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Soar through Tennessee’s paradise at Anakeesta


Amid the rolling peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains lies Anakeesta, a Gatlinburg, Tennessee-based theme park that shares spectacular views of downtown and Mount LeConte. 

Canopy Walk at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Photo: Anakeesta Canopy Walk, Anakeesta, Gatlinburg, Tenn.

“Our guests begin with a scenic ride from downtown Gatlinburg to the summit of Anakeesta Mountain on the chondola’s quad chairs or enclosed six-person gondola cabins, where they arrive at Firefly Village, a whimsical treehouse-themed village,” said Michele Canney, marketing director.

Adrenaline junkies can fill their fix by strolling through a 16-bridge canopy walk and flying down Gatlinburg’s fastest dual-racing zip lines, which sit 125 feet above the forest floor, stretching over 1,000 feet in length.

For activities more on the mild side, groups can follow the Memorial Forest Walk and learn about the November 2016 fire and how it impacted the mountain community, relax and take in the views, and shop at a variety of retail stores.

“Anakeesta is truly the only attraction of its kind in the United States,” Canney said. “One thing that makes us stand out is our multitude of offerings. We appeal to the adventure-seekers as well as those wanting a more relaxing experience. It’s a great destination for groups because it appeals to so many different types of people.”

Chondola at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Photo: Anakeesta Chondola, Anakeesta, Gatlinburg, Tenn.

For meals, savory barbecue and Southern dishes are offered at the Anakeesta Smokehouse BBQ food truck, including pulled pork, brisket and smoked wings. As for dessert, Pearl’s Pie in the Sky, a 1940s-inspired bakery, offers an assortment of treats and pastries, including pies, ice cream, milkshakes, coffee and other baked goods.

Set to open this summer, the park’s new single-rail mountain coaster will be the first in the country. Being a single-rail line, riders are lower to the ground on a single track, creating a thrilling experience while racing through the trees and down the mountain. The coaster also allows riders to control their own speed, hitting up to 25 mph.

Discounted pricing is offered for groups of 10 or more guests. For large groups, advance notice of five to seven days is suggested.

For more information, call 865-325-2400 or visit


About Author

Kelsey Smith, Associate Editor

The more wine columnist Kelsey Smith travels, the more tales she can’t wait to tell. She especially likes to discover how destinations and attractions can accommodate groups. To earn a star on her travel checklist, there better be parking for a motorcoach and dining, at least nearby. Watch for the debut of her blog, “Wine Wednesday.”

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