Plan your romantic getaway to the Smoky Mountains

Make your escape to a cozy cabin for two in the Smokies.
People on cable car overlooking Pigeon Forge, TN.

Looking to sneak away from the world with your better half? The Great Smoky Mountains, located in both Tennessee and North Carolina, are an ideal hideaway, where you and your sweetheart can slow down, grab a breath of fresh air, and settle into some quiet time. Named after the famous “smoky” mist that rests above the trees, the region is known for its gorgeous natural landscape, nearby city attractions, and ample cabin offerings.

These swoon-worthy mountain views promise a vacation as romantic as it is relaxing. Plan your Smoky Mountain trip and find where to stay, fun things to do, and the right vacation rental for your couples getaway, whether a convenient city condo or romantic honeymoon cabin. Book your reservation, snuggle up by the fireplace, and enjoy the next-best view you’ll find (second only to your partner’s excited smile). Here’s how to organize a Smoky Mountains couples getaway you both will love.

1. Choose where to go

The first step to any trip to the Smoky Mountains is finding the right home base for your adventure. A few small towns line the gateway to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, each with its own style and character. Jump into the heart of the action along Pigeon Forge’s heap of amusement park offerings or spend some quality time together in tranquil Bryson City. No matter where you go, you’re sure to find a romantic Smoky Mountain cabin you will both love.

The deck overlooking the Smoky Mountains at a vacation rental in Sevierville, TN

2. Book a romantic cabin rental

Luckily, romantic cabins come in spades in a small town in the Smoky Mountains. Browse vacation homes and cabin rentals with amenities that suit your style, like hot tubs, pool tables, washer dryers, indoor jacuzzi tubs, and cozy gas fireplaces. Luxuriate on your trip away by watching the sunset from an outdoor hot tub or revel in your competitive side by ranking high scores on arcade games. However you spend your getaway, there’s no better way to end the day than a pair of rocking chairs overlooking mountain views.

Romantic cabin rentals in the Smoky Mountains

mill along river in pigeon forge, tn

3. Research area attractions

Tennessee’s stretch of Smoky Mountain wilderness boasts the perfect backdrop for spending quality time with your special someone. Make it an adventure to remember by booking a guided horseback ride through the park’s trails or an evening of wine tasting through the Rocky Top Wine Trail. Enjoy the mountain scenery from a bird’s eye view by racing zip lines at Anakeesta or sightsee the Smokies one amusement park at a time. The surrounding cities hold no short supply of things to do, including Dollywood, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, The Island in Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg SkyPark.

On North Carolina’s end, you’ll find a bounty of breweries, hiking trails, and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Take your sweetheart out for some wine tasting at Deep Creek Winery, kick up the adrenaline white water rafting, or kayak down the Tuskegee River. While the surroundings here lean more toward the secluded and serene, there are plenty of things to do when you’re up for a day of fun, as well as luxurious peace and quiet when you’d rather settle into quality time together or a good book.

bartender making a drink at the Austin Food & Wine Festival

4. Make a dinner reservation

Of course, it’s not a true trip to the Smokies without a taste of the region’s famous mountain pit-smoked barbecue or warm apple fritters. Plan a night between theme park sweets and downhome cooking for a special dinner. Sweep your sweetheart off their feet with dinner reservations at The Barn or order drinks while admiring views of the Pigeon River from Mill Bridge Winery.

Clingmans Dome

5. Plan a hike

Lush green treelines or colorful fall foliage, the Great Smoky Mountains keep the romance alive year-round. Chase the spark of adventure together through waterfall trails like Indian Creek and Toms Branch Falls, or grab a photo op at Clingmans Dome’s unbeatable mountain views. Walk hand in hand and watch for elk along the Cataloochee Valley and Cades Cove—the area’s most popular destinations for viewing wildlife.

Smoky Mountains vacation FAQ

Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts the best blend of outdoor activities and nearby city attractions. Head out for a hike to see waterfalls or wildlife along Cades Cove, Laurel Falls, or Cataract Falls. Take your pick of entertainment between the Dollywood theme park, Anakeesta zip lines, the Rocky Top Wine Trail, and a long list of museum tours.

Pigeon Forge, Bryson City, Sylva, Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Townsend all offer convenient access to Smoky Mountain National Park and plenty of things to do. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge make the perfect home base if you’re looking to pack your itinerary with fun-filled activities, while Sevierville, Bryson City, Sylva, and Townsend are great options for secluded cabins and quiet time.

Cabin vacation inspiration