Are you thinking about Free Things to Do in Gatlinburg? If so, you’re in for a real treat. The city is full of breathtaking mountain views, an endless array of outdoor activities, and plenty of souvenir shops and restaurants. But what if you’re looking to do something a little bit different while you’re in town?
Good news! There are plenty of free things to do in Gatlinburg that will still give you an unforgettable experience. From the iconic Great Smoky Mountains National Park to top-notch arts and culture opportunities, free activities in Gatlinburg can offer something for everyone. In fact, with so many options, it can be hard to know where to start.
Fear not! In this article, we’ll cover some of the best (and most enjoyable) Free Things to Do in Gatlinburg that won’t cost you a thing. Get ready: You’re sure to have an amazing time!
Free Things to Do in Gatlinburg: An Unforgettable Experience!
Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Gatlinburg is the perfect destination for an unforgettable experience, and what better way to explore the area than by taking a look at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? At no cost, you’ll get to experience some of the most incredible views and scenery in the entire country. Whether you want to hike along one of the hundreds of trails or go camping in one of the backcountry sites, you’ll find plenty of things to do at no extra cost. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife on your journey!
Another great way to explore Gatlinburg without spending a penny is by visiting some of its nature centers. From these centers, you can learn about the surroundings and view exhibits about local biomes. The nearby Gatlinburg Trail also offers a free walk through some of Gatlinburg’s stunning scenery while providing information boards that highlight different aspects of nature—such as bird migration patterns—making it an educational experience as well. So don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal with the Smokies!
Walking the Downtown Parkway
One of the best free activities you can do in Gatlinburg is simply walking the Downtown Parkway! Located at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this two-mile stretch is full of shops, galleries, eateries and more. Window shop for a bit or take your time browsing each store—you’re sure to find something special.
And let’s not forget about all of the stunning sights! During your walk, you’ll get to explore historical sites such as the 19th century Chapel in the Glen or make a stop by Ripley’s Aquarium of The Smokies. As you stroll down the Parkway, you can observe breathtaking views of nearby mountains that make for great photographic opportunities.
No matter what pace you decide to take your walk, you’ll be able to enjoy a leisurely experience! Along with all of its stores and sights, Downtown Parkway offers benches along its sidewalks where you can take a seat and people watch. A free activity like this guarantees an unforgettable experience in Gatlinburg.
Visiting the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Loop
Are you looking for something to do in Gatlinburg for free? Look no further than the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Loop! This 8-mile stretch of road is home to the largest group of independent artisans in the entire country!
The loop is a great way to spend an afternoon exploring and shopping for unique, handmade crafts from pottery to jewelry and everything in between. Most of the galleries, shops, and studios on the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Loop are open every day from 10am to 5pm.
What makes this loop even better is that most of its members are third- or fourth-generation artists that have been creating art in this small mountain town since 1934! That’s a lot of history, talent, and authenticity all wrapped up into one great experience. Plus, each place along the way offers something different. So no matter what you’re looking for – whether it’s pottery or baskets – you are sure to find something that you’ll love!
Taking a Leisurely Hike on the River Trail
Table Rock Trail is a 1.6-mile trail that runs along the Little Pigeon River into the heart of downtown Gatlinburg. The trail offers stunning views of Mt. LeConte and the Smoky Mountains, which are sure to take your breath away! This leisurely, but moderate hike is great for families with younger kids and hikers at any age. The trail features several benches and overlooks where you can rest and take in picturesque views of the park. You may even come across local wildlife like birds, otters, or even black bears!
You can access Table Rock Trail via the River Road parking lot or in downtown Gatlinburg at the base of Mt. LeConte Street or Baskins Creek Road. Be sure to bring plenty of water and stay on the groomed trail for your safety and comfort!
Exploring the Local Museums and Galleries
One of the great things about Gatlinburg, Tennessee is its close proximity to the Smoky Mountains and numerous free attractions. If you’re looking for something a bit more cultural, then you’ll be delighted to know that there are also a number of museums and galleries in the area.
From art galleries and history museums to specialty exhibits, there’s no shortage of eye-catching displays around Gatlinburg.
These attractions are often free and open to the public, so they make for a perfect day or weekend activity. Here are some of our favorite museums and galleries:
- The Great Smoky Mountains Museum of Natural History: This museum offers interactive displays of artifacts, fossils, and natural history specimens as well as a Planetarium.
- The Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts Gallery: This gallery showcases contemporary work by local artists in classic Appalachian styles.
- Herbert Holt Galleries: This space hosts rotating exhibitions from both local and international artists with an emphasis on Appalachian artistry.
- The Titanic Museum Attraction: This museum brings the famous story of the Titanic to life with interactive exhibits, artifacts from survivors and much more!
- The Hollywood Star Cars Museum: A must-see for any car enthusiast! This museum features cars used in iconic movies like Grease, The Fast & Furious franchise, Batman movies and many more! There’s even a 1977 Black Trans Am from Smokey & The Bandit – it’s too cool!
Exploring these museums and galleries is a great way to add some culture into your next Gatlinburg visit – plus it won’t cost you anything!
Touring Anakeesta Adventure Park
So, you’ve heard that Anakeesta Adventure Park is the place to be in Gatlinburg? You’re in luck! Taking a tour of Anakeesta is absolutely free of charge. Plus, you get to take advantage of the beautiful sights and sounds that come along with experiencing this magical park.
Anakeesta Adventure Park offers something for everyone- from thrilling zip lines and interactive treehouse playgrounds to gorgeous mountain views and cozy fire pits. Whether you’re looking for a bit of adventure or just some peace and quiet, Anakeesta has got your back.
Feel the wind on your face as you soar over the treetops on their four-line canopy tour! Zip Line is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while also getting an adrenaline rush. Plus, it’s totally free!
If zip lining isn’t your thing, don’t worry – they also offer two nature trails that offer stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can take a leisurely stroll through their Woodland Walk or try out the Vista Garden Walk – both trails are sure to fill you with awe and appreciation for this incredible park.
Interactive Treehouses & Playgrounds
Anakeesta also offers two family-friendly treehouses, complete with interactive puzzles and fun activities for all ages. The Treetop Skywalk features four levels of winding steps and bridges leading up to tree top pavilions, making it perfect for exploring – plus, it has some of the best bird’s eye views in town! The Imagination Forest is made up of 10 whimsical games and puzzles, making it a great spot for kids (and adults
Conclusion: Free Things to Do in Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg has something for everyone, regardless of your budget. With the variety of free attractions and activities, your wallet won’t be the only thing that loves Gatlinburg. What could be more romantic than a stroll around the town and a picnic in the mountains? What more could you ask for to make a truly unforgettable experience?
Save your money and still have the adventure you crave. There are plenty of free things to do in Gatlinburg, so don’t miss out on your next mountain getaway. With its immense variety of attractions, Gatlinburg shows that you don’t have to spend money to have a memorable experience.