Dreaming keeps the romance alive and fresh. After all, nothing is more exciting or motivating than a shared vision for the future! If travel is part of that picture for you and your partner, you can make that dream a reality as soon as you choose. That’s right – the great thing about day trips is that you don’t have to add a huge amount to your budget or use PTO to pull them off. If you live in Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, or Kentucky, you may be within just a few hours’ drive of the Great Smoky Mountains area. If you’re ready to turn your future visions into present reality, use this one-day sample itinerary of a romantic getaway in Gatlinburg as a planning guide!
Luxurious Lodging for A Romantic Getaway in Gatlinburg
Ideally, a day trip means venturing to a place you can travel to and explore within a single day. If you live close enough to the Smokies, your romantic getaway in Gatlinburg may not require lodging, and you can skip to the next section. However, if it’s going to be more than two hours of driving for you, your travels may be less stressful if you stay overnight before or after your adventure.
You could stay the night before at a place like the Historic Gatlinburg Inn, where porch rockers, hardwood flooring, and rustic decor coax you into that leisurely Southern pace. Look forward to the first time you’ve felt well-rested recently after snoozing in a double queen or king bed with a Serta mattress. In the morning, you’ll get a strong start to your Smoky Mountain escapades with their complimentary hot breakfast and free WiFi.
Alternatively, you could wind down after a long day of sightseeing on your private balcony. All you need is a bottle of wine, those gorgeous views of the mountains and downtown Gatlinburg, and your lovely partner. You might play-fight over a game of pool or snuggle up by the fireplace or in an extra-large whirlpool hot tub. All of these fantasies can be yours with a one- or two-bedroom log cabin from Diamond Mountain Rentals! A cozy evening enjoying the premium amenities of a luxurious lodge could just be one of the most romantic things to do in Gatlinburg!
Romantic Things to Do in Gatlinburg: An Itinerary
8am: Pancake Pantry
If you didn’t get to have complimentary breakfast at a Gatlinburg hotel, you’re going to want to prepare for the long day ahead with some calories – but not just any! The most romantic breakfast consists of pancakes in a quaint cottage setting.
Pancake Pantry boasts a 62-year tradition of making the best pancakes in town, set in a majestic little chalet in The Village in Gatlinburg. Parisienne Crêpes with strawberry compote, Caribbean pancakes with banana and chopped coconut, or Peach Delight pancakes with fresh ricotta and powdered sugar could be your chosen stack from a menu of 24 specialty creations. Pair it with eggs, bacon, country sausage, omelets, or ham on the side, and you’ll have enough carbs and protein for what comes next!
10am: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
It’s not a complete trip to Gatlinburg without setting foot inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park consists of 150 hiking trails, 270 miles of road, over 2,000 miles of streams, and of course, innumerable chances to see native wildlife.
Whether you’re up for a romantic stroll along a scenic path or you’re avid hikers looking for a challenge, you’ll find a wide range of hiking trails of various levels. You could also break out the fishing gear, head to the Little Pigeon River or one of the park’s creeks, and watch the sparkling current pass you by – but not the trout or bass!
If all of that sounds too strenuous, you can still enjoy panoramic mountain views on a scenic drive through Cades Cove or the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Before you hit the asphalt, show off your good-lookin’ partner in a sweet ride like a 2-door Jeep, Razor 1000 UTV, or Slingshot from Wranglers & Razors!
Alternatively, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park makes a stunning setting for a romantic picnic. When in the South, only barbecue pairs so perfectly with the outdoors. Swing by Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que for a takeout order of beef brisket, pork shoulder, smoked sausage, pulled chicken, or baby-back ribs. Another smart choice is to share the Texas Sampler, which comes with all five of their smoked barbecue meats. From January 16 to February 3, take advantage of the buy-one-get-one-free deal on lunch at Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que!
Several hours of dominating the peaks is sure to work up some soreness and muscle cramps. Take the rest of the afternoon to melt the tension away with a Swedish massage at Fox Place Salon & Spa. This boutique spa in Gatlinburg also offers couples massage packages with add-ons like aromatherapy, hot stones, facial treatments, hot towels, and even body wraps. Make sure to schedule your appointment in advance to ensure you get this 2pm time slot!
5pm: Gatlinburg Space Needle & Impossibilities Magic Show
If the views from inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park weren’t enough to set the mood, the Gatlinburg Space Needle certainly will. A ride to the top of this 407-foot observation tower opens up to spectacular views of the mountains and downtown Gatlinburg, plus an educational experience and free viewfinders.
Take your time to enjoy all that the Gatlinburg Space Needle has to offer. Awaken your competitive spirit over games and simulators in the 30,000-foot arcade. Or, catch an evening show at the intimate Iris Theater. The Iris Theater’s title show, Impossibilities, is a mind-boggling display of magic, mind-reading, and hilarity from Master Mentalist Erik Dobell.
7pm: Mama’s Farmhouse
Nothing is more romantic than sharing a sense of home and belonging. That’s why food is a love language in the South. Once dinnertime rolls around, take your partner out for Southern comfort food and a homey atmosphere at Mama’s Farmhouse in Pigeon Forge.
This family-style restaurant feels like stepping into your grandma’s house, where the smell of fresh-baked homemade biscuits immediately meets your nostrils. Delight your taste buds on entrées of their award-winning fried chicken, sweet-glazed meatloaf, turkey and stuffing with gravy, country-fried steak, or honey-glazed ham. From January 16 through February 3, dinner is only $12 and comes with a free drink!
It’s been a long day of physical activity, entertainment, and darn good Southern food – but it’s not over yet. What better way is there to process the day than with a digestif? Just off the Gatlinburg Parkway are some of the most authentic, award-winning moonshine and whiskey you’ll find in this neck of the woods. Sugarlands Distilling Company offers 30-minute private tours of the stillhouse if that’s your thing. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to cut to the chase with a paid sampling of moonshines like Blueberry Muffin, Piña Colada, or Butterscotch Gold.
Well, folks, that’s the end of the sample itinerary. But it doesn’t have to be the end of your romantic getaway in Gatlinburg! If you’re staying in town overnight and still hungry for entertainment, you’ll always find a good time amid the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge nightlife!
Next time you’re dreaming of skipping town with your sweetheart, make it a one-day romantic getaway in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. (Hint: Valentine’s Day is coming up soon!) You’d be surprised how many romantic things to do in Gatlinburg you can pack into just 24 hours if you’re efficient with your time. When your significant other starts daydreaming aloud about escaping to the mountains together, pull this sample itinerary out of your back pocket and get ready to see sparks fly!
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