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Romantic Getaways in Gatlinburg: Activities, Sights, and Tips

“Romantic” is an umbrella term that means different things to different people. For some, it might mean stargazing from a cozy cabin. For others, it might mean sharing a bottle of wine in front of a roaring fireplace. But, if your definition of romance includes spending time outdoors, Gatlinburg is the perfect place to take your partner for a weekend away. To help you charm your partner on your time away from the world’s prying eyes, we’ve put together the perfect romantic weekend getaway itinerary for Gatlinburg.

A few Gatlinburg staples are sure to set the mood for romance, no matter what you’re seeking. So whether you go all the way up the 407ft Space Needle to take in the expansive 360-degree views of the Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg below or you stroll hand in hand through the quaint shops and galleries of Gatlinburg’s arts and crafts community, you’ll have plenty to reminisce about for years to come.

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How to plan a romantic Gatlinburg getaway?

Whether you’re from the neighborhood or not, this resort town’s worth the time for a romantic getaway. Autumn’s leaving, and the summer’s calling folks from all over the country to rekindle their devotion to their sweethearts right in the middle of the Great Smokies! With different attractions scattered everywhere, a journey to Gatlinburg seems like the perfect getaway for lovebirds.

So, how should you plan this trip, and what should you include in such a journey? This article explores an itinerary and some options to make your Gatlinburg adventure as romantic as possible.

Here’s a two-day itinerary for Gatlinburg:

Day 1

What you choose to do as a couple depends on your preferences, comfort levels, and relationship stage. But, your first day should be nothing short of cute, comfy, and romantic.

Check Into your Accommodations:

This one is the most important part of your getaway! You’ll want to ensure you’re comfortable and that your accommodations fit your needs as a couple. Since you’re only here for two days, we’d recommend looking up Gatlinburg condos closer to the main strip. It’ll ensure you’re never too far away from the action (or each other).

You’ll also want to ensure your condo has the desired amenities, from a hot tub to a private balcony with a stunning Smoky Mountain view.Related Read: 7 Hotels in Gatlinburg with Private Hot Tub

Breakfast at the Famous Pancake Pantry:

Start your day with a big, hearty breakfast at the Pancake Pantry. This breakfast hotspot is the oldest restaurant in Gatlinburg and has been serving delicious pancakes since 1961.

They have all your classic breakfast favorites like pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, and more. They also have specialty items like strawberry crepes and pecan waffles that will make your taste buds soar. We hope you enjoy the real butter and fresh whipped cream that top off every meal!

Stroll Through Downtown Gatlinburg:

Once you’re all full and caffeinated, take a stroll down the Parkway in Gatlinburg. You’ll find a few restaurants, cafes, and shops to explore. If you’re feeling up for it, walk down to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokys.

It is a great place to learn about the different fish and animals in the Smoky Mountains. In addition, you can get up close and personal with some animals during their live shows. Yep, sharks too.Related Read: Things to do in Gatlinburg in Summer

Grab Lunch:

Have your waffles and pancakes settled in by lunchtime? Good, because it’s time to try out one of Gatlinburg’s many unique eateries. Whether you want to indulge in a nice plate of BBQ or you’re craving some good old-fashioned Southern comfort food, Gatlinburg has got you covered.

Some must-try lunch spots include the Smoky Mountain Trout House, Crockett’s Breakfast Camp, and the Peddler.

Take a Hike:

Get your heart pumping with a romantic hike through the Smoky Mountains. There are many trails to choose from, so you can find one that fits your hiking level.

If you’re ready for a challenge, hike up to Ramsey Cascades. It is one of the tallest waterfalls in the Smokies, and it’s an absolutely stunning sight.

Take the Gatlinburg Trail down to LeConte Creek for a more leisurely hike. It is a perfect relaxing spot. You can click some super cute pics too!

End Day One on a Romantic Note:

After you return from your hike, it will be time to get cleaned up for dinner. For a truly romantic evening, we recommend the Titanic Museum.

It is a must-see for any Titanic fan. You’ll get to explore replicas of the ship and see artifacts from the real Titanic.

After the museum, head over to the Old Mill for dinner. It is one of Gatlinburg’s most popular restaurants, and it’s easy to see why.

The Old Mill is located in an actual gristmill from the 1800s. It’s a truly unique dining experience that you and your significant other will love. You can order anything from pot pies to seafood platters.

Day 2

We hope your condo has a hot tub because day two will be long! Gatlinburg has many fun things to do, and we want you to make the most of your time here. Try something other than pancakes today if you want to head out for breakfast. How about some biscuits and gravy? We recommend Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin. They have some of the best biscuits in town!

Start with a Scenic Drive:

The Smoky Mountains are full of beautiful sights, and there is no better way to see them than by taking a scenic drive.

The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a popular choice. This five-mile loop will take you past waterfalls, old cabins, and historic buildings.

It’s just the right way to start your day, and it will only take about an hour to complete. Tune your radio to the local country station and enjoy the ride!Related Read: Most Scenic Drives in the United States

Spend the Afternoon at Anakeesta:

Anakeesta is Gatlinburg’s newest attraction and is the perfect place to spend a day.

This mountaintop village has something for everyone. You can ride the gondola, take a scenic hike, or even go zip-lining!

There are also tons of shops and restaurants to explore. We recommend grabbing lunch at the Smokehouse Grill. The pulled pork is to die for!

Spend Time in an Animal Sanctuary:

Gatlinburg is home to several animal sanctuaries. These are great places to learn about the local wildlife and get up close and personal with some animals.

One of our favorites is the American Black Bear Habitat and Wildlife Center, where you can learn about black bears and see them in their natural habitat.

Make sure to visit the center’s gift shop before you leave. They have some really neat bear-themed souvenirs!

After lunch, stroll through one of Gatlinburg’s many art galleries. The area is known for its incredible craftsmanship, so you’re sure to find something special to take home with you.

We recommend the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, the Gatlinburg Fine Art Gallery, or the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community. Maybe you and your partner can find a painting or sculpture you can agree on!

More Things to Do for Couples in Gatlinburg

Go for a drive around town

Take a drive in this town as you explore previously untapped locations, you may try the Cades Cove Loop Road or take your love for an adventure on the Newfound Gap Road. View the yellows and oranges of Gatlinburg while you’re spending some quality time with the love of your life. But don’t drink and drive, mind you!

Try wine samples and moonshine

Gatlinburg is home to several wineries that produce amazing alcoholic beverages, and tourists gather to give these drinks a taste properly. Exploring the Rocky Top Wine Trail makes your romantic getaway even more exhilarating. Now, it’s up to you whether you’re ready to power through 60+ wineries in the weekend or not! There’s another drink called moonshine, for which Gatlingburg’s famous. You must sample this drink while wandering around the Tennessee neighborhood with your lover.

Try to cook a meal together

Which activities do couples normally engage in to express their love? Besides what you’re guessing, a couple can cook a gourmet meal together to express their affection. Many Gatlinburg cabins are equipped with cooking utensils along with a well-furnished kitchen where you can try those recipes your partner watches on YouTube. It’s time to prepare a romantic meal together and strengthen your bond. Try some seasonally appropriate dishes while you’re in Tennessee.

Visit Skylift Park

Climbing this tower via an elevator that can take you 500 feet above the ground, is an awesome activity. Once you reach the top, the place known as Skydeck, is where you can have a wonderful evening with your beloved. Also, consider observing the famous Skybridge, famous for being one of the most gorgeous romantic attractions in Gatlinburg. An incessantly romantic evening awaits you in Skylift Park when visiting with your partner.

Climb to the top of the Needle

You didn’t really visit Gatlinburg if you didn’t climb the Needle! This 407-foot tower lets you see the town in all its might and glory. After finishing dinner, take your love on a nighttime stroll and get a 360-degree view of the town and its surrounding. A Visiting the Needle is the perfect finale to a delightful getaway you’ve spent with your love.

Go Stargazing

If the weather is clear in town, head up to the Clingmans Dome or the Cade’s Cove before sunset. Enjoy the sunset and stick for a while to see the sky embellished with the breathtaking milky way. Lying alongside your favorite person with millions of stars twinkling above you will be a memory to cherish forever!

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Soaring up in the sky in a hot air balloon ride with your special one can be the most romantic adventure. You will overlook one of the most beautiful terrains in America as your balloon floats and glows in the evening sky. It will surely be a sight to remember.

Watch the Fireflies Light Up the Dark Forest:

The Smoky Mountains light up annually with fireflies buzzing through the forest and displaying nature’s most wondrous spectacles. Imagine thousands of fireflies putting up a dramatic show of flashing their lights, and that, too, in synchronization!

This extraordinary and unique species of synchronous firefly resides in certain pockets of the Smoky Mountains in large populations. They light up the flash on their abdomens simultaneously and then go completely dark for a few seconds, putting up a spectacular visual display in the forest. 

Tips for Couples in Gatlinburg

Treat Your Travel Planning Like a Project

To plan a great trip, you need to be organized and willing to put effort into preparing. This is why you and your partner should both have a role in the planning phase of your trip.

It’s a good idea to assign certain responsibilities to each of you. If your partner loves researching and booking hotels, leave this to her or him. If you enjoy finding the cheapest airline ticket prices, make yourself responsible for completing this task.

Get a room with a view

Gatlinburg is truly stunning, it would be a waste to not get a room with a nice view. People prefer to have chalets/cabins with hot tubs, game rooms, and swimming pools to ensure nothing’s missing to mark this trip as a romantic success. Get a room with a balcony to marvel at the sunset every evening while sipping a wine with your love standing right beside you!

Ask Your Partner What They’d Like to Do

It’s going to be a challenge to have a meaningful vacation if you don’t talk with your partner about what kind of trip they’d like to take. By having this conversation before setting out, you’ll make it less likely that you’ll have arguments while you’re on the road.

When you make plans together, make sure that you are both excited about what you’ll be doing.

Surprise Your Partner

Even though it’s important to have your plans worked out before setting out on a vacation, realize that it’s not necessary to plan every single detail of your trip.

If you leave some things unplanned, it will be much easier for you to surprise your partner when she or he least expects it. Consider doing something special which will make your partner know how much you love them.

Take Snacks With You

Your partner will be grateful if you pack their favorite snacks without asking them.

When you find yourself on a long bus ride or in the middle of a long airport layover, you can take the snacks out of your bag and offer them to your loved one. This is a small gesture that will help them know how much you care about them.

Be Patient Together

There is no way that you can’t run into some kind of disagreement while traveling with your loved one. When there is a conflict when you’re traveling as a couple, try your best not to blame your partner.

Instead, try as best you can to be patient. Remember that traveling is not always easy, and when you’re going from place to place with your partner, it’s normal to have occasional disagreements.

Remember to Spend Moments Alone

If you’ve been wondering how to travel as a couple when you like to have time alone, don’t worry. Chances are that your partner feels the same way. This is because everybody needs to spend time alone.

It’s a good idea to set this intention together before you set out on your trip. Explain to your loved one that it’s important for you to spend a few moments every day alone. Tell them that it’s not about them, but it’s just something that you need in your life.

Take Lots of Photos

If you’ve chosen the best places to travel as a couple, you’re going to want to document your trip so that you’ll remember the special moments you’re about to have together.

If you don’t have a camera, consider buying one before leaving for your trip. You can also use your camera phone to take great photos. If it’s within your budget, you also might want to hire a photographer for one of the days of your vacation

Pack Everything That You Need

Make sure to double and triple-check that you’ve got all of your essentials packed before you set out on your trip.

You’ll probably want to make sure that all of your chargers and electronic devices are stowed in your carry-on luggage. If you’re going somewhere with unpredictable weather conditions, consider packing clothes for the rain or the snow.

Final Thoughts

End your stay with a relaxing evening in your condo. You can order some room service, dip in the hot tub, or curl up with a good book.

It has been an eventful two days, and you’ll want to rest before returning to your daily routine.

Gatlinburg has so much to offer, and you’ve only scratched the surface! So, don’t forget to come back for some more fun.

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