It’s almost February and you’re looking for Valentine’s Day plans – we’ve got lots of options and ideas for romance in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

From romantic dinners in unique places to dancing, running and chocolate eating to wine tasting and renewing your vows inside the “unsinkable ship” -here’s our suggestions for a fabulous Valentine’s Day vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains.

💖 Dining!

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer hundreds of food options with many romantic locations and Valentine’s Day specials.

Under the Ocean

At Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, couples can hold hands and have a romantic dinner while surrounded by ocean life. Toast your love with champagne, enjoy the fish, octopi and jelly fish floating around you – a serene and beautiful backdrop to dinner and romance.

Ripley’s Aquarium – Under the Ocean Valentine’s Event is $129.99 + tax per Couple
and being held on Friday, February 14th, 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Advanced reservations are required so call Ripley’s at (865) 430-8808 or (888) 240-1358.

Each Valentine’s Dinner Package includes:

  • 2 Adult Admission Tickets for Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies located at
    8 River Rd, Gatlinburg,TN 37738
  • Romantic Dinner and Dessert
  • 2 Souvenir Champagne Flutes
  • 2 Complimentary Drinks *Must be 21 or over* (Cash Bar Available)

On the menu:
New York Strip (Carving Station)
Shrimp Alfredo
Oven Roasted Potatoes
Shrimp Cocktail
Green Beans
Red Velvet cake
Chocolate Fondue Station

Casual Dining

At Hard Rock Cafe in Pigeon Forge, in addition to a fabulous Valentine’s Day dinner offering, on Feb. 14, take your little one to the restaurant to make a Valentine’s Day card from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. How cute is that?!

Be sure to make a reservation for Valentine’s Day to enjoy a special menu that includes Lobster Cobb Salad, Filet Mignon with Lobster Thermidor sauce and more “while sipping on a Raspberry Martini with your sweetie.”

For dessert, decadent Chocolate Cake drizzled with Raspberry Sauce and topped with fresh whipped cream.

Located at 2050 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, 865-430-7625.

Romance on the Quiet Side of the Smokies

Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro in historic Townsend, TN, was named one of the top 25 romantic restaurants in the country in 2019 by TripAdvisor in one of the 25 most stunning mountain towns in America – Reader’s Digest.

The restaurant near famous Cades Cove serves Appalachian Cuisine – the historic food of the region – enhanced with contemporary flavor profiles.

“Appalachian cuisine is one of these regional oddities, preserved in part by the isolation of many mountain communities, by the unpretentious nature of many Appalachian dishes, and because many of the tradition’s most iconic ingredients aren’t found anywhere else.”

Smoked meats, fish, corn, beans, and foraged vegetables like mushrooms, muscadines, ramps, poke, sumac, berries, ginseng, chestnuts, plantain, artichokes, and dandelions were all known to indigenous tribes from north Georgia to Pennsylvania. Dishes such as poke sallet (Elvis sang a song about this), succotash, and cornbread all have roots in Cherokee, Seneca, and Iroquois cooking. Even country ham’s time-honored place in Appalachian cuisine is rooted in trade between indigenous peoples and Spanish settlers, with hogs making their way up old Indian roads from Florida to New England.

Appalachian cuisine harkens back “to a time when eggs were pickled, not deviled, when turkey was served not just on Thanksgiving, but whenever a wild gobbler wandered too close to a hunter’s blind, and when rough-ground cornmeal made on your neighbor’s mill was more widely available than flour. This is the stuff of hunting season, woodland walks, and smokehouses, a truly forest-to-skillet cuisine that requires no formal training, just an instinct for inventively making use of whatever’s on hand.”

Executive Chef Shelley Cooper uses fresh produce grown on-site, and sources the highest quality local ingredients, “to create renowned dishes that are as inviting to the eye as they are to the palate.”

One TripAdvisor diner wrote: “What a beautiful, charming and delicious dining experience! The soft music, soft white lights and rustic setting made for a relaxed and pleasant dinner… Good wine, great food and friendly service.”

Menus change per season. Some menu examples currently include:

Appalachian Lunchable: Benne Seed Bacon, Deviled Eggs, Red Royal Pickled Shrimp, Green Onion Cheese Spread, Pickled Vegetables, Sea Salt Crackers, Pit Ham, Kitchen Sink Compote, Herb Biscuits.

Flash Fried Bbq Oysters: Smoked Apple BBQ Sauce, Celery, Blue Cheese, Lemon Thyme Relish

Appalachian Hot Pot:Mountain Trout Stuffed with Lump Crab, Red Royal Shrimp & Diver Scallops, Braised Greens, Grits, Andouille Sausage, Tomato Gravy

Deep Fried Pear & Pistachio Bread Pudding or Warm Brown Skillet Brownies (To Share!)

Make sure to check out the Chef’s Supper Menu for the day as well – on Valentine’s Day, Executive Chef Shelley Cooper is sure to offer something extra special.

Find Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro at 7140 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., Townsend TN,  (865) 448-6000.

Ride the Rails

🚃 🍷Uncorked: Wine & Rails Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Bryson City, North Carolina, offers a unique experience pairing a railroad adventure with good wine and a great meal. Just 46 miles from Gatlinburg, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is a memorable and romantic experience.

For Valentine’s Day, the trip is scheduled for 6 pm. on Friday, Feb. 14 and 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15. Friday night is a Sweetheart Valentine Evening Train – a 2 1/2 hour train ride follows the Tuckasegee River Excursion Route and features all the same unique experiences as our day time Uncorked.

Tickets for both these experiences are $125 per person (Adults 21+ only).

Passengers will enjoy a full service All-Adult First-Class ride in the first-class cars with a private attendant and “plush, well-appointed dining seating. A narrator will accompany the ride to present each pour to guests and share knowledge and history of the wines selected. Passengers on this specialty car will enjoy an exclusive sampling of cheeses and a surf and turf meal prepared fresh.”

The wines are selected to accompany the meal. All passengers will receive a GSMR souvenir stemless wine glass, four samples of selected wine, and a dessert that fits the season.

On the menu:

Havarti, muenster, and gouda
Pumpkin bisque soup with toasted hazelnuts
Dinner roll
Baked salmon with Dijon cream sauce
Beef slices with port wine reduction
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake topped with fresh Raspberries

Purchase tickets online or call (800) 872-4681. The train departs from 45 Mitchell St., Bryson City, NC

Wine and Dine

🍷🍓🍫 🥰 In the mood for more romance with wine pairings – this time with chocolate? Rocky Top Wine Trail is playing host to Berries & Chocolate Wine Trail – enjoy a glass of wine paired with “decadent chocolate and berries” at each of three locations.

This event is Saturday, February 15, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and starts at 2174 Parkway, Pigeon Forge.

Rocky Top Wine Trail throughout Sevierville and Pigeon Forge is comprised of five wineries – three of them are within a 2-mile stretch of road. Each winery along the trail offers a “unique style of wine ranging from French & German at Mountain Valley Winery to Italian style at Hillside Winery, apple based at the Apple Barn Winery, freshly pressed Hard Ciders at Apple Barn Cider House, and unique wines/hard ciders at Mill Bridge Winery.” All five locations offer free limited samplings gifts, and two of the five offer tours of the winemaking facilities.

The Berries and Chocolate Wine Trail includes:

Mountain Valley Winery — Mixed Berry Gooey Bars and Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters paired with Mountain Berry and Mountain Valley White

Hillside Winery — Salad with Chocolate Balsamic Vinaigrette and Chocolate Rub Pork Renderloin with Berry Sauce paired with Barbera and Black & Blue

Mill Bridge Winery — Chocolate Blackberry Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry-Cranberry Truffle paired with Mountain Falls and Grindstone

Established in 2008, Rocky Top Wine Trail is focused on supporting local farms, providing exceptional quality wine, and offering “only the very best southern hospitality to each and every visitor.”

Tickets for Berries and Chocolate Wine Trial can be purchased online. Contact Rocky Top Wine Trail at (888) 745-8119.

Burn a Few Calories

🏃🏼 🏃🏼‍♂️🏃🏻‍♀️ If chocolate is your thing AND you and your sweetheart are into running, check out Zen Evo Chocolate Lovers Valentine 5K in Knoxville – 35 miles from Gatlinburg.

After the brisk run along Victor Ashe Greenway, participants will receive plenty of chocolate-dipped goodies plus hot chocolate. The race starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 15. Cost is $30.

Register online or 7am-8:50am Race Day Registration/Packet Pickup. Register as a single or as a couple.

“Register your couple as a team and create a hot little password for your mate to sign up to achieve couple status!” There WILL be prizes.

Dress up in a Valentine’s costume – who knew there were such things? There are prizes for this too.

Victor Ashe Park is located at 4901 Bradshaw Rd Knoxville, TN.

Pigeon Forge Valentine’s Day Ideas

Renew your vows, propose or even get married during Sweetheart Month at the Titantic Museum in Pigeon Forge. You can do all of this on the Titanic’s Grand Staircase – an exact recreation. The heart of the ship, the Grand Staircase descended seven of the Titanic’s 10 decks and included oak wall paneling, elaborate railings and iron scrollwork. Wide, sweeping steps and landings provide a spectacular area where the original guests of the RMS Titanic made their appearances. Reservations are required, call (800)-381-7670.

Tour the museum while you’re there – if the proposal is a surprise, it’s the perfect way to get to the staircase. On the tour, you’ll experience the RMS Titanic and get to know the passengers on the ship that went down on April 14, 1912.

There’s still time to make a reservation for Valentine’s Day dinner on the Titantic. Among the five packages offered, some tables are available for the “Secret” dining room. The package – $230 per couple – includes First Class Valentine’s Dinner and Tour In “our Private ‘Secret’ Dining Room”, 40 Couples/Tables in the room.

Located at 2134 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Titanic Museum is hard to miss. The ship-building was designed half-scale to the original luxury cruise liner, which was 882 feet in length, and at the time, the largest man-made moving object on Earth. The museum ship seems to be in motion cutting through the sidewalks and onto the streets of Pigeon Forge – towering above and beckoning visitors.

Figure 1Photo Courtesy of Titanic Museum Pigeon Forge

The Titanic, a White Star Liner ship, set sail from Southampton, England and was headed to New York City when it hit an iceberg about 370 miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

See more in our blog all about the Titanic Museum.

Book a Romantic Mountain Cabin Now!

After all the Valentine’s eating, drinking, running and adventures in town, you’ll be ready to sink into a hot tub and sit by a warm fire and just enjoy one another’s company. American Patriot Getaways will help you find the perfect romantic cabin.

How about a honeymoon cabin? Each cabin is specifically designed to create an unforgettable romantic experience. Gorgeous mountain views, cozy fireplaces, huge King-size beds, opulent private Jacuzzis, hot tubs, and much more await guests of our honeymoon cabins in Gatlinburg. Choose from secluded cabins and cabins with views from our large selection of romantic honeymoon cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

To add more to your romantic getaway, add dinner reservations or tickets to a show, grocery shop on you way and perhaps plan to have a beautiful and surprising gift delivered right to your cabin contact American Patriot Getaways’ experts to help you plan.

Book your romantic Smoky Mountain retreat today by calling 800-204-5169 or online by searching our Cabins for Couples in Gatlinburg and in Pigeon Forge.

If you need more help planning your Smoky Mountain Vacation, be sure to check out all our vacation guides, and don’t forget to follow us on PinterestFacebook and Instagram!

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