December 10, 2023
One of our favorite things about vacationing in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a good time. In fact, there are a number of great free things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg! To help you make the most of your next getaway, Hearthside Cabin Rentals has put together a guide to seven free attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a can’t-miss destination for any trip to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Unlike many other national parks, the Smokies do not charge an entrance fee! With over 800 miles of natural beauty to explore, you could easily spend your whole vacation in the mountains. Here are a few of the most popular activities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
Keep in mind that if there is a parking tag requirement in the Smoky Mountains. If you plan to park for more than 15 minutes, you'll need to purchase a parking tag. These are available for only $5 per day!
If you enjoy a nice glass of wine now and then, you’ll love the Rocky Top Wine Trail! Consisting of five wineries in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, the wine trail offers free tastings and tours for vacationers. Another free thing to do in Gatlinburg is the Gatlinburg Wine Trail. Visitors can simply stop by any of the wineries on the trail to begin their adventure.
Be sure to pick up a passport and get it stamped at each location because participants receive free gifts as they complete the trail. Please note that you don’t have to visit all of the wineries in one day; you can space out your tastings over the course of your vacation (or multiple vacations).
While there are certainly numerous opportunities to spend money at The Island in Pigeon Forge, this amazing shopping and entertainment complex also offers some great free activities. Many families enjoy relaxing in The Island’s complimentary rocking chairs and watching the complex’s beautiful Show Fountain, which features geysers of water that “dance” to popular songs. Guests can also enjoy the free music at The Ole Smoky Barn and see The Island’s beautiful 200-foot tall Ferris wheel.
Going to shops with complimentary samples is one of the best free things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge! If you like savory foods, you can visit Pepper Palace or Kapop! Gourmet Popcorn. If you’re looking for something sweet, try Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, The Fudgery, or Smoky Mountain Farms Jelly House. All of these places will let you sample their food for free to see if you like it before you buy it! These are some of the best free attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Country and bluegrass fans will definitely want to stop by some of the awesome moonshine distilleries in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge! These distilleries frequently host concerts from both local and touring bands. Listening to the music is totally free; you don’t have to make a purchase to come in and enjoy the show. Of course, if you’re over 21, you are welcome to sample some of the area’s signature moonshine for a $5 fee (participants receive a $5 coupon in return). Distilleries known for their live music include the Ole Smoky locations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and Sugarlands Distilling Co. in Gatlinburg. Spending time at moonshine distilleries is one of the best free things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg!
The Old Mill Square is one of the most popular destinations in Pigeon Forge. Visitors to this iconic landmark will have the chance to admire the city’s historic gristmill, which has been in operation since 1830. We also recommend stopping by the Iron Mountain Metal Craft Shop, where you can watch live blacksmith demonstrations for free. Feeding the ducks who live in the Little Pigeon River is another fun activity around The Old Mill. While technically not free, it is very affordable; duck food costs about a quarter.
When you stay with us, you’ll receive free tickets to some of the best attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge! For each night you spend at our cabins, our Freedom Fun Pass is good for one free adult admission to several attractions in the area. In order to receive these free tickets, you must book one of our cabins. You can take advantage of free admission to popular shows, museums, and more.
These are just some of the exciting free things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg while you’re here! Perhaps one of the best free activities is enjoying the fun inside your cabin. You can relax on the deck and take in the gorgeous mountain views, play a family game as you keep warm in front of the fire, or watch a movie! You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save when you spend more time enjoying what your cabin has to offer and less time at all the area attractions.
Guests at Hearthside Cabin Rentals will be just a short drive from all of the best free attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 26 bedroom cabins, we are sure to have the perfect accommodations for your escape. To start planning your vacation, browse our selection of cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge!