The Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomes millions of visitors each year and we continuously see that number increase as each one passes by. What makes this area so desired by many? Well, about 60% of the population in the United States can be here within a day’s drive, making it easy to take a quick weekend getaway or an actual vacation. You’re surrounded by picturesque mountains and absolute beauty everywhere you look. On a clear day, it’ll seem like those views are never ending. From ultimate relaxation to endless excitement, the Smokies are home to something for just about everyone. We know that vacations can get extremely expensive and sometimes what catches our attention most in picking a place to vacation at is if they have things to do that won’t break the bank too much. Lucky for us, our charming destination has tons to offer. Let’s take a look at our ideal Budget Friendly Summer Vacation in the Smokies!

Little Pigeon River

One of the best spots to visit during the summer is our popular river. There are so many different spots to access it and each offers something fun to do. You can visit the Old Mill and feed the geese or pack up a picnic and enjoy it at the pavilion right by the water. Metcalf Bottoms is another excellent place to visit if you want to spend a day on the water. Here you can play in the river and they have picnic tables with little charcoal grills set up to enjoy some delicious food while hearing the sound of the water flowing by. Greenbrier in Gatlinburg is a relaxing spot that doesn’t tend to get as busy as other parts of the park. If you’re wanting to just get away and maybe sit on a rock near the water and read a book, this is the place for you. Want to do a little bit of fishing? Get ready to catch some trout and maybe even some eastern Tennessee bass. The Riverwalk Greenway is one of the best places to take a seat, kick up your feet, and let the fish start biting. It stretches on for quite a bit so you’re sure to find a place to enjoy yourself. The river is stocked weekly and rainbows are stocked in Gatlinburg. Fly fishing can also be successful along the little pigeon river. If the kids are wanting to play in the river, they are welcome to as well. Plop down on a float and let the water take you downstream. Nothing beats cooling off during the Summer and having a fun time doing so!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

One of the best parts about our beautiful park is that it’s completely free to visit. There are so many exciting things to do that won’t cost you a cent, sign me right up! We’ll start off with our favorite driving tours. Cades Cove is a must visit and you want to make sure to get here early. This eleven mile loop features beautiful views of the mountains and valleys and you can see all kinds of wildlife while on your journey. There are plenty of places to pull over so you can take in all the beauty that’s surrounding you, make sure to have your camera ready. Another great one is the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail where you can see some of our history in the form of log cabins, grist mills, and more. You’re greeted with lush greenery, mountain streams, and even a stunning waterfall called the Place of a Thousand Drips. You will also find plenty of popular trails inside the park including: Ramsey Cascades, Gregory Bald, Abrams Falls, Andrews Bald, Alum Cave, Clingmans Dome, Laurel Falls, Porters Creek, and so many more. There are a bunch of popular picnic areas as well like Greenbrier, Cades Cove, Mynatt Park, and the list goes on.

Free Activities

Cades Cove in the Smokies

If you’d like to get out and about for a little while and save money while doing so, there are a few things to try and take advantage of doing during your getaway. The Old Mill offers a fantastic area called Patriot Park that you can take the family to. You will find a big open field, walking trail, picnic pavilion, river access and even a gazebo. You can enjoy this park free of charge and don’t forget to do a little window shopping at their unique boutiques. The Island offers a complimentary fountain show and it’s best to see it in the evening. Watch as the colors light up the water as it dances along to some classic hits that are fun for your entire party. They have rocking chairs spread out around it, so grab a seat and just rock away. Ole Smoky Moonshine in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have free bluegrass music to enjoy in front of their locations. These four piece ensembles are so talented and they’re sure to get you tapping along in no time. They play all day long and we’re sure you’ll love it as much as we do.

Free Tickets Package & Discounted Tickets

When you stay with us at Bear Crossing, Big Bear Resort, Cedar Lodge, or Whispering Pines, you receive Free Tickets to numerous popular attractions in town. For each day of your stay, you receive a free adult ticket to the following: Ripley’s Aquarium, WonderWorks, Titanic Museum, Comedy Barn, Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, Pirates Voyage Dinner Show, Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show, Smoky Mountain Opry, Magic Beyond Belief, and a free dinner at Mama’s Farmhouse! The tickets do not accumulate but you get this package daily. It’s a savings of over $495 a day! We also sell discounted tickets at out front desk for Ripley’s Aquarium, Titanic, WonderWorks, Dollywood, and Splash Country.

On-Site Amenities

Each of our properties all come with exciting on-site amenities that you all can take advantage of this Summer! We’ll list all of them and you can see which property will check off all the boxes on your list!

  • Bear Crossing – This property has a small outdoor pool, gas grills, some units have covered parking, free wifi, and you can fish and play in the water as it sits right on the little pigeon river!
  • Big Bear Resort – Here you will find an indoor and outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, a spacious game room with an air hockey and foosball table, and free wifi.
  • Cedar Lodge – Sitting right on the little pigeon river, this property includes a river deck, grilling area, outdoor pool and hot tub, fishing, free wifi, and covered parking for all units.
  • Whispering Pines – You’re going to love the amenities here as they include: an indoor and outdoor pool and hot tub, lazy river, fitness room, sauna, grilling pavilion, vending room, and free wifi.

We hope you enjoyed learning all about how to have one exciting but Budget Friendly Summer Vacation in the Smokies! There are so many places to go and things to see that you’re sure to have a jam packed itinerary for your getaway. Is it finally time to Book Your Vacation Condo Rental?! We can’t wait to see all of you again for another unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to let us know what you thought about our guide for a Budget Friendly Summer Vacation in the Smokies!