24 Unforgettable Romantic Things to Do in Gatlinburg for Couples

December 28, 2021

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains lies a quaint resort village just bursting with down-home Appalachian charm.

Gatlinburg is any fearless couple’s romantic fantasy with acres of wild mountain terrain, diverse wildlife, and picturesque scenery. 

From rip-roaring white water rafting down the Pigeon River to sampling different varieties of moonshine, there's no shortage of romantic things to do in Gatlinburg.

Add to the mix a laid-back southern atmosphere, finger-licking good BBQ, and an enviable entertainment scene. You’ve got one sure-fire recipe for success.

Treat your better half to a bit of ‘Blue Smoke’ adventure and a whole lot of fun when you book a romantic rendezvous in Gatlinburg. 

Gatlinburg Hotels

Inhale that crisp mountain air and cuddle up with your cutie in one of our cozy Smoky Mountain Cabin Rentals. Reserve a room at one of our many Smoky Mountain Resorts for more full-scale amenities and little licks of luxury

Couples seeking to be closer to the entertainment, shopping, and first-rate downtown dining can find convenience and comfort by booking any of our Gatlinburg Hotels and Lodgings

Wherever you decide to relax and recharge, reserve with confidence, knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates online. 

Related Post: What You Should Know Before Visiting Gatlinburg for the First Time

exterior ground view of Crystelle Creek Restaurant with lights under trees in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

Most Romantic Restaurants in Gatlinburg

Although BBQ might be synonymous with Tennessee, it would be a shame not to spoil your sweetheart with a five-star dining experience while visiting Gatlinburg. 

Put on your finest and prepare for an evening of ambiance, low lighting, and delicious eats when you frequent any of our favorite romantic Gatlinburg restaurants:

Crystelle Creek Restaurant

Savor a rustically romantic and rugged mountain atmosphere and sumptuous Italian cuisine when you dine at Crystelle’s. Indulge in some local catfish bites to whet your appetite before moving on to a hearty meatball and mozzarella bake or divine Nashville prime rib. 

Related Post: 11 Most Romantic Restaurants in Gatlinburg


Wine and dine your beloved in style at this Gatlinburg staple featuring river views, a heated patio, raw bar & grill, and a private wine cellar. Start with some flavorful mushroom stuffed crab or creamy bisque before ordering a broiled seafood platter or Maine lobster to share. 

Buckhorn Inn

Southern-inspired cuisine served in a classic BnB atmosphere with spellbinding views makes Buckthorn Inn a memorable stop for any supper. Their ever-changing menu features seasonal ingredients and regional highlights such as braised fire-roasted chicken with a tomato, mushroom hunter sauce, cheddar chablis soup, and white chocolate pecan pie.

Related Post: Most Unique Places to Eat in Gatlinburg

sunset over gatlinburg tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains National Park guide

Most Instagrammable Spots

Instagram husbands, wives, and partners relax! We’ve taken the guesswork out of compiling Gatlinburg’s most scenic spots to bring you the most blissful couples' vacation pics yet:

  • Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook - capture the stunning contrast in elevation between the Gatlinburg skyline and the mountains featured at this scenic overlook.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park - did you even visit this beloved National Park if you forgot to snap a selfie in front of the infamous ‘welcome’ sign?
  • Great Smoky Mountain Wheel - equally attractive during the day but simply sensational when lit aglow at night, this enchanting Ferris Wheel makes for a romantic photo op. 

Best Mountain Sunsets

View of a purple and orange sunset from Myrtle Point on Mount Le Conte in the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Great Smoky Mountains National Park via Facebook

While it may not be a palm tree-studded beach in the tropics, Gatlinburg’s proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains makes for some epic eye-catching sunsets. Pack up a bottle of wine, a warm blanket, and prepare to watch the sky explode in color at any of our top sunset spots: 

  • Clingmans Dome
  • Cliff Top at Mt LeConte
  • Newfound Gap Parking Area
  • Gatlinburg Space Needle
  • Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

Related Post: Easy Hikes in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sightseeing Tours

Pink Jeep Tours - Smoky Mountains

Rev your engine and pump up the passion when you spend the day traversing the wilderness of the Smokies via a rugged Jeep Wrangler.

Choose from one of three thrilling Pink Jeep Tours, and leave the driving to the experts as you and your partner relax into your intimate outdoor experience:

  • Newfound Gap Smoky Mountains Tour - a 3 hr rough and ready tour that focuses on the Newfoundland Gap.
  • Roaring Fork Smoky Mountains Tour - a 2 hr adventure focused on Roaring Fork, which includes an off-road finale.
  • Valleys & Views Tour - the most modest tour offered, this ride takes place only on smooth, paved roads and lasts 2 hrs.

Tackle those bumpy mountain roads with aplomb as your custom vinyl enclosed Pink Jeep Wrangler can handle anything! Listen up as your certified professional guide provides engaging commentary and narration regarding the park's geology, ecology, flora, and fauna.

Your guide will also be on hand to assist in capturing your 4x4 memories with a commemorable photo in America’s most visited national park.

View of the back of a Pink Jeep on a road in the woods with a wild turkey next to it in the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Pink Jeep Tours via Facebook

Related Post: Gatlinburg Hidden Gems: Secret Spots You Don't Want to Miss

Ghost and Haunt Tour of Gatlinburg

Paramours who preach the love of all things paranormal will be in for an evening of haunted happenings when they reserve a Ghost and Haunt Tour of Gatlinburg.

This 2-hour seriously sinister walking tour dives into the darker side of Gatlinburg. Meanwhile, illuminating the spooky history of this Eastern Tennessee town.

Grab your honey’s hand and hold tight as you attempt to communicate with the undead. Then, peek at real poltergeists captured on film, and stroll past Gatlinburg’s most notorious locales.

Your tour will cover over 1 mile worth of undead doings, tales of murderers, con artists, and self-promoters. Additionally, Your guide will offer eerie tips and tricks on how to capture ghostly apparitions on camera. 

Museums, Entertainment & Live Shows

Dolly Parton's Stampede Dinner Attraction

Nobody puts on a show quite like the Queen of Country! Everyone’s beloved lovelorn songstress pulls out all the stops at the Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction.

With an incredible dinner and show combo, your date will be on their feet cheering at the entertainment spectacle of horse riding stunts, electrifying special effects and lights, and country-style live music production.

Toast your sweetie with a refreshing ice-cold Coca-Cola and tuck into a BBQ-themed supper of flaky homemade biscuits, creamy vegetable soup, and Hickory Smoked Barbecued Pork Loin.

Related Post: Spectacular Things to Do in Gatlinburg at Night

horses and Usa flags at Dolly Parton Dixie Stampede Flag Finale With Fireworks

Titanic Museum

While we may never settle the debate over whether both Jack and Rose could have fit on the door. We can promise historically fueled fun at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge.

There are well over 400 authentic artifacts, worth more than a whopping $4.5 million. With 20 different galleries in the museum, it anxiously awaits your visit.

This interactive experience is the ideal place to bring any history-obsessed partner. Try to balance on the sloping decks, imitating the ship's angle as it sank. Then, peek at the ship’s fully recreated first-class suites and third-class bunks. You will even be able to touch a real iceberg!

Related Post: Current Festivals and Events at the Titanic Museum

Between the artifacts and recreated experiences, you'll depart the museum with a new understanding of what the passengers and crew members bravely endured.

Pro Tip: During the month of February, lovebirds can flock to the museum to celebrate their love at Sweetheart Month at Titanic through:

  • Marriage Proposals
  • Vow Renewals
  • Weddings
  • Engagement Sessions

Country Tonite Show

Calling all country fans! For couples who love nothing more than a little bit of line dancing and a whole lot of banjo, the Country Tonite Show is the homespun date night entertainment of their dreams.

Pull those cowboy boots out of storage and prime yourselves for a night of soulful singing, dynamic dancing, side-splitting comedy, and American patriotism.

A variety show you’ve never seen before, Country Tonite is an imaginative and immersive award-winning experience that can’t be missed.

Delight in the million-dollar theater’s state-of-the-art sound and lighting as you are whisked away to simpler times with the gentle strumming of the fiddle and banjo. 

Wipe your tears away, post the touching Veterans’ tribute, and pick your jaw up off the floor after you witness the bootin’ scootin’ choreography of Tennessee’s best dancers!

Outdoor Activities & Adventure

Five Oaks Riding Stables

Gallop to your heart's content when you and your sweetie sign up for a romantic day at Five Oaks Riding Stables in Gatlinburg.

Saddle up that steed, and explore the mountain streams, spring-fed lakes, and wildlife of the grand Smoky Mountains with your equestrian-obsessed partner.

Travel the bewitchingly rugged terrain and trails of Mt. Leconte as you embrace over 70 acres of staggering mountain scenery.

Beginner riders are welcome as the Five Oaks horses are calm and easy-going. 

Keep a lookout since this area is teeming with native wildlife, and sightings of deer, wild turkey, and other animals are common. 

Related Post: Gatlinburg Hiking Tips: Need-to-Know Basics

Hidden Cascade Hiking Tour in the Great Smoky Mountains from Gatlinburg

Take a walk on the wild side with a Hidden Cascade Hiking Tour in the Great Smoky Mountains from Gatlinburg. Love is in the air (and the mountains) on this 4-hour invigorating trek through the hardwood forests of Appalachia.

Embrace this nature-filled detox as you discover the secrets, natural history, and ecology of this renowned National Park through the teaching of your expert naturalist guide. 

Your small tour group will make its way to the picturesque cascades. Meanwhile, you’ll learn all about a forest’s life cycle and how it regenerates after a fire. 

Every professional naturalist guide is also a Wilderness First Responder. So you and your better half can hike, climb, and explore with the utmost peace of mind.

Be sure to pack a camera! Wildlife abounds in this rich ecosystem. You will likely catch glimpses of deer, bears, amphibians, and more.

Related Post: Gatlinburg Packing List: What to Bring for the Best Trip Ever

People White Water Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors - Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Smoky Mountain Outdoors via Facebook

Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors

Just around the river bend lies the most romantic Gatlinburg rendezvous yet. Inject some adrenaline into your relationship when you spend the day navigating the rushing rapids of the Pigeon River.

Rafting with Smoky Mountain Outdoors lets you and your fellow water lover choose from two different rafting adventures. 

Depending on your skill level and tenacious spirit, you may pick to raft the Lower Pigeon River (class 1 & 2 rapids) or the Upper Pigeon River (class 3 and 4 rapids). However, both river experiences offer outstanding natural scenery, whitewater thrills, and quality bonding time. 

Splish, splash, and paddle through over 4 miles of rapids under the guidance of your professional river guide. With over 5,000 five-star reviews on Tripadvisor, the award-winning rafting is worth the 45 min drive from Gatlinburg!

After all that fun, feel free to change, shower, and grab a quick snack at the on-site service station and eatery.

Related Post: What to Do with a Weekend in Gatlinburg

View of a red helicopter from Sevier County Choppers in the air over trees in the fall with a grey cloudy sky in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Sevier County Choppers via Facebook

Aerial Tours

Scenic Helicopter Tours

Cruise through the heavens above, holding hands with your honey on any number of Scenic Helicopter Tours in the Smokies. 

Unforgettable birds-eye views, searing scenery, and untold photo ops make this aerial affair an outstanding date. 

Select any of their seven romantic tours, ranging from quick 6 minute/12 mile jaunts to more extensive 50-mile journeys. Soar to the deep valleys and high mountains of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, downtown Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge.

Keep that camera locked and loaded, as other notable tour highlights include panoramic vistas of:

  • French Broad River
  • Douglas Dam Lake
  • Bluff Mountain
  • Chilhowee Mountain Range
  • Historic downtown Sevierville

Forgot to snap that epic photo of you and your sugar in front of the Smokies? No sweat, as souvenir photos are also available for purchase. 

Sevier County Aviation Helicopter Tours

Up, up, and away! Take your love sky high when you reserve an extra special afternoon with Sevier County Aviation Helicopter Tours.

Elevate the amour to 10 on this exceptionally intimate aerial tour. Servier County utilizes premier model choppers that host a maximum of 3 people for flight. Above all, this allows you and your loved one uncompromised views and the pilot’s full attention.

Put on your headset and handpick any of the following dazzling tours featuring mountains, scenic lakes, and more:

  • Mountain and City View - revel in this dynamic 4-minute flight that takes you 1,000 feet in the air. Soar far above the Great Smoky Mountains.
  • Pigeon Forge - relish 7 minutes of flying time on this tour, showcasing the best panoramas and sights of Pigeon Forge. Sights include a large rock quarry, Parrot Mountain and Dollywood.
  • Foothills - fly as high as 3,000 ft on this 12-minute tour that dives in between the foothills of the mountains. It includes scenic sights of Dollywood's Splash Country, English Mountain, and Douglas Lake.

Related Post: The Ultimate Gatlinburg Itinerary for Every Visitor

Unique Experiences

Close up photo of a llama smiling with other llamas in the background as park of the Smoky Mountains llama Trek in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Scaly Adventures via Facebook

Smoky Mountain Llama Treks

Cuddly, cute, and kooky, you can’t help but smile when you and your lover snuggle up to South America’s coziest export.

Get friendly with the fluffiest, friendliest animals on any number of the Smoky Mountain Llama Treks.

In addition to creating some adorable social media content, your Llama is professionally trained and will carry your gear.

Relax and soak in the scenic Smoky Mountain scenery with abandon. Your llamas will accompany you to picturesque peaks, babbling brooks, wild blackberry patches, and fields of fresh wildflowers.

Are you seeking a strenuous hike or a stroll? Smoky Mountain Llama Treks offers up a variety of hikes. They even offer a non-hiking farm visit.

Related Post: Cheap Things to Do in Gatlinburg That Are Actually Fun

Top Rated Wine and Shine Walking Tour

Pour one out with your precious and get a real taste of Southern hooch on the Top Rated Wine and Shine Walking Tour

Nothing says ‘romantic couples vacation’ like a bit of day drinking. So prepare to get a tad tipsy when you drop in on the best Gatlinburg distilleries on your 3.5-hour moonshine tasting tour.

Sip plenty of firewater samples and learn the methodical ins and outs of the distillation process as you visit:

  • Tennessee Shine Company - taste flavors that will run from 35 proof cream-based to 135 proof.
  • Little Bear Winery - luxuriate in a VIP-like experience at this quaint winery and enjoy a variety of vino samples.
  • Sugarlands Distilling Company - peek behind the curtain of an authentic working distillery and sample some delectable moonshine cocktails.

Developed a hankering for the harder stuff? Your official ‘Wine and Shine’ tour ticket affords you an exclusive discount on specific moonshine bottles.

Frolicking through a field with a llama companion or soaring thousands of feet in the air on an aerial tour. Romantic activities in Gatlinburg genuinely know no bounds.

This verdantly lush "Gateway to the Smoky Mountains" is a veritable cornucopia of festive fun, scintillating shows, and outdoor escapades. 

Related Post: Current Events and Festivals in Gatlinburg

From shacking up in a rusticly luxurious Smoky Mountain cabin to tackling the rugged terrain of Mt. Leconte together, there are so many ways to express your romance in idyllic Gatlinburg.

Fulfill your fantasies when you book a romantic getaway in gorgeous Gatlinburg today! 

What Did We Miss?

What other romantic things in Gatlinburg have you found to enjoy with your sweetheart? Let us know in the comments below!


isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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