One of the great things about vacationing in Gatlinburg is that a luxury trip to the Smoky Mountains doesn't need to have a luxury price tag attached to it. If you've only got a budget to work with for your family vacation this Summer, here's some ideas for free entertainment.
* Mynatt Park. Within a few minutes of driving is Mynatt Park up on Airport Road from the main downtown Gatlinburg strip. This park features outdoor grilling stations, a wading creek, playground equipment, a baseball diamond, plenty of room to run around and play other sports in. Pavilion is also provided.
* Herbelt Holt Park. A few minutes more of driving and you can visit this park at the Northern end of Gatlinburg going towards Pigeon Forge. This area features a trout rearing facility, picnic tables and outdoor grill, children's fishing stream and playground equipment.
* Mills Park. Finally, the furthest Gatlinburg park but arguably the best one is located on Highway 321 near Gatlinburg-Pittman High School. This park offers the most facilities including a baseball diamond, soccer field, track running field, two sets of playground equipment, wading/fishing stream, disc golf course, horseshoe pits, and covered pavilion.
* Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This road starts up at the top of Airport Road in downtown Gatlinburg and is exactly the kind of sightseeing adventure you should take the family to see! The Motor Nature Trail is a 6 mile, one way loop that offers a multitude of items worth breaking the camera out for. Rushing streams, old-growth forest, well-preserved log cabins, grist mills, and some of the most popular waterfalls in all the Smokies.
* Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales. This nightly ritual of the Gatlinburg Summer schedule provides free entertainment ambiance to the downtown strip. Old timey music, storytelling and other talents are performed throughout the town. Really encapsulates and completes the Appalachian experience of the Smokies!
* The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Full of hiking trails that range from family-friendly to expert level treks to appease any group, walking through the untouched nature of the Smokies is literally the best thing to do in our area!
* Sugarlands Visitors Center. The Gatlinburg headquarters of the National Park Service offers a visitors center that could provide anywhere between an hour to a reasonably full day of free entertainment for a family or group. Sugarlands offers a museum, bookstore, special ranger-led programs, two hiking trails and quite a bit more. http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm
That should make up a few days worth of fun at least. Complete the experience and mix some luxury into the vacation with one of our 3-bedroom cabins that would be perfect for a family such as yours. See our bedroom cabins right here.