We call this our complete guide to all things couples and romance. The Smoky Mountains is the ultimate destination for a perfect mountain get-a-way whether you are celebrating an anniversary, honeymoon, or just needing a much needed weekend date away from the kids. Look no further than the majestic sights of the Blue Ridge in all its glory. This touring plan takes the best of each of our favorite towns and meshes them into one truly mesmerizing experience to make your hearts flutter. Plan a vacation encompassing all 4 days or just pick one or 2 of your favorite daily plans. Whatever you decide, the below suggestions most certainly tip the scale for one incredible experience.
Idea 1: Scenery and Sweethearts Sevierville
Chances are you have visited the small town of Sevierville during a past visit to the area and didnt realize it. The town boasts some of the most eclectic museums, shopping, and historical landmarks. Dolly Parton calls Sevierville home and even graces the courthouse with a replica bronze statue.
HOTEL: Oak Tree Lodge-Southern hospitality reigns supreme at this elegantly located hotel. Book one of the Jacuzzi suites for prime amenities in your intimate getaway. All rooms include hot breakfast buffet, indoor/outdoor pool, free internet, and all reservations receive 1 free guest pass at select attractions. You will be within walking distance to some of the most exhilarating attractions around. (More on this later)
BREAKFAST: Your hotel has a full comprehensive breakfast. We are talking about make your own waffles, cereals, biscuits, meats.
ACTIVITY: Sky High Air Tour-Couples can hitch a cozy ride aboard an original Waco airplane. These aviation machines were first introduced in the early 1900s. Endure a breathtaking short visit for $99 or go for the full 30 minute tour for $275 and really enjoy the view that the Smoky Mountains offer. Dont forget to steal a kiss mid-flight!
LUNCH: The Diner-We love this place. We could recite top 10 hits on why this is an incredible dining experience but we already did that HERE. Just be sure and share a “Doozie” together. Please. For our sake.
ACTIVITY: Five Oaks Riding Stables-Nothing quite brings a couple together like a brand new activity you havent experienced before. In business for almost 30 years, this company books 30 minute or 1 hour tours. We suggest the latter. Get your thrill riding over 70 acres through woods, valleys, and around mountain streams. With over 60 horses, you can choose your favorite!
DINNER: The Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant-The property actually has 2 dining locations but our personal favorite is the Restaurant. Its the original structure for the famous location and hosts some of the most tempting delicacies the south has to offer. Prices are very moderate and expect items such as pot roast, fried chicken, and pinto beans to be on the menu. Seating is an experience it itself as you are sat in one of several rooms in the house all decorated to resemble a grandparent’s abode. And rightly so, the waitstaff do look as if they raided Granny Clampett’s closet. As a couple you will be able to split the famous Apple Fritters delivered before your meal included in the price equally. Just know that if someone gets greedy you can purchase more. No worries! Afterwards, explore the area partaking in ice cream shoppe, winery, cider bar, candy store, and souvenir shop.
ACTIVITY:Tanger Outlet Shopping-Search for your favorite treasure as this shopping mega reined as the fourth largest in Tennessee. With over 50 different unique and brand based stores you can be sure to find the leather, Disney clothes, diamonds, high heel shoes, and candy apple of your dreams to take home with you after an amazing weekend with your significant other.
Idea 2: Gorgeous and Grand in Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg is known for its charming and quaint area filled with sweet shops, village shopping and some of the most incredible arts and crafts. This is our most affordable day in their repertoire and also boasts the most relaxing.
HOTEL: Be sure to book the honeymoon package at the Edgewater Resort. This personal favorite is in the middle of the city but off the main strip to allow ease of travel and complete privacy. Some rooms have fireplaces and spa tubs. It features a newly renovated pool area with both indoor and outdoor access.
BREAKFAST: Because breakfast is included in our hotel, we do suggest sleeping in…..or whatever you do to pass the time. Your day doesnt start until 10am.
Activity: Rowdy Bear Mountain Coaster-Buy 1 ticket and get second ride for same rider free. This experience does open at 10am. If you plan on staying in all morning you could most certainly do this at night as the coaster does light up! However planning to ride at 10am awards you some breathtaking views of the mountains and its inhabitants. Be sure to contact them at 865-409-5045 for booking details.
Lunch: Wild Plum Tea Room– For a restaurant that only opens 3 days a week for the months of January and February you would think there would not be enough demand to stay open. Say “Welcome” to the 2017 Certificate of Excellence Reward Winner and the recipient of one of the 10 Best Restaurants in Tennessee from the Tennessean. Even though they have abbreviated hours of 11am-3pm the food at this location is outstanding. The owners are pet friendly and encourage fur babies to join you while dining. Reservations are HIGHLY suggested and spots fill up so quickly. Please call 865.436.3808 at least 14 days in advance to secure seating. For new honeymooners or those enjoy a 45th wedding anniversary, the menu does not disappoint and provides a culinary event for all senses. Be sure to try their signature Wild Plum Tea! CASH only location
Activity: Cupids Waterfall and Wedding Chapel Vowel Renewal Ceremony-What couples trip would be complete without a little church on a mountain? Or, “getting hitched” as they like to call it. Packages range from $99-$1700 as they pride themselves on fitting every budget. We love that you have a choice of indoor church or waterfall for a truly spectacular life changing moment. For additional fees they can add all of the little touches from flowers to catering receptions to limos and even the groom’s tux.
Dinner: The Peddler-Steak, Steak, and more steak. Even though this eatery boasts some high prices for items such as Rainbow Trout and Blackened Chicken, they still have a great monopoly on the recipe for the perfect steak. Be prepared to spend at least $50 per person but all guests will leave completely satisfied. Be sure to checkout the menu. The restaurant opens at 5pm and reservation are not allowed but call ahead seating is allowed. Call 865-436-5794 at 5 to guarantee space.
Activity: Old Timey Photos by Renee-A brief stroll down the main Gatlinburg you will see at least 4 different vintage photo locations. However, Old Timey Photos by Renee has the high quality costumes as well as a great assortment of backdrops. The people who work are outstanding and will certainly have no problem assisting you in choosing the best theme for your picture.
Idea 3: Mesmerizing Mountains
Its no secret that the popularity of the Blue Ridge Mountains has grown significantly over the last decade. Despite its achievements in grossing more than 1 million visitors in 2017, the Smoky Mountains retains the serenity and isolation perfect for a romantic weekend.
Accommodations:Honeymoon Hills Cabin-These secluded cabins are located in the surrounded hills of Gatlinburg. This cupid themed cabin rental business makes sure each cabin sports a heard shaped Jacuzzi in their listings. Most of their quaint abodes also include fireplaces, private balcony, and full kitchen. As an added touch, each night includes 12 free ticket to many surrounding attractions which saves you 50% on local attractions such as dinner shows, outdoor sports, go-karts, and area museums. Guys want to plan a sweet surprise upon arrival for that special girl? For very affordable extra fees special welcome gifts or added touches of luxury can be waiting for you. Some of these include cakes, balloons and rose petals on the bed, bouquet of flowers, gift baskets, and so much more. No wonder these cabins have been featured on tv and popular magazines. Call 800-930-9122 to reserve your cabin now. *minimum date requirements may apply*
BREAKFAST: Fruitful Vintage Personal Chef-We dream about those days when we can just walk in the door and have dinner waiting on the table. Experience a dream come true with your own personal chef preparing your lunch. Chef Ray hails from New Orleans specializing in not only cajun flair but also southern comfort food. With an impeccable resume spanning from Four Diamond, AAA rated, and even English High Teas, the quality you receive will be out of this world. With 11 years in the business as a personal chef and caterer, Fruitful Vintage’s impressive 5 star reviews are quite a feat for any food and beverage administration. Be sure to check out their famous Dinner for Two Menu.
ACTIVITY: Hike Abrams Falls-The Smoky Mountains seem to spiral between large peeks and heavy woodlands areas. Those who know the area are keen on locating the beauty of the waterfalls. Romance blossoms so sweet and pictures are extra special when taken under Abrams Falls. This 20 ft high waterfall may not seem like a grand adventure but the rushing waters gulping through its breadth more than make up for the stature. The hike itself will yield many local creatures. The name “Abram” comes from a Cherokee chief whose village was several miles down stream. Please take extreme caution when hiking this trail. The view is simply break taking but the rocks and areas around the falls are extremely wet and slippery. Wear good walking shoes!
LUNCH: Cades Cover Picnic- Because Cades Cove houses the famous Abram Falls, we suggest packing a picnic lunch. The area is full of different trails and 14 different areas and experiences, 3 of which are picnic table friendly. We suggest Rocky Top Thunder Mountain! This trail is easily followed out of Abram Falls and gives lovers a great view of God’s creation from an elevation of almost 4000 feet should you decide to keep hiking. If not, the picnic area is prior to the start of the trail.
ACTIVITY: Clingman’s Dome-Prepare to be amazing and hold that special someone in your arms. If you didnt get to marvel at the mountains by scaling the Rocky Top Thunder Mountain, this is the experience for you. Depending on the season you vacation, the dome view will create an immersive experience by allowing you to paint the colors of the leaves in the fall, touch the snowflakes on the peaks in the winter, count the flowers in the spring, and sing the melodies of the mountains in the summer. The height is just shy of 7000 feet and boasts the highest point in Tennessee. On a clear day, expect to view over 100 miles spanning 7 states. If for any reason it is raining during this portion of your touring plan, prepare to change this visit to sunset if the mists subside and prepare for the most amazing view of your life.
ACTIVITY: Drive Blue Ridge Parkway-We had to add this in to the plan. No mountain viewing tour is complete without one of the most popular roads in the US. This 469 miles of 95% forrested road doesnt leave any surprises. The twist, turns, and tunnels through this adventure give plenty of ride to roam but also ample spaces to pull over and photograph, record, or tweet your adventure. Its one crazy ride but so worth the time.
DINNER: Greenbrier Restaurant-This is one of those establishments that do not take reservations or call ahead seating. Because of this, we suggest arriving at 4:30pm when they open. The ambiance of this location does feel right at home with a large fireplace and seating close to your neighbor. Be prepared to leave with many friends and have one of the most family friendly nights out during your weekend. Most entrees of chicken, fish, and steak run around $20pp plus tax but the mouthwatering recipes will make you want to kiss the sky. Reviews are always more than favorable winning them the 2017 Tripadvisor of Excellence Award. Dress is very casual to allow you a refreshing meal after a day of hiking.
ACTIVITY: Stargazing at Newfound Gap Trailhead-This is our personal favorite. Who else can say they gave their spouse the mountains and stars? Newfound Gap is located East of Clingman’s Dome Road. It is touristy but the star to mountain ratio is vibrant. Just bring a blanket to spread out on the grass or park at the further end of the parking lot to avoid the crowds and you end up with a scene made for a box office movie. The parking lot sits on the state line between North Carolina and South Caroline. Planned right, you can cross off your bucket list of being in more than one state at the same time.
Idea 4: Playful Pigeon Forge
Whether you are in your 20s or feel like you are 20, partake in the fun and frivolous excitement that is Pigeon Forge. The main strip allows for attraction overload but we have summed up the best ideas sweetened with amazing entertainment.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Hilton Home 2 Suites-This brand new hotel is just directly off the main strip of Pigeon Forge and within walking distance of The Island. Rooms include full kitchens allowing for the ease of the comforts of home with a live in cleaner! Rooms are very spacious and modern and include an incredible breakfast buffet. Be sure to check out the amazing mountain and The Island scenery from the hotel lobby. Call for reservations at 865.429.8500. Special Tip: Serta Suite Dreams© mattress making this hotel our favorite accommodation for romance.
ACTIVITY: Pigeon Forge Snow–Coming Soon! This isnt included on the print out because this indoor snow tubing structure is not open for several months. However, we wanted to add this into the plan as a gentle reminder for the future. Guests will be able to climb and sled year round without having to sport bulky jackets. The indoor structure will be kept around 65 degrees. Those staying at Home 2 Suites will have a very short walk from their hotel to the entrance. Make sure to sign up on their website so you can be first to know of the opening date!
LUNCH: Sawyers Farmhouse– With a menu brimming with bison burgers, BLT stacked on texas toast and a chicken sandwich loaded with BBQ sauce, you will defintely want to give this place a try for lunch. Waits are LONG especially for the breakfast listing upwards of over 1.5 hours but you’ll soon notice that this is the place to be for your morning hankering routines. Portions are triple the size you would get elsewhere putting a friendly IHOP to shame. Come hungry but expect to be rolled out the door. Dont Worry! Our guide gives you plenty of options to work off the additional food and provide relaxation after such a large meal.
Activity: The Track-Four different extreme tracks allow for most families with small kids to enjoy an entire day of fun. For a couple, prepare to careen over almost 4 feet stories with a plunge not for the faint of heart at the end known only as “Wild Woody”. The park opens from 10am-5pm on weekends or 11am-5pm on weekdays in February. As days get longer in the summer, prepare to be out past your bedtime until 9pm or 11pm. Be sure to sign up for their Exclusive Discounts. There are 2 locations but we suggest the famous 2575 Parkway. It does not have the kiddie rides at this one and therefore more couple friendly. Riders are generally $10 per ride per person but specials do allow you to save money for someone riding more than once.
Dinner: Dolly’s Stampede Dinner Show-With 14 area shows and 5 unique dinner shows, it was really difficult to choose just one. However, we are still blown away by the music, talent, and incredible food at Dolly’s Stampede Show. Here you can laugh, cry, and marvel at America’s beautiful horses and enjoy side splitting laughter properly named as southern hospitality. Not sure if Stampede is your style, be sure and try our second favorite, Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show. The wacky picture you can create from the outside props alone are worth the trip. Be prepared to pay close to $50 per person but expect some serious value for your money. Tickets can be reserved by using our online booking engine HERE.
Activity: The Island-If you havent been to the Smoky Mountains since you were a child, we are so excited you are planning to return. The landscape is vastly different but upon returning to Pigeon Forge you cannot leave without experiencing The Island. This shopping, dining, entertainment mecca spans shdkja acres brimming with over 60 different attractions. Pan for gold, enjoy a fun moonshine tasting or cuddle and snuggle inside the pinnacle of the complex in The Island’s 200 ft ferris wheel. Attractions such as these are a nominal fee but will add to an already exhilarating weekend. Before closing, be sure to claim a rocking chair around the Island’s interactive fountain which dances as high as 60 feet in the air to 14 pieces of music. Last show is 11pm. Dont miss it!
For information on booking and reserving your Romantic Get-A-Way or more advice on additional weekend packages, be sure to contact Unforgettable Destinations at 800.450.8123 or book online HERE.