You’ve booked a long weekend at one of Gatlinburg’s romantic bed-and-breakfast inns or cabins. You’re looking forward to viewing the autumn colors, hiking the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and relaxing in front of a crackling fire. Want to plan a fun date night or two? Gatlinburg’s got you covered!
The Downtown Date
You might think of Ober Gatlinburg as a family amusement park, which it is, but a visit to Ober can set the stage for romance for the adventurous couple. Take the Aerial Tramway or Scenic Chairlift from downtown Gatlinburg up to the resort for some of the best Take a spin or two around the indoor ice rink—hold on tight to your sweetheart! Check out the wonderful Wildlife Encounter, where you can see river otters play and view other native Smokies species—it’s not just for kids! Then enjoy dinner with a spectacular view at Seasons of Ober Restaurant. Linger for drinks and dancing at the Loft Lounge, which has the Gatlinburg area’s largest dance floor.
The Foodie Date
Do you and your mate like to discover restaurants that serve great food? Visitors rave about the steaks and crabcakes at the Cherokee Grill, which has a nice, romantic atmosphere with small lamps on the tables and a gorgeous rock fireplace. There are plenty of options here for you gluten-free folks. The restaurant at the Buckhorn Inn, a bed-and-breakfast, serves the public as well as guests at the Inn, and it gets high marks from diners for its Southern-influenced cuisine and excellent service. Start your dining experience with spiced tea on the flagstone terrace while you enjoy stunning mountain views. Then partake of your four-course meal in the dining room. Be sure to call for reservations at this hidden gem, and check the website for the evening’s main course—it changes nightly. The Restaurant at Buckberry Creek also caters to those looking for fine dining in a romantic setting. Diners can choose entrees from an a la carte menu, which changes to a fixed menu in the winter. On a warm fall evening, you can dine outdoors with memorable views of Mount LeConte. Reservations are suggested.
The Art Lovers' Date
If you love original art, spend an afternoon discovering Gatlinburg’s famed mountain arts and crafts. Hop aboard the adorable Parkway Trolley and cruise through downtown to the Arts and Crafts Community—8 miles of studios, shops and alcoves where you can be inspired by the work of mountain artisans. Steal a kiss at the beautiful Covered Bridge in the Glades. The Arts and Crafts district is one of Gatlinburg’s most charming areas, guaranteed to fan the flames of romance. You don’t need a special occasion to give your sweetheart a unique gift—just say, “I love you, and I knew you’d like this!”
A Little of Everything
How about a sunset stroll with your honey along Gatlinburg’s River Walk? It doesn’t get more romantic than that! Enjoy meandering hand in hand beside the river and soaking up the peaceful vibes. Stop along the way for a selfie or two, or a glass of wine or coffee at a riverside café. Another top romantic spot to stroll is The Village, where cobblestone walkways wend their way past charming shops. You’ll feel like you’re in a quaint European mountain town. Stop to toss a penny into the fountain, as lovers often do.
After a day of hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, unwind with libations from Gatlinburg’s wineries, distilleries or breweries. Sample the finest Tennessee whiskies at Ole Smoky Distillery, one of the region’s oldest, or Davy Crockett’s Tennessee Whiskey Distillery. You’ll find unique, handcrafted selections like Ole Smoky’s White Lightnin’ and Davy’s popular Southern Pecan Whiskey. Smoky Mountain Winery and Sugarland Cellars Winery offer tours and tastings of locally produced premium wines. Beer more to your taste? Smoky Mountain Brewery offers great food along with fresh, handcrafted beers. Make a night of it—some of these places book entertainment, so you can enjoy mountain music and great company along with your beverage.