The Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area is chock full of activities and fun family adventures. The good news is that there are quite a few FREE places to check out. I have highlighted 5 below.
Smoky Mountains National Park- Duh!! This beautiful expanse of park
providing the scenic backdrop for the area seems like a no-brainer, but
quite a few visitors to the area never step foot in the actual park. We
took a narrated tour in to the park and our guide told us that it is
approximated that half of all visitors to the area don't actually go to
the national park. Cades Cove, Clingman's Dome and Sugarlands Visitor
Center are just a few of the highlights to visit while in the park.
Visit The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. This mega-store features
anything and everything Christmas. The kids will love perusing the many
displays and enjoying the Christmas spirit all year long. Across the
street, The Inn at Christmas Place is a Christmas-themed hotel that is
also fun to explore to check out the displays.
Stroll the streets of Gatlinburg. Taking a walk down the quaint streets
of Gatlinburg is great for people-watching and checking out the fun
trinket shops and candy-making stores. Head on over to the riverwalk
along the Little Pigeon River, right off the main drag in Gatlinburg. A
little quieter stroll and lovely scenery.
Mill/Patriot's Park. The Old Mill Shopping District features the Old
Mill itself, which sits along the Little Pigeon River,and some cute
shops including the Old Mill's general store. I enjoy the restaurant at
The Old Mill, although this is not free, it is definitely tasty. Walking
around the grounds is free, but if you want to take a tour of the
inside of the mill, there is a small fee. Patriot Park is next to the
Mill and is a nice park featuring displays pertaining to American
heritage and patriotism. It was a perfect place to let the kids run off
5) Drive the Arts and Craft Loop. This
loop has a plethora of handmade arts and crafts from local artisans.
Take the loop and check out painting, pottery, wood crafts, leather
crafting, candles, glass-blowing, basket weaving, quilting and more.
There is no fee to just take the loop and stop to watch the artisans at
work; however, if you don't wish to drive it yourself, there are
trolleys available for a nominal fee that will take you along the loop.