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How to Plan a Romantic Getaway in the Smoky Mountains

So, you’ve decided to make the Great Smoky Mountains your next romantic getaway destination and need some pointers for planning it. How do you wade through all the major hotel and cabin rental options? What are the best activities to do during your stay?

Smoky Mountain Wildflower Pilgrimage

Start planning your next romantic Smoky Mountains getaway with our three-step checklist:

1. Choose Your Lodging: Why a Smoky Mountain Bed and Breakfast Is Better Than a Smoky Mountain Romantic Cabin Rental

Staying in a charming log cabin might sound like a romantic idea until you get there and realize that you miss the luxury amenities that make romantic getaways in the Smoky Mountains so special.

Here are a few of our favorite romantic bed-and-breakfasts in the Smoky Mountains:

  • Buckhorn Inn in Gatlinburg
  • Folkestone Inn in Bryson City
  • Creekwalk Inn Bed and Breakfast at Whisperwood Farm in Cosby
  • Bella Villa Tennesse Bed & Breakfast in Seiverville
  • Hippensteal’s Mountain View in Sevierville
  • Ancient Oaks Bed & Breakfast in Sevierville

romantic things to do in the smoky mountains

2. Plan Your Activities: Romantic Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are filled with attractions and things to do. To help you plan romantic getaways in the Smoky Mountains, we’ve highlighted some of the best options.

Wine & Moonshine Tastings

Whether you prefer to sip on wine, moonshine, or both, several wineries and distilleries offer tastings and are located in nearby Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. For Smoky Mountain wine, explore the Rocky Top Wine Trail — the first of its kind in Tennessee — with more than 70 wines to taste at five wineries.

Other wineries to visit include the Gatlinburg Wine Cellar and Smoky Mountain Winery, which is the oldest winery in East Tennessee. For a taste of moonshine, you could head to Ole Smoky Moonshine, Sugarlands Distilling Company, or Tennessee Shine Company. Some of the moonshine distilleries offer insight into the history of this spirit.

Biking & Hiking in the Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails. A couple of our favorite romantic hiking spots are the Ramsey Cascades and Andrews Bald.

Cades Cove is another lovely place to visit and has an 11-mile, one-way loop for biking and hiking. Just be mindful of roaming wildlife, such as black bears. If you want the view without the exercise, you can drive the mountain road instead.

best Smoky Mountain white water rafting near Gatlinburg TN

Whitewater Rafting on the Pigeon River

Are you an adventurous couple who likes the thrill of whitewater rafting? The Lower and Upper Pigeon River is home to some of the best whitewater rafting in the Smoky Mountains.

Rafting in the Smokies has an outpost in Hartford and offers zip lining and a ropes course challenge within its Family Adventure Island. Big Bear Whitewater Rafting and Smoky Mountain Outdoors offer whitewater rafting and kayaking excursions too.

Best Horseback Riding in the Smoky Mountains
photo by Guest Ranches of North America on Facebook

Carriage Rides & Horseback Riding

Horse-drawn carriage rides and horseback riding in the Smokies can be very romantic experiences with your partner. Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa and Goldrush Stables & Stage Lines both have stables in Pigeon Forge and take you on different trails through wooded areas and across valleys and mountain streams. In Gatlinburg, Sugarlands Riding Stables provides horseback rides over breathtaking terrain.

Helicopter Tours

Are you and your partner in search of an epic view of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee? Consider booking a helicopter tour. Two of our favorite helicopter tour companies are located in Sevierville — Scenic Helicopter Tours and Smoky Mountain Helicopters.

The Island in Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Attractions

If you don’t mind crowds, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg TN have many fun attractions that are perfect for couples. Do you like amusement parks? You could head to The Island in Pigeon Forge and Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. Ober Gatlinburg, SkyLift Park, and Anakeesta are the main amusement parks in Gatlinburg.

Also, Pigeon Forge has zip lining at Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Dolly Parton’s Stampede and the Comedy Barn Theater are award-winning dinner theaters that serve multicourse meals.

To get a 360-degree view of Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains, stand on the observation deck at the top of the 407-foot Space Needle. After dark is the most romantic time to go because the city glows below.

Things to do in Pigeon Forge

3. Make a Dinner Reservation: Why You’ll Want to Make Reservations at a Romantic Smoky Mountains Restaurant

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg may have great barbecue restaurants and dinner shows, but having a candlelight dinner is the ultimate way to enhance romantic getaways in the Smoky Mountains.

A few of our favorite romantic Smoky Mountains restaurants include:

  • The Melting Pot in Gatlinburg
  • Crystelle Creek Restaurant in Gatlinburg
  • The Peddler Steakhouse in Gatlinburg
  • Cherokee Grill and Steakhouse in Gatlinburg
  • Red Oak Bistro in Gatlinburg
  • The Barn in Townsend
  • Pasqualino’s Italian Restaurant in Bryson City
  • The Chop House in Sevierville
  • Ristorante DellaSantina in Sevierville
  • The Park Grill in Gatlinburg

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