Anakeesta Like A Local


The magic of the Anakeesta mountaintop is closer than you think—and it’s even easier for locals to soak it in this weekend! The outdoor experience in Gatlinburg is holding “Local Appreciation Week.” Anakeesta is offering five-dollar admission for residents and employees in Sevier, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox, Blount and Hamblen counties. There’s still time to enjoy this special deal. It runs through Sunday, May 8th. Even better, a portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit Friends of the Smokies. The organization’s mission is to preserve and protect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Family time in AnakeestaPreserving and protecting is important to Anakeesta. From the sweeping 360-degree mountain views to the glorious gardens, the goal of this mountain theme park is to immerse guests in the beauty and adventure of the outdoors. There’s plenty for families to do starting off with a chondola ride to the peak. (It just so happens to be the highest point in Gatlinburg!) Once you’ve reached the summit you can choose from one of many activities. The Treetop Skywalk—the longest of its kind in North America—takes you on a walk through the canopy.

Thrill seekers will love the Dueling Zipline Adventure or the Rail Runner Mountain Coaster. The Treeventure Challenge Course allows children to climb, swing, crawl and slide through three levels of interactive treehouses. Kids will also love the Bearventure Challenge Course for more climbing and playing. When the temperatures rise, children can cool off in the splash pad. No visit to Anakeesta is complete without climbing to the top of the Anavista Observation Tower.

Anakeesta PlayThere are opportunities to relax and unwind, too. Sit down to an “elevated” dining experience at Cliff Top. The views and the food are top-notch.  More casual barbecue-style fare can be found at Smokehouse. When you’re too busy having fun to stop, you can grab a quick bite at Kephart Café, The Happy Camper or The Snack Shack. Then satisfy your sweet tooth at Pearl’s Pie in the Sky with ice cream or baked goodies.

It’s easy to fill a day or more at Anakeesta with activities for families of all kinds. There’s something for littles ones, grandparents and everyone in between. There’s no question. There’s magic in the mountains! For more information on Anakeesta and “Local Appreciation Week,” visit the Anakeesta website and Facebook page.

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I’m a former TV news producer turned stay-at-home mom to my daughter Madeline and toddler Bennett. While I may stay at home, Madeline, Bennett and I are always on the go exploring Knoxville and making new friends. I'm a coffee addict, book lover, fashion-phile, occasional cook and bargain hunter. My guilty pleasures include Pinterest and bad reality TV. I believe a sense of humor is an essential survival skill. And--lucky me--my funny husband Andy always keeps me laughing. Follow me on Knoxville Moms as I chronicle this challenging and rewarding adventure we call motherhood!


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