Highlands – Cashiers, North Carolina

Just a few miles north of North Carolina’s tiny border with Georgia, Highlands is a tiny hamlet sitting at 4,100 feet, making it one of the highest incorporated towns east of the Rockies. Cashiers, ten miles to the east, is slightly lower in elevation but just as charming. Combined, the two towns offer boutique shopping, luxe accommodations, fine dining, and plenty of that legendary Carolina ‘cue; the combination provides plenty of restorative diversions.

While the area’s bevy of outdoor adventures is the strongest draw, don’t shrug off a stroll down Highlands’ Main Street or the collection of shops in Cashiers. You’ll have your pick of antique dealers, art galleries, gift shops, outdoor outfitters, and upscale clothing boutiques. But, don’t linger; the mountains are calling.

In Cashiers, a landmark property just reopened after a full-scale freshen-up. The beloved historic High Hampton Inn is being thoughtfully managed by the team behind Tennessee’s revered Blackberry Farm and Blackberry Mountain. This equates to outstanding food, a stellar beverage program, and service that is spot on.

There are guest rooms in the main inn, and in buildings around the property called cottages. Each room varies so do let me know what is important to you such as view, bed size, fireplace, bathtub, accommodation size, privacy, etc. and I can help guide you to the best accommodations for you. Rustic, but fresh and comfortable is the new look at High Hampton.

On days when the weather is not ideal for exploring, the inn offers cozy seating areas, games, and fireplaces in addition to the multiple restaurants and lounges to pass the day away.

We enjoyed a perfect lunch in The Tavern which has indoor seating, large screen TV’s, a bar, and a beautiful outdoor shaded terrace which overlooks Hampton Lake.

Outdoor seating areas include lakeside loungers where you can sit back and relax with a cocktail in hand while taking in breathtaking mountain and lake views. There are multiple restaurants and lawn areas to enjoy.

There are more than four locations to enjoy your meals at the Inn and the Club at High Hampton, but lucky guests booked at High Hampton Inn have a gorgeous 3-course meal included in their rate and every bite is delightful.

Executive chefs Scott Franqueza and Zachary Chancey create menus inspired by southern favorites reimagined with local Blue Ridge Mountain ingredients creating fresh, but recognizable dishes. Franqueza drives the evening dining experience with his take on local North Carolina Trout or Elysian Fields Lamb with Grits and Greens.


Hampton Lake offers endless opportunities for adventure. Whether you choose to paddle the day away or find a quiet spot for fishing for bass and trout, we invite you out on the water. Choose your ideal way to explore the water with kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, and fishing boats available. Guided experiences for learning to canoe and water safety courses are available to make sure you feel comfortable. Fishing equipment is available for Inn guests to rent during their stay.

It’s time to relax and put your feet up or bask in the sun while sipping a drink or enjoying a good book. Whether you’re taking a swim or soaking up some rays, there’s no better place to enjoy warm weather and long afternoons. If you need some refreshments, food and drinks may be purchased at Mitch’s.

There are so many activities tailored for younger guests at High Hampton Inn and perfect for fun camp activities and projects. Skipping through the playground, playing games and setting off on hikes. Watch them laugh and grow through fun adventures that they will never forget.

Camp will operate Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm, for children ages 5-12. Meals at camp are available for an additional cost.

Ping Pong, corn hole, croquet, and various lawn games are offered.

A friendly match is a perfect distraction from the busyness of life, and we invite you to take in the breathtaking mountain views as you step onto our tennis courts. High Hampton’s love for racquet sports is celebrated by our competition-caliber courts, with four Har-Tru clay courts and one classic hard court. Whether you are new to the game or looking to sharpen your game, private instruction and clinics are offered for all skill levels and ages. Rent racquets and balls at the Range House or gear up with your own equipment, then enjoy a day on the court.

Immerse yourself in the clear mountain air of 1,400 acres of natural beauty. We invite you to escape to the mountains with a hiking adventure you will not forget. With multiple trails and hiking options, the opportunities to explore are endless.

Some of the Resort to Laura Madrid team at the summit of Chimney Top Mountain – it’s a hike to the top but worth it!

Daily gourmet breakfast is also included and the lemon ricotta pancakes are divine!

Chef Chancey leads the morning menus for breakfast showcasing both classics such as daily griddle cakes, biscuits and gravy and also fresh and light options such as local greens with a poached farm egg on top or yogurt parfait.

In addition to Cashiers, Highlands is the other adorable town making up this chic mountain destination. Here the classic Old Edwards Inn, a Relais & Chateaux property, has been taking care of Resort to Laura Madrid clients for many years.

Cozy rooms in the historic inn, modern options in the lodge, cottages and residences make for a varied selection of options – hopefully we can find you availability!

Superb living areas for cocktailing, a fantastic spa, and inviting outdoor wine garden are just some of the amenities offered at Old Edwards Inn and Spa.

Half-Mile Farm, Old Edward’s sister property just outside of town is another spectacular place to stay with a slightly more serene lakeside setting, yet offers daily shuttle service into the heart of Highlands for indulgent shopping and dining.

A lake view greets you as you pull up to Half-Mile Farm.

Half-Mile Farm is a luxury adults-only inn on the outskirts of Highlands, NC offering a completely relaxing environment to take in the mountain vistas and embrace the peaceful setting.

Even adults need to raid the cookie jars after their welcome glass of champagne.

Half-Mile Farm does not have a full restaurant, but they do offer a gorgeous breakfast and a casual bistro/bar for burgers, sandwiches, and a fun bar menu. Guests have signing privileges at Old Edwards Inn and can also take the shuttle into town to enjoy other great dining options in Highlands.

Rooms and suites in the inn all vary in size and amenities – bathtubs, fireplaces, porches – all are nicely sized!

The rustic multi-bedroom cabins offer a true sense of place and a chance to step back in time in perfect simplicity.

Cashiers and Highlands are an easy drive for my Atlanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh-based clients, and the destination is a wonderful addition to any road trip through the Southeastern United States. Outstanding hikes, a number of excellent golf courses, chic boutiques, delicious dining, and cozy spas make the area incredibly inviting. Add in the hospitality of several first-class inns and your easy escape is solved – yet finding availability is the challenge since reservations and amenities have been booking up 6 months out. Contact me now to lock in your romantic Fall and Winter escapes!

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