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Have you been to Anakeesta in Gatlinburg yet? The unique theme park opened on Sept. 1, 2017, and since then has been providing magical experiences for families. Plan a visit to Anakeesta this summer to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. To help guarantee you have an amazing time, we’ve put together a guide to the perfect summer trip to Anakeesta in Gatlinburg:
The word “Anakeesta” is a Cherokee Indian word that refers to high ground. Today, the word is most often associated with a rock layer known as the Anakeesta Formation that encompasses many peaks in the Smoky Mountains. You are able to see the rock layer high above Gatlinburg in Chimney Tops, Mount Kephart and Charlie’s Bunion. The name for the theme park was chosen because it captured the authentic Smokies heritage that guests to the attraction will experience. The goal of Anakeesta in Gatlinburg is to provide a family-oriented experience in the Smoky Mountains and allow families to make memories that last a lifetime.
What to Do
There are so many incredible things to do at Anakeesta. Your adventure will begin with a scenic Chondola ride to the summit of Anakeesta Mountain. You can ride in an open air 4-person chair or an enclosed gondola with seating for 6. You’ll soar up 600 feet above Gatlinburg to Anakeesta Mountain, where you’ll enter Firefly Village. The Chondola is the only way to enter the park! Once you are there, you’ll have so many more adventures to choose from. You can do the Tree Canopy Walk, where you’ll walk along 16 connected sky bridges high in the trees that offer stunning views. Each bridge leads to a new observation platform where you can take in the sights. Next, take your kids to the Treehouse Village Playground, which is designed to build strength and confidence through a number of surprises and challenges. One of the best things to do at Anakeesta is the dueling zipline! Each zipline is more that 1,000 feet in length and allows you to enjoy the experience beside your friend or family member. New in the summer of 2018, guests can try the Anakeesta Rail Runner Mountain Coaster, which is a single-rail mountain coaster that is the first of its kind. You’ll be able to control your own speed as you race through tunnels and down 1,600 feet of twists and turns. These are just some of the amazing things you can do at Anakeesta!
Where to Shop
For an exciting shopping excursion, browse the shops at Firefly Village! You’ll be able to find something for everyone at Great Outdoors Trading Company. There is a large selection of regional Appalachian arts, pottery, crafts, soaps, jewelry, home goods and more! You’ll even be able to find Smoky Mountain books and any gear or apparel you’ll need for a day of hiking. Another great place you can shop is Catching Fireflies, which is a small boutique with a unique line of children’s clothing, costumes and toys that will put a smile on your children’s faces.
Where to Eat
You’re sure to work up quite the appetite as you explore everything that Anakeesta has to offer. Luckily, the attraction has delicious dining options for you to enjoy. After a day filled with exciting activities, head to Anakeesta Smokehouse for a mouth-watering meal. The restaurant uses the highest quality brisket and pork, seasons it with a special rub, then smokes it to perfection. You can get smoked turkey, wraps, savory melts, salads and more! And the best part is that you can enjoy your meal outdoors in Anakeesta Plaza! To satisfy your sweet tooth, stop by Pearl’s Pie in the Sky and try one of their famous pies or other delicious baked goods. There is even creamy, hand-dipped ice cream to enjoy.
Now that you know what to do, where to shop and what to eat when you visit Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, you’re ready to have the perfect summer adventure! To start planning your trip, browse all the Gatlinburg cabin rentals that will not only provide you a comfortable place to stay, but also put you close to all the action.