20+ Best Things for Couples to Do in the Smoky Mountains

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just getting away for a few days, the Great Smoky Mountains have a variety of fun activities for couples to enjoy. From amusement parks and live performances to nature hikes and romantic dinners, couples can make wonderful memories at every turn. In this guide, you’ll find some of the best things for couples to do in the Smoky Mountains.

Get our free ebook guide to planning an amazing romantic getaway to the Smoky Mountains. The best activities for couples, views, hikes, waterfalls, events, and much more! Click here to request the guide.

Enjoy the Best Things for Couples to Do in Pigeon Forge TN

As a vacation destination, Pigeon Forge is full of attractions. Many of them are perfect for couples to spend time together, and we’ve chosen some of our favorite things for couples to do in Pigeon Forge.

the island in pigeon forge - one the best things for couples to do in the smoky mountains
photo via Margaritaville Island Hotel

The Island in Pigeon Forge

Spanning 23 acres, The Island in Pigeon Forge has a diverse selection of attractions, restaurants, and shops. The biggest draw to this destination is the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, which is 200 feet tall and features all-glass gondolas that provide a panoramic view of the mountains.

Also, The Island is home to the state-of-the-art Show Fountain, 7D Dark Ride Adventure, SkyFly dynamic flying theater, and Alcatraz East Crime Museum. Before you leave, capture your memories with an Old Time Photo keepsake.

Zip Lining

If you and your partner like exhilarating experiences, you could go zip lining in Pigeon Forge. With two guides in every group, Smoky Mountain Ziplines sends you across more than 4,200 feet of cable on seven zip lines. The 100-foot-high, 800-foot-long lines run side by side, taking zip-lining together to a whole new level.

Dollywood

Known around the country for its entertainment and restaurants, Dollywood is so much fun to explore with your significant other. The more than 50 world-class slides, rides, dining options, and performances span 160 acres. It’s one of the best things for couples to do in the Smoky Mountains. You can even cool off at Splash Country, which has waterslides, a lazy river, and more.

Dinner & Performance Theaters

For a laugh, check out the Smokies’ most award-winning comedy variety show for families at the Comedy Barn Theater. It features more than two hours of magicians, comedians, live music, and jugglers. At Dolly Parton’s Stampede, you go on an indoor adventure with thrilling horse-riding stunts, musical productions, and special effects while eating a 4-course meal.

Explore Attractions for Couples in Gatlinburg TN

If you need some things that couples can do in Gatlinburg, there are more than enough to keep you busy. These are some of our top picks.

ober gatlinburg - one the best things for couples to do in the smoky mountains
photo via Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg

Overlooking the city, Ober Gatlinburg is open all year with amusements galore. It’s popular for the Aerial Tramway, which soars at 1,500 feet for 2.1 miles, giving you an amazing scenic view of the city and the Great Smoky Mountains. The park has several thrilling attractions too, such as the Ski Mountain Coaster, Alpine Slide, Summer Tubing, and three water raft rides.

Gatlinburg Space Needle

Another iconic landmark in Gatlinburg is the 407-foot Space Needle. The observation deck gives you a 360-degree view of the city and surrounding mountains. It’s particularly beautiful at night when all of the attractions in Gatlinburg turn on their lights.

Anakeesta

At Anakeesta, you get more than just a theme park. You also get a relaxing destination where you can discover nature. With such a variety of experiences, it’s one of the best things for couples to do in the Smoky Mountains.

The scenic Chondola is the only fixed-grip Chondola in the world where you can ride in an open-air chair or an enclosed gondola cabin. Or, you can ride the Ridge Rambler passenger trucks on a guided tour through the forest. Both options take you 600 feet up to the top of Anakeesta Mountain. The park features the AnaVista Tower, Treetop Skywalk, Dueling Zipline Adventure, and Rail Runner Mountain Coaster as well.

Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

With some of the most memorable & beautiful views of the city, SkyLift Park was the first all-year scenic chairlift in the South and has become a landmark. The SkyLift takes you up 500 feet to the summit of Crockett Mountain. When you get there, the SkyBridge is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the country at 680 feet and has sporadic glass floor panels. Check out the SkyDeck, SkyCenter, and SkyTrail while you’re here.

Bike or Hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

There’s no better way to experience the Smokies than to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Whether you’re biking or hiking in the Smoky Mountains, you should wear comfortable, sturdy shoes, and always check the weather ahead of time.

Although the park has an abundance of biking and hiking trails, our favorite place to go is Cades Cove for the picturesque historic log cabins and stunning views. You can bike or hike the 11-mile, one-way loop road that circles the valley, while driving is an option too. If you want to rent a bike for the route, you can do so at the Cades Cove visitor center. Be mindful of the wildlife — a lot of people see black bears roaming around.

whitewater rafting is one of the best romantic things to do in Gatlinburg TN for couples
photo via Rafting in the Smokies

Go Whitewater Rafting on the Pigeon River

One of the best things for couples to do in the Smoky Mountains, whitewater rafting is invigorating. Several rafting companies have outposts in Hartford and offer Lower and Upper Pigeon River adventures.

Rafting in the Smokies has been thrilling rafters since 1978 and has a Family Adventure Island with a ropes challenge course and zip-lining. In addition to traditional whitewater rafting, Smoky Mountain Outdoors and Big Bear Whitewater Rafting offer inflatable kayaking trips. Other rafting companies in the area include Nantahala Outdoor Center, Rafting Outdoor Adventures, and Wildwater Pigeon.

Get our free ebook guide to planning an amazing romantic getaway to the Smoky Mountains. The best activities for couples, views, hikes, waterfalls, events, and much more! Click here to request the guide.
an intimate dinner for two - one of the best things for couples to do in the smoky mountains
photo via Christopher Place Resort

Have a Romantic Dinner in the Smoky Mountains

During a getaway with your partner, it’s nice to have at least one romantic dinner in the Smoky Mountains. There are numerous romantic restaurant options in the Smoky Mountains, but we’ve selected a handful that stand out above the rest.

Mountain View Dining Room

At Christopher Place in Newport, you can have a candlelight dinner in the Mountain View Dining Room. As the name suggests, you get an awesome view of the mountains while you eat and enjoy each other’s company in a luxurious environment. The chef makes 4-course meals to present the finest romantic dining experience in the Smokies.

Alamo

For amazing aged steak that’s seasoned and cut in-house, go to the Alamo restaurant in either Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. The restaurant grills its steaks over an oak fire, searing in all of the juices and natural flavors. On top of that, it makes its own soups, burgers, mozzarella sticks, gravies, and sauces. The menu includes a variety as well, such as seafood, pork chops, and delicious desserts.

Bullfish Grill

In Pigeon Forge, Bullfish Grill serves hand-cut Angus beef for lunch and dinner. It has a varied menu with seafood, sandwiches, and rice bowls. Additionally, the bar has a decent selection of draft beers, handcrafted cocktails, and wines.

Gaucho Urbano Brazilian Steakhouse

Putting a modern twist on traditional Brazilian cuisine, Gaucho Urbano Brazilian Steakhouse in Pigeon Forge serves authentic, fresh dishes. The premium grilled meats are carved by trained passadores, perfectly seasoned, and cooked on skewers. You can order beer on tap, cocktails, and wine with your meal.

Cherokee Grill

A premier steakhouse in Gatlinburg, Cherokee Grill has the atmosphere of an upscale mountain lodge. The exterior is brick and stone, and the interior features walnut and granite accents. The decor alone sets the tone for romance, and the menu features a range of seafood, chicken, ribs, steak, and more.

The Peddler Steakhouse

Serving quality, flavorful food, The Peddler Steakhouse in Gatlinburg has a comfortable, intimate atmosphere. Aside from steak, you can order seafood, chicken, and other dishes. The restaurant has a pretty long wine list too. Depending on where you sit, you can see the Little Pigeon River and Great Smoky Mountains while you eat.

More Things for Couples to Do in the Smoky Mountains

Best Horseback Riding in the Smoky Mountains
photo by Facebook user Danielle B

Smoky Mountain Horseback Riding & Carriage Rides

Horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains is a favorite activity among couples who visit the Great Smoky Mountains. Several riding stables offer tours of different areas, so you can visit a few for new outdoor adventures.

In Pigeon Forge, Goldrush Stables & Stage Lines is located across from Dollywood and guides the horses along five trails that overlook the mountains. The trails lead you over gentle hills, through wooded and pastured areas, and along a mountain stream.

At Big Rock Dude Ranch at Ponderosa in Pigeon Forge, you can ride a 3.5-mile tour to get a glimpse at what it was like for the early settlers to cross the valleys and mountains on horseback about 200 years ago. The ranch has ATV rides, a petting zoo, a Heritage Museum, and more.

Offering guided rides through the national park from Gatlinburg, Sugarlands Riding Stables offers 1-hour to 2-hour tours. The horseback ride leads you over 4 to 8 miles of gorgeous terrain.

Smoky Mountain Helicopter Tours

You can get an aerial view of the Great Smoky Mountains on a chairlift or gondola ride, but the view is even better from a helicopter. Scenic Helicopter Tours in Sevierville has several tours that fly over Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Blanket Mountain, Elkmont, Meigs Mountain, Thunderhead, and Tremont. Also in Sevierville, Smoky Mountain Helicopters offers tours of the same areas and gives you the option to customize a helicopter tour package.

Moonshine & Wine Tasting in the Smoky Mountains

When it comes to experiencing the deep roots of the Great Smoky Mountains, nothing is better than trying moonshine. Several distilleries offer samples in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg — Old Forge Distillery, Ole Smoky Moonshine, Tennessee Shine Company, and Sugarlands Distilling Company are just a few.

If you prefer Smoky Mountain wine, hop on the Rocky Top Wine Trail. It’s the first wine trail in Tennessee and gives you the opportunity to sample more than 70 wines from five wineries in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge. When you visit three, you get a souvenir wineglass for free.

You could visit a couple of wineries in Gatlinburg as well. The Gatlinburg Wine Cellar produces local wines and is always open for free tastings. Or, you can check out the oldest winery in East Tennessee — Smoky Mountain Winery. It has received hundreds of awards for its wines, which you can taste for free.

a romantic bed-and-breakfast getaway - one of the best things for couples to do in the smoky mountains

Stay at an Intimate Smoky Mountain Bed & Breakfast Resort

Booking a romantic Smoky Mountain getaway at Christopher Place is another one of the best things for couples to do in the Smoky Mountains. We’re hidden away from busy crowds on 200 acres of wooded landscape with incredible views of the Great Smoky Mountains all around.

Our tranquil setting creates a relaxing and romantic experience, but you can add to the romance with one of our mountain view rooms or hot tub suites. You can even design a romantic getaway package to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Make Christopher Place the home base for all of your Smoky Mountain adventures!

Get our free ebook guide to planning an amazing romantic getaway to the Smoky Mountains. The best activities for couples, views, hikes, waterfalls, events, and much more! Click here to request the guide.