We’re approaching Valentine’s Day, and while we’re sure you’ve thought ahead and already have your significant other’s gift planned and prepared (cough-cough, wink-wink), we thought it timely to remind you that the best gift you can give your loved one is quality time together. Imagine their delight when you tell them you’ve planned a trip to Gatlinburg, complete with a stay at their favorite Mountain Laurel Chalets property! Plan a trip for Valentine's week and schedule an impromptu gift-away (we have plenty of properties available), or go ahead and book a stay now for sometime in the coming months and surprise your partner with a countdown calendar that leads all the way up to the start of your trip.
The Smoky Mountains are an incredibly romantic destination, and there are so many charming activities available for couples. We’ve put together our top five romantic Gatlinburg date ideas; feel free to use any or all of them as you plan your getaway.
1. ENJOY A POP-UP PICNIC, PLANNED AND PREPARED BY GATLINBURG’S OWN PICNIC IN THE PARK.
Choose from a variety of destinations (Cherokee Dam Park, Metcalf Bottoms, Cosby Campground) OR ask them to set everything up at your cabin rental for a more private option.
“We delicately curate an amazing picnic experience. From the cushions, throws and table decor — our goal is to make this such a beautiful and memorable time to talk about years to come. Your picnic includes a fully styled tablescape with individual place settings. Greenery centerpieces and fresh flowers are at your table. Leave the setting up & breaking down to us! Our guests simply just get to show up, enjoy, and then walk off in the Smoky Mountain sunset. Pop-up picnics start at $175 for 2 people.” – Picnic in the Park website.
2. SPOIL YOURSELVES ROTTEN WITH A COUPLE’S MASSAGE AT THE SPA AT DOLLYWOOD’S DREAMMORE RESORT.
Indulge even more and make a full day of it by adding on additional treatments. There are dozens of services available for both men and women. A couple’s massage (including your choice of mellow, restorative, or salt stone), starts at $300/couple for 50 minutes.
"Our resort Spa offers guests a variety of services to relax and rejuvenate their minds and bodies. Guests can pamper themselves with an invigorating selection of massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and more. The Spa provides guests with everything they need to enjoy the Southern-style pampering experience they deserve." – The Spa at Dollywood's DreamMore Resort website
3. GET YOUR HANDS MESSY AND TAKE AN AUTHENTIC APPALACHIAN FOOD COOKING CLASS TOGETHER AT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN SCHOOL OF COOKING.
This interactive experience will have even the least experienced chef cooking delectable Appalachian dishes in no time. Once the cooking is done, you’ll get to sit down together and enjoy the meal you prepared. Classes are led by SMSC co-founder Stephanie Foley and are $89/person.
“Stephanie grew up in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. She was raised on a dairy farm and spent her summers working on the farm growing a garden, freezing and canning food, making hominy and lye soap, curing meat and making cobblers, pies, cakes, and savory dishes in the kitchen. When Stephanie was a young girl, she would sit on a barstool in the kitchen watching as her grandmother prepared many delicious homemade meals. Learning and working alongside her grandmother, her mother, father, aunts, and uncles, Stephanie brings culinary techniques and recipes she learned first-hand to the Smoky Mountain School of Cooking.” – Smoky Mountain School of Cooking website
4. TAKE A ROMANTIC HORSEBACK RIDE TOGETHER AND ENJOY THE MAJESTY OF THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS.
Sugarlands Riding Stables is highly regarded as one of the best outfits around, and for good reason: their horses are well cared for, their staff is knowledgeable, and their rides include trails inside the national park. Prices start at $50/person/hour, with longer rides available as well. Be advised, though - they are closed for the winter through March 14, 2023, so plan accordingly.
“Sugarlands Riding Stables in Gatlinburg TN is an established horseback riding stable. No experience is necessary to ride. All horseback rides are great for beginner through advanced riders, with beautiful wooded scenery and mountain streams. Our 40 head of well trained & experienced mountain trail horses makes for a fantastic ride. Their sizes range from 13 to 17 hands tall to meet the needs of all our riders.” – Sugarlands Riding Stables website
5. IF YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONE ARE TRUE ADRENALINE JUNKIES, TAKE ADVENTURE TO THE NEXT LEVEL AND PLAN A SKYDIVING DATE YOU’LL NEVER FORGET!
Visit one of Tennessee’s most renowned skydiving centers, Skydive East Tennessee, and create a memory together that’s sure to be talked about for years to come. Tandem jump prices start at $269/person.
"A Tandem involves a certified instructor who has made a minimum of 500 jumps and is certified by the USPA. Our tandem instructors have perfected Freefall and have trained for emergency circumstances. Tandem skydiving is the EASIEST way to make that First Jump. After a short training class you will suit up then you and your instructor will climb to over 11,000 feet. Wearing a tandem parachute system, you and your Tandem Instructor will jump together and accelerate to 120 MPH, freefalling for about 45 seconds. At 5500', the parachute is deployed by the instructor. During the 5-6 minute parachute ride back to earth, you will enjoy the beautiful views of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Douglas Lake and, if you like, try your hand at piloting the parachute."
Whatever your idea of a romantic date might be, we can all agree that there’s no better place to celebrate love and romance than Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. Plan your adventure today and book your stay with Mountain Laurel Chalets. It will be a winning Valentine’s Day gift, guaranteed!