The location of Anakeesta is in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg with 70 forested acres and mountain views, so people of all ages can have fun and relax at this place.
There is a new splash pad, garden walks, treehouses, a personal roller coaster, gem mining, and a zip line adventure. There are great spots for watching downtown Gatlinburg, viewing the scenery, and for selfies among the trees. The food here includes; southern foods, barbecue, and many more.
Anakeesta, a Cherokee word, literally means “the place of the balsams” since it refers to high ground. You will find Balsam forests at the highest elevations in the Smoky Mountains. Anakeesta land is owned by Bob and Karen Bentz and their family. The vision of the family was toward “maintaining the natural beauty, heritage, and authenticity of the land and to encourage a family-oriented mountaintop experience in the Smokies.” The family captured the authentic Smokies heritage by choosing the name Anakeesta.
Buy your tickets on the internet to begin your day of fun. Then, go up the mountain to Aneesta by taking the enclosed Chondola or the scenic open chairlift from Gatlinburg. It is not possible to drive yourself.
Choose a time on the internet if you are thinking of ziplining. Ensure you are at the zipline entry 30 minutes before your scheduled run. As a zip line guest, Anakeesta, recommends you reach Chondala one and a half hours before the zip time.
The three zips at Anakeesta’s Dueling Zipline Adventure offer stunning views of the Smokies. You can zip down side-by-side with your spouse, partner, or friend. You can decide to rappel off platforms on the two challenge stations along the way. Take a short downhill path to end your journey. The path goes to the Chondola mid-station, and you can go back to Anakeesta’s summit by riding the Chondola.
Tips for Ziplining:
Dress properly for the weather. They recommend comfortable clothes. Wear clothes that you don’t mind if they get a little wet since the rain come and go quickly in the Smokies.
You must wear closed-toed shoes.
Bring your phones, GoPro’s, and cameras at your own risk. You can take photos along the way and you can purchase them after your trip. They do not allow selfie sticks.
You can wear sunglasses and glasses – they recommend a heavy strap.
Essential medication, such as Epi-pens, nitroglycerin pills, or inhalers.
Tie your long hair back.
This personal roller coaster is on a single rail. It is the first one of its kind in the USA since it has speeds of 25 mph and a 400 ft. elevation change. This exciting ride starts with 1,600 ft. of downhill twists and turns. The ride ends with an uphill ride back to the summit of Anakeesta Mountain. The uphill ride is scenic.
You can ride alone or with a small child. The back and headrests in the Rail Runner carts provide a safe and comfortable ride. And you can use a controller break to set the speed on the ride.
You can have some adventure as you walk on the 16-bridge Treetop Skywalk.
“The longest tree-based bridge in North America is the Treetop Skywalk. The remarkable series of sky bridges are suspended 50 to 60 ft. in the air. Visitors can walk 800 or more feet along these sky bridges to experience what birds usually experience in the treetops. You can see a woodpecker nearby or a bear on the forest floor below.”
Visitors can enjoy 360-degree views from the highest point of downtown Gatlinburg by climbing the new AnaVista Tower. To reach the large observation platform at the top of the tower, visitors must climb 78 steps. Visitors can see as far as Kentucky from the top deck. Visitors can look down into the garden 60 ft below from two glass-panel floors.
Visitors can have a multi-sensory experience with scenic overlooks, musical entrustments, whimsical sculptures, and botanical beauty as they walk the winding pathways in the Vista Gardens.
Vista Gardens is where you will find the ropes and log adventure course, BearVenture play area, and TreeVenture Challenge course. The latest treehouse adventure of Anakeesta adds more imaginative play and outdoor fun for families. In the interactive treehouses, visitors can slide, crawl, swing, and climb their way through three levels. Three treehouses and six netted bridges delight and thrill by offering a different challenge. “Visitors can enjoy the views from above by climbing to the top. Then, they just slide to the bottom to start the fun again.” At 6,593 feet, the scenic Heart Twigloo is the third highest mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains. It frames Mt. LeConte. Visits can see Heart Twigloo here.
Visitors can stop during the day to find their treasure at Anakeesta Gem Mining. Children of all ages can search for fossils or a special gemstone on the sluice gate and an interactive waterfall. The location of the Gem mining is adjacent to the Children’s Treehouse Village Adventure and at the beginning of the Treetop Skywalk.
This Tennessee themed waterfall is the latest Splash Pad of Anakeesta. It has jetted elements and woodland creatures spouting water.
Another adventure is Firefly Village – “there is an access to breathtaking views, fire pit, and shopping and dining in this whimsical town in the sky.”
“Visitors can enjoy treehouse-themed dining and shopping as they take in the various scenic overlooks, the stunning views of downtown Gatlinburg, and the 360-degree views of the surrounding mountain ranges, such as Mt. LeConte.”
Visitors can take the winding trails in the botanical Vista Gardens Walk to take in beautiful views of Downtown Gatlinburg and Smokies. At the Memorial Forest, visitors can learn about the nature and history of Anakeesta and they can enjoy the fire circle as they listen to live music and storytellers.
Visitors can sit on a cozy chair or in a rocking chair around the firepits to enjoy their day and watch the sunset over the Great Smoky Mountains.
Here are more gallery photos of Anakeesta.
6.Eat, enjoy cocktails
There is a bar at the top of Anakeesta. This bar is part of The Cliff Top Grill & Bar.
Visitors can have a cocktail or a beer as they take in the beautiful scenery in this bar. Visitors can try snacks like BBQ Pork Mac & Cheese Bowl, a ½ pound char-grilled Smoky Mountain burger, the southern favorite Fried Green Tomatoes, or take Karen’s Sweet Tea. And there is more on the menu!
Anakeesta’s Smokehouse Barbecue and Brewery is opening soon. Visitors will walk up to the bar to enjoy a great bear on tap. Guests can also sit around the firepits as they watch the people and the mountains.
Opening this fall at Anakeesta is another eatery known as the Kephart Café. This eatery will offer a walk up dining for flatbread pizza or hot dogs on the go. Kephart Café is named after “Father of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.”
Check for opening dates on their website.
Are You Thinking of Dessert? How About Some Pie?
You can eat delicious homemade brownies, cookies, and fried pies at Pearl’s Pies in the Sky. You can use hand-scooped ice cream to top your pie and have signature wassail or hot chocolate on a cold day, or a shake on a warm day.
Before You Go in 2020
FACE MASKS: Sevier Country officials set forth new mandates. The mandates require visitors to wear masks in all indoor facilities. They highly encourage visitors to wear face masks at outdoor theme parks, even though wearing masks is not required to enjoy outdoor attractions in Anakeesta. Anakeesta requires masks for all indoor activities, such as Pearls Pie in the Sky ice cream shop, restrooms, and indoor retail shops. The mandate does not require children of 12 years of age or under, people with disabilities or conditions that prevent them from wearing face coverings, people with breathing difficulties because of an underlying medical condition, or people who are actively drinking or eating to wear face masks. You can purchase face masks on the mountain.
Once you complete your adventure at Anakeesta, you can go back to a great mountain cabin for dinner outside, a movie, more play, bubbles in the hot tub, or cocktails on the log cabin deck.
There is a cabin for you at American Patriot Getaways, even if you are visiting the Smokies for the first time or the fifth time. The cabin can accommodate any family or group in their 13-bedroom palatial chalets, studio-style economy cabins, etc. There are cabins with game rooms, cabins with multiple kitchens, secluded cabins, cabins with swimming pools, and movie theater cabins.
You can avoid missing any Gatlinburg fun by booking a cabin close to the Parkway. Use our website to book online. Or you can get in touch with our friendly Reserve staff at 800-204-5169. We will help you plan your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains and Anakeesta.