By Leif Palmer
Posted on February 15, 2023
Well, a couple of months ago, we posted part one of a two-part blog about visiting Anakeesta in downtown Gatlinburg. But then we promptly forgot to follow up with the rest of the information in our next post. At least it's not too late to rectify this oversight, so we're forging ahead with the rest of our deep dive into the popular mountaintop attraction. In our previous post, we gave you the 411 on getting tickets and getting to the top of the mountain itself. Now that you're free to roam, we'll give you a more in-depth lay of the land.
Some of the activities at Anakeesta are add-ons, but a lot is included in your admission price. Among them are the Treetop Skywalk, a series of 14 suspension bridges that give you a unique forest experience; Vista Gardens, a lush landscape of plantings, trees and interpretive signage; AnaVista Tower, the iconic symbol of the park, which provides 360-degree views of the mountains from what is the tallest point in downtown Gatlinburg (even higher than the Space Needle); Children's Treehouse Adventure, a series of educational and physical components; BearVenture, a ropes and log-adventure course; and TreeVenture, an interactive challenge course that lets all ages climb, crawl and slide through multiple treehouses. In warmer seasons, you can cool off at the Splash Pad, a Tennessee-themed waterfall featuring woodland creatures spouting water.
Also scattered throughout the park's many themed areas are social gathering areas like Firefly Village, a whimsical town that has a firepit with great view spots; and Black Bear Village, a place for live music and entertainment and even more views of the Smokies. And if you're looking for a snack or a meal, dining establishments like Cliff Top Restaurant, Kephart Café and the Smokehouse serve all kinds of tasty grub, including hot dogs, flatbread pizzas, frozen yogurt, barbecue and more.
Guests looking for additional adventures can purchase to areas such as the Astra Lumina light show in Lumina Village (nights only); the Rail Runner mountain coaster, the only single-rail mountain coaster in the U.S.; duel ziplines; and a gem-mining attraction.
Anakeesta doesn't really have its own dedicated parking areas, but anyone interested in visiting the theme park will find plenty of spaces available at our many Gatlinburg parking lots downtown. We have locations all along the Parkway, so we should have convenient places for you to safely leave your vehicle while you play at Anakeesta and enjoy a mountain of fun in downtown Gatlinburg.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.