Top 6 Free and Affordable Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains

salt and pepper shaker museum
July 27, 2020

There are a ton of fun things to do in the Smoky Mountains, but you don’t have to spend a ton of money to do them! You’ll be glad to know there are a ton of free and affordable activities you’ll want to check out. Here are the top free and affordable things to do in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

great smoky mountains national park entrance sign

One of the most popular activities that’s free in the area is visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You have so many fun things to choose from to try, including hiking, fishing, and going on a picnic. Get out on the trails and enjoy seeing a waterfall or incredible mountain views. Spend time splashing in the creek after you enjoy eating a meal at one of the picnic sites. Your whole family will love visiting the national park!

2. Take a Scenic Drive

Another free thing to do in the Smoky Mountains is to go for a scenic drive. Many of the popular drives are in the national park, and some of them aren’t. The most popular drive is Cades Cove, and it is in the park. As you drive through the valley, you’ll get to enjoy mountain views, wildlife, and historic buildings. Many other drives, such as Newfound Gap and Foothills Parkway, have incredible mountain views and are a great way to see the fall colors.

3. Go Through the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community

Arts and Crafts Community sign

In Gatlinburg, there’s an area called the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. It’s an 8 mile loop of artisans and craftsmen and their shops. You can watch these people make all kinds of things, from pottery to jewelry to instruments. You don’t have to purchase anything, but it’s a great place to go just to see the culture of the area. It’s possible you might find a souvenir you want to bring back with you!

4. Check Out the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

An affordable thing to do in the Smoky Mountains is visit the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum. Admission is only $3, and this goes towards a purchase in their gift shop. The owners started a collection and wanted to share it with the community. There are all kinds of shakers with various colors, materials, shapes, and age. It’s definitely a unique stop, and it doesn’t cost much!

5. Walk Around The Island in Pigeon Forge

the island in pigeon forge

Another great place to go if you enjoy walking around is The Island in Pigeon Forge. They have a show fountain that is synchronized to music and lights. There are rocking chairs around the fountain, and everyone will enjoy watching it. You can browse through the shops, watch the ferris wheel light up, and just have fun being together.

6. Go Moonshine or Wine Tasting

There are several places throughout the Smokies where you can taste moonshine and wine. Wineries offer their homemade wines, and they have a wide variety, including reds, whites, and sparklings. Moonshine tastings are usually $5, and you can taste a variety of flavors, from original to unusual flavors such as dill pickle. There are also a couple of cider houses in the area!

These are just a few free and affordable things to do in the Smoky Mountains you’ll enjoy. Want to know how else you can save on fun activities? Check out our Smoky Mountain Adventure Pass to see what kind of deals you’ll get when you book one of our cabins for your next vacation!