HomeContinue TodayExploring the Charms of Highlands, North Carolina: A Comprehensive Guide

Exploring the Charms of Highlands, North Carolina: A Comprehensive Guide

Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Highlands, North Carolina, is a picturesque town renowned for its stunning landscapes, outdoor adventures, and small-town charm. This guide aims to be your compass as we embark on a journey through the enchanting Highlands, offering insights into its attractions, outdoor activities, dining options, and more.

1. Natural Wonders: Highlands’ Crown Jewels

  • Highlands Botanical Garden: Immerse yourself in the beauty of native plants and wildflowers at this 12-acre garden.
  • Dry Falls: Witness the awe-inspiring cascade of Dry Falls, where you can walk behind the waterfall for a unique perspective.
  • Whiteside Mountain: Hike or drive to the summit of Whiteside Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

2. Outdoor Adventures: Embracing Nature’s Playground

  • Hiking Trails: Explore the network of trails in the Nantahala National Forest, including the iconic Glen Falls Trail and the challenging Whiteside Mountain Trail.
  • Fishing: Cast your line into the pristine waters of the area’s rivers and lakes, known for trout and bass fishing.
  • Golf: Tee off at one of Highlands’ golf courses, surrounded by the beauty of the mountains.

3. Cultural Gems: Discovering Highlands’ Heritage

  • The Bascom: Experience the vibrant arts scene at The Bascom, a visual arts center featuring galleries and studios.
  • Highlands Playhouse: Enjoy a live performance at the Highlands Playhouse, the second oldest professional theatre in North Carolina.
  • Highlands Historical Society: Delve into the town’s history at the Highlands Historical Society’s museum and exhibits.

4. Culinary Delights: A Gastronomic Journey

  • Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Bistro: Indulge in European-inspired cuisine at this acclaimed restaurant.
  • Madison’s Restaurant: Savor Southern-inspired dishes with a modern twist in the elegant setting of Old Edwards Inn.
  • Mountain Fresh Grocery: Grab a quick bite or shop for gourmet treats at this local favorite.

5. Seasonal Splendors: Best Times to Visit Highlands

  • Spring: Witness the blooming wildflowers and enjoy mild temperatures for outdoor activities.
  • Summer: Experience the lush greenery, embark on hiking adventures, and attend summer events.
  • Fall: Revel in the vibrant fall foliage, especially along scenic drives like the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Winter: Embrace the quiet beauty of winter, with occasional snowfall adding a touch of magic.

6. FAQs: Your Guide to Highlands, North Carolina:

Q1: Can I bring my pets to the hiking trails in Highlands?

A1: Yes, many trails in the area are pet-friendly. However, it’s advisable to check specific trail regulations and guidelines.

Q2: Are there guided tours available in Highlands?

A2: Yes, several local companies offer guided tours, providing insights into the natural and cultural wonders of Highlands.

Q3: What is the altitude of Highlands, North Carolina?

A3: Highlands sits at an elevation of approximately 4,118 feet, contributing to its cool mountain climate.

Q4: Is there public transportation in Highlands?

A4: Public transportation is limited, and it’s recommended to have a car for exploring the town and surrounding areas.

Q5: Are there accommodation options for different budgets in Highlands?

A5: Yes, Highlands offers a range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to charming bed and breakfasts and budget-friendly inns.


Highlands, North Carolina, stands as a haven for nature enthusiasts, art lovers, and those seeking a tranquil mountain escape. Whether you’re drawn to the outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or the simple joy of exploring a charming town, Highlands welcomes you with open arms and promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.




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