tables and grills for guests to take advantage of. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also home to a number of superb picnic areas, including:

  • Greenbrier

  • Cades Cove

  • Metcalf Bottoms

scenic overlook on gatlinburg bypass6. Admire the Views from the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook

Located right along the Gatlinburg Bypass, the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook is one of the most photographed spots in the Great Smoky Mountains. This view is so popular because of the dramatic contrast between the city of Gatlinburg (which has an elevation of about 1,300 feet) and Mount LeConte (which is 6,593 feet tall). Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Trying to stick to a budget? Check out these affordable cabin rentals in Gatlinburg!

When you stay with Parkside Cabin Rentals, you will be just a short drive from all of the best free things to do in Gatlinburg TN. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 7 bedroom lodges, we are sure to have the perfect property for your vacation. To start planning your getaway, browse our complete selection of Gatlinburg cabin rentals!

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