Q: What do Myrtle Beach, Branson and the Smoky Mountains all have in common?
A: They’re all romantic destinations.
Sound surprising? Read on to discover how easy it is to fall in love with with everything these vacation hotspots have to offer.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
From white sand beaches and ocean side activities to delectable dining, shopping and great year-round weather, there’s plenty to get your heart pumping in Myrtle Beach. If you and your partner are golfers, tee up your passion. More than 110 award-winning courses beckon you to play, including several designed by legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones and Greg Norman. Feeling youthful? Myrtle Beach is legendary for miniature golf courses. Indulge the kid in you and have an ice cream cone, too. You can be grownups when you get home.
Looking for something a bit more relaxing? Share a laugh with the one you love at a local comedy club. If you’re attracted to things in 3D, the IMAX theatre is sure to please.
For a fun-filled date night, head to House of Blues for voodoo shrimp and traditional jambalaya. Be sure to wake up to Sunday’s Gospel Brunch—it will definitely have you singing its praises. Romance is always well done at Gulfstream Café, the only restaurant on the Grand Strand where you can see the ocean on one side and Murrells Inlet on the other. When you’re looking to impress, The Brentwood Restaurant & Wine Bistro features private dining rooms, seasonal French/Lowcountry cuisine and charming Victorian architecture.
Make history at Hopsewee Plantation. This National Historic Landmark halfway between Myrtle Beach and Charleston was built in 1740 and invites you to take a quiet stroll through wooded trails or pose for a picture under moss-draped oaks by the beautiful Santee River.
If you’re the type of couple who likes to get out and about, Branson will keep you busy from morning ‘til night. The “Live Music Show Capital of the World” is home to 50 theaters with more than 100 shows ranging from dancing to comedy and magic.
Married couples can wax nostalgic and celebrate years of happiness at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, go tripping down memory lane at Liverpool Legends—the ultimate Beatles experience—or listen to crooners at Andy Williams’ Moon River Theater. When it’s time to eat, follow the locals down Highway 76 to the Outback Steak and Oyster Bar where the décor is classic Australian. Wineries are romantic—and Stone Hill Winery will certainly get you in the mood with a tasting tour featuring its Norton grape. Golf is also a fun option and you and your sweetheart will have the chance to play some renowned courses that have earned high marks including Top of the Rock golf course.
Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Pigeon Forge may not sound like a romantic destination, but love is definitely around you. Plan a vacation to the Smokies and rekindle the magic of spending time together.
Start by booking a corner booth at Bullfish Steak & Seafood for a romantic dinner with a bottle of wine. Coconut cream pie is the house specialty—whisper sweet nothings while feeding each other a few bites. With box lunches featuring delectable sandwiches on artisan bread, fresh fruit and chocolate cake, The Pottery House Cafe and Grill in Old Mill Square is perfect for takeout. Grab a blanket and make your way to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a nature-lover’s picnic. The Porter Creek Trail is especially inviting and provides the perfect spot for a quiet romantic picnic.
Take a quiet stroll along the banks of Little Pigeon River or stop by the waterwheel of the Old Mill, a beautiful setting for a memorable photo of just the two of you. Inject some adrenaline and laughter into your romance by racing go-karts in the dark or get your thrills with a wet “Zorb” ride, in which you zoom down the side of a hill inside a spinning hydro globe.
The romantic aura of The Titanic is alive and well at the Titanic Museum Attraction. Stop by and show your love to the enduring storyline of Jack and Rose.
The largest concentration of artisans in the country is found in Gatlinburg. Walk hand-in-hand along Gatlinburg’s scenic Riverwalk and find a handmade souvenir you both can enjoy together. To get away from it all, find the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, a secluded one-way paved road past lush forests, picnic spots and a scenic creek. If the two of you are early risers, head up to the top of Clingman’s Dome for sunrise above the Smokies. A tram can deliver you to the top of Mt. Harrison for unparalleled views, or opt for the two-seater Sky Lift or Space Needle elevator to achieve a perch with a Smokies vista that will leave you breathless.