cades cove loop with fog over the mountains

6 Free and Affordable Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains

Everyone wants to save money while they’re on vacation. You can stick to your budget when you try these free and affordable things to do in the Smoky Mountains! Just because something is free or inexpensive doesn’t mean you won’t have just as much fun as if you spent a ton of money! Check out these 6 free and affordable things to do in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Hike in the National Park

The Appalachian Trail in the Smoky MountainsOne of the most popular free things to do in the Smoky Mountains is to hike in the national park. With over 850 miles of hiking trails, you have plenty to choose from! The trails range from easy to difficult, so there’s a hiking trail that’s perfect for everyone! Many trails have views of the mountains, while others have waterfalls along the way. You can also see old buildings or just walk through the woods with a view of creeks and rivers.

2. Take a Scenic Drive

Another great activity that’s free and fun is to take a scenic drive through the mountains. Cades Cove is a popular drive through the mountains where you can see old buildings and beautiful scenery. The Roaring Fork Motor Trail is a rustic, less traveled road where you’ll pass old forest growth, creeks, and historic buildings. The Foothills Parkway finally opened the Missing Link portion a few years ago, and you’ll have incredible views of the mountains.

3. Go on the Rocky Top Wine Trail

wine tastingIf you’re 21 years old and up, you can enjoy going through the Rocky Top Wine Trail! You make your way to 5 different wineries around Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. You’ll be able to taste a few of their wines for free at each stop. They suggest taking a few days to go along the wine trail instead of trying to do it all in a single day.

4. Visit the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

Do something unique and affordable while you’re in Gatlinburg! When you visit the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, you only have to pay a $3 entrance fee, which then goes toward a purchase in the gift shop. There are all kinds of salt and pepper shakers, from a variety of colors to a ton of shapes. The owners of the museum starting out collecting and then wanted to share their collection with the public!

5. Play Mini Golf

crave golf club signSevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg are full of mini golf courses, which are great affordable things to do in the Smoky Mountains! One of the best ones in Sevierville is Ripley’s Old MacDonald Mini Golf. They have three courses: cow, chicken, and pig. They range from easy to hard and have a ton of farm animal features everyone will love. Crave Golf Club is a dessert-themed mini golf course in Pigeon Forge. There’s an outside course and an indoor course. Gatlin’s Mini Golf in Pigeon Forge includes two outdoor courses that are Smoky Mountain themed and an indoor blacklight course.

6. Taste Moonshine

Visitors who are 21 years old and up can go moonshine tasting for only $5 in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge! Sugarlands Distilling Company has a cocktail kitchen where you can taste drinks the bartenders have made. You can also taste a variety of their moonshine flavors. Ole Smoky Moonshine has locations in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. You can also taste their popular moonshine flavors for $5. At both distilleries, your $5 will go towards a purchase in their shop.

Having fun doesn’t have to cost a fortune! You have plenty of free and affordable things to do in the Smoky Mountains. To help you save even more, check out our Adventure Pass you’ll receive when you book your next stay with us.

For more ideas of what you should do when you visit the Smoky Mountains, check out these unique things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge!