smoky mountain candy kitchen
November 4, 2022

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to have fun on your Smoky Mountain vacation! There are plenty of entertaining things to do in the area that don’t cost anything. Whether you want to spend time outdoors or view beautiful art, you’ll find it here. Check out these top 10 free things to do in Gatlinburg on your next vacation:

1. Experience Wine Tasting

Sugarland Cellars in Gatlinburg

Anyone who loves wine or free tastings will definitely want to go wine tasting in Gatlinburg! As long as you’re over 21, you can meander from winery to winery to try their signature wines. Who knows, you might just find your new favorite! Here are the top wineries in Gatlinburg:

2. Visit Mynatt Park

If you want to spend some time exploring the great outdoors, then visiting Mynatt Park is a fantastic free thing to do in Gatlinburg! It is a public park with a paved walking trail, playground for kids, basketball court, tennis courts, restrooms, picnic tables, and more.

3. See the Covered Bridge at Emert’s Cove

covered bridge at emert's cove in gatlinburg

Planning on taking photos while you’re in town? Then you need the perfect backdrop! The covered bridge at Emert’s Cove is the perfect spot for photos. The bridge sits over the water on concrete feet, and it’s a beautiful area to enjoy being outside, take pictures, and even fish!

4. Watch Candy Being Made

Something you won’t be able to enjoy anywhere is watching candy being made the old fashioned way. At Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen , you can watch their candy making process, from pulling taffy with a vintage machine or watching the experts dip chocolates. You may want to splurge a little when you’re here because everything smells so good!

5. Explore the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community

gatlinburg arts and crafts community sign

Another free thing to do in Gatlinburg is visit the Arts & Crafts Community . This area is an 8-mile loop filled with artisans and craftsmen who have kept old-school art forms alive. You can watch potters work at the wheel, see how glass is blown, and so much more. You may just find something so beautiful, you’ll want to take it home!

6. Taste Free Samples

Who doesn’t love free samples? Luckily, there are several snack shops and retail stores that offer free samples in Gatlinburg. Who knows, you might just find your new favorite popcorn, hot sauce, or ice cream! Here’s a list of some stores that offer free samples:

7. Enjoy the View from the Gatlinburg Overlook

gatlinburg overlook view of downtown gatlinburg and the smoky mountains

If views are something you’re interested in, then you can’t miss out on visiting the Gatlinburg Overlook . This pull off is located on the Gatlinburg Bypass. It is marked with a sign and a small parking lot. The view shows a beautiful view of downtown Gatlinburg surrounded by the mountains.

8. See the Oldest Cabin in the Smokies

A free thing to do in Gatlinburg that’s perfect for history lovers is to find the oldest cabin in the Smoky Mountains . William Ogle, one of the first pioneers to move to the area, built his home here and brought his family over from South Carolina. While the cabin doesn’t stand in the original location anymore, you will find it at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center! Learn more about the history of Gatlinburg , too!

9. Stroll Along the River Walk

river walk in gatlinburg

While walking along the Strip can be fun, it can also be overwhelming! If you want to enjoy Gatlinburg and nature, you should stroll along the River Walk. This pathway runs along the Little Pigeon River, and you’ll find gazebos and benches along the way where you can stop and take it all in!

10. Tour Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts

Anyone who is a lover of art will want to tour the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts . There are rotating exhibits throughout the year from students and apprentices. This program also has community classes and events you can participate in! You’ll have fun trying all of these free things to do in Gatlinburg, and you’ll love saving money in the meantime! Since you have an idea of what you will do on your next trip, you need to start planning! Look through our Gatlinburg hotel rooms , and book one now!

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