Savvy in the Smokies

How to have a budget-friendly Gatlinburg vacation

There are so many things to do, see, and taste in the Smokies. And unlike some vacation destinations, the city is not known for being overpriced. When you travel to some cities, you know beforehand that you will be paying an arm and a leg for food, getting around town, souvenirs, and attractions. But in Gatlinburg, there are tons of attractions, shops, and restaurants that will be easy on any wallet. Travel is also budget friendly, with a city trolley that costs just a few dollars for an entire day! If you’re headed to the Smokies for vacation, read our 10 ways to save. You’ll have fun and go home with a little extra cash in your pocket.

  1. Travel by trolley – Fares on the Gatlinburg Trolley range from $.50 to $2.00, which is considerably less expensive than travel in most tourist cities. The trolley will get you almost anywhere in the city, and the ride will be a scenic one! You’ll also save yourself from the hassle of fighting traffic or trying to find parking spots at each of your stops.
  2. Cook in the cabin – Almost all of our cabins come equipped with full kitchens, including full-size appliances and plenty of dishes, glasses, and utensils. You can save on eating out on vacation by doing some grocery shopping and cooking a few of your own meals. You can also keep snacks and drinks around the cabin to enjoy while you hang out, or you can pack a picnic to take on an afternoon out.
  3. Go for a scenic drive – Cades Cove and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail are just two of the great local scenic drives. Along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, stop for scenic overlooks and waterfalls. In Cades Cove, look out for wildlife or explore some of the historic buildings along the loop. It’s free, so it couldn’t be more budget friendly.
  4. Save on brand-name merchandise – The Tanger Outlets in Sevierville feature dozens of shops with merchandise at discounted prices. Save on the brand names you love, and pick up a coupon book for even more discounts!
  5. Play at the community pool – Several of our cabins offer access to community pools. Spending a day at the pool is a fun (and free) way to stay cool in the summer. We also have some cabins with their own private pools, so you can swim anytime you want!
  6. Take a hike – Really, take a hike. With more than 800 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, what better place than the Smokies to hit the trails? Pack your hiking boots, or stop by The Day Hiker (in The Village Shops) or the NOC to pick up some gear, and explore the area. Trails range from easy and flat to difficult and steep. They wind past wildflowers, lead to waterfalls, and offer an escape from busy city life.
  7. Clip coupons – Many area attractions offer online discounts. Check websites before your visit to save some cash. Some also offer group discounts, so be sure to call ahead if you’ll be traveling with a lot of people.
  8. Play in the cabin – Our cabins boast some great amenities, from private home theaters and game rooms to TVs in the bedrooms and outdoor hot tubs. You’ll find plenty to do without even leaving the cabin, so you’ll be out no more than the cost of your stay.
  9. Go to a local event – There is always something on the Gatlinburg community calendar, and many events are free and open to the public. Check out a car show, browse at an arts and crafts show, or taste some great local fare at a food and music festival for just a few bucks.
  10. Rent a budget-friendly cabin – We have budget-friendly cabins that start under $100 a night! Some are even less expensive than getting a cramped hotel room, and they come with way more amenities. Browse our Gatlinburg cabins and Pigeon Forge cabins to see what fits your budget, and always be on the lookout for specials and deals!

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