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Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park

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Gatlinburg Revisited

Our Publisher’s Guide to Your Next Gatlinburg Getaway

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to experience Gatlinburg in a whole new way with elevated experiences, accommodations, and dining opportunities. Traveling to Gatlinburg with some of my favorite people was an experience I’ll never forget and I couldn’t think of a better time to share some of the highlights of this trip with you all than in our annual summer “Explore” issue. 

Previously a central destination for family-friendly attractions and kitschy amusement, Gatlinburg has long been known for all that it has to offer for people of all ages and with a range of interests. A new way to experience the Smokies has arrived with the revitalization of Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort and Water Park. From elevated glamping sites and the newly designed lobby, to the mountaintop views and vase expanse of the entire property, guests are sure to feel a sense of escape at Westgate. Whether you spend time rejuvenating at the in-house spa with a tranquil massage or hydrating facial, or embracing your inner child at the water park, the resort is sure to fulfill all of your needs. 

Venturing into downtown Gatlinburg is a breeze as it is a short, scenic drive from Westgate Resort. With a variety of dining options to choose from, The Greenbrier Restaurant is by far one of the most sought-after and elevated dining experiences in the state. The Greenbrier is a food and spirit outpost situated in the same area of the Smokies that provoked wonder in early settlers. A steakhouse that perfectly balances modern dining and Appalachian tradition, The Greenbrier tells its story through an incredible menu curated by a well-versed staff of chefs. Led by Executive Chef Aaron Ward, the staff combines the highest quality and freshest ingredients to produce unbelievable dishes only found at The Greenbrier. From the in-house dry-aged, hand-cut steaks to the amazing hand-crafted cocktails, the dining experience is unparalleled!

Nestled in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg is a little piece of magic in the mountains. Anakeesta is an award-winning immersive park situated on a 70-acre mountain 600 feet above the city. The journey to Anakeesta begins with a scenic ride on the Chondola from the busy Parkway to the peak of Anakeesta Mountain. Guests enter a world of whimsy and discover treetop adventures, a lush botanical garden, shopping and dining all amongst the backdrop of the sweeping views of the national park. Anakeesta also offers a variety of dining choices. Enjoy an elevated experience with views of Mt. LeConte at Cliff Top or slow-smoked southern barbeque at the Smokehouse. The highlight of the entire experience is sure to be the Astra Lumina enchanted night walk amongst the stars. Set off across mysterious observatory grounds to discover a celestial pathway of lustrous light, cosmic visions, and astral song. Immerse yourself in illuminating encounters of lighting, projection and sound, and connect with the stars before they return to the sky above. Astra Lumina at Anakeesta is the 15th experience in the Lumina Enchanted Night Walk series and the very first of its kind in the country. 

To learn more about Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park and to book your stay, visit: To learn more about The Greenbrier Restaurant and to make a reservation, visit: Finally, to learn more about Anakeesta and plan your excursion, visit:

  • Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park
  • Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park
  • Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park
  • Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park
  • Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park