The Best Things To Do In Gatlinburg in August

It’s no surprise why people love visiting Gatlinburg in August. Marking the end of summer, August is one of the most favored months in which people wish to explore the Smokies. The long, sunny days enable people to engage in thrilling activities and enjoy their late summer holidays.

In this article, we will outline some of the most popular and best things to do in Gatlinburg in August so you get the most out of your trip.

Top Things To Do in Gatlinburg in August

gatlinburg farmers market

Gatlinburg Farmers Market

The Gatlinburg farmer’s market is a cherished event for locals and visitors alike. It is an open-air event celebrating the rich local produce amid lively mountain music and exquisite arts and crafts displays.

It allows local cultivators to put up stalls and exhibit the fruits and vegetables they farm all year round. It also enables visitors to sample the local produce and witness the rich culinary heritage of Gatlinburg by tasting freshly concocted jams, jellies, and baked goods.


The Farmer’s Market convenes every Saturday from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm, May through October, although August is the month in which it is most active and vibrant. Locals organize the market at the Covered Bridge in the Glades.

While you sample premium quality fruits, vegetables, homemade jams & jellies, and mouth-watering baked goods, the children can wander around and engage in fun games and activities.

The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival

smoky mountains songwriters festival

Each year in late August, the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival occupies center stage in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

For many people, this is the highlight of August. The event focuses on bringing together music enthusiasts, songwriters, and professionals to honor the Appalachian Musical heritage.


As long as the festival lasts, many free concerts occur in downtown Gatlinburg. The organizers also conduct mentoring programs, songwriting workshops, and competitions to help develop the musical skills of those interested.

Private ticketed concerts also happen for a select clientele and are perfect for those seeking a bit of privacy.

Those unperturbed by large crowds can frequent venues like the Glen Stone Lodge to participate in open concerts that occur for four days consecutively.

Welcome Home Veterans Parade

welcome home veterans parade
Image: Onyx Blackburn

This parade in Pigeon Forge commemorates U.S. military veterans every year in August. People gather to honor and pay homage to the American military veterans at The Veterans Homecoming Parade.


The parade lasts for four days and starts every day at 9. It begins from Methodist Street between Food City and the Methodist Church. From here, the participants travel north on Parkway until they reach Traffic Light #5.

It is one of the many events in Pigeon Forge offering something in everyone’s interest. There are prestigious speakers from all over America sharing the struggles and sacrifices they gave for their country.

There are also enjoyable meal events and more, giving you an option to meet up with old acquaintances and make new friends. You also get to be a part of an understanding community that values the veterans’ courage.

The Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion

the great smoky mountain jeep invasion
Image: gsmji

The Smoky Mountain Jeep Club looks forward to organizing this event every year in August. It serves as a meeting for Jeep owners and fanatics where they get to flaunt their vehicles and discuss accessories and appropriate car parts.

This event occurs both indoors and outdoors. It brings together over 150 local, regional, and national Jeep enthusiasts and accessory vendors.

The vendors generously donate several jeeping accessories and maintain a gallery of Jeeps on display for the public to marvel at.

This event is perfect for those passionate about cars. It is receptive to all Jeep lovers. Anyone who possesses a jeep or would love to learn about one is welcome to participate in this event.


The Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion lasts for three days towards the end of August. The management organizes it at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge from 8 am to 3 pm.

Those with the best Jeep products will receive great prizes, and there will also be a charity raffle. Additionally, the management has decided to convene an official jeep ride through Cades Cove to entertain the visitors.

Best Outdoor Activities to do in Gatlinburg in August

Gatlinburg is home to plenty of premium attractions like Dollywood Theme Park or Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, which are bound to offer unparalleled fun and entertainment.

However, August in Gatlinburg provides the perfect opportunity to engage in exhilarating outdoor activities and excursions that stimulate the mind and body while being budget-friendly.

Whitewater Rafting

whitewater rafting gatlinburg

The Great Smoky Mountains are home to several rivers and streams located within miles of each other, making white water rafting an essential outdoor activity! You will certainly have a thrilling adventure as you bounce along class III and class IV rapids in the many rivers of Gatlinburg.

Each rafting trip occurs under the constant supervision and authority of certified professionals. The guides have expert training to guarantee your safety and comfort.

Additionally, the guides adore the scenic outdoors and have plenty of knowledge regarding the sites. They are always keen to transfer their knowledge to the visitors, helping them learn about the Great Smokies.

From the moment a visitor expresses interest in a rafting trip, the office staff communicate with the rafting guides to guarantee the best experience possible. Most rafting trips occur along the Little Pigeon River, a short distance away from Gatlinburg.

Guided Horseback Rides

guided horseback rides

The experience of horseback riding in the Smokies is unique because it enables you to appreciate the stunning mountain scenery, encounter wildlife, and attune yourself to nature.

Several stables in Gatlinburg facilitate visitors by arranging guided horseback riding. Among the most notable are the smoky mountain riding stables and Sugar Lands Riding Stables, presenting guided expeditions for children and adults alike.

This is perfect for those searching for adventurous, family-friendly, and affordable outdoor activities in Gatlinburg during August.

When you opt for horseback riding in Gatlinburg, you are free to select any trail ride that you find fit for your family members. Also, there is no age restriction for this activity.

With a guide present, anyone can have this unique experience from youngest to eldest. Several guided tours culminate in a hearty meal by a gorgeous campfire. Moreover, every guided tour has scenic vistas, rest spots, and antique cabins or camping sites where you can stop for a bit of respite or marvel at nature.

If the idea of quaint and rustic lodging does not sound appealing, you can opt for a luxury cabin and gentle rides instead.

There are many options to choose from to suit all family members and guarantee an unforgettable experience.

Zip Lining


If you fancy a thrilling adventure, zip lining may be just the activity you would thoroughly enjoy. It consists of a thick steel cable anchored to a sturdy structure at an elevation and extending to another fixed point lower down the mountainside above the treeline.

Picture yourself firmly strapped to a slider, seamlessly drifting down the cable, towering above the most scenic landscapes in the Smoky Mountains. Zip lining is a unique experience that allows you to feel freedom as you glide through the air, above hills, and across valleys and descents.

Many zip lining programs are available in the Smoky Mountains, each passing through a different patch of land. One of the most renowned is Legacy Mountain Ziplines featuring some of the lengthiest zip lines in the world.

The Legacy Mountain Ziplines span over 4.5 miles of gorgeous scenery in the form of 7 different zip lines. The entire staff is highly professional and ACCT certified. Moreover, there is no age restriction. Children as old as three years can go for a ride.

For additional safety and strength, all lines are twin-cable. Legacy Mountain Ziplines guarantee an exhilarating adventure for the entire family passing through 400 acres of breathtaking scenery.

Best Free Activities in Gatlinburg in August

Visiting Historical attractions

visiting historical attractions

If you wish to gain more insight into the lives of the first Euro-American settlers who came to the Gatlinburg area, you should visit the Noah “Bud” Ogle cabin, situated along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail.

These people became the pioneers of the Smoky Mountains, with their progeny spreading across 400 acres of land. Although the soil in this region was not suitable for farming, the Ogle family struggled and managed to cultivate apples and corn successfully.

The remainder of their farm became a historical attraction, also known as Ogle Place. It includes a farmhouse, barn, and tub mill. The Ogle Place is just a quick 9-minute drive from downtown Gatlinburg.

You can view the cabin for free and gain knowledge about the founders. Then, you can trek along a picturesque trail, leading you to the other buildings on the farm.

Free Outdoor Concerts

free outdoor concerts

The Ole Smoky Moonshine in Gatlinburg conducts a variety of concerts for visitors free of cost all year round. During the summertime, when swarms of visitors come to the Smokies, there is a live concert almost every night.

Although each concert has highly talented bands and artists performing every time, the primary focus is on having a bluegrass or country theme to correspond with the rustic outlook of the distillery.

Perhaps the most frequented distillery in America is the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler because it hosts free outdoor concerts and allows guests to sample Moonshine for free! Not only that but it also presents an opportunity for guests to witness the intricate making of Moonshine.

As you step through the entrance, you can easily spot the moonshine stills and observe the production process from start to finish! Later you can sample the high-proof liquor for free while swaying to some live music.

Visit Herbert Holt Farm

visit herbert holt farm

This is a serene park where you can engage in a surprising number of activities. Although it is small and not the newest park in Gatlinburg, it is fun and safe for small children and those searching for a handicap-friendly facility. Locals and tourists alike view the park as a refuge and make it a point to visit it.

It includes a covered pavilion, picnic tables, sinks, and grills, so you can relax with your families and indulge in a picnic feast. Restroom facilities are also available with a play area for children. Walking trails are also present for those interested in exercising.

However, the most appealing feature of the park is its devotion to trout rearing. The park houses the sole municipal trout farm in Tennessee and focuses on providing a sanctuary to the rainbow trout population.

The park also has a fishing pier reserved for children and physically handicapped people to enable them to enjoy the fishing experience.

Trolley Ride

trolley ride
Image: Tom

The Gatlinburg trolley system is a stress-free way of traveling around the city. It is one of the most affordable and convenient ways to explore the town.

The trolleys have designated routes that pass through all the notable areas of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and rescue you from the trouble of searching for an appropriate parking spot and paying for parking.

The trolleys also have ample stops, with restroom facilities and shaded areas where you can relax. The Gatlinburg trolley is free for people from late June through mid-August.

During the rest of the year, you have to pay only $2 to ride all day. The trolleys are easily accessible for people at all times of the day. They begin operating from 8:30 in the morning until midnight each day.

Two main routes pass through the main parts of Gatlinburg, and a third route carries visitors to and from the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community.

Although for most locals, the Gatlinburg trolley is an everyday transport system, for tourists, it is a charming and fascinating way to explore the town for free.

Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community

gatlinburg arts and crafts community

The Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts community has gorgeous art exhibits demonstrating the talent of the local artisans. Here you can witness the skill of woodcarvers, leather workers, potters, painters, and glass blowers for free!

You may also stumble across a stunning piece of art for you to buy and take home.