By Leif Palmer
Posted on June 17, 2019
Interested in finding a way to enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains and have a blast while you're doing it? Then consider visiting Anakeesta theme park in downtown Gatlinburg. It's handy to get to, but once you're up on the mountain, you may feel like you're a million miles away, surrounded by mature timberland and awesome views of the nearby Great Smoky Mountains.
The adventure starts with a gondola ride from their downtown entrance up to the park's location on Anakeesta Mountain (Anakeesta is a Cherokee word that means “place of the balsams.”) Once you're at the top, there are all sorts of ways to play among those trees, including a canopy walk, a kids' treehouse village playground, dueling ziplines, a mountain coaster, gem mining attraction and more.
But the outdoor activities are just part of what's available at Anakeesta. The park offers a number of shopping and dining experiences, including Anakeesta Smoke House, home of site-smoked barbecue and other savory treats.
Note that Anakeesta has its own parking area, but it's a paid site that you can utilize only as long as you're visiting the park. If you have other plans in Gatlinburg during your stay, we suggest picking one of our seven downtown Gatlinburg parking lots, several of which are a short walk from the Anakeesta entrance.
Taking advantage of that option allows you to park once and only once for the entire day. That way, you can visit Anakeesta but also not have to worry about parking again when you visit other attractions like the Star Cars museum, restaurants like Crockett's Breakfast Camp and shopping destinations like Baskins Square Mall or Mountain Mall.
Even better, our Gatlinburg parking rates make it easy and affordable to pay a single rate for the entire day and not have to worry about paying for parking again at each individual site you visit.
Our one-stop parking approach is also easily doable, because no matter which of our lots you choose, you'll be within a reasonable walk of most of downtown Gatlinburg. Or if your parking spot is farther away from one of your planned stops than you would prefer, just hop aboard one of the city's downtown trolleys, and you'll be at your destination in no time.
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.