30 Best Things To Do In Gatlinburg For Couples

Are you looking for a romantic getaway? Have you heard of Gatlinburg TN? There are so many things to do in Gatlinburg for couples. It’s no surprise that Gatlinburg is rated the 2nd most popular wedding destination in the United States. And that’s just after Las Vegas. So if you are looking for a fun couples getaway, then you have come to the right place!

Located in East Tennessee, this mountain town has it all. With breathtaking mountain views, outdoor adventures and highly rated restaurants, Gatlinburg makes a perfect destination for a couple’s getaway. So let’s discover 30 best things to to do in Gatlinburg for couples.

Reasons to plan a Romantic Gatlinburg Getaway

Really, you don’t need a reason to plan a romantic getaway with the one you love. However here are a few:

  • Special Occasion
  • Quality Time
  • Vacation
  • Romantic Retreat
  • or Just Because

Whatever your reason, get ready for many fun and romantic things to do in this cozy yet touristy mountain town!

30 Things to do in Gatlinburg for Couples

Visit The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Smoky Mountains is one of the most visited national parks in North America. Sprawling the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, the park covers over 500,000 acres. Named after its lingering morning fog, the Smokies offer a variety of things to do. You can go hiking, camping, find waterfalls, horseback riding, picnicking, scenic drives, wildlife viewing, fishing and even visiting the largest collection of historic log buildings.

So try to get to the park and enjoy this special place while visiting Gatlinburg.

Enjoy A Scenic Drive Through The Park

Scenic drive through Smoky Mountains National Park

There are many scenic drives within Smoky Mountains National Park. Here are a few favorites:

  • Newfound Gap Road: 31 mile loop will take you through the center of the park where you will drive through a variety of forest ecosystems. Bring a jacket as the temperature can drop with the elevation change.
  • Cades Cove Loop Road: 11 mile paved one way loop through the Smoky Mountains with pull offs and parking lots to enjoy wildlife viewing, historic cabins, pastures and more.
  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: This windy trail easily located from downtown Gatlinburg you will see beautiful forests, rushing streams, log cabins and other historic structures.
  • Clingmans Dome: From Newfound Gap Road continue down Clingmans Dome road to see the 54 foot observation tower. There you will find a paring lot and the 1/2 mile upward trail to get to the tower.

Discover Hiking Trails and Waterfalls

Clingmans Dome in Smoky Mountains National Park

If you enjoy hiking, then this is one of the best things to do while visiting Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. With over 800 miles of hiking trails, and beautiful waterfalls to discover. It’s a hikers paradise.

Popular hikes include: Alum Cave Trail, Clingmans Dome Trail, Andrews Bald Trail and Chimney Tops Trail.

Popular waterfalls hikes include: Laurel Falls, Abrams Falls and Grotto Falls where you can walk behind the falls.

Experience Downtown Gatlinburg

There are so many things to do in Gatlinburg for couples. Downtown Gatlinburg offers such a variety of attractions, rides, restaurants and shopping. You can even take the trolly into town so you won’t have to worry about parking. The trolly schedule changes seasonally so make sure to confirm the routes and times. You can get online and see where the trolly is, so you know how long you will have to wait.

The downtown area is very walkable. And its easy to get around and get to your destination.

Make sure to stop in at The Village Shops. They are 27 unique shops, eateries and galleries clustered together in a European Themed Village. It’s one of the best places to visit in downtown Gatlinburg, so be sure to stop in while you are exploring around.

Visit the Donut Friar

The Donut Friar in The Villages downtown Gatlinburg

While at The Villages, pick up an affordable treat at The Donut Friar. This place has been around since 1969. Serving fresh baked donuts, cinnamon rolls and their world famous cinnamon bread. One of my favorites was the date bar. They are a cash only establishment and sell out of most items early in the day. So for the best variety, arrive early.

For other great treats in the area, try Byrds Famous Cookies and Waffle De Lys. They both give out samples! The waffle was so good, we couldn’t pass it up. I wish I took a photo to show you.

Go To The Island In Pigeon Forge

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel at The Island in Pigeon Forge

If you haven’t been to Pigeon Forge, you definitly need to drive over. The drive form Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge is only 10 miles, but traffic can be bad so make sure to plan for that. Is it a pretty although windy drive along the Little Pigeon River to get to Pigeon Forge. You may even see some black bears along the way, like we did.

The Island has lots to do and would make a fun date night. There are restaurants, shops, games, rides, a hotel, spa and much more. It is an island of entertainment.

You can have dinner at one of the many restaurants and then walk around and watch the lighted fountain show. After dinner settles you can partake in a fully immersive flying experience at Sky Ride. Then you can ride the 200 foot tall Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, an all glass enclosed gondola that seats up to eight. And for a VIP experience you can purchase upgraded tickets with plush seating and enhanced views.

Take A Ride Up To Ober Gatlinburg

The aerial tram at Ober Gatlinburg

The only Ski Area in the state of Tennesee, is now referred to as Ober Mountain. This amusement park and ski area located at the top of the mountain offers four seasons of outdoor fun. To access Ober Mountain you can take a short drive up the mountain or ride the unique aerial tramway with scenic views. Loaded with so many fun activities, Ober Mountain is a perfect place for winter, spring, summer or fall.

Sip Wines From Local Wineries

Try some wines in the Smoky Mountains. With 2 different wine trails to choose from. You can go on a self guided wine tasting tour or hire a private tour to show you around.

Gatlinburg Wine Trail

In 2019 a new wine trail opened in Gatlinburg. The Gatlinburg Wine Trail, consisting of 5 wineries with new and existing locations.

  • Cades Cove Cellars
  • Sugarland Cellars
  • Bootleggers Winery
  • Little Bear Winery
  • Cades Cove Wears Valley

Rocky Top Wine Trail

This trail was the first of the Tennessee wine trails established in 2008. Producing German, French and fruit wines.

  • Hillside Winery
  • Apple Barn Winery
  • Apple Barn Cider House
  • Mountain Valley Winery
  • Mill Bridge Winery

Walk The SkyBridge at Gatlinburg Skylift Park

Ride the chair lift up 1800 feet to the top of Crockett Mountain. Here you will find the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America. The SkyBridge stretches 680 feet across a deep valley. As you cross the bridge, enjoy the panoramic views of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. SPOILER ALERT: On the bridge there is 30 foot section of a see-through glass bridge to cross. It’s and easy walk across if you can pass the glass.

Gatlinburg Sky Lift Park also has hiking trails, an elevated boardwalk along the ravine, a 70′ steel tower, great views, shopping, food and drinks.

Live Music At Ole Red

If you enjoy live music and Blake Sheldon, then head over to Ole Red. At Ole Red you will find music all day long. With 3 sets a day of different artists, a full restaurant and bar, it’s a great place for lunch, dinner or late night. The restaurant and music venue is owned by Blake Shelton. And this is one of only 6 locations in the US.

More things to do in Gatlinburg for couples

Outdoor Adventure On The Water

With several rivers just minutes away, Gatlinburg is a great place for white-water rafting. The rapids range from class III to IV, so you don’t need experience to ride. If you are ready for an exciting adventure, consider riding the rapids!

Find A Cabin With Hot Tubs

One of the most romantic ways to spend an evening is soaking in a hot tub together. With the Smoky Mountains as a back drop, Gatlinburg is great spot to find a cozy cabin and create a romantic weekend out of your stay. There are many options from hotels, cabins and campgrounds.

Adventure Awaits At Moonshine Mountain Coaster

If you are looking for something thrilling, then head over to Moonshine Mountain Coaster. Voted the best mountain coaster in Gatlinburg. After being shut down for 3 months in early 2022, this coaster reopened with a new name, a better track and higher safety standards. You can ride this singe track coaster day or night. It reaches speeds of up to 30mph, falls 250 ft and lasts about 5 mins. Find out more here: Moonshine Mountain Coaster

An Underwater Adventure At Ripley’s Aquarium

Voted best aquarium in North American by USA Today! Experience this amazing state of the art facility with over 10,000 aquatic creatures in 10 themed galleries. You can walk through a tunnel of sharks, ride in a glass bottom boat, touch a ray and so much more. Give yourself at least 2 hours to explore this great place.

Find A Handmade Treasure

Great Smoky Arts & Craft Community Sign

The Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is the largest independent gathering of local artisans in the United States. What started over 80 years ago, has grown to over 100 artists and craftsman showcasing their handmade work.

On this 8 mile loop you will find shops, studios and galleries along with eateries and lodging. You can talk with artist about their craft and go home with a handmade item from the Smoky Mountains. Each shop has plenty of parking so you can drive the loop of take the trolly.

Breathtaking Views From Gatlinburg Space Needle

Experience the panoramic views as you take the glass elevator up 407 feet up to the observation deck of the Gatlinburg Space Needle. There you will see beautiful views and will learn about the history of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains with the higher learning exhibits. Open 365 days a year, this iconic Gatlinburg landmark has been a favorite thing to do among tourist since 1969.

Horseback Rides in the Smokies

With three rides to choose from. You will be sure to find the perfect horse back riding adventure with Sugarlands Riding Stables. All riders are welcome from beginners up to advanced. Select your length of ride and you will be guided into the park to see some beautiful scenery. You might even get to see some wild turkey, white-tailed deer or even a black bear.

Turn Your Evening Into Romance

A great way to end the evening is with a horse drawn carriage ride. Rides begin at dark and are first come first served. With your $30 couples purchase you will receive one long stem rose and a 15 minute romantic ride in Pigeon Forge with Heritage Carriage Rides.

Get Silly With Some Old Time Photos

Gatlinburg really has so many fun things to do! And with this activity you will have the picture to prove it. Get dress-up and take some old time photos. There are a handful of locations in town to choose from. So if you decide to do it. It should be easy to find a place.

Discover The Flavors Of Moonshine

Moonshine selection at Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery

Moonshine is a popular thing in Tennessee. And you can visit the first legal moonshine distillery here in Gatlinburg. It’s the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery. So head on in and enjoy some moonshine tastings. With so many flavors from original, strawberry, mountain java and more. It’s hard to find a favorite. This place gets busy, but the line moves pretty fast.

I Always Find The Farmers Market

Open seasonally from May to October from 8:30am to noon, so stop on by after your Saturday morning pancakes. Located next to the post office and across the street from Food City. It will be loaded with seasonal finds and lots of other market goodies.

Don’t Miss Anakeesta

Try to buy your tickets online in advance to save time in the ticket line. And plan to spend at least a few hours at this little theme park village located at the top of the mountain.

They created a mountain top park with fun for everyone. Ride the chondola to the top, climb the tower and see panoramic views, zip line from the tree tops or walk among the stars and night! And there is so much more too! A truly one of a kind experience.

Relax With A Couple’s Massage

With all the adventures, make sure to plan some time to relax and unwind. A couple’s massage is one of the top things to do in Gatlinburg for couples. Many spas offer this service and its the perfect way to end a fun filled day.

Plan a Romantic Dinner At These Great Restaurants

And after that massage, plan a nice romantic dinner at one of these recommended restaurants. They each come highly rated.

  • Cherokee Grill and Steakhouse
  • Peddler Steakhouse
  • Melting Pot
  • The Park Grill
  • Chesapeake’s Seafood and Raw Bar

Enjoy These Things To Do In Gatlinburg For Couples

Gatlinburg is a fun filled place with so much to do for couples and really for the entire family! So get ready to have some fun and make some great memories in this little Smoky Mountain town. I hope you enjoy this list of 30 things to do in Gatlinburg for couples.

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