Category: blog (33)


“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, we have had our summer evenings, now for October Eves!”
         -Humbert Wolfe

The Cashiers Farmers Market boasts a dreamy collection of pumpkins. 828-743-4334

The spirit of fall is scurrying across the Plateau. Though the official autumnal equinox arrived on September 23rd, the urge to don a sweater, make a big pot of chili, and welcome guests with a warm, autumn-inspired porch has been hard to resist since Labor Day. Fall is a remarkable event in Highlands and Cashiers. The farmer’s markets are teeming with a menagerie of gourds and pumpkins: large, small, perfect and irregular, bumpy and smooth, white, orange, and striped.

Fall is full of traditions – including leaf looking. Dr. Kathy Mathews, an associate professor of biology at Western Carolina University, specializes in plant systematics and makes her annual prediction of how foliage around the region will perform this year. Mathews bases her color forecast on both earlier and predicted weather conditions. She says that the formation of higher levels of pigments in the leaves correlates with dry weather throughout the year, most especially in fall.

“This fall could be one of the best leaf color seasons in Western North Carolina in recent memory,” Mathews said. “Three words explain it – unusually dry weather.” Visitors can look for leaves to be peaking in color intensity a few days after the first reported frost in any particular area, she said.

When the “peak color” occurs is dependent upon the decreasing amount of sunlight that comes with the passing days, plus the elevation of a particular location.

When to see the leaves:
• the first and second week of October in the highest elevations above 4,000 feet
• the third week of October in the mid-elevations 2,500 to 3,500 feet

Must-see views:
• Near Highlands and Cashiers, Whiteside Mountain is a can’t miss spectacular with the natural phenomenon known as “the Bear Shadow” during the last two weeks of October, when the sun sets behind Whiteside Mountain and its shadow creates a perfect image of a black bear among the tops of the vibrant trees.
• Dry Falls is a waterfall on the Cullasaja River located in the Nantahala National Forest, just northwest of Highlands. Dry Falls flows over an overhanging bluff that allows visitors to walk up under the falls and not get too wet, hence the name.

If this year’s predictions are correct, autumn might be giving summer a challenge for the title of Highlands and Cashiers’ most beautiful season.



What’s the best part of Groovin’ on the Green besides the awesome music? Having your best friend there to share it with you!



Introducing Dogs of Groovin’ – a gallery of music-loving, tail-wagging best buds who love hanging out with their people while listening to music. These are just a few of the adorable dogs that came out for Groovin’ on Friday, July 31.


Think your dog could become the next Internet sensation? Stop by the Landmark Realty Group tent to have your dog’s photo taken for Dogs of Groovin’!


Landmark Vacation Rentals (LVR) hosted “Business After Hours,” a Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce event, on Thursday, July 16, at the LVR Cashiers Crossroads office. Rentals manager Gareth Daly and his team “wowed” the guests by having Randevu Restaurant cater the event and the popular bluegrass band Nitrograss entertain the crowd. Gift certificates to area restaurants were given away to four lucky recipients, and two young ladies modeled outfits and accessories from Gracewear, a local boutique. If you weren’t there, you missed out on a great time! Stop by the LVR office – or the Landmark Real Estate office at 49 Frank Allen Road – to learn more about the Cashiers area and how you can take part in the fun events and activities that happen here!

afterhourscert winners

Garden     Beginning today and continuing through this weekend (July 15-19, 2015) the Joy Garden Tour, benefiting The Village Green in Cashiers, allows residents and visitors alike the chance to celebrate our mountain gardens.  You can hear renowned speakers, enjoy a lively patron party, visit garden shops, enjoy tours of amazing gardens and finish the weekend off with a New Orleans Jazz Brunch.  Following are the events planned this year:

Garden Talk by Ryan Gainey

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
11:30 a.m.
The Country Club of Sapphire Valley
$75 per person
Enjoy a presentation by Ryan Gainey, internationally known gardener and designer.

Patron Party

Thursday, July 16, 2015
6:30 p.m.
The Village Green Commons
$500 per couple
Don’t miss this exciting night with dinner by Chef Lee Epting of Athens, GA, lots of great auction items, cocktails and shopping in the Garden Shops.

Garden Tour

Friday, July 17, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The Village Green Commons
$100 per person
It’s time for the ever popular Garden Tour, including a tour of five private gardens, box lunch and shopping at the Garden Shops. Always a sell-out!

Garden Shops

Friday, July 17, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Village Green Commons
Treasures abound in this boutique shopping experience with a variety of fine merchandise including  jewelry, gifts, specialty food items, home decor, stationery, and of course, beautiful floral and garden selections.

Saturday Speakers

Saturday, July 18, 2015
The Village Green Commons
Two speaking events focusing on floral design and the garden lifestyle.

Jazz Brunch

Sunday, July 19, 2015
11:30 a.m.
The Country Club of Sapphire Valley
Meet the talented artists who painted in the gardens. View and purchase their original works of art and enjoy a delicious New Orleans style brunch and live jazz music.

These events sell out quickly so for more information on tickets or how to further support The Village Green click here.


The Tams are coming to Sapphire Valley’s Concert on the Slopes series tonight at 7:00. The Tams! Can you believe it?  Odds are that as you’re  reading this you’ve reached back into your memory vaults and are  singing “What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am” or “Hey Girl” to yourselves.  The Tams have been performing for over 37 years, have a Platinum album, 2 Gold records and have been inducted in to the Beach Music Hall of Fame.  Don’t miss this chance to dance the night away under the stars to the sounds of the 80’s Beach Band of the Decade.  For more information and to buy tickets check out this website.


sweet pea

Our plateau rolls out the red carpet for residents and visitors alike during our summer season.  Take a look at any calendar of events and the variety of activities to choose from is mind boggling.  We truly have something for everyone, and as much fun as it is to take advantage of all those events, we need to also take the time to appreciate the things that make our area special day in and day out.

Sometimes you just need to slow down and savor the beauty and colors of summer that envelope us and bathe us in their warm light. From the blushing lilac of the roadside sweet pea, to colorful gardens and flower boxes all around town, you will find nature at its best in these mountains. Our Carolina blue sky paints our days and a blanket of twinkling stars bewitch us at night.  Lush, green mosses carpet our forest floors.  Sunlight dances through the leaves of the trees creating an ever changing sparkling show of light. These mountains glow with the beautiful palette of Mother Nature.

Take time to take  a stroll through our towns and neighborhoods and enjoy the colors.  In Cashiers The Village Green is a popular place for a stroll.  Highlands boasts the beautiful trails and boardwalks of the Highlands Biological Station which meander around Lindenwood Lake.  Here you will find that many species of our native flora and fauna are labeled so you can learn as you stroll.






Take a drive through Cashiers and Highlands this holiday weekend and you will realize that you are in the happening spot for the perfect 4th of July.   Residents and visitors alike are busy making those last minute plans for their 4th of July celebrations. As we begin our weekend festivities it’s also important to remember to be safe and watch out for each other.

The increased traffic in our area on this holiday weekend means we need to be vigilant, keep our minds on the road and distractions at a minimum. It goes without saying that we should always buckle up, not drink and drive, not text and drive and be sure our car seats for our children are properly installed.  We need to also be mindful of increased pedestrian traffic. A little extra patience when having to wait through two or three red light changes or jockeying for a parking spot will keep us all in the holiday spirit.

What’s a July 4th celebration without a great fireworks display?  Highlands and Cashiers both have spectacular displays planned so please make plans to enjoy one or the other.  Leaving the displays to the professionals is always your safest bet,  but if you’re planning on setting off fireworks at your home keep these safety recommendations from The Red Cross in mind:


  • Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

When enjoying your backyard Barbecue it is also important to keep these safety tips in mind:


  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.

Please also remember to plan for the safety of your pets.   While we love large gatherings, bright fireworks and loud noises, it is important to remember that our pets do not.  Please arrange a quiet secure place indoors to keep them from harms way.  Our local Humane Society advises that more pets panic during 4th of July events and run away from home than at any other time of the year.  Even well trained pets can panic and flee when they hear an unusually loud noise. In the event that the unthinkable happens and you do lose a pet during this time,  please be sure that they are wearing proper identification so that when they are found they can be returned to you.

Let’s make this the safest and most enjoyable 4th of July ever!









July4thCollageThere’s something special about spending holidays in a small community and few do the 4th of July better than Cashiers and Highlands.  We roll out the red, white and blue carpet and welcome you to small town America with a big smile, warm Bar B Que, cold watermelon, activities for the entire family and fireworks that bedazzle.

Cashiers starts the holiday off bright and early with the annual Big Ol’ Mountain Country Breakfast at the Cashiers Community Center at 7:00 a.m. This home cooked meal is the annual fundraiser of the Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry which serves the Cashiers, Glenville and Sapphire areas. Donations are appreciated and help ensure that the good work of Fishes and Loaves goes on throughout the year.  This year one lucky raffle winner will take home a large hand carved bear.

Midday you can enjoy family time, have your own picnic or cool off by a mountain stream,  but your evening plans should include the main attraction of the celebration , the Fireworks Extravaganza on the Green. Festivities begin at 6:30 with activities, food, music by The Extraordinaires and the chance to dance the evening away. As darkness settles you won’t want to miss the red, white and blue fireworks  that light the sky.

Highlands, too, believes you should start your celebration early and end after dark.  Always popular with kids (of all ages) is the water rocket building and launch which starts at the town baseball field at 9:00 a.m.  Other classic games follow at 11:00 and you’ll also get a chance to see the MAMA helicopter or cool off with a shower from the Highlands Fire Department ladder truck.

A long standing town tradition is the Rotary Club’s annual BBQ and this year you can purchase plates at the ball field while you’re enjoying the activities there, or you can stop by the new Kelsey-Hutchinson Park and enjoy a plate there while listening to live music. At 1:00 the Rotary Club also holds its annual Rubber Ducky Derby at Mill Creek. Purchase a rubber duck for $10 and cheer it on to the finish line for a chance to win prizes.

Evening activities include a Flag ceremony by the local Boy Scout troops at the Kelsey-Hutchinson Park at 6:30, a patriotic sing at the Presbyterian Church at 8:00, and of course, fireworks to cap your day off.




artand craft tollage


One of the joys of visiting Highlands and Cashiers is that there is always something to do.  Outdoor enthusiasts can hike, zipline, mountain bike, fish, golf or simply relax with a picnic.  Shoppers delight in all our many shops and boutiques.  We really hit our stride on the weekends when you’ll find all kinds of activities to keep you entertained.

On Friday, June 19, Gary Wein, Director of the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, will speak at the Albert Carlton Library in Cashiers from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00, about our  land trust which is the oldest in North Carolina. He will also discuss why this temperate rainforest is such a unique place and about their ongoing conservation efforts.  Switch gears on Friday night and head over to the Village Commons  in Cashiers for Groovin’ on the Green, a weekly concert series. This week Tellico, a group known for their bluegrass and “Appalachiacana” music takes the stage.   Admission is free so bring your chairs, a picnic, your favorite beverages and join us for an evening to remember. If you’re in Highlands, stroll on over to Town Square for Friday Night Live.  The featured performers this week are the Mountain High Dulcimer Club, a group dedicated to keeping the tradition of mountain dulcimer music alive.

On Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21, the 10th Annual Village Square Art and Craft Show will be held in Highlands at the newly renovated Kelsey-Hutchinson Park from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Macon County Art Association and you’ll find crafts of every kind and description, as well as the opportunity to indulge in great food.  There will also be live music by Atlanta singer/songwriter, Ryan Boss, who will be playing in the pavilion. Saturday is also Family Fun Day at The Bascom.  Here you can celebrate our “Global Neighborhood” and partake in free art making, food, music and dance as you learn about cultures from around the world.  Both of these events promise a fun day for your entire family.

Saturday night is the Highlands Playhouse 2nd annual Bubbles and Jazz fundraiser at 6:00 p.m. This event includes an all you can eat low country boil, champagne, a silent auction and a live auction featuring such one of a kind items as tickets to the 2016 Tony Awards or an African Safari.  Entertainment for the evening will be provided by accomplished jazz vocalist, Virginia Schenck.  Reservations are required for this event so please contact the Playhouse at 828-526-2695. If Broadway tunes are more to your taste Broadway star, Jeri Sager, is performing at the Martin Lipscomb Performing Arts Center at 8:00.  For ticket information please call 828-526-9047.

You never know what you’ll see and have a chance to do in Highlands and Cashiers!







We love the outdoors here on the Plateau and we love good food and music.   Throw in some of our areas superbly crafted beers and you have the 3rd Annual Blues, Brews and BBQ festival to be held on Saturday, May 23, 2015  at The Village Commons. This family-friendly event is hosted by the Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association and is the perfect way to kick off your Memorial Day Weekend in the mountains.

Festivities are held rain or shine, gates open at 4:30 and admission is free,  though donations are appreciated. Personal coolers, food and pets are not permitted but you should bring chairs or blankets so you can get comfortable and settle in for a nice night under the stars.   Craft beers and local BBQ are available for purchase.

Music begins at 5:00 when Cullowhee’s own Porch 40 starts things off playing their heavily blues influenced sounds,  with a little funk and southern rock thrown in for good measure.  At 7:00 one of the most explosive blues acts in the Southeast today, the Shane Pruitt Band,  hits the stage and kicks the evening into high gear. Lead man Shane Pruitt hails from Spartanburg, SC where the musical roots of the blues and southern rock molded his musical style.  Spartanburg has named Shane Pruitt its Instrumentalist of the Year for eight years running.  

Join us at The Village Commons for cold beer, hot BBQ, lively music and a good time!