Gatlinburg, Tennessee is one of the most charming locations for a vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains. But this southern mountain town is now even more exciting. Anakeesta, a local adventure theme park (a treeventure if you will), offers some seriously fun activities.
The park offers an incredible observation tower for unobstructed views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in downtown Gatlinburg. It's the highest point in town and is connected to the existing Vista Gardens Walk, which now has an extended boardwalk. The park also offers a brand new challenge course of treehouses that are connected by a net with areas to swing around and unwind with the view.
With new outdoor activities you'll obviously need more food choices, right? A new Smokehouse and Brewery Restaurant serves guests delicious southern BBQ dishes. The best part? You have full mountain views from a glass-enclosed dining area and climate-controlled patio. The park already had Pearl's Pie in the Sky, where you can grab an ice cream or signature wassail, and Cliff Top Bar and Grill in Firefly Village, which is located at the top of Anakeesta Mountain.
The park, which has been entertaining visitors since it opened in 2017, currently has many family-friendly features to choose from. The Dueling Ziplines allow you to zipline side by side with a friend or family member above the beautiful trees and mountaintops of the Smokies. The Rail Runner mountain coaster is the only single-rail mountain coaster in the United States, letting guests enjoy a fast and fun coaster while staying close to the ground. The Treetop Skywalk is the longest tree-based bridge in the country. If you aren't sensing a trend here, Anakeesta doesn't mess around when it comes to the guest features. The park goes above and beyond to give you one of the most unique adventure experiences you could find.
Anakeesta also offers the world's only fixed-grip Chondola chair lift, which allows you to choose between an open-air 4-person chair with a safety bar or an enclosed gondola cabin with seating for six. The Chondola will take you up to the summit of Anakeesta Mountain (600 feet) where Firefly Village awaits. If you don't like heights, consider a scenic ride in one of the Ridge Rambler vehicles instead. You'll journey through the lovely mountain foliage to the summit instead of flying high.
Whether you love thrill rides or just taking in the mountain views, Anakeesta has something for you.
This article was originally published in January of 2020. It has since been updated to reflect the opening of the treehouse adventure course.