top of page

Top 5 Ways to Save Money in Gatlinburg

Let's face it. Vacations can be expensive. Very expensive. Everything adds up quickly, especially when you're taking the family along! And when you budget carefully and save for a long anticipated annual getaway, you don't want to waste precious resources on overpriced activities or pricey restaurants. So if you're heading to our favorite spot on the planet, Gatlinburg, here are some quick and easy tips to make your dollar count.


Take advantage of discounts and coupons. Look for discounted tickets to attractions, discounts on lodging, or even printable coupons for restaurants.

One of the best last-minute ways to save money is to purchase tickets online. There are plenty of attractions in Gatlinburg that offer discounts, and we find it's handy to have a digital ticket on your phone instead of paper that you can easily lose. Check out the discounts offered by the SkyLift Park (17% discount for those who plan ahead!), Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and Hollywood Star Cars Museum.

Another great way to save money is to go in a group! Parties of 20 guests or more will find special rates available. Be sure to check each website for great deals!

Planning on trying out more than one attraction? You can combine tickets and save money! Mix and match combo tickets really help cut costs, allowing you to add up to seven other Ripley's attractions to any aquarium ticket!

Be sure to check out the Smoky Mountain Coupon book for more great deals. Click here!


Plan ahead and book your vacation in advance. You can often find lower rates and other special offers if you book your vacation early.

Businesses appreciate early planners and will reward you with deals if you're searching for them. Lodging in Gatlinburg are at their lowest during January and February, during the low travel season, so pay attention to the calendar when booking your vacation. Cabin owners will be more apt to cut you deals when their vacation home is not booked up than when their month is completely filled with reservations.

Also, cabin rates are most likely lower during the weeknights than on weekends. Gatlinburg is still the same on a Tuesday, and most likely less crowded. Great way to save money.

Here's a calendar of Gatlinburg events coming up that you can plan your vacation around. Click here!


Consider staying at an AirBnB instead of staying in a hotel. This can often be much more cost-effective and provide more space than a hotel room.

You will not only save on food by preparing homemade meals in the kitchen, but you can also save on parking, as well. Our kitchen at The Lazy Bear Escape offers everything you need to create amazing cuisine, eliminating the high cost of feeding a family at a restaurant. Plus, we are just down the road from a wonderful grocery store that has everything you need. And if you're traveling with friends, you can share all of the costs. Win win.


Look for free activities and attractions. There are plenty of free things to do in the area, such as hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or exploring downtown Gatlinburg.

Smoky Mountain FUN is not expensive! Don't buy into that lie! Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (one of the most visited national parks in the country) is one of the few national parks with NO entrance fees? How's that for savings? Check out the free 20-minute orientation about the park at Sugarland's Visitor Center to start. The hiking is endless, and it's also minutes from The Lazy Bear Escape! Take a scenic drive, enjoy a picnic, watch the wildlife, and more!

Got kids? Well we have great news. Here's a list of all the attractions in the area that offer FREE tickets for kids! You can save a bundle by taking advantage of these deals. (Click on the name to go to their website):

Another not-to-miss free activity is to visit the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community and the Village Shops, where you can step back in time and buy handmade products from local artisans, or window shop your way through the quaint, European-style avenues of the Village Shops. Make sure to visit their website for more information... click here.

To stay on top of all the deals, I recommend that you sign up for the email alerts over at The Smoky Mountain Insider. this is your weekly connection to deals, coupons, and things to do in our area. Click here to sign up.


Take advantage of meal deals. Many restaurants in the area offer meal deals or family-style meals that can help you save money on your vacation. Always pay attention to the websites of the restaurants you're planning to visit, as they tend to offer money saving coupons or deals to draw people in. And, of course, feeding a family three meals a day while on vacation certainly adds up, so eating in for two of the three meals is the way to go.

If you're looking for the best restaurant coupons in Gatlinburg, TN, then you should definitely check out the local newspaper and websites such as Groupon, LivingSocial, and Foursquare. These sites often feature discounts, coupons, and deals for local businesses. You can also check out the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce website, which has a list of local restaurants and discounts.

Sure hope the above five tips will help you save money when visiting our sweet town. With a plethora of things to do and see around Gatlinburg, you'll never run out of the free options to make your getaway vacation amazing. 😊



bottom of page