A babymoon getaway is a fantastic way to relax and recharge before the birth of your child. Whether you’re aiming to have a last hurrah or simply enjoy some fresh mountain air, Tennessee has you covered. Stay at a Tennessee vacation rental close to the Great Smoky Mountains for easy access to nature, or book a picturesque cottage in the heart of the state with rolling hills. Regardless of where in Tennessee you visit, there are plenty of relaxing and entertaining activities such as boating and hiking to shopping and dining.

1. Chattanooga

If you want to add a little romance into your pre-baby life, then Chattanooga is the perfect choice, with its scenic beauty and riverside location. Take a stroll through the Prentice Cooper State Forest with your honey. This nearly 25,000-acre wilderness has it all from forests to bluffs, so you can hike (take the Rainbow Lake hike and pack a picnic lunch for romance surrounded by natural beauty), bike, or ride a horse. If you’re not quite up for wilderness, then stroll across the famous Walnut Street pedestrian bridge to Frazier Avenue. Peruse Blue Skies, In-town, or other art galleries — it’s never too early to pick something out for the baby’s room — and then dine at St. Johns or the Boathouse Rotisserie & Raw Bar. St. Johns combines fresh farm-to-table food with a romantic atmosphere, while the Boathouse offers oysters, smoked pork nachos, and other intriguing dishes.

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2. Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg abuts the Great Smoky Mountains, so you can breathe in some fresh air and reconnect with your significant other. There are several hiking trails with trailheads you can pick up right in town. For instance, claim a Gatlinburg vacation rental along Cherokee Orchard Road, and hop onto Twin Creeks Trail from your back yard. Or drive a few minutes up to Cataract Falls or Sugarlands Visitors Center for some breathtaking views and plenty of hiking options. Hiking the Gatlinburg Trail is practically a rite of passage for out-of-towners; it runs from town all the way up to Cataract Falls. If you want to travel during the winter, then Big Ridge Mountain offers some great wintry fun, from snowshoeing to snowmobiling. What perhaps makes this such a great babymoon destination isn’t the mountains or nature, but the huge arts and crafts market. You can buy all sorts of things to decorate your baby’s room (and the rest of the house) at The Village Shops, The Wood Whittlers, Heartwood Galleries, and more. Enjoy some great food at local restaurants such as Calhoun’s, Smoky Mountain Trout House, and Cherokee Grill and Steakhouse.

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3. Townsend

Townsend also lies along the Great Smoky Mountains, but it’s much smaller than Gatlinburg, perfect when you really want to get away from the hustle bustle. Lay back and tube down Little River with Cowboy Tubing or Smoky Mountain River Rat. Grab a horse at Davy Crockett Riding Stables or Next to Heaven, and take a guided tour of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you want to be more active, head over to Cades Cove to hike Ace Gap, considered one of the most serene, beautiful hikes in the area. Abrams Falls Trail, Anthony Creek Trail, and Beard Cane Trail are other great hiking (or biking) options. Consider exploring the mountain itself in the Tuckaleechee Caverns, considered to be more than 20 million years old. If the baby is making physical activity harder, you can still enjoy the beauty of the mountains with a scenic drive. Cades Cove Loop Road gives you all the highlights, Wears Valley Road has views of rushing rivers, and Lyon Springs Road takes you through the countryside.

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4. Knoxville

Knoxville lies on the Tennessee River. Pick a riverside vacation rental with a boathouse, sweeping lawns, and plenty of room between you and the neighbors, with close proximity to city fun. Immerse yourself in the outdoors at the Ijams Nature Center, a 275-acre wooded oasis in town with 10 miles of trails perfect for a serious hike or a leisurely stroll. Visit the park’s wildlife sanctuary, fish in the quarry lake, and rent a kayak for a cruise along the river. There are boating and paddleboarding options for the major rivers and lakes in Knoxville, including French Broad River, Holston River, the Tennessee River, Fort Loudoun Lake, Melton Hill Lake, Meads Quarry, and Fort Dickerson Quarry. Knoxville is a font of history and culture, from James White’s Fort to the Knoxville Museum of Art. Catch a show in the historical Tennessee Theatre followed by a romantic dinner at the Naples Italian Restaurant or Oliver Royale.

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5. Franklin

Franklin is on the outskirts of Nashville, giving you solitude from the big city with the option of visiting if you want. Franklin dates back to 1799, and it takes advantage of this history by offering historic home tours — such as Lotz House Museum and Carnton Plantation — and great antiquing. Walk down the historic downtown area, and get a few souvenirs at the antique shops and boutiques. The Battle of Franklin was fought here during the American Civil War, right by Carter House, now a museum. Mix history and culture at Gallery 202, a trendy art gallery in a 1820s home, Clouston Hall. Go heavy on the romance and enjoy a hot air balloon for two with Middle Tennessee Hot Air Adventures, followed by a meal at Red Pony Restaurant.

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6. Lynchburg

If you’ve always pictured a small-town vacation destination nestled among rolling hills and woodlands, then you’ve probably been thinking of Lynchburg, in central Tennessee. While it doesn’t have access to the Smoky Mountains or a trendy urban scene, it does have beautiful walks, plenty of nature, and a quaint downtown area. Get the lay of the land with a horse-drawn buggy tour with C & R Tours. The Moore County Jail Museum and the Motlow House offer a taste of local history. Distilling is big in the area, and although you can’t both indulge, you can tour some of the distilleries and see how the magic happens. Rent a boat at Tims Ford Marina to take out on the lake, or hike through Tims Ford State Park. A visit to the Bar-B-Que Caboose Cafe is a must; its barbecue, pizza, and Southern favorites are supplemented by live country music, offering that relaxed atmosphere you’ve been seeking.

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