For our one-year anniversary my husband and I decided to take a romantic vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Spending out wedding anniversary in the Smoky Mountains was the best decision and we had such an amazing time!
When deciding where we wanted to go for our anniversary, I knew I wanted to go somewhere peaceful where we could relax. We decided to book a small mountainside cabin for a week and we had such a good time exploring the mountains, eating delicious food, touring the nearby towns and just have the best anniversary trip ever! Here are some of the highlights and details
Where We Stayed
We knew we wanted to stay in the mountains when booking our trip, so we booked a small mountainside cabin through Verbo. Heaven’s Cabins are Gatlinburg’s most luxurious mountain-view vacation rentals. We stayed in Heaven’s Heartbeat, a two-bedroom cabin with two fireplaces, a hot tub on the deck and the most beautiful view.
Getting up the mountain in the snow (which we were lucky enough to see) was a little tricky. It is very steep and there are a few blind turns. I highly recommend renting a car with 4-wheel drive. We rented a Jeep and it worked perfectly for us.
What We Did
Late January is technically the “off season” for Gatlinburg, with many of the larger attractions (like Dollywood and some of the dinner shows) closed for the season. However, we still found plenty of things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
There are a few scenic driving tours you should absolutely check out. We drove through the Cade’s Cove, a valley in the Smoky Mountains that offers visitors a driving path through Cades Cove Loop Road, an 11-mile one way loop that allows you to explore the area at a leisurely pace. We also drove through the Newfound Gap, a mountain pass in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and it was the most beautiful drive I’ve ever experienced. The views were spectacular and there were plenty of places to stop and take photos!
We spent a few afternoons exploring downtown Gatlinburg, which is full of shops selling everything from homemade soaps and clothing to wine and moonshine. Honestly, you could probably get drunk there without paying a dime because almost all of the shops that sell alcohol give free samples.
There are also several attractions in downtown Gatlinburg. We rode a ski lift up to the top of one of the mountain ridges, giving us a beautiful overview of the city. We also checked out Ripley’s Aquarium, which is great for families. However, our favorite thing to do was walk around and explore the shops.
Where We Ate
There are SO many restaurants in the Tennessee mountain area to choose from! Which we made good use of the kitchen in our cabin, we did eat out for a few meals and found some really delicious eats.
Of course we had to try some BBQ and Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que in Pigeon Forge did not disappoint! My husband got the deep fried deviled eggs and said it was one of the best things he’d ever eaten! The BBQ meat was delicious and I got loaded potato skins and they were a 10/10!
We also ate at The Local Goat, a restaurant known for their delicious burgers. I was very happy that they offered gluten-free buns and fries. I had their pimento cheese burger on a GF bun and it was my favorite thing I ate on our trip!
We also ate at The Local Burro, which has a very festive vibe and a mechanical donkey, plus delicious Mexican food.
If you love apples you have to go to The Apple Barn & Cider Mill. This working apple orchard has everything from hard apple cider to apple pie ice cream, and they have a general store filled with homemade treats.
We couldn’t have asked for a better anniversary trip!