Going to Anakeesta right now is bit like stepping inside an unfinished masterpiece. 

It’s beautiful, but you can’t help seeing the potential for more. 

And more is on the horizon. Anakeesta officials are eyeing growth plans for as early as Spring 2020. 

Chief among these is a 50-foot tall observation tower. Anakeesta already boasts some of the best views in the Smokies, but the tower will allow guests to rise to a height of 1,930’ for a 360-degree view of the Smoky Mountains.  The stone and timber structure will harken back to the traditional fire tower structure found at Mt. Camerer in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park but with a modern flair that ties into the iconic Anakeesta Chondola station found on the Parkway.

It’s hard to imagine the views being any better than they already are, but the tower will offer the kind of experience that usually requires quite a bit of hiking. 

Right now – with all due respect to the Rail Runner, the Dueling Zip Line and the Treetop Skywalk, the chief activities at Anakeesta are dining, drinking and shopping. Accordingly, Spring 2020 will see additions to all these activities. 

Another full restaurant, joining the Cliff Top Grill & Bar, will offer expanded seating options allowing guests to enjoy the scenic views of Mt. LeConte like never before. In the new restaurant, guests will be able to step inside during the colder months and cool off during those hot summer days. 

Details about the additional retail options coming in Spring 2020 are scarce, but according to the Anakeesta website, if you love the locally made mugs in the Great Outdoors Trading Company, the soft Anakeesta t-shirts from the Adventure Outpost, or the beautiful jewelry from Catching Fireflies – something else is coming just for you.

The execution and rollout of Anakeesta so far has been fairly spectacular, but the potential for growth is evident. There are exciting possibilities on the horizon and, honestly, there are few better places to check out the horizon than Anakeesta. 

Anakeesta – Visit website

Location 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Hours: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. weekdays or 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekends, may vary by season

Price Range: $17.99-21.99 for admission; add-ons range from $12.99-29.99


Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.