Free things to do in Gatlinburg include:The Great Smoky Mountains National Park: With over 500,000 acres creating the Great Smoky Mountains National Park there are plenty of places to explore. Go for a scenic auto tour, hike through the mountains, rent a bike and cycle the area or saddle up for a horseback ride. There is no end to the ways you can see the Smokies. Plus, there are no entrance fees to the park!
Cades Cove: Located within the boundaries of the National Park, Cades Cove is home to historic cabins, churches, farmhouses and other structures preserved from its time as an 1819 settlement. A one-way, 11 mile stretch of road winds through the valley of Cades Cove, marked with 19 self-guided tour stops highlighting the prominent structures and beautiful scenery of the area.
Gatlinburg Riverwalk: Go for a stroll in downtown Gatlinburg on the Riverwalk. Located a block off the parkway, the Little Pigeon Riverwalk is a peaceful place to soak up the serenity of the mountains.Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community: Hop on a trolley for a free ride to visit this independent arts and crafts community. Almost 100 artist studios, galleries and shops are located on the 8-mile loop of the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Internationally recognized, the arts and crafts community in Gatlinburg is free to visit.
Sugarlands Visitor Center: Stop by the Sugarlands Visitor Center at the northern entrance of the National Park for a free educational film and to see mounted specimens of animals found in the park, as well as reproductions of journals kept by early park naturists. A visit to Sugarlands Visitor Center is also helpful if you’re planning on spending much time exploring the National Park. They have trail guides and a variety of pamphlets regarding the park, each on sale for a $1 each.