The state of Tennessee offers a wonderfully multifaceted Valentine’s Day experience. Music is integral to romance, and Tennessee boasts a rich musical history that encompasses genres such as blues, country, rock and roll, and other styles. The Great Smoky Mountains provide plenty of breathtaking settings for romantic interludes. Plan a dreamy picnic after a hike, or dine out at a candlelit restaurant — Southern cuisine is unsurpassed in its deliciousness. Near many Tennessee vacation rentals are numerous opportunities for fun harbor cruises and railroad journeys, as well as wine and chocolate samplings, elegant meals, and other absorbing activities for couples. Here are the top Valentine’s Day getaway spots in Tennessee.
Nashville, the capital of Tennessee, offers incomparable Valentine’s Day music and entertainment experiences at the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Ballet. A romantic cruise down the Cumberland River aboard the General Jackson Showboat features live musical groups along with a scrumptious Southern meal and wonderful scenery. For an exciting thrill, join the Tennessee Central Railway Museum’s annual Valentine’s Murder Mystery Excursion Train featuring a murder mystery play that takes place in your train car during the trip. You can also take advantage of the Nashville Wine Tours for a tasting circuit of the wineries in the area. If you prefer craft beer, stop in for a tour and drink at the Blackstone Brewing Company. For a truly unusual dinner, try the Aquarium Restaurant at Opry Mills, where you dine surrounded by a 200,000-gallon saltwater tank full of aquatic life and mystic mermaids. The special Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Special includes a five-course meal with champagne.
Memphis is a lovely city for an excursion, and Carriage Tours of Memphis provides elegant horse-drawn carriages for romantic rides around town. Memphis Botanical Gardens, with its Half-Moon Bridge, Rose Garden, and Japanese Garden of Tranquility, is a beautiful place to stroll hand in hand on Valentine’s Day. Don’t miss the onsite Valentine’s Day Whiskey, Wine, and Chocolate pairing. Chocolate is a perennial Valentine’s Day favorite, so stop in at Dinstuhl’s Candy Kitchen, marvel at the intricate chocolate sculptures, and enjoy some samples. Enjoy live jazz and a five-course Valentine’s Day meal with champagne at Bleu Restaurant and Lounge, or head for B.B. King’s Blues Club for the special Valentine’s Day menu and dancing. Memphis also hosts Graceland Mansion, the former home of one of the greatest romantic crooners of all time, Elvis Presley. Enjoy touring the mansion while you remember your favorite Elvis love songs.
If you’re wondering where to go in Knoxville for Valentine’s Day, try the Decadent Dessert Tour by East TN Tours which takes you on a circuit of some of Knoxville’s finest restaurants to taste their dessert offerings. Knox Whiskey Works invites you for a fascinating tasting tour of its distillery, which turns out fine-quality bourbon, gin, coffee liqueur, and other drinks. Live performances of music from opera to jazz accompany the Chocolate and Wine event at the Modern Studio of the Marble City Opera, and the Tennessee Riverboat Company’s Star of Knoxville offers special Valentine’s Day river cruises that include live entertainment, a buffet, chocolate, and flowers. For a romantic dinner in town, the C and C Bistro serves French cuisine paired with fine wines and chocolates.
Positioned at the edge of the Cumberland Plateau and Appalachian Mountains, Chattanooga is a scenic wonder. Explore the breathtaking landscape on the Tennessee Valley Railroad’s special Valentine’s Dinner Train, featuring a lengthy tour of Chattanooga and its environs while you enjoy a four-course meal. The Tennessee Aquarium provides a Valentine Sunset Cruise along the Tennessee River on its Love Boat. Enjoy drinks and snacks while a naturalist points out the local flora and fauna. Alternatively, take the Valentine’s Sweetheart Luncheon Cruise or the Valentine’s Be Mine Dinner Cruise on the Southern Belle Riverboat, which provides live entertainment and dancing along with the meals. Ruby Falls, the site of an underground waterfall within a vast cave system, offers Romance at Ruby, a special Valentine’s Day lantern tour of the cave. Acclaimed as one of the most romantic restaurants in Chattanooga, Back Inn Cafe has an annual six-course Valentine’s Wine Dinner.
5. Pigeon Forge
The beautiful mountain resort town of Pigeon Forge lies southeast of Knoxville, not far from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In the month of February, the town still sparkles with the wondrous light displays of its Winterfest celebration. If you’re wondering were to go in Pigeon Forge for Valentine’s Day, try visiting the Titanic Museum, where you can enjoy the incomparable romance of Jack and Rose from the film. February is Sweetheart Month at the museum, when couples enact their vow renewals or engagements on the Grand Staircase. Valentine’s Day is also the perfect time to tour the wineries of Pigeon Forge. When you feel the need to relax, have a couple’s massage at Smoky Mountain Massage Therapy.
Vacation rentals in the town of Gatlinburg sit right at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The town center, which resembles a European shopping village, is an ideal place to browse for Valentine’s Day gifts. The hundreds of romantic park trails start right at the edge of town. Take the Gatlinburg Ariel Tramway up into the mountains for spectacular views of the gorgeous landscape. Head to the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle for live performances and incomparable sunsets, or enjoy a special Valentine’s Day steak dinner at the Cherokee Grill in downtown Gatlinburg.
The historic city of Clarksville is in west-central Tennessee near the Kentucky border. Join the Clarksville-Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Council for an annual Valentine’s Arts Event, which features gifts created by local artists, live chamber music, chocolates, and champagne. The Roxy Regional Theater downtown schedules an annual Valentine’s Day performance accompanied by cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres. To celebrate Valentine’s Day with a sumptuous meal, head for Edward’s Steakhouse.
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