Anakeesta in Gatlinburg Expansion: Everything You Need to Know
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Anakeesta is undergoing a $6.5 million expansion that will create more fun for everyone! The 70+ acre family adventure park is continuing to grow, with plans to add new dining options, a new shop, new activities, and more. We’ve got all the details on what the expansion has had and will have in store for Anakeesta in Gatlinburg.
About the Anakeesta Expansion
Since September 2017, Anakeesta has provided an incredible outdoor adventure for people of all ages. This popular Gatlinburg attraction is continuing to grow to make your experience on the mountain even more magical! The Anakeesta expansion will introduce new things to do for visitors and new experiences to enjoy while you’re there. Check out everything you can expect at Anakeesta once the expansion is complete!
A New Walkup Bar
A brand new walkup bar, Tap House, is opening in mid-September of 2020! Grab a drink from the Tap House while you relax outside and listen to music. The new walkup bar will make it easy for visitors to enjoy good brews and great views!
A New Dining Option
A new casual-dining restaurant is coming to Anakeesta in 2020 that will allow visitors to step inside during the colder months and cool off during hot summer days. The new Smokehouse Brewery can seat up to 300 guests and offers sweeping views of Mount LeConte. It’ll be one of the best spots to watch the sunset! There will also be an inside bar and a walk-up window where you can grab a local craft beer.
The popular Gatlinburg attraction has already unveiled three new additions for visitors to enjoy already in 2020, including a splash pad, an adventure course and an observation tower! Check them out below:
A Splash Pad
The most recent addition to Anakeesta that opened is the brand new splash pad! It’s the perfect area for both kids and adults to cool off from the heat. Let the kids have fun running through the water as you relax and enjoy the gorgeous views around you. The splash pad is located in the plaza area at Anakeesta, which is also where the new restaurant will open in the fall. There’s even a waterfall right beside the new splash pad!
TreeVenture is a brand new treehouse adventure course that is now open at Anakeesta! The course has 3 levels of play in interactive treehouses. There are a total of 6 netted bridges and 3 treehouses that provide a fun challenge for kids of all ages. Children will have a blast climbing, swinging, and sliding their way through the course. Climb to the top of the course to enjoy the views from above before sliding back down to the bottom level and starting your adventure all over again!
Visitors are now able to enjoy AnaVista Tower, an observation tower that provides 360-degree views of the Smoky Mountains! The AnaVista Tower adds to the many opportunities Anakeesta has for visitors to take in the stunning scenery of the area and will be the highest point in downtown Gatlinburg. You’ll climb 78 steps to the observation platform at the top of the tower, where you’ll have views as far as Kentucky on a clear day! There are signs that identify the mountain ranges and peaks, and two glass-panel floors that allow guests to look down 60 feet into the Vista Gardens below.
Check out video footage from the grand opening of the AnaVista Tower below:
2019 Expansion Additions
Vista Garden Walk Expansion
On Memorial Day, the newly extended Vista Garden Walk opened. Visitors can now enjoy an interactive and immersive experience. Look for 5,000 new flowers, 800 shrubs, and 250 trees that will all be added soon, along with twigloos, gazebos, and a Willow Man sculpture. The winding pathways throughout the Vista Garden Walk will lead you to treehouses, natural musical instruments, challenge courses, and more.
New Way to Reach the Summit
In addition to the scenic Chondola ride, Anakeesta introduced a new way for visitors to reach the summit of Anakeesta Mountain! Since August 2019, you can choose to take a military truck ride to the top on one of Anakeesta’s Ridge Ramblers. Your ascent will begin by boarding the new passenger trucks at the base station, where you’ll ride along a forested path to the summit. The ride features an audio tour, during which a guide will share fun facts about the unique history, animals, forest, and plant life of the Smoky Mountains. You can choose between a ride on the Chondola with open-quad chairs and enclosed 6-person gondola cabins, or an immersive ride through the forest!
Overlook Beer Garden
As part of Anakeesta’s 2019 expansion, the attraction has created a new Overlook beer garden! This exciting area was created as a base for Anakeesta’s live music event series, arts and crafts, local artisan demonstrations, games, and more. It is also home to an Airstream Beer Cart.
Other Additions to Anakeesta in Gatlinburg
Since its opening, Anakeesta in Gatlinburg has continued to add new things for visitors to enjoy. Cliff Top Grill & Bar opened in the summer of 2018, offering visitors a new dining experience at the attraction. The attraction is currently working to expand the deck at Cliff Top for more space for visitors to grab a drink and relax! The restaurant offers a delicious menu of burgers, appetizers, and more, all with breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains. In the fall of 2018, Anakeesta introduced a single-rail mountain coaster that’s the first of its kind in the United States! The Rail Runner puts you in control of your own speed in a thrilling downhill ride with a 400 ft. elevation change. The ride begins with 1,600 feet of downhill twists and turns before ending with a scenic uphill ride back to the top of Anakeesta Mountain.
About Anakeesta in Gatlinburg
Anakeesta has had award-winning years since its opening! It was named Tennessee’s Attraction of the Year by the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association, Best New Attraction by Blue Ridge Country’s Best of the Mountains, and the Attraction of the Year by Sevier County Hospitality and Tourism Association. This outdoor adventure park has fun for people of all ages, from kids to adults. Whether you’re racing on a dueling zipline or relaxing around the fire pit, you’re sure to have a great time when you visit!
We’ll update you with more details about the Anakeesta expansion as soon as we get them. In the meantime, you can enjoy other fun activities at the adventure park, like the RailRunner mountain coaster, the dueling ziplines and the Tree Canopy Walk.
Check out more things to do in Gatlinburg, and start planning your visit today!