A mountaintop theme park
During my trip to Dollywood last fall, my friend Irene and I had an extra day in Gatlinburg and decided to have a little fun up in the Smokey Mountains. When in Rome, right? We headed up a chair lift to explore the summit of Anakeesta Mountain.
Anakeesta is a pretty affordable way to spend the day. For $21.00, an adult can get a general admission ticket that includes the chairlift (or gondola) ride up the mountain, the skywalk, the treehouse village adventure, the vista gardens walk, gem mining, epic views, shopping, and more. Zip lining is extra and requires a different exit point on the chair lift.
Garden lovers: Anakeesta is worth a visit! I absolutely loved the vista gardens walk. Over three thousands plants make up the colorful mountain garden. There are tons of great photo ops during the walk including a charming Heart photo with a sweeping view behind and a twenty foot tall forest sculpture.
The treetop suspension bridge course is not to be missed by adventurers! Fun fact: Anakeesta’s Treetop Skywalk is the longest tree-based bridge in North America. During the 800′ walk, you are suspended 50-60 feet above the ground, making you feel like a kid in a treehouse. I was a little worried about the suspension bridges wrecking havoc on my bad knee since they shake but I made it through just fine. It’s not at all difficult to walk through so if you are worried, don’t be. It sounds like a long course but it flies by. The bridges feel very sturdy and safe, with high sides that likely put parents at ease.
Check out these views! It was an unusually warm fall day in Tennessee, well into the 90s, but everyone kept telling us that we should have seen gorgeous fall foliage that time of year. We worked up an appetite walking through the gardens and the Treetop Skywalk so we ordered BBQ sandwiches (which were shocking good!) and ate looking out at the view. There are several food trucks as well as restaurant on Anakeesta so you have lots of options.
All in all, we ended up walking several miles and stayed for a couple of hours. We probably would have lingered longer had it not been nearly 100 degrees. We were anxious to cool off in the pool back at Dollywood’s Dream More Resort.
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