We are living in some crazy times right now, and we are all trying to find ways to be safe but also find activities for our families. The great news is East Tennessee has so many outdoor adventures that are fun for the whole family!
Gatlinburg is just a hop and skip away from Knoxville, and one of their newer attractions is the Anakeesta Theme Park. Here are 6 reasons why you should plan a trip there soon!
(Anakeesta employees are all wearing masks, social distancing stickers are on the floor while in line, and you can read more here about their health & safety guidelines.)
Check out our Flash Giveaway for passes on Facebook!
1) AnaVista Observation Tower (just opened!)
AnaVista Tower is downtown Gatlinburg’s highest point! With 360⁰ views of the Smokies and the only one of its kind in the world, it is surrounded by Vista Gardens, a lush botanical garden with meandering walking trails and interactive areas of play. Guests will climb 78 steps to a large observation platform atop AnaVista Tower. From the top deck scenic views as far as Kentucky will surround you. Interpretive signs identify mountain ranges and peaks and two glass panel floors allow guests to peer down into the garden 60 feet below!
2) Treeventure Challenge Course
Anakeesta’s newest treehouse adventure adds more outdoor fun and imaginative play for families. Climb, swing, crawl and slide your way through three levels of play in these interactive treehouses. Six netted bridges and three tree houses offer a different challenge that will delight children of all ages. Climb to the top to enjoy the views from above, then slide to the bottom level to begin the fun all over again.
3) Treetop Skywalk
Anakeesta’s Treetop Skywalk is the longest tree-based bridge in North America! Guests will walk more than 800′ along a spectacular series of skybridges suspended 50-60 feet in the air! Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you stroll through the canopy. Experience what it feels like to be a bird in the treetops. Keep a sharp eye, you may spot a bear on the forest floor below or a woodpecker nearby.
Be sure to bring your camera for the perfect vacation memory that you will want to share with everyone!
4) Scenic Chondola
Enter Anakeesta via our scenic Chondola. This is the WORLD’s ONLY fixed-grip Chondola where our guests choose to ride in an open-air 4-person chair with a safety bar or select an enclosed gondola cabin with seating for 6. This scenic ride takes you up 600’ to the summit of Anakeesta Mountain where you will enter the whimsical Firefly Village.
5) Rail Runner Mountain Coaster
Anakeesta’s new single-rail mountain coaster is the first of its kind in the United States! As a single-rail line, riders can ride lower to the ground on a single track creating a thrilling and unique experience as you race through the trees while flying down the mountain. It also allows you to control your own speed, so if you prefer a slower pace you can do that too! The Anakeesta Rail Runner takes you on an exhilarating downhill ride with a 400 ft. elevation change and can hit speeds of 25 mph. The ride begins with 1,600 feet of downhill twists and turns and ends with a scenic uphill ride back to the top of Anakeesta Mountain. Riders can ride solo or tandem with a small child. Our Rail Runner carts feature back and headrests for a comfortable and safe ride.
6) Anakeesta Gem Mining
Strike it rich at the Anakeesta Gem Mine! An interactive waterfall and sluice allows kids of all ages to search for that special gemstone or fossil. Located at the beginning of the Treetop Skywalk and adjacent to the Children’s Treehouse Village Adventure, Gem Mining is always a fun family activity.
Anakeesta is made for families with fun for ALL ages!
Here are the pricing options via their website:
It’s not family-friendly unless it’s budget-friendly.
Included in all day General Admission passes:
- Unlimited Chondola or Ridge Rambler rides to the summit
- North America’s longest Treetop Skywalk
- Treehouse Village Adventure, BearVenture and TreeVenture
- Vista Gardens featuring Anavista Tower
- Memorial Forest Interpretive Walk
- Shopping and dining opportunities
- Gorgeous scenic views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Gatlinburg
Plan in advance and choose the Express Pass. The same price as general admission but you choose the day and time you visit to access the Chondola Express lane…the quickest way to the summit! 3 and under are free, prices do not include tax.
*Tickets purchased on site one hour before we close, gives you access to the park the following day for FREE!
ANNUAL PASS + EXPRESS
Buy an Annual Pass + Express and enjoy every season at Anakeesta.
Every Annual Pass VIP receives:
- Unlimited access to the Chondola Express lane
- 1 FREE admission pass to bring a guest
- 20% off all retail, food and beverage purchases
- 20% of Ziplines, mountain coaster and gem mining
- Special VIP access to seasonal events
Enjoy the snow capped peaks of Mt. LeConte, the always changing colors in Vista Garden, crisp autumn foliage while walking the Treetop Skywalk, and summer fun with live bands and outdoor seating at the splash area.
Want to visit first? Guests can upgrade during their visit at our ticket booth or any retail shop in Firefly Village. Click the link below to learn more! 3 and under are free, prices do not include tax.
Entry to Anakeesta is required to access the mountain coaster.
Anakeesta’s single-rail mountain coaster is the first of its kind in the United States! As a single-rail line, riders are lower to the ground creating a thrilling and unique experience as you race through the trees while flying down the mountain. You control the speed, so if you prefer a slower pace you can do that too. The Anakeesta Rail Runner takes you on an exhilarating downhill ride with a 400 ft. elevation change and can hit speeds of 25 mph. The ride begins with 1,600 feet of downhill twists and turns and ends with a scenic uphill ride back to the top of Anakeesta Mountain. Our Rail Runner carts feature back and headrests for a comfortable and safe ride.
SINGLE RIDERS: Maximum weight: 270 lbs. – No one under the age of 7 years old may ride alone – Riders must be at least 48″ tall
TANDEM RIDERS: Combined weight cannot exceed 270lbs – Passengers must be 3 to 7 years old and a minimum of 38″ tall
DUELING ZIPLINE + EXPRESS PASS
Includes Express Pass general admission to travel to the summit.
Soar from tree to tree at Anakeesta’s Dueling Zipline Adventure! Enjoy beautiful views of the Smokies, while zipping side by side with your family and friends. Experience our three zip excursions and multiple rappels for a thrill like you have never had before! Guests will end their journey via a short downhill path to our mid-station, where they will ride the Chondola back to the Summit of Anakeesta to continue a day of adventure. Online purchase includes our general admission Express Pass, the fastest way to the summit!
Age Minimum: 7 years old
(Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult 18+)
Weight Limits: 70 – 270 lbs.
See all zipline restrictions and requirements.