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24 Romantic Things To Do in Gatlinburg for Couples

24 Romantic Things To Do in Gatlinburg for Couples


Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is an enchanting haven for couples. Here, you can experience fairytale adventures, stunning views, romantic dinners, and nightlife — all while creating memories with your partner that will last a lifetime. 

Whether you and your date are sports enthusiasts, foodies, homebodies, or just want to party, there are plenty of exciting things to do in our quaint East Tennessee town. Read on for ideas on where you can take your someone special on your next date night. 

Take a hike

Go on a scenic hike to bask in the beauty and tranquility of the Smoky Mountains with your partner. The steady rhythm of your footsteps, the gentle sounds of the nature surrounding you, and the breathtaking vistas are perfect for having meaningful conversations and bonding with the person beside you.

A man helps his girlfriend up a steep trail in Gatlinburg, TN.  

1. Clingmans Dome

Situated just past the Tennessee border in North Carolina is Clingmans Dome — the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can take a 1.3 out-and-back walk on a winding paved patch for spectacular 360-degree views. You can also catch stunning sunrises and sunsets with your loved one.

2. Alum Cave Trail

Great for avid hiker duos, the 11-mile out-and-back Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte is the place to be if you want to enjoy unmatched views. Together, you can get a good workout and spot some local wildlife and wildflowers. 

3. Rainbow Falls

Boasting an 80-foot cascade of water and a kaleidoscope of colors in the mist, Rainbow Falls is a beautiful place to take your date. A favorite among locals and travelers, you should experience the 5.1-mile out-and-back trail at least once in your lifetime. 

4. Grotto Falls

Don’t let an uphill trek deter you from visiting Grotto Falls with your partner. This scenic out-and-back trail will take you through 2.6 miles of dense Hemlock forest and to a waterfall that pours into a cool pool of water. Once you reach the falls, stop, cool off, and chat with your date. 

5. Laurel Falls

The 2.4-mile out-and-back trail to Laurel Falls is relatively easy and perfect for a leisurely stroll with your date. As you go, you’ll get a view of the Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel shrubs — trees that touch the sky. At the end, you’ll see a two-tiered waterfall rushing over a wall of rocks. 

Go on a New Adventure

Embarking on an adventure adds an element of excitement to your date — whether you’re horseback riding or taking a jeep tour to see the sights. The shared experience of navigating scenic trails, enjoying speeding over the lake, or galloping through the mountains on horseback can result in connection-deepening memories that strengthen your relationship. 

Two newlyweds test out the slopes at Ober Mounain in Gatlinburg.

6. Ziplining

Soar above the mountains with CLIMB Works or take a dual zipline canopy tour at the Ober Mountain Ski Area and Adventure Park. Dual lines are an extra perk on a date because you can see the Smoky Mountains National Park side-by-side with your loved one. 

7. Winter sports

Ober Mountain has fun summer activities like rock climbing and tubing, but they really shine when it comes to winter sports. If that sounds like fun to you, make your way up the mountain via their aerial tramway and explore pastimes such as skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and ice skating. Whether you’re a winter sports enthusiast or prefer a leisurely day in the snow, there’s sure to be something fun for you and your date to try.

8. Jeep tour

Book a couple of seats on a Pink Jeep tour in Gatlinburg and spend a few hours traversing the Smokies and learning about the area with your partner. Jeep tours explore different trails and vary in duration, so do some research and figure out which one speaks to you and your partner the most. 

9. Horseback riding

Experience the freedom of exploring the mountains on horseback. The Cades Cove Riding Stables, Jayell Ranch, and Five Oaks Riding Stables are all great options for finding horses that suit you and your riding partner. 

10. Boating

Rent a boat at the Douglas Lake Marina and spend the day on the water. If you don’t have a boat or you don’t want to haul it over to Dandridge, you can rent a pontoon, speedboat, fishing barge, paddleboards, or a two-person kayak for your date. 

Spend the Day at an Amusement Park

Get tickets to a theme park or amusement park and whisk your date away to a day of fun and youthful excitement. Surrounded by the lively atmosphere, fun rides and attractions, and mouthwatering food — you can have a playful and romantic day together. 

A couple on a date walk the carnival midway together.

11. Anakeesta

Anakeesta is a mountaintop adventure park where you can eat, shop, relax, or explore with your date. While you’re there, try the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster for a rush, The Memorial Forest Walk for a relaxing stroll through the gardens, or the Cliff Top Restaurant for a taste of Southern BBQ and can’t-miss views of Mt. Le Conte. 

12. Dollywood

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Gatlinburg, Dollywood is infused with the fun and charm of legendary Country singer Dolly Parton. With its blend of thrilling rides, live entertainment, and romantic ambiance, Dollywood is a veritable date night destination in East Tennessee. 

Book a Table for Two

Indulge in a restaurant experience in downtown Gatlinburg during a weekend getaway with your partner. There are plenty of spots for foodies searching for a culinary experience and an intimate ambiance. 

A couple on a dinner date in Gatlinburg eat sandwiches together.

13. The Peddler Steakhouse

The Peddler is one of the best restaurants in downtown Gatlinburg. Beyond the red doors, you can find exemplary customer service and enjoy a view of the West Prong Little Pigeon River while you chow down. Speaking of chowing down, try ordering the New York Strip Steak, Filet Mignon, Fresh Rainbow Trout, Hot Blackberry Cobbler, or Kahlua Creme Brulee to delight your taste buds. 

14. Cherokee Grill

Situated in Calhoun’s Village, this rustic yet upscale restaurant is a go-to spot for love birds who want to relax near a warm fireplace and get to know each other in a romantic and low-pressure atmosphere. With a kitchen full of the area’s finest ingredients, the Cherokee Grill offers fresh and delicious dishes like Crab Bisque, Char-Grilled Wild Alaska Salmon, Fresh Herb Crusted Trout, or the Boursin Filet. 

15. Crystelle Creek Restaurant

With a robust bar and an elegant dining area, Crystelle Creek in Gatlinburg is the perfect spot for a dinner for two. While there, get a taste of the Captain’s Platter, the Nashville Prime Rib, or the Dallas Burger. 

16. Red Oak Bistro

The Red Oak Bistro in Gatlinburg is a romantic spot off the beaten path where you and your date can eat delicious entrees cooked by an expert chef with seasonal and local produce. While there, you should also try something from their extensive wine collection, like Bee’s Box, Diora, Lust Zinfandel, or Love Noir Rose. 

Get drinks together

There are lots of great ways to share a drink with your date in Gatlinburg — go bar hopping, get drinks and see a show, try samples at a distillery, or go on a date at a romantic restaurant, or tour a local winery. Whatever you choose, don’t be afraid to try out some of East Tennessee’s unique flavors, especially when it comes to moonshine and whiskey. 

People on a date laugh together over a couple of beers.

17. Sugarlands Distilling Company

This award-winning craft distillery is a one-of-a-kind spot where you can sip hand-crafted cocktails with your date. The Sugarlands Distillery is also known for shines like the Appalachian Apple Pie, Blueberry Muffin, and Folds of Honor Sour Blue Raspberry. 

18. Ole Smoky

Moonshine is a staple of the Smokies, and there’s nowhere better to get a taste than Ole Smoky. Here, you have to try Mountain Java, Butter Pecan, and Lemon Teashine. Or, if you’d rather shoot some whiskey — Root Beer Whiskey, Salty Caramel Whiskey, and Mango Habanero Whiskey are all delicious choices. 

Go to a Museum or Live Show

Exploring a museum or enjoying a live show during a weekend getaway with your partner adds a cultural, educational, and entertaining dimension to your time together. If that sounds good, here are a few enriching date ideas for you and your date. 

A couple looks in awe at an aquarium in Gatlinburg.

19. Ripley’s Aquarium

Explore life under the sea from the comfort of the impressive Ripley’s Aquarium. Take a stroll with your partner to see exotic fish, turtles, rays, sharks, jellyfish, and eels. 

20. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Visit the iconic Ripley’s Museum to enjoy pop-culture memorabilia, games, oddities, shrunken heads, vampire-killing kits, and more. With a history of showcasing bizarre and extraordinary artifacts, this is a must-see for those who enjoy the strange and unusual. 

21. Titanic Museum

Visit the Titanic Museum to learn more about the historical event. Here, you can walk hand in hand with your Jack or Rose and explore the incredible exhibits and artifacts that tell the stories of passengers. 

22. Country Tonite

Treat your partner to a live music show at Country Tonite, where the performers will sing, dance, and deliver jokes that will make your date one to remember. 

Rent a Charming Cabin for a Weekend Away

Renting a charming cabin for a weekend away with your partner ensures you’ll have time to focus on each other and relax between activities. And with cabins offering stunning views and luxury amenities like hot tubs and saunas, your date can be equally as exciting as it is romantic. 

When you book with Elk Springs Resort in Gatlinburg, TN, you can enjoy the comfort of vacation home essentials and additional luxury features. Here are a few of our cabins popular for romantic getaways. 

A couple enjoys the views from their cabin at the base of the Smokies.

23. Inspiration Point

Spend the weekend nestled in the woods, soaking in a hot tub and looking out to the mountains with your partner. Then, after you dry off, head back in, make a home-cooked dinner for two, and wind down beside the fireplace. 

24. Sugar Plum Pines

Focus on wellness with your loved one in this chic Smoky Mountain cabin. Complete with a heated indoor pool, yoga mats, a sauna, and sports-centric arcade games, you can practice self-care and spend time with your significant other. 

Reserve a Cabin for Your Romantic Getaway

There are plenty of romantic things to do in Gatlinburg, TN, for couples. With charming attractions, breathtaking scenery, intimate dining options, and eye-opening experiences, you and your partner — your next trip to East Tennessee will surely be memorable. 

Of course, no romantic getaway is complete without the right accommodations. Elevate your escape by booking a cozy cabin where you can relax, spend time together, and rest between breaks in your exciting Gatlinburg vacation itinerary.

Romantic Cabins