Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime as you explore the enchanting world of Anakeesta in Gatlinburg! Nestled among the Great Smoky Mountains, this family-friendly mountain park offers thrilling attractions, captivating gardens, and awe-inspiring scenery to create unforgettable memories for all ages.
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Start Your Adventure: Journey to the Mountaintop
The adventure to Anakeesta begins with a scenic ride on either the Chondola or the Ridge Rambler Adventure Truck. Nestled on Anakeesta Mountain in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee, this journey to the mountain’s peak is an experience in itself. The Chondola is a hybrid chairlift and gondola experience, offering both enclosed and open-air options for your 12-minute ride to the mountaintop.
As you ascend, take in the stunning views of the Smoky Mountains and the bustling town of Gatlinburg below. With unlimited scenic rides included in your admission, you’ll get to enjoy this captivating experience as many times as you desire throughout the day, making it the perfect addition to your rail runner mountain coaster adventure.
Upon reaching the summit, the enchanting Firefly Village greets you, serving as the gateway to all of Anakeesta’s offerings, including the nearby Black Bear Village. Thrilling attractions, quaint shopping, and interactive play await your exploration in this magical mountain park.
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Anakeesta Attractions: Fun for the Whole Family
Anakeesta boasts a variety of activities to thrill everyone. Your ticket grants you all-day park access and unlimited rides on the scenic Chondola and Ridge Rambler Adventure vehicle. Among the numerous attractions, you’ll find the Treetop Skywalk, a one-of-a-kind tree canopy walk, and the beautiful Vista Gardens, both offering unique experiences for the whole family to enjoy.
Treetop Skywalk: A Canopy Adventure
Providing a unique and thrilling experience, the Treetop Skywalk at Anakeesta is a must-visit attraction. Here’s what you can expect:
- Wander along the 880-feet long tree-based skywalk bridge, suspended 50 to 60 feet in the air
- Feel one with the trees and the Smoky Mountains that surround you
- Experience North America’s longest tree-based skywalk, featuring 16 hanging bridges
Vista Gardens: A Botanical Wonderland
Step into the lush, enchanting world of lush botanical Vista Gardens and prepare for a mesmerizing encounter. This botanical wonderland features over 3,000 plants, flowers, and sculptures, creating a magical environment for visitors to explore. As you meander through the walking trails adorned with various types of flowers and plants, you’ll discover relaxing pergolas and whimsical sculptures that further enhance the beauty of this captivating garden.
While at Vista Gardens, be sure to visit the Watering Can, a delightful spot in Vista Plaza to enjoy a refreshing beverage or healthy snack, surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the gardens. And don’t forget to snap a photo with Willow, the 20-foot-tall “keeper of the forest” statue that stands proudly within Vista Gardens.
TreeVenture Challenge Course: Interactive Fun
If a hands-on adventure is what you seek, test your skills and agility at the TreeVenture Challenge Course. This interactive challenge course is designed for children of all ages, making it a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy together. The TreeVenture Challenge Course features:
- Six thrilling netted bridges
- Three exciting tree houses
- Tight ropes
- Moving obstacles
Dueling Zipline Adventure: Thrill-Seeking in the Great Outdoors
Anakeesta’s Dueling Zipline Adventure promises a heart-racing experience, making it a perfect choice for adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers. This exhilarating experience includes a three-zip excursion through the mountains, providing an unforgettable adventure that will leave you in awe. The Dueling Zipline Adventure spans over 2,600 feet, making it an exciting and lengthy journey through the treetops.
Although the Dueling Zipline Adventure requires an additional fee, the thrilling experience is well worth the price, which is approximately $60 per person. Don’t miss out on this heart-pounding attraction that will add an extra dose of excitement to your Anakeesta visit!
AnaVista Tower: Panoramic Views of the Smoky Mountains
Perched at the highest point in downtown Gatlinburg, the AnaVista Tower provides breathtaking 360-degree vistas of the Smoky Mountains. Standing at an impressive 1,947 feet above sea level, this one-of-a-kind observation tower provides guests with an unparalleled bird’s eye view of the surrounding landscape.
Surrounded by the lush Vista Gardens, the AnaVista Tower is not only a great spot for capturing stunning photos but also a serene location to take in the beauty and tranquility of the Smoky Mountains. Be sure to include this awe-inspiring attraction in your Anakeesta itinerary!
Two Mountain Coasters
Rail Runner Mountain Coaster
If you’re on the lookout for something truly unique, Anakeesta’s Rail Runner Smoky Mountain coaster in Gatlinburg is a must-try! This adrenaline-pumping adventure is the first of its kind in the United States. It allows daring riders to slide down the mountain on a single rail track that boasts a whopping 1,600 feet of downhill twists and turns at speeds up to 25 mph! Evoking a sense of racing through the trees at your own pace, this ride treats you to a thrilling 400 ft elevation change.
Hellbender Smoky Mountain Coaster
Launching in the fall of 2023, the Hellbender Smoky Mountain Coaster is Anakeesta’s new adrenaline-filled attraction, specially designed for thrill-seeking visitors. This double-rail mountain coaster, named after a type of salamander native to the Smoky Mountains, promises guests a heart-racing ride, navigating a steep mountain incline and meandering through a series of twists and turns, while offering breathtaking, panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Hellbender takes its riders on a white-knuckle, 3,350-foot journey, twisting and turning through 90-degree, 270-degree, and a dizzying 360-degree revolutions, before eventually ascending back to Anakeesta’s summit.
Dining and Shopping: Indulge in Southern Cuisine and Quaint Shops
Having spent a day of adventure, quell your hunger with some delectable Southern cuisine at Anakeesta’s dining venues. From prime chuck chargrilled burgers and shrimp and andouille sausage to applewood bacon and southern barbecue, there’s something to please every palate.
In addition to the fantastic food, Anakeesta also offers quaint shopping options where you can find unique souvenirs to remember your magical day. Some of the shops you can visit include:
- Great Outdoors Trading Company: for outdoor gear and apparel
- Catching Fireflies: for whimsical gifts and home decor
- Adventure Outpost: for adventure-themed merchandise
With so many choices, you’re sure to find the perfect memento to cherish your time at Anakeesta.
Astra Lumina Night Walk: Enchanting Forest Exploration
With nightfall, Anakeesta morphs into an illuminated wonderland, courtesy of the Astra Lumina Night Walk. This enchanting forest exploration experience leads you on a one-mile long trip across a cosmically mesmerizing nature trail, featuring immersive encounters of lighting, projection, and sound.
The Astra Lumina Night Walk consists of eight different zones, each offering a unique and captivating experience. These zones include:
- Falling Stars
- Stellar Visions
- Enchanted Forest
- Celestial Symphony
- Moonlit Meadow
- Galaxy Gateway
- Nebula Nexus
- Aurora Borealis
This approximately 45-minute adventure is perfect for visitors of all ages and requires no special equipment. It’s a must-see attraction during your visit to Anakeesta.
Nearby Attractions: Exploring Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Beyond Anakeesta’s wealth of attractions and experiences, Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hold even more exploratory opportunities. Some exciting activities to fill your vacation itinerary include:
- Sugarlands Distilling Company
- Ole Smoky
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
- Gatlinburg Space Needle
Just a short distance from Anakeesta, the spectacular Great Smoky Mountains National Park in East Tennessee beckons with a wealth of outdoor activities including:
- wildlife viewing
- exploring waterfalls
Planning Your Visit: Tickets, Hours, and More
General admission prices for 2023 are $34.99 for adults, with special pricing for seniors (60+) and kids, and children under 3 are free. Admission includes all-day park access and unlimited scenic rides on the Chondola and Ridge Rambler, but additional fees apply for the Dueling Zipline Adventure and the Astra Lumina experience.
Anakeesta Mountaintop Adventure Park is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays to Thursdays, and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. With so much to see and do, be sure to allocate plenty of time to fully immerse yourself in the magical world of Anakeesta.
Anakeesta is truly a one-of-a-kind destination that offers something for everyone. With thrilling attractions like the Treetop Skywalk, Vista Gardens, exciting Dueling Zipline Adventure, and impressive AnaVista Tower, this mountaintop adventure park offers endless unforgettable experiences.
For more information about Anakeessta visit their website.