Don’t Break the Bank this Summer


A family vacation doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank to be a memorable one. With a central location to many major cities, beautiful cabins that are often less expensive than hotels if you split with family, and budget-friendly or FREE attractions, Pigeon Forge is a great pick if you’re trying to save some cash on your getaway. There are lots of ways to splurge if you want, but you can also save and still have a great time.

For a budget-friendly family vacation to Pigeon Forge this summer, start with a budget-friendly cabin. Our budget-friendly options start at under $100 a night but don’t skimp on amenities and comfortable spaces. Pick mountain views or a location minutes from downtown, relax in a hot tub on the deck, climb into a comfy king-size bed to watch TV at night, make homemade meals in the fully equipped kitchen, play pool and games in the cabin, or cozy up in front of a fireplace for a quiet night with family. Having a cabin with a full kitchen is another money saver, giving you the tools and space to make your own meals instead of going out for every meal.

If you do want to go out to eat, however, there are lots of cheap options downtown. Many fast food chains are located on the Parkway, or you can split a big burrito or plate of sizzling fajitas at No Way Jose’s. There are also plenty of pizza places where you can sit down or grab a pie to take back to the cabin. And desserts certainly aren’t in short supply. You can cook your own meals at the cabin or keep it simple with sandwiches so you can splurge a little on sweets like fudge, caramel apples, and ice cream.

When you’re ready for some family fun, Pigeon Forge has plenty of budget-friendly or FREE activities, attractions, and events. Check out our top budget-friendly ideas for a family vacation in Pigeon Forge this summer, and check online before buying tickets – you can usually save by buying tickets off their website.

  • Hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (FREE admission)
  • Ride the trolley, with fares starting at just $0.50 and FREE trolleys in summer!
  • Bring your own gear and go fishing in a Smoky Mountain stream.
  • Drive through Cades Cove to spot wildlife, explore historic churches and homesteads, and have a picnic. (FREE)
  • Buy a 1-day ticket after 3 p.m. at Dollywood and get the next day FREE!
  • Participate in the River Raft Regatta on July 4 – build your own floating treasure and compete! (FREE)
  • Listen to live music at the Ole Smoky Moonshine stage at The Island. (FREE)
  • Take a football to Patriot Park and play around on a nice day. (FREE)
  • Find some empty rocking chairs and watch the water dance at The Island’s show fountain. (FREE)
  • Take advantage of our partner program, where you save on top area attractions when you stay with us! (ask a vacation planner)
  • Stop by the Gatlinburg Farmers Market for fresh, local produce you can use to create your own in-cabin meals.
  • Stop for live music and stories of the mountains during Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales (June 9-29). (FREE)
  • Get the kids in FREE at Country Tonite and several other great shows in the area, and get 1 FREE adult ticket through our partner program with each cabin reservation made with us!
  • Get a taste for the arts with a tour of the galleries and grounds at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts. (FREE)
  • Spend the afternoon at the Pigeon Forge Community Center, where daily and weekly passes at low prices let you swim, play basketball and racquetball, and more!
  • Watch fireworks, enjoy kids’ activities, listen to patriotic music, and grab a bite to eat at Pigeon Forge’s Patriot Festival July 4. (FREE Kids’ Carnival and entertainment)
  • Do some moonshine tasting (21+) at Ole Smoky Moonshine, Sugarlands Distilling Company, Doc Collier Moonshine, or Old Forge Distillery. (FREE)
  • See how stone-ground grains are made in The Old Mill Square and treat yourself to a scoop of one of their unique homemade flavors.
  • Visit the historic Ogle Cabin in downtown Gatlinburg. (FREE)
  • Take a family photo in front of the scenic Laurel Falls after a fun family hike. (FREE)
  • Rent a cabin with game tables so you can play pool, foosball, air hockey, and arcade games all night!
  • Drive the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community and check out the shops (it’s always FREE to browse and meet the artisans) with lots local artwork and goods.
  • End the night relaxing in your cabin’s hot tub as you watch the stars shine above.
  • Watch fresh taffy being pulled (it’s FREE to drool over it) at Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen.