Downtown Highlands, North Carolina is one of those special mountain towns full of charm and rustic flair, quiet peaceful nights and some of the most impressive views around. It’s a place you just have to experience and feel.
Downtown Highlands, North Carolina is an unincorporated area in Western North Carolina on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. It’s been a popular place to call home, whether it’s your dream home, second home or investment property, for centuries because of its location on the Plateau and Nantahala National Forest. Locals love living here for:
- Its impressive scenery
- Charming shops and restaurants
- Outdoor activities
- Living in a mountain paradise
This guide to visiting and living in downtown Highlands, North Carolina will tell you everything you need to know to fully enjoy living in paradise. You’ll need to know what there is to do in downtown Highlands, where to eat, shop, what Highlands is known for, which part of North Carolina it’s in, and more.
What Is There To Do in Downtown Highlands, NC?
There is a lot to do in downtown Highlands from shopping, dining, to outdoor activities. The great thing about living in Highlands is that there’s always something to do for everyone. Even the dog! One of the things that locals and visitors love about Downtown Highlands, North Carolina is that many of the shops and restaurants are dog-friendly. If you don’t want to leave your furry family member behind, you won’t have to.
Top Outdoor Attractions in Highlands
Here are some of the top-rated outdoor attractions in Highlands:
- Glen Falls
- Dry Falls
- Cullasaja River Gorge
- Bridal Veil Falls
- Sunset Rock
- Cullasaja Falls
Things to Do in Highlands, NC
Besides shopping, dining, hiking and enjoying your surroundings, there are a variety of other things to do in Highlands, too:
- Visit The Bascom Visual Arts Center
- Check out the Highlands Historic Village
- Jackson Hole Gem Mine
- Highlands Biological Station, Nature Center and Botanical Gardens
- Highlands Playhouse
- Highlands Art Gallery
- Take a relaxing walk down Main Street
Shopping in Highlands, NC
Downtown Highlands, North Carolina is known for its unique shops. In fact, many of these shops are one-of-a-kind and can only be found in Highlands.
- Peak Experience
- Mirror Lake Antiques
- Highlands Mountain Paws
- Highlands Gem Shop
- The Dry Sink
- Highland Hiker
Highlands, North Carolina Restaurants
You’ll love knowing that you have options when it’s time to go out and get a bite to eat. There are casual spots, fine dining restaurants and everything in between.
- The Ugly Dog
- Wild Thyme
- On the Verandah
- The Wine Garden
- Bridge at Mill Creek
- Rosewood Market
- Midpoint Highlands
- Ristorante Paoletti
- 4118 Kitchen and Bar
- Mountain Fresh Grocery
What is Highlands, NC Known For?
Highlands is known for being a popular mountain retreat with the finest luxury amenities. For over a century, people have flocked to Highlands to escape the summer heat in other parts of the country. Highlands’ elevation at over 4,118 feet and its location in one of America’s few temperate rainforests means cooler than average temperatures. The average summer temperature is 76 degrees. The average yearly population of the Plateau is about 3,200, but in the summer, that can grow to more than 20,000.
Where Are the Highlands in North Carolina?
The Highlands in North Carolina are located on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau in Western North Carolina. It’s one of the highest towns east of the Mississippi River. This hidden gem is about three hours north of Atlanta and two hours west of Asheville.
Is Highlands, NC a Rainforest?
Highlands is located in one of two temperate rainforests in North America and it averages 80 inches of rain a year. It’s part of the Appalachian temperate rainforest, which is in the southern Appalachian Mountains in the eastern part of the country. It runs in the higher elevation parts of these states from southwestern Virginia down to northern Georgia.
Where is the Best Place to Live in North Carolina?
When it comes to a place that has it all and appeals to a variety of people, it’s got to be the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. Highlands, Cashiers, Lake Glenville, Sapphire and Lake Toxaway are great choices to escape the hustle and bustle of big cities, to retire, to be closer to nature, to raise a family and to get back to the simpler things. The area is very dog-friendly and your fur baby will love it.
Living on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau means a life full of outdoor adventures. It’s known for excellent fly fishing, an abundance of waterfalls, hiking trails and more. It’s also a great place to live to experience all four seasons.
Is Highlands, NC in the Smoky Mountains?
Both the Great Smokey Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway are easy drives from Highlands, but Highlands is technically located in the southern Appalachian Mountains and the Smokies are a subrange of that mountain range. They also form part of the Blue Ridge mountain region.
How Far is Asheville from Highlands, NC?
Downtown Highlands, North Carolina is a good choice for a day trip from Asheville. Escape the bigger city life and trade it for a place filled with small-town charm and idyllic settings. Asheville is about a two-hour drive from Highlands, making it the perfect choice for a day trip.
Highlands, North Carolina Real Estate
Living in or near downtown Highlands, North Carolina may be for you if you’re searching for magnificent mountain views, enchanting waterfalls and serene lakes mixed with luxury mountain living, unique shops, fine dining restaurants and a walkable, dog-friendly Main Street.
Browse our available homes for sale in Highlands, and around the Plateau, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you see something you like so we can start working on getting you into the perfect home today.
We also understand if you’d like to spend some time in the area before you purchase a home. Bring your pup and stay at the dog-friendly Park on Main, one of the most luxurious hotels in the town of Highlands. Or stay in a Highlands vacation rental home from Landmark Vacations. You’ve got options and we can help you choose the right one for you and your family.