The promise of Anakeesta is to create a unique, authentic, entertaining and memorable outdoor family experience by immersing guests of all ages in the beauty and adventure of nature, providing diverse offerings and quality craftsmanship and instilling a sense of appreciation and wonder for the magic that’s in the mountains.
Anakeesta Mission Statement
Gatlinburg’s Newest Family Attraction
Anakeesta, Gatlinburg’s newest family attraction, offers a unique outdoor mountain experience for all ages. Begin with a scenic 14-minute ride from Downtown Gatlinburg to the summit of Anakeesta mountain on the Chondola’s quad chair or enclosed 6 person gondola cabin where you will arrive at Firefly Village, a whimsical treehouse-themed village featuring local crafts, retail and casual dining options.
Stroll through the scenic tree canopy walk which includes 16 hanging bridges more than 40-60 feet in the air, soar through the trees on Gatlinburg’s fastest dual-racing zip lines, fly through the forest on the high-speed single rail mountain coaster (coming winter of 2017), climb through the Anakeesta Treehouse Village playground or simply sit back and enjoy the breathtaking views of Mt. LeConte and the sparkling lights of Downtown Gatlinburg.
Designed to be an outdoor entertainment destination for the whole family, come experience for yourself the magic that’s in the mountains.
Anakeesta is a Cherokee word referring to high ground, literally meaning “the place of the balsams.”
Today, the word is most often associated with a massive rock layer known as the Anakeesta Formation that encompasses many of the peaks in our part of the Smoky Mountains. You can see it high above Gatlinburg in Charlie’s Bunion, Chimney Tops, and Mount Kephart. We chose the name Anakeesta to capture the authentic Smokies heritage that our guests will experience among the treetops at the summit of Anakeesta Mountain.
A mountain playground for families
Over 100 years ago, even before the National Park was established, the Pi Beta Phi fraternity for women identified the Appalachian region of Gatlinburg, Tennessee as the population most in need for literacy and healthcare. They traveled to what was then a remote mountain village and worked alongside the community to create a school, healthcare facility and a cottage industry of weaving textiles and creating crafts for sale throughout the United States.
With the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1934, Gatlinburg flourished and the community of residents continued to welcome what is now an influx of over 11,000,000 guests per year to Gatlinburg.
In 2014, the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity chose to sell the 55+ pristine acres of mountain forested land to Bob and Karen Bentz and their family as they exhibited a vision towards environmental stewardship of the property encouraging a family oriented mountaintop experience in the Smokies.
Today, the Anakeesta family welcomes you to our mountain home in the hopes that you will create memories with your family that will last a life time.
Enjoy, relax and play in the Smokies.