Anakeesta in Gatlinburg is one of the area’s most popular attractions – and for very good reasons! The mountaintop village in downtown Gatlinburg, TN has so many things to do, places to eat, and places to play., including the crown jewel – the AnaVista tower – Gatlinburg’s highest point.
Flying High at Anakeesta
If you happen to look at Anakeesta, the gorgeous mountaintop village in downtown Gatlinburg, from one of the overlooks coming into the town, you cannot miss the AnaVista Tower. It stands as the highest point in Gatlinburg and offers guests 360 views of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Blue Ridge Mountains, and downtown Gatlinburg. I was totally blown away when I got up there. The views are just incredible.
Designed by one of the founders of Anakeesta, Bob Bentz, it is meant to resemble the Lily flower opening its petals to the sun.
The tower stands 50 feet high and has helpful plaques on every side about what you’re looking at, from Clingman’s Dome to Stone Mountain to Pigeon Forge. You can see for miles. There are also chairs set up on every level if you need to take a break on the way up to the top. It’s the highest point in Gatlinburg and is part of Anakeesta’s $6.5 million expansion plans.
Places to stay in Anakeesta
Use the map below to discover great places to stay in Anakeesta for your family.
The map below uses links from Stay 22. Kidding Around earns when you book through these links, through an affiliate relationship with Stay 22.
Surrounded by gardens
The tower is in the middle of the stunning gardens atop the mountain, artfully strewn with lilies, colorful little flowers, roses, lilac, and all kinds of other beauties that I love but have no idea what they are called. The views from the garden are amazing. You get up there and look out over the Great Smoky Mountains and just want to take it all in, to breathe freely, and to never leave. It’s peaceful and serene. The founders of Anakeesta are both landscape architects and it shows.
By the way, Anakeesta is only six years old. Millions of people have made their way up to the mountain and already the mountaintop adventure park has earned an impressive number of travel awards.
You can read my full review of Anakeesta and all their attractions including the mountain coaster, the zip lines, the restaurants, and the treetop walk here.
The AnaVista Tower isn’t the only recent addition gracing the top of the mountain. The TreeVenture adventure course was recently unveiled. It easily fits into the landscape of the mountain with natural wood, nets, and fun obstacles for both kids and adults.
That’s right, adults can have just as much fun as the kids! I tried it out and definitely enjoyed the swinging bridges and wobbly structures and huge slide. TreeVenture is creatively designed so it’s a challenge for everyone but also lots of fun.
There are three levels of play on the course, six netted bridges, three treehouses, plus a slide. There’s no extra cost for all this fun!
In the last couple years, Anakeesta has just kept expanding. They have added an outdoor splash pad for the summer, new restaurants in the Firefly Village, and the wildly popular Astra Lumina, which is a night walk that makes it seem like you’re walking among stars. We have not done this yet but we do know that it has gotten rave reviews.
Admission is good for all day access and unlimited Chondala or Ridge Rambler rides up and down the mountain. Also included in the admission ticket is the AnaVista Tower, TreeVenture, Treetop Skywalk, Treehouse Village Adventure, Overlook Event Area, Vista Gardens Walk, Memorial Forest Walk with interpretive signs, shopping and dining opportunities at Firefly Village, and the most stunning scenic views in all of Gatlinburg.
Be sure to check out their seasonal events as they have a ton going on every season and you don’t want to miss anything when you go.
An adult ticket is $33.99 and children ages 4-11 are $21.99. Kids three and under are free.
The all-day access I think is one of the best perks of admission to Anakeesta. We stayed at the beautiful Greystone Lodge, right across the street from Anakeesta, maybe a five minute walk, and the ability to head down the mountain and take a break there and then come back in the evening is a great way to spend the day. The Greystone has a fun pool, perfect for kids and a nice way to relax for parents.
Anakeesta also offers seasonal passes, which are good for an entire year from the date of purchase. This is a great option for families if they know they are coming to Gatlinburg at least twice a year and want to make Anakeesta a part of their visit.
Season passes are $69.99 for adults and $57.99 for kids plus you get extra perks like unlimited access to the Chondola express lane, an extra guest pass, and discounts on food and beverage and entertainment.
Our Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN Guide is full of all the travel tips and great things to do that make an epic family trip.
Have you been to Anakeesta?