Are you on a budget? The Great Smoky Mountains is filled with fun, free things to do that won’t cost you a penny. Many national parks require visitors to pay a toll for entry, but the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is accessible to visitors for free year-round. The following is a list of free things to do in the Smoky Mountains, both in the national park and surrounding areas, so you can save more money while enjoying everything the Smokies has to offer.
#1. Picnic in Cades Cove
Cades Cove is a popular destination for many travelers. Known for its scenic loop and plentiful wildlife, Cades Cove also makes a wonderful picnicking destination. Take advantage of its open terrain, with trees that provide natural shade during the hot summer months. Don’t forget your picnic blanket!
#2. Visit the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower
At 6, 642 feet high in elevation, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in Tennessee and the highest mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Take the half-mile paved trail up to the observation tower for 360-degree panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains.
#3. Go for a drive along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Take a leisurely drive along Roaring Fork’s six-mile-long loop, filled with scenic views and access to historic hotspots. Some of the Smoky Mountains most popular trails, Grotto Falls and Rainbow Falls, are accessed via the route. The Roaring Fork Historic District features many historic structures. Notable buildings include the Noah “Bud” Ogle Cabin, Alfred Reagen’s tub mill, and The Jim Bales Place.
#4. Tour the Arrowmont School of Arts and crafts
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007, Arrowmont has a long history dating back to the turn of the 20th century, when it was built as a settlement school providing free education for the children who lived in the mountains. Over time, it became renowned for its artist-in-residence program and the various arts and crafts taught and displayed at the school. The school is open to the public
Stay with Diamond Mountain Rentals for the true Smoky Mountain experience and convenient access to many of the activities highlighted above. Are you looking for even more budget-friendly activities? Just ask our knowledgeable reservation agents for more fun and free things to do in the Smokies.