This post about a romantic getaway in Gatlinburg, TN is sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Did you know Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend next year? That’s a pretty rare occurrence. When the day of love happens on a weekend, it’s the universe giving you a sign to go and enjoy it with your significant other. You want somewhere fun but not too far away. My husband and I live in Nashville and the first place we thought of was Gatlinburg! There’s so much to see and do and a romantic getaway to the mountains was just what we needed to celebrate.
We had an amazing weekend and can’t wait to share with you all the details of our romantic getaway in Gatlinburg, TN.
Travel Guide: A Romantic Getaway in Gatlinburg TN
In the heart of Gatlinburg, you’ll find the Shops at the Village or the Village Shops. This shopping area has 27 places to shop, eat or purchase art from a gallery. Everyone recommends getting a donut at The Donut Friar and picking up fudge and chocolate-covered raisins from Ole Smokey Candy Kitchen. If you’d rather skip on the shopping and people watch, there’s ample seating in the center of the shops with a lovely fountain and view of the plaza. In the off-season (December-March 16), shop openings & hours may vary, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or later.
If you want a spot to leisurely walk, shop and enjoy a meal, head to The Old Mill Square. Old Mill has its own distillery, candy kitchen, general store, creamery, and kitchen. It was such a beautiful day, it was lovely walking around and enjoying the shops.
You can’t go to Gatlinburg and not have at least one breakfast at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp. They’re open Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Friday – Sunday from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. I recommend getting there as soon as they open or you might have a wait. These travelers recommend the Big Tennessee French Toast or their yummy Cinnamon Rolls. Also, make sure you check out the wooden statue of David Crockett Maples outside!
Across the street from the Village Shops is a small restaurant called Tennessee Jed’s. They open at 8 a.m. for a breakfast of sandwiches, muffins, and homemade biscuits (only on Friday and Saturday). They’re open until 4 p.m. so stop by for lunch, we recommend the Cubano (what they’re known for) and classic BBQ sandwich. They’re the only restaurant in Gatlinburg with a 5-star rating and it was honestly some of the best food we’ve had in a while!
You can’t have a romantic weekend away without a nice dinner at the Pedder. Enjoy their salad bar, steaks, red wine, and their AMAZING chocolate cake! Buy your sweetheart a rose from the flower lady who walks around and enjoys the intimate lighting and Gatlinburg views. They open at 5 p.m. every day and highly recommend calling ahead to make a reservation and check wait times.
Another fun breakfast spot? Log Cabin Pancake House! Here breakfast is served all day and pancakes are the specialty. I had the Wild Blueberry Pancakes and my husband had the Pancake Royale. It’s a great spot to enjoy coffee, pancakes and plan out your day in Gatlinburg. They’re open Monday – Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A newer restaurant in the Pigeon Forge area, Junction 35 is located in a shopping area behind The Island. One side is a tasting area for their distillery and the other side is a restaurant that serves appetizers, burgers, and much more. Recommendations? The Junction 35 Giant Pretzel, Sampler Wing Board, the J35 Smokehouse Mac & Cheese, and Smoked Sausage Sandwich.
Also, try some of their phenomenal drinks. I loved the Strawberry Moonshine! They’re open Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Sunday opening at 11:00 a.m. When you’re done eating, go to the other half of the building to try and purchase the Junction 35 bourbon, rye whiskey, vodka, moonshine, gin, and rum. (P.S. The 35 in the name represents the Latitude coordinate here in the Smokies.)
If you’re out in Sevierville and are hungry after seeing the Dolly Parton statue at the Courthouse, walk around the corner to Graze Burgers. This is a newer restaurant but has rave reviews so far. The burgers are all-natural and grass-fed and are mouth-watering. Give the Southern Jam or the Chili Chili Bang Bang a try. They’re open Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday & Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
In the same neck of the woods as Graze Burgers and the Dolly Statue is Courthouse Donuts. You can design your own donut and enjoy a fabulous cup of coffee. They also serve lunch Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. They’re closed Saturday & Sunday but their normal business hours are M-F from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Start your morning off with a beautiful mountain hike at Laurel Falls. It’s a 2.7-mile hike that’s rated moderate to difficult. No strollers, bikes, wheelchairs, or pets are allowed and if you’re bringing children they need to be supervised. I recommend going early since it’s pretty busy in the summer and on the weekends. Bring some water and a camera to have your photos taken at the beautiful falls! P.S. I highly recommend stopping at the Sugarlands Visitor Center and making sure conditions are safe.
We can’t say enough good things about Anakeesta if possible spend the majority of your day here since there’s so much to do. You start your journey by taking a chair lift up the mountain. Once you get to the top it’s like an adult treehouse. You can hop on the dual zipline (I beat my husband every time!), ride the rail runner, walk in the gardens, gem mining, and walk the treetop skywalk.
There are also some great shops and yummy places to eat. They’re working on a big expansion right now that’s bringing even more fun to this theme park in the mountains! They’re open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Make sure you get tickets beforehand if it’s peak season! (TIP: If you’re spending the day in Gatlinburg, the parking at Anakeesta is $12 all day. You can do so much within walking distance!)
At sunset, head to the SkyLift Park with your sweetheart. Head up on the chairlift and see an amazing view of Gatlinburg. The SkyBridge stretches over 680 feet and is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. You get panoramic views of the Smokies, it’s a sight you can’t miss out on! SkyLift Park is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Spend the day in Pigeon Forge and start at The Island. The Island is good for some good old-fashioned fun with places like The Escape Game, Arcade City, Tactical Laser Tag, Island Bumper Cars, the Flying Horse Carousel, the Island Show Fountain, and the Great Smokey Mountain Wheel. This wheel is 200-feet tall and is one of the tallest attractions in the Southeast. The attractions and retail shops are open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
See the Dolly Parton Statue
Who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? The Courthouse in Sevierville has a statue of her that you have to check out as you’re leaving town. Play Dolly’s greatest hits in the car and pay homage to the queen of Country Music!
If you’re in the Old Mill Historic District in Pigeon Forge, stop by Mill Bridge Winery. Mill Bridge Winery offers local wines and hard ciders and offers free tastings daily. You have to try the Water Wheel, Little Pigeon, and Mountain Falls Wines. This is one of the stops on the Wine Trail but if you have some time, enjoy a glass on their patio overlooking the river. They’re open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Another stop on the Wine Trail in Pigeon Forge is Mountain Valley Vineyards. It’s one of the oldest wineries in the state and they offer free tastings as well. Our top favorites were the Watermelon, Rhubarb, and Red Velvet. They’re open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you stop here make sure you get your wine trail paper stamped!
You can’t have a romantic weekend away without a stay in a cabin. We stayed in the Bearadise City at Eagles Ridge. Everything from the toilet paper holder to the coffee table legs was in the bear theme! The cabins offer a fireplace, hot tub, whirlpool, pool table, and full kitchen. Their cabins range from 1 bedroom to 6-9 bedrooms so you can have a cabin all to yourself or share with a group of friends.
If you want the full romantic experience, they offer an intimate dinner for two with a personal chef. Dinner is four courses and the chef sends you a menu beforehand so you can decide what you want to eat.
In addition to the private meal, they offer to add on’s like cheese fondue, breakfast casserole, chocolate-covered strawberries, or a cheese platter. Romance at its finest! Need more pampering and relaxation? The cabin also offers a couples massage! The couple’s massage is in the cabin and they bring two tables with two masseurs for an hour. The ultimate weekend of relaxation and fun right?!