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The scenic Firefly Village at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg.

Anakeesta in Gatlinburg Named State Attraction of the Year

After wowing visitors for more than a year with the magic that’s in the mountains, Anakeesta has gained statewide recognition! This incredible outdoor theme park was named the “Attraction of the Year” for 2018 by the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association. We have all the details about the honor and what makes Anakeesta in Gatlinburg so great:

Anakeesta Wins State Attraction of the Year

In September, the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association announced that Anakeesta in Gatlinburg is the Attraction of the Year for 2018. This award was part of the “State of the Industry Awards,” which are given to individuals, companies, and industry partners whose commitment to hospitality and tourism has improved the overall industry statewide. Bob Bentz, the managing partner at Anakeesta, said the team has worked hard to create a “quality attraction where families enjoy discovering the outdoors together.” In addition, Dakota Hicks, the zipline manager at Anakeesta, was given the Tourism Employee of the Year Award for a small organization. The Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association is the voice of the lodging, dining, and tourism industry in Tennessee.

About Anakeesta in Gatlinburg

Anakeesta opened in September of 2017, and since then has been providing a place for visitors to immerse themselves in nature and take in incredible views of the Smoky Mountains, all while having fun. Whether you want to go on an incredible outdoor adventure or sit back and relax, you can do it all at Anakeesta. Here are some of the best things to do at Anakeesta when you visit:


Treetop Canopy Walk at AnakeestaThere are so many ways to have fun at Anakeesta! Your adventure begins with scenic Chondola ride to the summit of the mountain, during which you will have stunning views of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. Once you reach the magical theme park, you will have your choice of exciting adventures. Race of a dueling zipline, cross sky bridges on the Tree Canopy Walk, let your kids play on the Treehouse Village Playground, or go gem mining! The newest addition to Anakeesta is the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster, a single-rail mountain coaster that is the first of its kind in the country. The ride features 1,600 feet of twists and turns and ends with a scenic ride back up the mountain.


Shop till you drop in Firefly Village in Anakeesta! Firefly Village has something for everyone. Browse Great Outdoors Trading Company for Smoky Mountain books and everything you need for a day of hiking in the Smokies, or head to Catching Fireflies to sift through a unique line of children’s clothing, costumes, plush toys and more.


Pearl's Pie in the Sky at AnakeestaYou’re sure to work up quite the appetite after all the fun at Anakeesta! Grab a bite to eat at Anakeesta Smokehouse, which serves up some of the best Southern barbeque you can find, or dine at Cliff Top Grill & Bar for a delicious meal with an even better view. To satisfy your sweet tooth, head to Pearl’s Pie in the Sky, where you can find hand-dipped ice cream and assorted pies, tarts, and danishes.

Start planning your trip to Anakeesta in Gatlinburg to discover the magic in the mountains! Learn more about Anakeesta and come see for yourself why it’s the state attraction of the year.