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Things to Do in Highlands Nc : Explore the Best Activities

In Highlands NC, explore the natural beauty of waterfalls, go hiking in the mountains, and visit charming downtown shops and restaurants. This small town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains offers a range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts, including exploring the trails of Nantahala National Forest, fishing in scenic lakes, and golfing at picturesque courses.

Take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway for breathtaking views or indulge in shopping and dining experiences in the vibrant downtown area. Don’t miss a visit to the Highlands Biological Station, where you can learn about the diverse flora and fauna of the region.

Whether you seek adventure or relaxation, Highlands NC offers something for everyone.

Things to Do in Highlands Nc  : Explore the Best Activities


Table of Contents

Highlands Nc: An Introduction

Located in the southern part of the Appalachian Mountains, Highlands, NC is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This charming town is well-known for its stunning natural beauty, mild climate, and vibrant arts scene. Whether you’re nature enthusiast, culture lover, or outdoor adventurer, there is something for everyone in Highlands, NC.

Location And Overview

Highlands, NC sits at an elevation of around 4,118 feet in Macon County, making it one of the highest towns east of the Mississippi River. Nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, this town is blessed with breathtaking panoramic views at every turn. Surrounded by national parks and forests, including the Nantahala National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Highlands, NC embodies serenity and tranquility.

Climate And Landscape

When it comes to climate, Highlands, NC enjoys mild temperatures throughout the year. Summers are pleasantly warm, with average highs in the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit, offering a welcome respite from the sweltering heat of lower elevations. Winters bring cooler temperatures, with average highs in the 40s and 50s Fahrenheit, creating the perfect environment for winter sports enthusiasts.

Highlands, NC boasts a diverse and captivating landscape. From lush forests to sparkling waterfalls, and from rolling hills to serene lakes, this town is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking trails like Whiteside Mountain and Bridal Veil Falls showcase the area’s natural wonders, while golf courses and fishing spots provide opportunities for leisurely pursuits.

Moreover, the town’s Main Street is lined with quaint shops, art galleries, and unique boutiques, offering visitors an array of shopping and dining options. The performing arts are also thriving in Highlands with a variety of theater performances, music concerts, and art exhibits held throughout the year.

In conclusion, Highlands, NC is a picturesque town that combines natural beauty with cultural charm. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors or a relaxing getaway immersed in arts and culture, this mountain oasis has it all. Plan your visit to Highlands, NC and experience the magic for yourself!

Outdoor Adventures

Explore the captivating natural beauty of Highlands, NC with a variety of outdoor adventures. From hiking scenic trails to cascading waterfalls, and enjoying water activities such as kayaking and fishing in the pristine lakes, there are numerous things to do for nature enthusiasts.

Unleash your adventurous spirit and embrace the splendor of the great outdoors in Highlands, NC.

Outdoor Adventures Looking to embark on some thrilling outdoor adventures? Highlands, NC, has got you covered! With its breathtaking natural beauty and abundance of recreational activities, this charming mountain town offers the perfect getaway for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Whether you’re fond of hiking through scenic trails, witnessing mesmerizing waterfalls, or enjoying fishing and boating excursions, Highlands, NC has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the various outdoor adventures waiting for you in this picturesque destination. Hiking and Nature Trails Are you ready to explore the great outdoors? Highlands, NC boasts an extensive network of hiking and nature trails that are sure to leave you in awe. Lace-up your hiking boots and get ready to traverse the diverse landscapes that the region has to offer. From lush forests to panoramic overlooks, these trails cater to hikers of all levels. Bold rock formations and tranquil streams will present themselves along the way, making your journey a truly memorable one. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, be prepared to be amazed by the unparalleled beauty that surrounds you at every turn. Waterfalls and Scenic Views Prepare to be mesmerized by the beauty of Highlands, NC’s majestic waterfalls and scenic views. From the powerful force of Dry Falls to the cascading beauty of Bridal Veil Falls, these natural wonders are a sight to behold. Indulge your senses as you witness the sheer power and magnificence of these rushing waters. If you’re looking for breathtaking views, head to Sunset Rock or Whiteside Mountain, where panoramic vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains await. Make sure to bring your camera along, as you won’t want to miss capturing these awe-inspiring moments. Fishing and Boating

If Fishing And Boating Are More Your Speed, Highlands, Nc Has Plenty To Offer. Nestled Amidst Pristine Lakes And Rivers, This Outdoor Haven Provides Ample Opportunity For Anglers Of All Skill Levels. Cast Your Line Into The Sparkling Waters And Try Your Luck At Reeling In Trout, Bass, Or Catfish. Rent A Boat And Head Out Onto Lake Glenville Or Lake Sequoyah For A Day Of Relaxation And Enjoyment. Immerse Yourself In The Serenity Of The Surroundings As You Navigate The Tranquil Waters And Soak In The Sunshine. with Its Abundance Of Outdoor Adventures, Highlands, Nc Is A Paradise For Nature Lovers. Whether You’re Hiking Through Captivating Trails, Gazing At Magnificent Waterfalls, Or Enjoying A Peaceful Day Of Fishing And Boating, This Charming Mountain Town Has Something For Everyone. So, Pack Your Bags, Breathe In The Fresh Mountain Air, And Get Ready To Create Unforgettable Memories In The Heart Of Nature.

Cultural And Historical Experiences

Exploring the cultural and historical side of Highlands, NC uncovers a wealth of fascinating experiences that offer a glimpse into the rich heritage of this charming mountain town. From local art galleries showcasing the talents of regional artists to historic sites and architecture that tell the story of the town’s past, there is no shortage of opportunities to immerse oneself in the cultural tapestry of Highlands.

Local Art Galleries

Highlands is home to a vibrant arts community, and visitors can explore the town’s artistic heritage by visiting a variety of local art galleries. The colorful works on display in these galleries often reflect the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains and the unique spirit of the region, providing a delightful visual feast for art enthusiasts. Many of these galleries also offer the chance to meet and engage with the talented artists behind the masterpieces, adding a personal touch to the experience.

Historic Sites And Architecture

The historical significance of Highlands is evident in its stunning architecture and well-preserved landmarks. Visitors can step back in time by taking a guided tour of historic sites, such as the iconic Old Edwards Inn and the charming Church of the Incarnation. The architecture of these buildings reflects a mix of styles, from traditional Southern design to elegant European influences, offering a glimpse into the town’s evolution over the years.

Dining And Culinary Delights

Discover an array of dining options and culinary delights in Highlands, NC. Indulge in farm-to-table cuisine, quaint cafes, and upscale restaurants offering a delectable experience for every palate. Explore the vibrant food scene and savor the flavors of this charming mountain town.

Charming Cafés

Explore the quaint charm of Highland’s cafés, offering scenic views and locally sourced coffee and pastries.

Fine Dining Options

Indulge in the culinary treasures of Highlands with upscale dining options that boast innovative menus and elegant ambiance.

Retail Therapy

Discover the joy of retail therapy in Highlands, NC. Stroll through charming boutiques, seeking unique treasures and artisanal delights. Indulge in a shopping experience that reflects the town’s quaint charm and character. Let Highlands’ retail offerings captivate your senses.

Retail Therapy in Highlands NC is a must for those seeking unique shopping experiences.

Unique Boutiques

Indulge in one-of-a-kind finds at the charming boutiques scattered throughout Highlands.

Antique Shops

Explore the rich history preserved in the antique shops that offer a glimpse into the past.
Things to Do in Highlands Nc  : Explore the Best Activities


Spa And Wellness

Highlands, NC, is a haven for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. Unwind in the tranquil beauty of the mountains with a variety of spa and wellness offerings. Whether you’re in need of a soothing massage or seeking to realign your body and mind through yoga and meditation, Highlands has something to offer.

Relaxing Spa Retreats

Highlands is home to a selection of luxurious spa retreats, where you can indulge in a range of rejuvenating treatments. From soothing massages to invigorating facials, these spas offer an oasis of tranquility amidst the picturesque mountain landscape. Pamper yourself with a hot stone massage, body wrap, or a refreshing facial to rejuvenate your senses. Complete your experience with a steam bath or sauna for the ultimate relaxation.

Wellness And Yoga Studios

Discover a sense of inner peace and well-being at the wellness and yoga studios in Highlands. Join a yoga class set against the backdrop of breathtaking mountain views, and let the serene atmosphere uplift your mind and body. These studios offer a range of practices, including hatha, vinyasa, and restorative yoga to cater to all levels of experience. Embrace mindfulness and find your balance through guided meditation sessions, or participate in holistic workshops to enhance your overall wellness.

Entertainment And Nightlife

When it comes to entertainment and nightlife in Highlands, NC, you won’t be disappointed. This charming mountain town offers a variety of options for those looking to have a fun evening out. Whether you’re into live music and performances or prefer cozy bars and pubs, Highlands has something to offer everyone.

Live Music And Performances

If you’re a fan of live music and performances, you’re in for a treat in Highlands. This town boasts a vibrant music scene with talented artists and diverse genres. From local bands playing in intimate venues to larger concerts held in outdoor amphitheaters, there is no shortage of entertainment options.

One popular spot to catch live music is The Bascom, a renowned art center that frequently hosts concerts and performances. Here, you can enjoy a wide range of musical genres, including jazz, folk, and classical. The venue provides a unique and intimate setting, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the music.

Another must-visit venue for live performances is Highlands Playhouse. This historic theater offers an exceptional lineup of plays and musicals throughout the year. With its cozy seating and outstanding productions, the Highlands Playhouse is the perfect place to enjoy a night filled with entertainment.

Cozy Bars And Pubs

If you’re looking for a cozy atmosphere to unwind and enjoy a drink, Highlands has a selection of inviting bars and pubs. These establishments offer a relaxed setting, perfect for mingling with friends or meeting new people.

The Ugly Dog Pub is a local favorite, known for its laid-back vibe, friendly staff, and impressive selection of craft beers. Whether you prefer a refreshing IPA or a classic stout, The Ugly Dog Pub has something to satisfy every beer lover’s taste buds.

For those who appreciate finely crafted cocktails, The High Dive is a must-visit. This upscale bar features a sophisticated ambiance and an extensive cocktail menu. From inventive concoctions to timeless classics, their skilled mixologists will make sure you have a memorable evening.

The Bascom

Highlands Playhouse

The Ugly Dog Pub

The High Dive

Live music Plays and musicals Craft beers Handcrafted cocktails
Intimate setting Historic theater Friendly staff Sophisticated ambiance
Various musical genres Cozy seating Wide selection Extensive cocktail menu

Overall, Highlands, NC offers a delightful entertainment and nightlife scene. Whether you choose to enjoy live music and performances or prefer the cozy vibes of bars and pubs, there’s no shortage of options to keep you entertained in this charming mountain town.

Seasonal Festivities

Seasonal festivities are a highlight of any destination, and Highlands, NC is no exception. No matter the time of year, there is always a celebration to be enjoyed in this charming mountain town. From holiday cheer to summer festivities, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Highlands.

Holiday Celebrations

Experience the magic of the holiday season in Highlands. Starting in late fall and continuing through winter, the town comes alive with festive displays, joyous events, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is a beloved tradition, where locals and visitors gather to watch as the town’s majestic tree is lit up, casting a cheerful glow over Main Street. The Holiday Bazaar is perfect for finding unique gifts, artisan crafts, and delicious treats to fill those stockings. Don’t forget to bundle up and take a stroll through downtown, adorned with twinkling lights and charming decorations that create a truly magical ambiance.

Summer Events And Festivals

When the warmth of summer arrives, Highlands fills with energy and enthusiasm. The town hosts a variety of events and festivals to celebrate the season. Make sure to mark your calendar for the annual Highlands Food and Wine Festival, where foodies and wine enthusiasts come together to indulge in gourmet delights and sip on fine wines from around the world. For music lovers, the Summer Music Series brings talented musicians to the stage for unforgettable performances under the stars. Looking for a taste of local talent? The Highlands Village Square Art & Craft Show is a unique opportunity to admire and purchase artwork and handmade crafts created by the region’s talented artists. With its lively atmosphere and vibrant community spirit, summer in Highlands is a season of celebration not to be missed.

Things to Do in Highlands Nc  : Explore the Best Activities


Frequently Asked Questions Of Things To Do In Highlands Nc

What Are The Best Hiking Trails In Highlands Nc?

Explore popular trails like Whiteside Mountain, Glen Falls, and Sunset Rock for breathtaking views of the Highlands Nc landscape.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Highlands Nc?

The best time to visit Highlands Nc is during the fall season when the foliage is vibrant and the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities.

What Are The Must-visit Attractions In Highlands Nc?

Don’t miss out on visiting the Highlands Botanical Garden, Highlands Historical Society Museum, and The Bascom for a cultural and enriching experience.

What Outdoor Activities Are Available In Highlands Nc?

Enjoy activities like fly fishing in the Cullasaja River, golfing at the Highlands Country Club, and exploring the Highlands Nature Center for outdoor adventures.


Highlands NC offers a plethora of activities for all types of travelers. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a foodie, or a history buff, there’s something for everyone. With its stunning natural beauty and charming atmosphere, this small town has a lot to offer.

So whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, Highlands NC is the perfect destination for a memorable experience.