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Anakeesta sign in Gatlinburg

5 Things You Can Only Do at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg

Throw Anakeesta on the list of attractions you must visit on your next trip to the Smoky Mountains! Gatlinburg’s outdoor mountaintop theme park is full of fun activities that you won’t find anywhere else in the Smokies! Anakeesta actually translates to “the place of high ground” in the Cherokee language. Well, there’s no better place to explore the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains than from high above on the mountain at Anakeesta! Here are 5 things you can only do at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg:

1. A Night at Astra Lumina

Prepare yourself for a nighttime experience unlike any other around! Astra Lumina is an enchanted night walk amongst the stars at Anakeesta! As night falls on Anakeesta, mysterious observatory grounds become the stage for a light show from the heavens above! These stars give off an astral energy that transforms these Smoky Mountains into a celestial pathway for humans to explore.

2. Ride an Enclosed Gondola

gondolas at Anakeesta

There are several chairlifts in the Smoky Mountains that offer scenic rides from high above, but none are as special or unique as the enclosed gondola rides at Anakeesta! Enclosed gondolas at Anakeesta seat 6 people and are the perfect choice for folks who may not like heights but still want the experience of a bird’s eye view! Take a ride in one of the gondolas, or if heights don’t bother you, try out an open-air 4-person chairlift with a safety bar.

3. Play on the Treeventure Challenge Course

Who doesn’t love a good treehouse?! The Treeventure Challenge Course is Anakeesta’s treehouse adventure that’s full of outdoor fun and imaginative play for families! These interactive treehouses feature 3 different levels of play for visitors to climb, crawl and swing their way through! Walk across one of 6 netted bridges for a challenge that requires balance and offers excitement for all ages!

4. Explore the Vista Gardens Arboretum

Vista Gardens at Anakeesta

Vista Gardens Arboretum is Anakeesta’s mountain top garden retreat featuring an experiential sensory garden! This beautiful area at Anakeesta is full of incredible trees, flowers and plants and includes sweeping views of the Smoky Mountains! During the Chimney Top II wildfires in 2016, virtually every tree here was charred and destroyed, giving Anakeesta the opportunity to build a special garden experience. Listen to birds and the sounds of waterfalls, discover special garden chimes and enjoy a misty breeze as you walk through the wisteria covered misting tunnel!

5. Dine on the Mountaintop

After a day of exploring Anakeesta, you don’t even have to leave for a delicious meal! Take some time with the whole family and dine at one of Anakeesta’s incredible restaurants on the mountain, offering picturesque views of the Smoky Mountains! Cliff Top in Anakeesta’s Black Bear Village serves modern American cuisine and local craft beers, all while featuring incredible views of Mount LeConte! Smokehouse is also located on top of Anakeesta Mountain and serves up delicious smoked meats with amazing views of downtown Gatlinburg!

More Things To Do Coming Soon

Anakeesta theme park in Gatlinburg

More unique things to do will arrive this summer at Anakeesta! Here are a couple attractions to expect:


Hellbender is Anakeesta’s first-ever double-rail coaster! This mountain coaster twists and turns along the mountainside, making for a heart-pumping adventure! This new mountain coaster will make the perfect complement to Anakeesta’s existing single-rail coaster, Rail Runner!


BirdVenture is an aviary-inspired adventure zone where guests can play and imagine life as a bird in the Smoky Mountains! Explore 3 colorful, larger-than-life birdhouses, a dozen interactive adventure zones and 7 slides that will wind more than 50 feet down the mountain!

These fun things you can only do at Anakeesta are just the start of all the fun you’ll find at the Gatlinburg adventure park! Check out everything you can do at Anakeesta and start planning your trip to the Smoky Mountains today!