Hey there loves! Guess what? It’s TUESDAYYYY. Tuesday is my favorite day of the week on Instagram because #TravelTuesday just might be the greatest hashtag EVER. (Besides #JoannaGainesMadeMeDoIt) I’m also in a super good mood today because it’s really warm out and it thunder stormed last night. And if you know me at all, you know I love a good thunderstorm.
Alright enough catching up! Let’s get to the reason you’re really here… more itineraries for the Smoky Mountains! Not last week, but the week before, I gave you part one of this post. It was filled with itineraries that I think you might love. (Click here if you missed it!)
And I’m back today sharing 3 more with you! Remember, each of these itineraries are meant to make planning your trip a little bit easier. Feel free to mix and match them, or supplement any activities with other great ones that can be found on my previous posts from this series! Find them here, here, here, and here.
Tennessee is for Lovers
When I say romantic couples getaway, what’s the first place that pops in your head? Hawaii? Bora Bora? Jackson Hole? Probably somewhere you’ll find a beach to lay on, a fireplace to snuggle up by or some serious luxury accommodations. But why not go to a place where you’ll find a little bit of everything? Take a note from all the honeymooners and head to one of the top rated domestic honeymoon locations.
Day 1. Hey there lovebirds! Welcome to the Smoky Mountains! Let’s start your trip the same way I recommend anyone start their trip to the area. Get a taste for what you’re about to experience this week by driving up Newfound Gap Road to Clingman’s Dome. (Honestly, I recommend this to be the first thing any travelers do to The Smokies!) Take the short hike to the top, and take in the uber famous views. Head back down the mountain and check into your hotel. Get dressed up and head to your reservation (See what I did there? You MUST have a reservation to dine here!) at the Buckhorn Inn. You’ll get to enjoy a four course, southern inspired meal with some of the best views in the area.
Day 2 On your first full day in the Smokies, I challenge you to do something adventurous. Spend the day hiking (check out my blog on my favorite hikes here!), ziplining, or whitewater rafting. You know, pretend like you’re a contestant on the Bachelor and insert your favorite “love and adventure” metaphor here. Keep the adventurous spirit alive that evening, by Moonshine tasting with Ole Smoky Moonshine after a yummy dinner at one of Gatlinburg’s many awesome restaurants.
Day 3 The middle of your trip is the day to do something cheesy. Think of the most typical Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg stereotype and DO IT. Because did you REALLY go on vacation if you can’t tell everyone that you that you road the Alpine Coaster? If it were up to me, I’d bring out my inner child and head to Dollywood for the day. There is nothing more Piegon Forge than Dolly Parton’s Disneyland. Plus… you’re going to have a freakin’ blast. End the day at a dinner show, and relish in the cheesy good times you’re going to remember forever.
Day 4 On your last full day in the Smokies, pick an activity that you love to do together. Do you both love to go Wine Tasting? Check out the Rocky Top Wine Trail. Maybe you really love sightseeing. Or maybe, you just want to sleep in and swim at your hotel. Whatever it is you love, do it today. Head to downtown Gatlinburg tonight, and grab dinner before souvenir shopping downtown.
Day 5 As I always recommend (you’ll know this if you’ve read my last blog!), on your last day in town, check out early and head out on one last, quick adventure. I highly recommend a quick hike in Cades Cove (like Abram’s Falls). Grab some lunch before heading out and saying See You Later to The Smoky Mountains.
Smoky Mountain Virgins
This one is for all you First Timers. The ones that have never experienced the Smoky Mountains. For you, I suggest the Ultimate Smoky Mountains Vacation. Where you see all the “jewels” of the park, experience everything the area is known for, and find out for yourself why everyone raves about this place.
Day 1 You did it! You’ve finally made it to the Smoky Mountains. Welcome to America’s most visited National Park. Are you ready to find out why? Start your trip the way I literally recommend anyone to start their trip to the Smokies… at Clingman’s Dome. Stop by the Sugarland’s Visitors Center to grab some maps, info, and souvenirs. Once you’re ready, head up Newfound Gap Road to Clingman’s Dome. Here, you can take a small hike up to the observation tower and see the very best views in the Smoky Mountains for the littlest effort. Trust me. You’ll like what you see. And you’ll be so pumped to see even more! After you check in to your accommodations, head into Gatlinburg. You’ll find yourself a little taken aback by how dang busy this downtown area is! You’ll find restaurants unique to Gatlinburg, and your typical touristy places too. (Like Dick’s Last Resort.) Wherever you decide to eat, know you’re probably going to have to wait a bit for a table.
Day 2 On your first full day in the park, I’d head to Cades Cove. This is a classic day trip for a reason. Not only is it stunningly beautiful, but it’s filled with history, hiking trails and waterfalls. You can read more about Cades Cove here to help you plan your time in this gorgeous spot! If your visiting in the summertime, know that it’s probably going to be hot. Like really really really hot. So take some time to swim at your hotel’s pool (if they have one!) after you’re done at The Cove. Before you head to dinner, take a scenic drive on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail. It’s right near downtown Gatlinburg and it’s such a beautiful drive! (Just know, you’re going to want to stop A LOT to take pictures!) You’ll finish the trail in downtown Gatlinburg, which is perfect! Park and grab some dinner. Spend the evening strolling downtown souvenir shopping and moonshine tasting at Ole’ Smoky.
Day 3 Today, spend a day in Pigeon Forge. Whether you want to head to Dollywood, or see some of the MANY tourist attractions in town. Plan to spend the day exploring and enjoying all the cheesy, touristy thing this place has to over. Head to The Island for the evening, where you will find everything from shopping and restaurants to games and fun! (PS… go eat at Paula Deen’s restaurant and let me know how amazing it’s bound to be!)
Day 4 Take a Hike. You literally can’t go to the Smoky Mountains and not take a hike! It’s the best way to enjoy the beauty all around you. I have an entire post about my favorite hikes, no matter if you’re an expert or setting foot on a trail for the very first time. You can find it here.
Day 5 On your last day in town, wake up early and check out of your hotel. You need one final adventure before the many hours of travel you’ll have to get back home. Grab some breakfast at The Pancake Pantry. You can’t go to Gatlinburg and not eat pancakes! Walk your breakfast off with a quick hike, get to the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, or get in some last minute shopping.
Ready to relax? You don’t need an itinerary for that. Instead of giving you 5 days worth of ideas, I’m going to give you 5 tips on how to completely veg out while on vacay in the Smokies.
- Stay in a cabin. Seriously. Surrounded by nothing but nature and awe inspiring views, you’ll completely escape your every day normal.
- Schedule an “In Cabin Massage”. Looking for the ultimate relaxation? Have a masseuse come to your cabin and melt away all of your stress.
- Don’t make plans. Without realizing it, an itinerary could make you feel stressed, having to get everything done on it at the exact time you planned. If you’ve been to the Smokies before, don’t make any plans. Wake up, and decide what you’re doing that day.
- Turn off your phone. Hey… you wanted to relax and get away from it all. Right?
- Do something you love every day. Maybe hiking is your jam. Maybe you love to swim. Or maybe, you just really love to sleep in. Whatever you love, spend some time doing it each day. Because the happier you are, the more relaxed you’ll feel!
For more information on most of the activities mentioned, check out my hiking guide here, and my sight seeing guide here. Or if you’re looking for an opinion besides mine, check out this official site of the Smoky Mountains!
Trev is home early from work tonight, so we’re snuggling up to watch a movie while we munch on nachos!
I’ll be back tomorrow with another fun post. Be sure to come back and check it out!