Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your time in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. By thinking ahead and putting together an itinerary, you can save money and even stay longer by being thrifty. Here are 5 of the countless number of affordable things for you to do while you’re in Gatlinburg on your vacation this year.
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the national parks in the country that does not require an entry fee. You can visit the park, hike, enjoy the coolness of the streams, explore the historical structures, take a trip into Cades Cove, climb to the top of the Clingmans Dome observation tower, and more without ever spending a penny. While the park is free to visit, it’s not free to run and keep open.
Thanks to nonprofit organizations, their supporters, and volunteers, the park is able to function without an entry fee while also welcoming 12 million people a year. Please consider dropping a few dollars in a donation box or becoming a member of Friends of the Smokies or the Great Smoky Mountain Association while you’re in town. If you can’t afford to join or drop in a donation, simply being a good steward while you’re in the park and leaving no trace behind is also a blessing to the park and all guests that enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The next time you are in the area, taking a scenic drive in the Smoky Mountains is a great way to enjoy the area at no price!
2. Go Sippin’
If you’re looking for something cheap and fun to do in downtown Gatlinburg, take time to check out the local wineries and distilleries. Most locations offer free sips and special VIP tastings for $5.00. Staying at our hotel, Old Creek Lodge, during your vacation will also allow you to walk to each location or ride the trolley around town while you get your sip on.
3. Explore the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community
One of the greatest gems in Gatlinburg is our Arts & Crafts Community. Over 100 artists are located throughout the area and not only have galleries, but are often onsite sharing their beautiful gifts with guests as they stop by. Speaking with the artists, visiting the studios, and supporting their efforts is an excellent way to learn about the local culture, history of the Smoky Mountains, and enjoy your time in Gatlinburg.
4. Visit the Salt & Pepper Museum
A very unique and affordable place to visit in Gatlinburg is the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum. Trust me, it’s far more amazing than it sounds. Check it out the next time you’re in town! You won’t be disappointed!
5. Window Shop and Experience the Donut Friar
A great way to spend the morning without spending much money is to enjoy the peacefulness of the early hours of the day in downtown Gatlinburg. Wander through The Village and stop in at The Donut Friar for coffee and a donut. Explore all of the shops without the crowd and on your way back to the hotel, take River Road and enjoy a stroll along the river.
Are you ready to plan your trip to Gatlinburg? Stay at Our Downtown Gatlinburg Hotel and you’ll be able to enjoy an affordable vacation as well as a quality stay at one of the top lodging destinations in the Smokies. Browse through our rooms to start planning your vacation today!
We hope to see you soon!