By: Greg Mattson, ERV Editor - Posted: Dec 15, 2019
Escape to Tennessee, and you're on your way to a romantic getaway among mountains, rivers, and friendly folks ready to show you some of that famous Southern hospitality.
Here's some ideas for weekend and last-minute getaways for 2020 in cities like Memphis and Nashville, plus luxurious & relaxing vacations in honeymoon cabin rentals in Tennessee's fabulous Smoky mountains.
Best Time to Plan Your Tennessee Getaway: 10 million + people visit Smoky Mountains National park in the summer months of July and August, so we suggest avoiding travel here then. Since summer can also get rather humid and sticky, the full bloom of Spring and Autumn's brilliant foliage are 2 great reasons to arrive here at those times of the year.
Luxury & Southern Charm:
Historic Elegance Downtown:
1. Stroll through the serene Japanese garden at the Memphis botanical gardens at Audubon Park.
2. Cuddle by the fire pit while imbibing cocktails at Twilight Sky Terrace on top of the Madison Hotel (great views of the Mississippi River!)
3. Get a horse and carriage ride from Carriage Tours of Memphis, or take a short sight-seeing or dinner cruise from Mississippi Riverboats.
4. Walk around Court Square and take in the fountains, sculptures and gazebo. There's restored antique trolleys going by on Main Street, which run frequently, are inexpensive, and stop at most major points of interest.
Luxury High-Rise Hotel w/ Pool:
Even if the Grand
Old Opry is not your cup of tea, there are still plenty of romantic things to
do in the capital of Tennessee:
1. Cabana Restaurant offers private curtained booths with plug-in “bring-your-own” music and TVs for watching DVDs. Order Southern Comfort food and have your own private dinner and a movie evening.
2. See Nashville at night aboard the General Jackson showboat. Live entertainment, meals and drinks add to the scenic river views.
3. Drive up to Love Circle lookout at sunset for panoramic views of downtown. Or head to the downtown Pedestrian Bridge for a great skyline photo for two.
Take a 20-minute drive out to Belle Meade Plantation and tour the mansion and
grounds of this former horse-breeding plantation.
1. 20 Miles South of Nashville, the little town of Franklin plays host to several festivals, and has a great music scene and cute historic main street. Take a downtown tour on foot, check out the antique shops or catch a live show. The Lotz House Museum and Carnton Plantation are both great to tour.
2. Murfreesboro is a community 35 miles northwest of Nashville. Check out Gateway Island, which is a lovely paved biking or walking trail along the Stones River.
Romantic Riverside Inn:
Affordable w/Whirlpool Suites:
1. Take the Riverwalk in Gatlinburg, which follows the Little Pigeon River through town past interesting shops and restaurants.
2. Visit the Pigeon Forge Mill, one of the most photographed mills in the US.
3. Tour the Ole Smoky Distillery in either Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge OR Sugarlands Distilling Company in Gatlinburg. Sample free moonshine tastings from the authentic stills!
4. Find the perfect view from the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook.
5. Take a romantic horseback ride or hayride through the mountains. Plenty of stables offer various options for all riding levels.
6. Treat yourselves to a couple’s massage at one of the local spas.
1. Ride the restored antique carousel at Coolidge Park, then take a romantic stroll across the 1890’s Walnut street pedestrian bridge. Have lunch at a riverside café.
2. Try a riverboat cruise. The Southern Belle offers lunch, dinner or sunset cruises, and the River Gorge Explorer takes you on a 2-hour catamaran tour with commentary by a naturalist.
3. Horse and Carriage Rides: Chattanooga Horse Trams offers 20-minute tours of city sites on weekends. For a special romantic surprise, book a private one-hour tour.
4. Lookout Mountain: You can see seven states! Or descend by elevator 1120 feet below the surface of the mountain to Ruby Falls, a spectacular underground waterfall.
Downtown Boutique Hotel:
Romantic Last-Minute Getaway near Knoxville TN:
1. Take a scenic train ride on the Three Rivers Rambler
2. Explore old Gay Street's buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
3. Take a morning, afternoon or evening Knoxville Food Tour and learn about local food and history.
4. Book a Star of Knoxville Riverboat cruise with lunch or dinner in an authentic paddle wheeler.
*ERV Rating: our unique, non-scientific rating formula for romantic hotels which includes: