swoosh

social icons Email Signup:Go

Gatlinburg Weather

Find more about Weather in Gatlinburg, TN
Click for weather forecast

Blog

head_about3

head_about4

head_ground_a

head_about2

June 18, 2018

Anakeesta Offers Magic in the Mountains

We have just discovered Anakeesta!  As busy local innkeepers, we rarely take the time to enjoy the many attractions that appeal to our out-of-town guests.  We are so glad that we recently had the opportunity, thanks to the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce, to explore our area’s new aerial theme park.  Anakeesta is a Cherokee word referring to high ground.  It literally means “place of the balsams”.  The word also refers to the massive rock formation that encompasses many of our local mountain peaks:  Charlie’s Bunion, Chimney Tops, and Mount Kephart.  The aerial park is designed to be a mountain playground for all ages.  Bob and Karen Bentz and their family bought more than 55 acres of pristine mountain land in 2014 and proceeded to create their vision.  They are environmentally sound stewards and the attraction offers a family-oriented experience.

What to Do at Anakeesta

The Anakeesta walk through the trees offers beautiful views.

The canopy walk is 40 to 60′ from the forest floor.

We entered via an open-air four-person chair lift.  The other option is an enclosed gondola with a capacity of six.  The ride up 600′ to the summit was beautiful!  We were enchanted by the canopy walk through the trees.  A series of 16 connected sky bridges, 40 to 60′ above the forest floor, offered spectacular views.  While we did not try it out on this visit, we enjoyed watching others on the dueling zipline.  There are several options for dining.  We chose to try out the Cliff Top Grill and Bar.  We enjoyed lingering over our drinks on the outdoor pavilion and admiring the mountain peaks that were the backdrop to our dining experience.  

The south side of the park is located in an area that was badly scorched by the 2016 fire, the most devastating in the state’s history.  A memorial walk pays tribute to the brave men and women who fought the fires and to the resilience of those impacted by the tragedy.

As we strolled to the chair lift to back down the mountain, we admired the cute shops and vowed to come back soon.  For more information, visit http://www.anakeesta.com