As you make your way to the South of the US with your partner, you will come across some amazing views and attractions. The state of Tennessee is often unrightfully left out of the romantic itineraries but in reality, it is home to some of the most amazing places you could possibly think of.
Though it can be hard to decide exactly where to go and what to see, there are at least a dozen things to do in Tennessee for couples and they will help you pinpoint those that fit your romantic profile the most.
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located at the border between Tennessee and North Carolina and it is one of the most visited national parks in the state. It’s an ideal getaway for couples as it offers fantastic hiking trails among the lush vegetation, superb lodging options, and scenic drives.
Available lodgings are aplenty and they all offer a unique setting and romance inspiration. Hot tubs, fireplaces, wooden interiors, indoor pools, and splendid mountain views make up for a perfect lovers’ paradise. This getaway is ideal for couples who appreciate peace and quiet and want to be at one with nature while enjoying each other’s company, far away from the bustling urban areas. Romantic hotels and resorts in the area are aplenty – Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Elk Springs Resort, Mountain Loft, and Tree Tops Resort being the best rated among couples.
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2. Adventures Unlimited
Couples with a knack for adventure will surely spice up their Tennessee vacation by heading to Adventures Unlimited resort in Ocoee. This resort is home to a specter of outdoor activities combined to make an unforgettable vacation. You can go whitewater rafting down the rapids of the Ocoee River and there are sections of the river that are suitable for anyone – from beginners to pros.
Lodging at Adventures Unlimited is also aplenty. You can pamper yourself and your partner by staying in the luxurious Bear’s Den cabin for $275 or you can opt for the spacious bungalows at $125. Of course, in case you want to be completely immersed in nature, there is enough camping space and RV sites around the resort so those two are also an option.
3. Pigeon Forge
Situated within the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge is ideal for a weekend trip for two. This 7 000-resident city is brimming with some of the best resorts in Tennessee and it also offers an array of romantic activities guaranteed to create some unforgettable memories.
If you decide to explore the great outdoors around Pigeon Forge, there are 800 miles of hiking trails, tours to the Cades Cove loop, and some spectacular vistas from Clingman’s Dome. Known for its variety of historic buildings and breath-taking landscapes, Cades Cove is one of the most visited areas of the Smoky Mountains.
For the most spectacular panorama of the surrounding area, you should head for Clingman’s Dome – the observation tower located on the mountain summit. When it comes to lodging in Pigeon Forge, there are cabins, hotels, chalets, and condos to choose from so make sure you and your partner pick the most romantic accommodation.
4. Ozone Falls Natural Area
This 43-acre natural area in Cumberland County is centered on the magnificent 110-foot plunge Ozone Waterfall and its neighboring gorge along Fall Creek. The spectacular backdrop comprising rocks of different formations that connect into an amphitheater make up for a unique setting. It comes as no surprise that this was the exact location where some of the scenes from the movie Jungle Book were filmed.
In this area, visitors can hike the trails around the gorge until they reach the majestic waterfall and the plungepool. Access to the top of the falls is really easy and within a short distance from the parking area. Getting to the bottom of the falls is a bit trickier as the descent is precarious and slippery but it’s still worth the effort.
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5. Country Music Hall of Fame
If you and your partner share a passion for music, then the Country Music Hall of Fame in Tennessee should be on top of your romantic itinerary. Not only is it one of the top attractions Tennessee has to offer but it’s also the definitive home of America’s music.
It is located in Nashville and it has the world’s most extensive musical collections. The Museum’s permanent exhibit Sing Me Back Home offers an unforgettable journey through the history of country music and some of its brightest stars. Digital archive, moving images collection, photograph collection, and many other anthologies will walk you through an elaborate musical journey and bring you closer to some of the most treasured artifacts related to the history of the country and American folk music.
6. Urban Wilderness
This extraordinary historic and recreational corridor is one of the defining assets of Knoxville. Multiple cultural sites and parks are connected by over 50 miles of hiking trails and it’s all right in the heart of the city.
At the moment, there are seven recreational areas offering a variety of outdoor activities – hiking, biking, paddling, and climbing. Fort Dickenson Park is an interactive Civil War Fort and Lake and it’s one of the best-preserved forts from the Civil War period, making Urban Wilderness an ideal getaway for couples who appreciate the historical heritage. Just because there is so much to do around here, it’s best to plan your adventure ahead by taking a look at Urban Wilderness Printable Map.
7. Titanic Museum
A visit to the Titanic Museum will surely be romantic and educational. This two-story museum is half-scale to the original Titanic and it is home to over artifacts pertaining to the ship. When the owner of the museum embarked on an expedition to the site of the sinking back in 1987, he and the team spent 44 days hovering above the iconic wreckage and they managed to retrieve hundreds of memorabilia and hours of footage of the sunken ship.
Aboard the museum which actually has the shape of the ship, you can climb the replica of the legendary Grand Staircase we all know from the Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film. Apart from exhibiting the precious artifacts, the museum offers an interactive experience to visitors where they can touch the wheel of the captain’s bridge, listen to the stories of by real survivors, and watch the footage. The myth that the museum is just another tourist trap couldn’t be more untrue and the fact that it is endorsed by the official Titanic Historical Society attests to its authenticity.
8. Sunset Rock
On the outcrop of the majestic Lookout Mountain overlooking downtown Chattanooga, active couples will be thrilled to discover the iconic Sunset Rock which is a must-see for visitors who appreciate scenic vistas and a good hike.
The gigantic mountain ridge of the Lookout Mountain crosses three states – Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. It is one of the most popular attractions for hikers, climbers, and cave explorers and the Sunset Rock is one of its biggest highlights. Though there is an entire intricate network of trails, the one that leads to the Sunset Rock is definitely worth it. The adventure will most likely begin at Point Park and winds steeply to the Ochs Memorial Observatory where it connects to the Bluff Trail, one of the best trails in Chattanooga. It is from the Bluff Trails that you can climb to the breath-taking Sunset Rock and marvel the scenic view of the Tennessee River and the magnificent Chattanooga.
9. Ijams Nature Center
This 300-acre protected wildlife habitat is only 3 miles from Knoxville and it’s a unique sanctuary of wildlife, lakes, hiking trails, and magnificent forests. This wonderful park offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors through recreational activities such as kayaking, climbing, or hiking. Perhaps the most exciting activity in Ijams Nature Center is the Ijams Canopy Experience Navitat.
Not only has Trip Advisor rated it the No.1 Outdoor Activity in Knoxville but it’s also guaranteed to provide you with tons of fun. This aerial adventure comprises suspended tree-based challenge elements and series of pole based structures you have to overcome to reach the other end. Though not a typical romantic activity, it is ideal for couples who prefer to a little dose of adrenaline on their Tennessee getaway.
10. Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium
This nature park situated on Bays Mountain in Kingsport features a delightful lake, hiking trails overlooking some breath-taking sceneries, a Nature Center with a cutting-edge Planetarium Theater, and an incredible number of animal and bird species.
This unique oasis of peace and relaxation also has plenty of activities to choose from so those couples who feel adventurous can take rope courses or ride down a zip line. Planetarium programs and special events that are organized weekly or daily but their highlight usually happens in spring when the skies are clear and ideal for discovering new constellations in the starry sky.
11. Arrington Vineyards
Set against a captivating backdrop of the hills of middle Tennessee, this award-winning vineyard is a wine lover’s dream come true.
Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, Viognier, Vignoles, and Corot Noir are grown on the vast 92 acres of vineyards and guests have the opportunity to savor the aromatic wines at their tasting bar or take their drinks outside to one of several picnic spots. Another great thing about Arrington Vineyards is that it’s only a 30-minute drive away from Nashville, making it ideal for a romantic day trip. If you like the experience (which is likely to happen), you can become a member of their Wine Club and get lots of valuable benefits.
12. Watts Bar Lake
As one of the most popular fishing lakes and also one of the most scenic in the state, Watts Bar Lake is ideal for romantic getaways and relaxation. It is conveniently situated halfway between Chattanooga and Knoxville and it stretches across 39,000 acres of water surface with almost 725 miles of shoreline.
The lake offers plenty of opportunities for exploration, water sports such as paddling and kayaking, and picnicking in one of ten waterfront parks. Several marinas along the lake’s coast have restaurants that serve fantastic cuisine, ideal to round up a splendid day in such natural surroundings.
It’s clear to see why Tennessee should be high on any couple’s romantic itinerary. Fantastic resorts, amazing landscapes, plenty of outdoor activities, and historical landmarks make up for a well-rounded romantic getaway in the American South.