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Highlands travel guide!
Highlands is one of those places where you never want to leave because you feel the 
calmness of the mountains. The best time to go is when the foliage starts to change which is usually mid-October to mid-November but there are so many things that can very the leaves to change sooner or later. Springtime is also the prettiest time to go with flowers blooming, and the mountains full of green trees. Sliding Rock in April is the best but does get busy. 

While you're visiting enjoy charming shopping on Main Street, the Spa at Old Edwards, hiking, North Carolina-style bbq, and wholesome fun while you unwind in the Smokies.

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"Mountainous and vast, peaceful and sound."

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Highlands North Carolina is one of my most places ever. Growing up on 30a, our home away from home was the Smoky Mountains.

Every year we would go twice a year for fall foliage which is usually always around Halloween, and the spring. I would always look forward to Halloween in the mountains because I thought they gave better candy than at the beach. We had a log cabin in Highlands that backed into a national forest and it was just the epitome of serene. During our trips to the mountain is truly when my love for cheese, and fruit come about. My family would always get cheeses and local jams from the markets and of course wine for the adults. We would go nature trailing until we found waterfalls enjoying our cheese and fruit. When we would go to Maggie Valley we would pick our own apples from the apple orchards and make our own cider. Apple cider just hits differently when you are in the mountains, it's fresh, crisp and so delicious. You cannot leave the mountains until you have the burger from Madison's and NC-style bbq, it is truly game-changing. 

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Old Edward Inn & Spa  

Located At 445 Main St., The Old Edwards Inn is a beautiful, small property with traditional decor right in the center of Highlands. It has an outdoor restaurant, an indoor restaurant, and a spa.

The Inn at High Hampton

Located in Cashiers, this is a resort that has been there since 1933. It is known for its golf course and beautiful grounds. Guests stay in rustic cabins located around the main clubhouse. The main lodge has a comfortable living room area focused on large stone fireplaces and a rustic dining room. First constructed in 1922, the structure is now included on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Highlander Mountain House

 Just went through a complete renovation and is the most stunning boutique hotel on the block. This charming hotel has beautiful English countryside-inspired rooms and is in the perfect location in town to walk to everything you could want to do.

The Wells Hotel 

 Located just off the main road as you head towards Cashiers. This upscale boutique hotel is just a short walk away from the town and has its own coffee shop on the premises. 

Half-Mile Farm

Is Old Edwards Inn’s farm-themed cousin just down the road. The property is absolutely stunning and features its own restaurant, bar, private lake for canoeing, firepit, and plenty of cabins and cottages to rent the best part is that it’s adult-only. Perfect for a remote retreat for couples.

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  • Blue Bike Cafe

  • Julep Kitchen 

  • Mountain Fresh Grocery 

  • Cornucopia Cashiers

Lunch | Dinner

  • Ugly Dog 

  • Paoletti's

  • Madison's

  • The Ruffed Grouse

  • On the Verandah 

  • Wolfgangs Bistro

  • Four65 Woodfired Bistro

  • Wild Thyme Gourmet

  • Midpoint Highlands

  • The Pizza Place of Highlands

  • Bistro on Main

  • Cashiers Farmers Market BBQ

  • Canyon Kitchen 

  • High Hampton

Coffee Shops

  • Calder’s Coffee 

  • Bucks Coffee

Dessert Spots

WIne Bars

  • The Wine Garden  at Old Edwards Inn

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  • SC Swan 

  • Dutchman Designs

  • Mirror Lake Antiques

  • Mountain Findings Thrift Store

  • Rosenthals - furs

  • Shops on Main Street


  • Whiteside Mountains 

  • Sunset Rock

  • Dry Falls

  • Glen Falls

  • Bridal Veil Falls 

  • Callasaja Falls

  • Sliding Rock 


  • Highlands Country Club 

  • Highland Falls Country Club 

  • Old Edwards Club 


Mid-October, to early November the town is taken over by leafers. Leafing is basically driving to mountain towns to look at the changing foliage and a leafer is someone who participates in leafing. We love driving around looking at the changing leaves. Hikes are more splendid with the changing foliage and it’s an excellent time to sit outside with a picnic of goods from one of the in-town grocery stores.

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What we love about highlands


Favorite place to stay in Highlands
favorite casual spot


definietly old edwards. It's cozy and has everything you need for a weekend away


I love Carolina BBQ so any mom and pop BBQ place
Favorite Season to Visit 


fall - right when the leaves start chaging, it's not too cold or too hot


Favorite things to do
going on hikes to, find waterfalls, and the spa
favorite fancy spot


madison's and paoletti's


favorite breakfast spot
julip kitchen and blue bike cafe
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