6 Free Things to Do in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains

old mill square in spring
Mar 30, 2020

Everyone wants to save money on their vacation, and what better way to make sure you stick to your budget is there than doing free things? There are so many free things to do in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains! From walking around shopping centers to exploring in the national park, you have plenty of options! Here are 6 free things to do in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains:

1. Walk Around The Island

fountain show at the island with ole smoky and the wheel in the backgroundThe Island in Pigeon Forge is a great place to go if you don’t want to spend a ton of money. There are plenty of things to do for free at this entertainment complex. You can browse through over 40 shops, including one of the only five and dime store left in Tennessee. Your whole family will enjoy watching The Island Fountain, where water geysers are synchronized to music and a light show. Even if you don’t want to ride, you can enjoy watching The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel light up, especially at night. If you end up hungry, there are plenty of places where you can grab a cheap snack or meal, too!

2. Visit Old Mill Square

If you love history, you should definitely visit Old Mill Square as a free thing to do in Pigeon Forge. The grist mill is almost 200 years old and is still operational! It is on the Civil War Trail of Tennessee because of its use as a makeshift hospital and loom for Union soldier uniforms. There are two restaurants on site, as well as a general store where you’ll find all kinds of neat items. You can watch candy be made at the Old Mill Candy Kitchen and watch potters at work in Pigeon River Pottery.

3. Explore Apple Barn Village

apple barn in seviervilleApple Barn Village is another shopping complex you could enjoy exploring for free. It also has two restaurants on site, as well as a candy shop, bakery, and a creamery. You can browse through the general store to find some cool souvenirs. There’s a cider mill on site where you can taste apple cider that has been made from the apple orchard on the property. You can also taste wine for free at the winery if you are at least 21 years old.

4. Visit the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community

There is a community you should explore if you are looking for free things to do in Gatlinburg called the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. You drive around an 8 mile loop to see all kinds of artists and craftsmen. There are hundreds of shops where you can go inside and watch these people at work, many of them doing crafts that are almost lost. If you find something you love, you can even purchase some of their wares!

5. Go On a Hike

laurel falls in the great smoky mountainsYou always have the option of visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for free! One of the best ways to spend time in the park and be entertained is to go for a hike. There are over 850 miles of trails, and you can choose from easy, moderate, and difficult trails. You can even decide which trail to go on based on what you could see, such as waterfalls, mountain views, or historical buildings.

6. Take a Scenic Drive

Another great way to explore the mountains is to take a scenic drive. You can enjoy mountain views and beautiful creeks from the comfort of your car! A popular drive is Cades Cove, an 11-mile loop where you can stop at multiple areas and explore. A scenic drive people love is Roaring Fork Motor Trail, which also has historic buildings and a waterfall you can see from your car.

These are just a few of the free things to do in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains you can enjoy. Want to know more about the area and things to do? Check out this area information about Pigeon Forge to find out more!

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