Are you planning a vacation to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? You may want to include Anakeesta as part of your vacation! This Anakeesta review will share our visit to Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and tell you what to expect on your visit.
Anakeesta Gatlinburg is one of the best family attractions and is a must do for your Tennessee family vacation. With breathtaking views and an impressive amount of family fun activities, Anakeesta is a great destination for all ages in Gatlinburg.
Anakeesta is a family friendly Gatlinburg attraction at the top of the mountain. They offer family fun activities, zipline course, shopping, and eating. There is so much to do and the views are incredible.
I knew before we even arrived at Anakeesta that it was going to be a stunning place. As we parked our car we noticed the chair lift and chondola rising up the mountain. A chondola is a gondola style lift that takes you up the mountain. You can also use the Ridge Rambler Adventure Vehicle to be driven up the mountain.
You can easily visit for a few hours walking around enjoying everything they have to offer or sitting on a rocking chair soaking in the scenery. Anakeesta was made with families in mind and wants to be a place where families of all ages can come together and enjoy time together.
Things to Do at Anakeesta
Activities at Anakeesta
- Chondola Ride (Included with Admission)
- Anakeesta Observation Tower (Included with Admission)
- Treeventure Challenge Course (Included with Admission)
- TreeTop SkyWalk (Included with Admission)
- Children’s Treehouse Village Playground (Included with Admission)
- Dueling Zipline (Additional Charge)
- Rail Runner Mountain Coaster (Additional Charge)
- Gem Mining (Additional Charge)
Restaurants at Anakeesta
- Cliff Top Grill & Bar
- The Bar at the Top of the World
- Pearl’s Pie in the Sky
Shops at Anakeesta
- Great Outdoors Trading Company
- Catching Fireflies
Tips for Anakeesta Gatlinburg
- Arrive early. It can get hot during the summer months!
- Visit in the evening. Plan your visit for dinner and the sunset to enjoy the spectacular views and the tree canopy walk lit up.
- Decide what attractions you would like to do. Some are included with your admission and some are not.
- Purchase tickets before you arrive to spend less time waiting in line.
Our Day At Anakeesta
We started our day early. Anakeesta opened at 9:00am and we arrived around 8:45 to get our tickets. After we had our tickets we headed to the line for the Chondola.
There are two lines to start your journey up the mountain. One is the chairlift and one is for the chondola. We went with the Chondola because we could all fit as a family. The chair lift fits four people and the chondola fits 6. We got our tickets and boarded the chondola ready for a fun morning.
You can also use the Ridge Rambler which is a vehicle that will take you up the mountain. This is included in your admission and is unlimited. I appreciate this option for guests that don’t like heights.
Once aboard we rode to the top of the mountain looking for the resident black bear “Ana” along the way. No luck with seeing her but we did see gorgeous views up the mountain.
As we reached the top we exited the Chondola and began exploring Anakeesta. At the top there are shops, restaurants, and the soon to be open Rail Runner mountain coaster. It’s like a village among the mountains.
We decided to make our way to the back to the Tree Canopy Walk. I wanted to visit this first before the park got busy. I was so happy we did. We ended up having it to ourselves.
The Tree Canopy Walk consists of 16 hanging bridges among the trees. Each bridge is different in length and takes you through the forest. We ended up doing the Tree Canopy Walk twice because we really enjoyed it.
Although I am happy we did it first and had the walk to ourselves, the entrance is at the back of the park and the exit is at the front of the park. It makes sense to do it last, but I didn’t mind walking and I liked experiencing it with less people.
One of the things my kids really wanted to do was Gem Mining. We have never done Gem Mining and Anakeesta has a really cute area to do it. Each of the kids picked the kind of Gems they wanted to search for and we ended up with some really cute gems to bring home.
One of our favorite parts of Anakeesta was the Vista Garden. It is a butterfly garden that has some amazing views of the mountains on the top. It has beautiful grounds and a heart shaped photo-op at the top. We really enjoyed it.
After our visit to the gardens we made our way to the TreeHouse playground. This was a small playground with lots of tunnels and areas to explore. The kids enjoyed it while my husband and I decided what to see next.
At this point we were getting a bit hungry and we noticed clouds starting to roll in. We ordered up lunch at the Smokehouse BBQ and found a place to enjoy lunch overlooking the mountains.
I know I have mentioned the views are incredible but truly we sat and enjoyed our lunch taking in the scenery. The food was good too! They have sandwich options and kids meals. They also have craft beer but we didn’t have a chance to try it.
After lunch we decided to take one last walk on the Tree Canopy. It was busier than our first visit and we had to move a little faster but it was still really fun.
At the exit we headed back down the Chondola and thankfully didn’t get soaked by the rain that had started. It was a quick rain shower and had completely passed by the time we got to the bottom.
One thing we didn’t get to do was visit Anakeesta at night. We had plans to return later in the evening (your ticket allows you all day access), but it didn’t happen. They also have zip-lining that we didn’t do because my youngest was too small.
In the evening you can purchase a S’mores kit and watch the sunset. They also have the Tree Canopy lit up and I bet it is amazing.
I hope our Anakeesta review helps you plan your visit during your Tennessee vacation. We really enjoyed it and would recommend a visit.
More Tennessee Tips and Family Vacation Ideas:
- 23 Awesome Activities for Your Pigeon Forge Vacation
- Our Week Long Tennessee Family Vacation
- Road Trip to Tennessee from New York
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Leah has been traveling with her family of 5 since 2012 and sharing her expertise on planning family vacations and visiting theme parks since 2016. Leah has been featured in Visit Rochester, Undercover Tourist, and Home Publications. She has worked with brands like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Hersheypark, Toyota, and various Tourism boards and destinations. Leah creates family travel itineraries based on real trip experiences with her family. Her guides and tips help others plan great family vacations. Learn more about Leah and Five for the Road.