Planning a romantic getaway doesn’t have to involve a beach at sunset. In fact, whether your client is looking for an intimate destination to rekindle the romance, or one that can offer fun and adventure during the day with romance at night, the Smoky Mountains provides couples with rustic to luxurious mountain retreats.
“With hectic work schedules and other time constraints and limited budgets many people don’t have the luxury of taking extended vacations anymore,” said Tami Vater, director of tourism for the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority. “Instead of dreaming of a vacation that takes a lot of planning, money and time, we see more and more couples who are taking shorter vacations and long weekends in the mountains.”
Vater said that even during hard economic times, people want to get away, and especially have some special time with their significant other.
“Whether someone wants to stay tucked in a cabin for a few days or get out and have some fun, they can easily create a much-needed escape with little effort or time commitment and at a reasonable price when they go to the mountains,” said Vater. “There are hundreds of cabins, and several specialty accommodations, including Blackberry Farm—our area’s most famous B&B. People have a variety of choices to match with their idea of romance and with their budget.”
Gracehill Bed and Breakfast is one of those places, and guests can create custom packages to make their own personal dream getaway. Kathy Janke, owner of the B&B, provides guests with award-winning cuisine and unmatched views at her secluded 11-acre home atop Little Round Top Mountain 2,500 feet above sea level. The property includes covered verandas, rose gardens and marble patios, and details like chocolate-dipped strawberries, picnic lunches and side-by-side couples massages are just a few of the options to make the stay more romantic.
At Dancing Bear Lodge, parents can schedule a night out or a dinner for two at the lodge’s restaurant, and leave the kids with a babysitter.
“We know that families often come to the mountains together, but that doesn’t mean that the parents don’t want to spend some alone time together and make their vacation include some romance,” said Vater. “Dancing Bear has created a way for parents to have the best of both worlds with their sitter services.”
Dancing Bear Lodge provides all-inclusive vacations for guests seeking a rustic vacation base camp for their Smoky Mountain experience, but who don’t want to leave finer amenities behind. Dancing Bear has rustic, yet luxurious lodge rooms and cabins scattered through the woods of the property, which include hiking trails. Meals at Dancing Bear are created by the in-house chef who uses locally grown and raised ingredients.
For those without kids, Butterfly Gap Retreat sits on 900 acres of wooded property, and it provides peaceful solitude for couples at as adult only, modern bed & breakfast with fireplaces, air jet baths located in individual cabins throughout the property.
Another unique Smoky Mountain couple’s destination is Richmont Inn—a bed and breakfast that features 10 rooms in a Cantilever barn-style Inn and four luxury suites in the Chalet. The intimate mountain Inn is decorated with 18th century English antiques, French paintings, and includes fine gourmet meals that include signature international dishes as well as homemade favorites.
“These are just a few of the many places that offer one-of-a-kind mountain escapes,” said Vater.
For those who want to get out and enjoy the mountains during their retreat, the Smokies provide endless outdoor adventures with everything from horseback riding, biking or hiking the mountain trails to tubing in the Little River, zip-lining through the trees, shopping or exploring the many museums and cultural attractions.
Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority, www.SmokyMountains.org