Gatlinburg is a fantastic destination for those looking to escape their busy daily lives and enjoy some fun in the sun. But it’s not just the scenery that makes Gatlinburg such an ideal destination, it’s also the endless array of activities available to do and explore.
But if money is tight, you may be wondering what affordable activities there are to do in Gatlinburg. After all, sitting in a cabin all day isn’t ideal, and you don’t want to break the bank while enjoying your stay. Lucky for you, there are plenty of things you can do without spending a fortune!
In this article, we’ll be covering some of the best Inexpensive Things To Do in Gatlinburg can maximize your budget and have an amazing time no matter what your financial situation looks like. So let’s get started!
What to Expect in Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg is a great destination for those who want to explore the Great Smoky Mountains without breaking the bank. Here, you’ll find classic sights such as the captivating mountain views and many opportunities to take part in outdoor activities, all while still living it up in nearby attractions like downtown Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
You can expect to find plenty of things that won’t break the bank when you’re visiting Gatlinburg. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities like biking or fishing, or entertainment options such as movie theaters and arcades, there are plenty of ways to stay entertained without spending a fortune.
Here are a few of the best inexpensive things to do in Gatlinburg:
- Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park: explore over 800 miles of trails for free!
- Ride a trolley around downtown Gatlinburg: get great views without spending a dime.
- Tour Ripley’s Aquarium of The Smokies: experience interactive touch pools, or take advantage of special discounts and offers with tickets bought online.
- Take advantage of special offers from local businesses: many restaurants and bars offer daily or weekly specials that can help keep costs down.
Free Entertainment in Gatlinburg
If you’re looking for some fun on your budget, you’ll be glad to know that Gatlinburg has plenty of free entertainment. From outdoor hikes and scenic drives to art galleries and street festivals, there are plenty of activities that cost you nothing but your time!
Here are a few great ways to enjoy Gatlinburg without spending a dime:
- Hiking trails: Take a leisurely hike through the woods and explore the area’s breathtaking natural beauty. With hundreds of miles of trails available throughout the Smoky Mountains, there’s something for every skill level and interest.
- Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook Drive: Hop in your car and take a scenic drive up to the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook. This five-mile loop takes you up near the summit of Mount Harrison and offers stunning views of Gatlinburg below.
- Popular Entertainment Venues: Take in some free entertainment at one of Gatlinbur’s popular locales like The Village, Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler or The Island. Listen to live music or watch street performers in action!
- Galleries & Museums: Appreciate art from local artists at one of Gatlinburg’s many galleries or visit one of its interesting museums such as the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum or Hollywood Star Cars Museum.
Exploring the Great Outdoors of Gatlinburg
Relax and experience nature in a number of ways with hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult. With trails like the 1.9 mile Schoolhouse Gap Trail or the 10-mile Ramsey Cascades Trail, there is something for everyone—whether you’re a novice or experienced hiker!
Gatlinburg has several nature walks you can take such as:
- Roaring Fork Nature Walk
- Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail
- Little River Trail
- The Sinks Nature Trail
These trails are paved, making them great for those just wanting to stroll and take in the sights. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting lost as all of these trails are clearly marked and easily accessible.
For those looking for a more intense dose of nature, there is also mountain biking on a number of nearby trails. So grab your bike and hit the trail—it’s always free to explore!
Uncover Unique Shopping Treasures
If you’re looking for a great activity that won’t set you back too much in Gatlinburg, why not head out to uncover some unique shopping treasures? Not only will it be something different to do, but you might even pick up a few things to take home with you!
Gatlinburg has many great shopping centers with more than enough to keep you enthralled, like the Mountain Mall, World Of Illusions, Old Mill and The Village. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or unique gifts, these are all great options.
Another plus is that there are a number of discount stores and thrift shops in Gatlinburg. These places give you the chance to find items for ridiculous prices. In fact, according to the local tourism board, most discount stores offer discounts ranging from 20%-50% on all merchandise.
You can also find flea markets and art fairs around Gatlinburg. These are a great way to pick up little souvenirs like handmade crafts or jewelry and unique items from local artists at very reasonable prices—sometimes even as low as $5-10!
So if you’re on the lookout for special mementos or simply want to browse around and find something new, be sure to check out some of Gatlinburg’s shopping havens!
Take a Food Tour of Gatlinburg
Another great way to explore Gatlinburg and its culture on a budget is by taking a food tour. It’s like a regular tour, but with the added bonus of delicious food from various restaurants! You can try out some unique eats, all while learning about what makes Gatlinburg so special.
Affordable Food Tours
Fortunately for those looking for an inexpensive activity, there are plenty of affordable food tours in the area — you can find them for as low as $20 per person. Of course, prices vary depending on what type of tour you’d like to go on and which company you choose.
Popular Places to Try
During your food tour, you’ll get the chance to try some local gems and popular dishes. Think things like fried bologna sandwiches from The Peddler Steakhouse & Burger Bar or sweet potato pancakes from Crystelle Creek Restaurant & Grill — yum!
No matter which tour you pick, it’s sure to be a joyful experience that your taste buds will thank you for. And best of all, it won’t break the bank either!
Enjoy the Awe-Inspiring Views
Getting a beautiful view doesn’t have to break the bank—in Gatlinburg there are plenty of awe-inspiring views, and you can take them in without spending a dime. One of the most breathtaking is at the top of Crockett Mountain, where you can take in stunning views of rolling hills, lush forests and sparkling rivers below.
You can also go to the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, which takes visitors high above Gatlinburg for unparalleled views. It’s a great way to get perspective on the beautiful Smoky Mountains all around Gatlinburg. Plus, you can go for free with your Military ID!
Other Ways To Enjoy The Views
If you don’t have a Military ID and want to save money, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the view. Head up Clingman’s Dome Tower at sunset or sunrise and take in panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains — at only $1 per carload it’s an absolute steal! You could also hike up to any one of breathtaking viewpoints along the Appalachian Trail and enjoy incredible vistas as far as your eyes can see.
No matter which way you choose to get your view fix in Gatlinburg, you’re sure to be impressed by what you see—and it won’t cost too much either!
Conclusion: Inexpensive Things To Do in Gatlinburg
If you’re looking for inexpensive things to do in Gatlinburg, you can rest assured that there are plenty. Whether you’re seeking the great outdoors, an adventure or a relaxing staycation, there’s something for everyone. From the iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle to the nearby Great Smoky Mountains, nature lovers will find endless activities to enjoy. Hiking, biking, fishing, and camping are all popular activities in the area, and there are plenty of great restaurants and attractions to check out. Plus, there are plenty of free events and activities to get involved in, so no matter what your budget is, you can find plenty of ways to enjoy Gatlinburg and the surrounding area.