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Babymoons are on the rise, it seems, and why not? Part romantic getaway, part embracing the limited moments you have left as being a family of two, it’s the “last hurrah” before baby comes (at least, for a little while). A trip to East Tennessee gives wide variety to choose from, so make this trip as relaxing or adventurous as you see fit.
*Check in with your healthcare provider to make sure everything you plan is good for you and baby.
Enjoy Peace and Quiet or Go on an Adventure?
Coos and cries are in your near future, so why not take advantage of the calm that comes with a day at the spa? The Wellhouse at Blackberry Farm in Walland is truly a sanctuary of luxury with all of the trimmings of a perfect spa day as a parent-to-be. Choose from their extensive menu of services, including a mani/pedi, blowout or their special mother-to-be massage. They even have services especially for men, along with couples’ packages.
Belleza Spa offers pregnancy-specific massages with an upper body and full-body option as well as an extended session if your muscles need the extra attention. Treat yourself to a spa pedicure, too, which includes a soak in a whirlpool tub, nails shaped and cuticles cleaned, scrub, foot mask, paraffin or hot stone treatment and polish.
If you’re closer to the mountains, check out Austin Springs Spa in Johnson City, which has a Cherish the Mother menu featuring a mommy-to-be package and maternity massage. The maternity massage is gentle and nurturing, helping to relieve pregnancy discomforts and enhances relaxation. The massage, available during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, may increase circulation and nutrient flow to the placenta. The Mommy-to-Be Package gets you pampered from head to toe with a 60-minute maternity massage and a spa pedicure.
Perhaps you need something that’s a little more adventurous to relax and enjoy each other’s company. We have you covered with some excellent options for exploring while pregnant. Clingmans Dome near Gatlinburg is a classic Smokies hike, with views for miles at this highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trail to the observation tower is a bit of a steep climb, but the trail is paved and the extra effort is definitely worth the 360-views of the mountains and forest.
If you’re interested in more of a classic trail, Rock Creek Falls Trail in Erwin offers that piney-loamy smell of the forest, a 4.9-mile out-and-back trail with a spectacular waterfall at the end. The trail is popular for birding as well and offers wildflower views, streams and much more. It's the perfect natural escape.
Keeping up with the adventure, stand-up paddleboarding can be an excellent way to get some movement in while pregnant, challenging the core and balance. SmokySUP provides all your SUP needs by bringing the paddleboards to you on Douglas Lake. You'll enjoy Smoky Mountain views and beautiful scenery while paddling. Call or email for rates, reservations and other information.
Stay in Luxury or Glamping Under the Stars?
RT Lodge in Maryville is a sumptuous option, set on a woodsy campus with a spectacular natural setting and a variety of elegant, comfortable spaces. All guest rooms are furnished with a king or two single beds made with cozy comforters and luxury linens. Classic lodge style furnishings, plush robes, luxurious bath products and porch and balcony rooms are available. Enjoy the grounds or set out and explore area attractions. Complimentary breakfast is included in your stay. Make time for an amazing dinner at The Restaurant at RT Lodge and cocktails in The Morningside Room.
For a little more seclusion, Oak Haven Resort & Spa in Sevierville offers private cabin rentals with the touches of a luxury resort and coziness of a cabin in the woods. Cuddle up in a luxurious cabin that includes a fireplace, porch with breathtaking mountain views, game room and more. Book a treatment at The Spa at Oak Haven. The Mommy to Be massage is a must for ultimate relaxation.
Who says you have to stay in a resort to have your creature comforts? Enjoy all of the benefits of staying in the great outdoors as well as access to modern amenities with a glamping experience. Little Arrow Resort in Townsend is an excellent location tucked in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains with canvas glamping tents featuring generous amenities and direct access to nature right out the front door.
The Treehouse Mountain in Copperhill would pique your interest with a lofty stay in the trees. Choose from four architecturally stunning treehouses. Each of the four have a different style depending on your travel preferences. Some come with private half baths (The Rubicon has a full bathroom) and easy access to showers and an additional bathroom in the bathhouse.
If staying by some running water is your style, spend a cozy evening by the fire in a brand new cabin at Roamstead in Cosby, all of which are located creek-side. If you want a more rugged experience, Roamstead offers ground and truck tent sites as well as RV sites and luxury yurts. The yurts include easy access to the spa-like bathhouse, WiFi, fire ring, mini fridge and a queen bed.
Connect with Your Inner Child or Learn Something New?
You may not be able to go on all of the rides, but there is still plenty to do for both of you at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. From theater shows to shopping, delicious eats to craft experiences, you’ll have a great time exploring all that Dollywood has to offer. For rides, make sure to check out their rider safety pamphlet for more information, or ask a host for help while you’re at the park.
Zoo Knoxville is another great spot to experience some childlike wonder, where you’ll find the Tiger Forest, home to Arya the tiger, hang out with Lincoln in the Red Panda Village or baby Andi in the Gorilla Valley. The zoo offers behind-the-scenes tours as well featuring interaction with some of the rarest animals on earth like red pandas, elephants, penguins and giant tortoises. Private twilight tours and night safaris are available by reservation as well.
Inspire your curious side with a visit to Wonderworks in Pigeon Forge to learn something scientific in interactive ways. With the Light & Sound Zone, Space Discovery Zone or Imagination Lab, there’s no end to the fun at this quirky exhibit hall.
Roam 65 picturesque acres in Clinton at the Museum of Appalachia – a recreated rural Appalachian community with 35 log cabins, schools, gardens and more. Plus, tens of thousands of artifacts displayed in three buildings, including folk art, musical instruments and Native American artifacts.
Tennessee Aquarium - Chattanooga
Learn about the incredible conservation work Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga does every day to preserve Tennessee's natural ecosystem. In the new exhibit, Ridges to Rivers in the River Journey building, you can explore the waters of Southern Appalachian streams and rivers and the creatures who call them home. See how a single stream can provide homes for an array of colorful fish and reptiles. You can even get a snorkeler's perspective on life at the bottom of a river. To catch a glimpse of tropical fish, penguins and more island life, head to the Ocean Journey building. You can even experience the unseen magic of the Aquarium on an exclusive guided tour all about animal care and more. Book a Deeper Dives tour online before your visit.
Fancy Dinner or Home-Style Cooking?
Finally, it’s dinner time! There’s something about the food produced in the Smokies, maybe it’s the soil, or maybe it’s the top-notch chefs flocking to the area, but regardless, we all get to enjoy some good eats. Like at J.C. Holdway in Knoxville, where James Beard Award Winner, Chef Joseph Lenn’s cuisine offers a nod to cooking in an old-world Appalachia way with wood-fire techniques and farm-fresh ingredients.
Greenbrier Restaurant in Gatlinburg gives patrons a fine dining experience while enjoying spectacular views atop the mountain. The duet of beef (braised short rib and twin filet medallions), Chilean sea bass and lobster and shrimp tagliatelle are must-tries. Order one of the signature cocktails as a mocktail for a special treat.
The Appalachian in Sevierville provides a contemporary Southern Appalachian dining experience all while honoring the past. They partner with local farms to be able to provide a true farm-to-table experience. Start your meal with the fried green tomatoes or the artisan charcuterie plate. You'll love the filet mignon, elk loin, shrimp and grits, and the fried chicken. Save room for dessert. The fire roasted peach with Burnt Log ice cream, candied walnuts and hot honey is divine.
For a little more of a home-cooked experience, make sure you stop by Morristown for a meal at the Redbud Deli in Morristown, where their Smoky Mountain Meatloaf, Barbecue Pork Fries or Hillbilly Heap hot sandwich will fill you up in no time.
Greenback Drug Co. & Diner - Greenback
Greenback Drug Co. & Diner near Loudon offers a blast from the past dining experience with small town charm and has been serving delicious food for 100 years. Don’t forget to check out their grilled honey bun. Finally, Aunt Bea’s Home Cooking in Greeneville serves breakfast all day, but offers an extensive menu and fun twists on classics, like the Philly cheesesteak omelet.