There’s something timelessly romantic about sleepy mountain towns, making them perfect for romantic getaways. This season, venture to Pigeon Forge, nestled in the vast Smoky Mountains, with the one you love. Celebrate your romance in a destination packed with adventure, relaxation, entertainment, and much more. To make things easy for you, we’ve put together a guide to planning a romantic getaway in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains.

Go for a Hike

Pigeon Forge’s greatest treasure is its location, right next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Once inside, you can choose from more than 50 trails of varying altitude, skill level, views, and more. If you’re up for a tranquil surprise at the end of your hike, we recommend heading out on the Rainbow Falls Trail. This 5.4-mile (round-trip) hike is one of the most scenic in the Smoky Mountains, and you’ll find an 80-foot waterfall at the end.

Share a Romantic Dinner

Enjoy an evening of tasty dishes, fancy wines, and great conversation in one of Pigeon Forge’s many dining destinations. Make a reservation at Bullfish Grill, voted the best restaurant in town. Highlights from the menu are the Grand Champion Angus and the fresh, high-quality fish. Also explore the curated selection of wines and ales, which pair perfectly which whatever you choose to indulge in.

Spend the Day at the Spa

Treat yourselves to a day of relaxation at the Spa at RiverStone, also located in Pigeon Forge. Pamper your sore muscles after a few hikes and reset your mind in a tranquil, stress-free facility. Choose from therapeutic massages, facials, and body treatments to melt your worries away, or book a couples’ package to refresh your body and mind together.

Act Like a Kid Again

Go back in time to enjoy the simplicity of being a kid at one of the many attractions around town. Test your skills at mini-golf, go head to head on the go-kart track, or try one of the extreme activities offered in the area. If you’re looking for something a little different, roll downhill in a giant inflatable ball, free fall at indoor skydiving, or even climb the indoor ropes course at WonderWorks. Get your heart racing and enjoy the rush together.

If you’re ready to book your romantic retreat in Pigeon Forge, check out the Sweetheart Package at  Courtyard by Marriott at Pigeon Forge, including deluxe accommodations and a romantic couples’ massage and facial.

The Smoky Mountains are great for anyone to visit, but they’re downright amazing for kids, thanks to the educational activities galore. Here you can find hours and hours of kid-oriented educational fun, from experiential learning to environmental and wilderness courses and local history museums. Read on to learn about some of the best options.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

This is one of the nation’s best aquariums, and it’s located right in the middle of all the Smokies fun. It has over 10,000 species of ocean life housed across 10 themed galleries. There are learning programs for all ages, and the whole family will enjoy the glass tunnel through Shark Lagoon, the chance to pet stingrays and penguins, and a ride in a glass-bottom boat.

Titanic Museum Attraction

You won’t have trouble finding this half-size model of the actual Titanic. Inside the ship-shaped museum you’ll find an actual-size replica of the ill-fated ship’s staircase, hundreds of artifacts from the real ship, and a lifeboat exactly like those on the Titanic that you can sit in. Every guest experiences history in a personal way with a boarding pass showing an actual passenger or crew member’s name.


About 150 meters up the Parkway from the Titanic Museum Attraction is the WonderWorks Pigeon Cove location. Curiosity and learning will be all that happens from the moment you see the building, which looks like an upside-down White House. Inside, kids learn science in experiential ways. A fun example is the Earthquake Café, featuring a simulation of a 5.3-magnitude earthquake.

RainForest Adventures Discovery Zoo

A less-crowded take on the city zoo, the RainForest Adventures Discovery Zoo allows you to get up close and personal with over 130 species of animals from rainforests all over the world. Entrance is an affordable $12.99 for ages 3-12, and kids under three years old can enter free. You’ll be able to feed and pet some animals, see some of the rarest monkeys on earth, and learn all about the zoo’s animals in a live show.

Great Smoky Mountains Institute

For those more serious about education, the Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont offers overnight stays for kids and families as well educational programs like wilderness emergency response and Appalachian naturalism. The Institute has a specific focus on the Smokies themselves and how education is the key to true enjoyment and preservation of them.

Little River Railroad Museum and Mountain Farm Museum

For local history, try the Little River Railroad Museum. Through its exhibits, this museum both preserves and highlights the communities that existed before the national park opened, including Native Americans and settlers. On the opposite side of the park from the Little River, the Mountain Farm Museum offers a visitor center, trails, and historic buildings where you can see how communities of the past sustained themselves with the Smoky Mountains’ natural resources.

Plan Your Educational Adventure

This list gives you only a sampling of the best kid-friendly educational fun in the Smokies. The park and its surroundings have unlimited fun for kids, including firefly viewings, nature walks, bike rentals and tours, and much more. Check out the exclusive offers at Courtyard by Marriott Pigeon Forge and make sure you get the best rate.