We are Sam + Bryt, wife and wife elopement photographers, business educators, and LGBTQ+ activitists! We are so freaking excited that you are here!
If you are ready to go on an adventure, feel empowered, or learn how to level up your business, we are your girls! So.. what are you waiting for? Let's do this thing!
Bryt and I are always looking for quick getaways from Indiana! When the opportunity to head to Gatlinburg arose, we were ready for an adventure! We created a Couple’s Guide to Gatlinburg for all of the adventerous lovers out there who want to have a long weekend getaway, too!
It’s no secret that there are MANY places to choose from in Gatlinburg! Cabins, condos, houses, you can’t go wrong with any of the options! But what you really need to do is narrow down WHAT it is you are looking for in a Condo! When we were looking, we wanted to make sure we were close to hiking and places to eat. Plus, we aren’t millionares so it had to be on a budget, ya know ;). So we settled for a super cute Cabin by Brian and Amy Hogue! Their cabin is looked only a few minutes from downtown Gatlinburg and about 10 minutes away from Smokey Mountain National Park.
Their cabin had mountain views, a hot tub, and even a cute little game room! Plus for only $129.00 a night, it was the perfect little space! You can find that cabin HERE! We booked through Home Away and will totally book through Home Away again! (But we also LOVE Airbnb) A couple of the other cabins we looked at (but got booked by others before we were ready to actually book) are HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
Because of COVID we were hestitant to really eat with large crowds. So we tried to stay away from the downtown crowds. And honestly, we aren’t much of crowd people anways! ha! So, right down the road from our cabin was the cutest little breakfast/lunch spot called Little House of Pancakes, that had decent food before we went for our hiking adventures! It was great because it wasn’t down town and was on our way. We seriously ate there like 3 times because it was just the perfect little spot.
Right down the road from our cabin was Mad Dog’s Creamery + Donuts, which was perfect for that after hike pick me up! On the last night we were there, we went to Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. (one of our fav. spots) for dinner with Bryt’s sister.
If you are looking for other places to eat at, Trip Advisor has a great list of ideas as well! We do enjoy good food, but this trip was really about taking pictures and hiking 🙂
The Great Smokey Mountains are where it’s at! The views, the hikes, you seriously cannot go to Gatlinburg without hiking on the beautiful trails! So we couldn’t write a Couple’s Guide to Gatlinburg without including info about hikles!
I had my mind set that we were going to hike the Appalacian trail for a bit, just to ya know, say we did! So we caught the trail after driving up to Newfoundland Gap Road. At the top there is a parking lot that you can’t miss and has great views! They even have a decent restroom! We hiked about 4 miles of the trail, but it would be so fun to really hike and camp out on the trail too!
Along the road are plenty of overlooks for you to stop at and take beautiful selfies! 🙂 But you are def. going to want to travel along the road early in the AM to beat the crowds. If you are wanting to catch the sunset, make sure to head out REALLY early because people pack chairs + snack’s to steak out there spots along the pull offs and there literally will not be any spots unless you get there early!
Another great spot (that was closed when we went) was Chimney Top Trails. Before the fires in 2016, it was one of the most popular hikes but has sense reopened. Visitors now take this hike to see some of the most outstanding panoramic views from the summit areas. The hike is less than 2 miles, but don’t let that fool you. It is still a pretty good trek!
You also HAVE to check out is Clingman’s Dome. On clear days you can see over 100 miles from the dome. The dome is the highest point in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park and is at an elevation of 6,643 feet! Be sure to bring a jacket because the temperatures at the dome can sometimes be up to 10-20 degrees cooler than in the surrounding lowlands!
It’s about a seven mile trip to get the dome but it can take up to an hour to get there because of traffic and the windy roads! We truly think you will want to spend a whole day diving into this location, so save a day to explore! Also, the Appalachian Trail also picks up here so you could catch it here as well!
If you are looking for an easy spot to hike, check out the Sugarland Visitors Center trails! These were close to our cabin and provided great (short) morning hikes! Some were even well paved and perfect for wheelchairs!
So clearly, the photo ops in Gatlinburg are to die for! The Smokey Mountain Views provide a perfect backdrop for photo ops! We suggest going out early in the morning to avoid the crowds and have good light! Our favorite selfie spots would be
1. Newfoundland Gap Road – The pull offs are perfect to set up a quick tripod to take a cute photo! Then at the top of the road, there is a beautiful staircase that overlooks gorgeous mountain views. In addition, along the way are the cutest river overlooks to get your feet wet and take a few photos as well!
2. Clingman’s Dome Road- Right as you start to drive along the road there are 2 perfect pull offs. If you are willing to drive a little farther you’ll be able to see a gorgeous waterfall too! Def. a great photo op along this road. But make sure to count the stops as you go along because you may end up on the hour trek to the dome if you don’t watch out! We found that out the hard way 😉
3. The Gatlinburg Overlook– A perfect quick little travel that is located on the Gatlinburg Bypass which runs between the Gatlinburg Spur and Great Smokey Mountains National Park. We recommend the 2nd and 3rd parking areas. One of the cool things here is that from the overlooks you can see the entire town of Gatliburg with the mountains in the back!
When we went, many things were closed due to COVID but before we went we had a list of the things we wanted to do together. So, in our Couple’s Guide to Gatlinburg we had to include a few date ideas! Here are our top 5 suggestions OTHER than hiking 😉
There ya have it! A couple’s guide to Gatlinburg, Tennessee! We had so much fun exploring the mountains and hiking. We hope you have as much fun as we do! Be sure to share your selfies with us or better yet, HIRE us to photograph your time there! If you’d like to see a couple’s session from Gatlinburg, click HERE to see Sam + Tadd’s engagement session!
Sam + Bryt