Black Bear Village Is the Perfect Way to Enjoy Fall in the Great Smoky Mountains

The opening of Black Bear Village completes the final phase of Anakeesta’s $6.5 million expansion.

Cliff Top Restaurant Anakeesta
Photo: Anakeesta

Another day, another reason to visit Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Not that you needed any more incentive to pay a visit to the beloved mountain town, but Anakeesta just unveiled its biggest addition of the year.

This week marks the debut of Black Bear Village, the final phase of the outdoor adventure park's whopping $6.5 million expansion, which boasts a new outdoor stage, splash pad, fine dining restaurant, taproom, and views upon views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

The adventure to Black Bear Village starts with a scenic ride on the Chondola or Ridge Rambler from the Gatlinburg Parkway to the top of Anakeesta. You'll arrive within walking distance to AnaVista Tower which opened this summer with 360-degree vistas from the highest point in Gatlinburg.

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Once there, enjoy views of Mount LeConte (and a 32-ounce bone-in Cowboy Ribeye) from the climate-controlled Cliff Top restaurant pictured above. For a quicker option, check out Kephart Café, which has hot dogs, flatbreads, and frozen yogurt. You can also pick up a few beers from the Tap House to enjoy by the fire pit while taking in the beautiful foliage. Finally, be sure to check out the selection of throwback toys, amusing home décor, and local curiosities inside the new Mercantile before you depart.

"Black Bear Village brings together our vision for Anakeesta as a place to play and relax together outdoors while taking in the incredible beauty of the Smoky Mountains," Anakeesta co-founder and managing partner Bob Bentz said in a news release. "When you reach the top of Anakeesta, you first see that we created an authentic and picturesque landscape, and then you find dozens of opportunities for experiences—from fun adventures to shopping and dining. But when you sit down or look out across the valley, it's just you and the mountains."

For tickets and more information, visit

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