Gatlinburg is your gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America's most visited National Park, and the only National Park that does not charge an admission fee. Its over 800 miles of trails and scenic beauty are free to the public. It's advised that travelers start their trip planning experience here to get acquainted with the area and all it has to offer.
Enchanting during every season, no trip to Gatlinburg would be complete without a visit to this landmark. While there are dozens of activities to enjoy in town when you visit Gatlinburg, one of the area's main attractions is the serenity of the mountains. It would seem that these ancient mountains and the surrounding landscape were made for romance, and the setting provides a perfect way to leave distractions behind and immerse yourself into the peacefulness of nature.
The Smokies Offer So Many Perfect Spots for Romance
Once you arrive in Gatlinburg, what are some of the awesome spots that you and your sweetheart can explore, you ask? A great place to start is Grotto Falls. You can actually stand behind the waterfall, and this is the only waterfall in the park where you can do this. You'll sense the serenity in the old-growth forest and enjoy this short hike which starts just outside Gatlinburg on the Trillium Trail. This walk is beautiful any time of year, and there's always something inspiring to see.
Elkmont is the place where romance is in the air, literally, at Great Smoky Mountains National Park! The Elkmont area offers beautiful riverside spots that are perfect for a romantic walk, and it’s close to Cades Cove, the next stop on our list of romantic park day trip spots. Come back in the summer too, as many people rave about the campsites here; many of which offer quite ample space, even for pop-up trailers. Mark Elmont down too for a return in summer, as it’s a must see for its famous synchronous fireflies, and the park is the only place in America where you can see them.
Take a Romantic Drive
Sometimes a romantic drive suits the mood. The park offers several picturesque opportunities to take a long, relaxing drive through some of the most beautiful country in America. Cades Cove Scenic Drive is one of the most enjoyable driving routes in the park. Hike to Rocky Top, take in awe inspiring views of the valley and surround yourself with wildlife; it's all here from black bears, to turkeys, to deer...even turtles! Depending on whether you prefer a long or short drive, there are many routes to choose. Try the 6 mile Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. TripAdvisor ranks this route #1 of 33 attractions in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This beautiful drive offers views of historical cabins, forests, old barns, the river and waterfalls. This is a popular route to view Gatlinburg's spectacular fall colors. Many people enjoy this beautiful route at night too.
A Candlelit Dinner to Wind Up a Perfect Day
After you've enjoyed a day at the park, let the romance continue with an intimate dinner for two at one of Gatlinburg's renowned restaurants. Take your pick from a variety of dining pleasures in Gatlinburg. You and your sweetheart can enjoy a cozy dinner in a historic log cabin restaurant, satisfy your appetite with home cooking in a mountain lodge atmosphere, enjoy micro-brewed beer with rib eye steak or filet mignon, or even top notch Italian and seafood; it's all waiting for you at any one of 100 restaurants in Gatlinburg. What a great way to close out a romantic day for two!
Get started now planning your trip. Find out more with our free ‘things to do’ guide.