The Best Free Things to Do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

View of the road leading to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Some of the best things to do and places to visit while you’re on vacation are completely FREE! So, we’ve put together our favorite free things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg so you don’t miss out on the fun, free things in the area:


Free Things to Do in Pigeon Forge

The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge

The Old Mill Square
The Old Mill Square area is one of the most popular spots in Pigeon Forge. Of course, the main attraction is the mill that has been in operation since the 1800s. Surrounding the mill, you’ll find 2 restaurants and a several other shops to browse handmade goodies! 

Patriot Park
This is a great place to visit when you’re looking for a picnic location or just a spot to take a walk outside and enjoy the scenery. The park has a huge replica of the liberty bell, flags from all 50 states and more. There’s also a picnic pavilion area and a very large open field to run around and enjoy the outdoors.

The Island

The Island in Pigeon Forge
Visiting is a must for your Pigeon Forge vacation! There are restaurants and shops as well as the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, but there’s so much to do for free! You can browse through the shops and sit, relax and watch The Island Show Fountains! There are always so many different areas to take seasonal family pictures while enjoying the area! 

Free Things to Do in Gatlinburg

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
With all of the free things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, you definitely don’t want to miss out on the main attraction in the area — the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! It’s filled with lots of great places to visit and see, but the best part about it is that everything you do in the national park is absolutely free! From hundreds of hikes, motor nature trails and campgrounds, the national park offers so many free adventures for your family to enjoy! 

Sugarlands Visitor Center
Make your first stop to the park be the Sugarlands Visitor Center! You can browse the bookstore, talk to park rangers and tour a small museum with a 20 minute video about the national park. Then, from Sugarlands Visitor Center, step outside and take a walk on the Gatlinburg Trail or choose a Smoky Mountains hiking trail for the afternoon!

Horses roaming in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cades Cove
Cades Cove is known as one of the most historic areas of the national park. You can take a driving tour around the 11 mile loop road to see all of the old cabins, churches, mills and more. It’s a great place to view the wildlife, have a picnic and see all of the beauty of the national park. It’s extremely popular to visit during the fall season to view the fall colors in the mountains.

Newfound Gap Road
Another great spot in the national park is Newfound Gap Road. It’s the only road that runs from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, NC through the national park. Along the route, there’s many scenic overlooks where you can pull off to take pictures. So, don’t forget to take your camera!

Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community
The Arts and Crafts Community is the largest group of independent artists in the United States! It’s an 8 mile loop road with arts and crafts shops all along the road. The area was established in 1937 and, still today, their handcrafted items are for sale. It’s a great place to spend a few hours or an afternoon browsing.


Other Free Things to Do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

Every year, both cities put on all types of events and festivals. With seasonal festivals, parades, car shows and more, you are sure to find plenty of fun and free things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. To find out more about the events happening in the area during your vacation, CLICK HERE to take a look at our area events calendar.

Still looking for other fun things to do during your vacation? Take a look at all of the attractions in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg and start planning your trip right away!

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