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Highlands, North Carolina

Updated: Feb 6, 2021

Highlands/Cashiers/Saphire, North Carolina

Please note this information from trips we have taken pre covid.

Just a short 3 hours from Atlanta is the beautiful North Carolina Mountains and the quaint town of Highlands. They have fine dining, great shopping, water falls and many places to hike.

This is a great place for a romantic getaway, baby moon or trip with the family. We go up every year with two other families and rent a different house each time for all of us.

Driving up From Atlanta Check out these places:

Dillard House This is a great place to stop to eat. They have a great southern family meal.

Goats on the Roof (fun place to stop on the way from Atlanta for a car break)

It is an easy drive once you get out of Atlanta traffic. Make sure you have gas as there are some spots where there are no gas stations. We fill up before we leave then fill up in Clayton, the last town in Georgia before you go up Scaly Mountain. Clayton also has fast food places to eat or we stop at the Dillard House.

When you drive from Atlanta the last 20 mins is up a windy and curvy Scaly Mountain. My son has ear issues and his always bother him up the hill so we always bring gum for him. This area would be hard to see in bad weather and at dark, so we always try to go up the hill before it gets dark.

On you drive up the mountain, they have an area you can pull over at Sky Valley, GA to overlook the area and get some pretty pictures.

You will pass Highlands Aerial Park on your way up Scaly Mounatin.

Once up the hill on the left is a great place to get some fresh food, Dusty's Meat Market! My good friend is always eating organic and healthy and she loves it here. She always stops to get meats to grill and the biscuits and chocolate chip cookie dough. Make sure to get a tray of biscuits! They are so yummy!

Once at the top you will hit main street. There is gas, places to eat, Old Edwards Inn, shops another grocery store to your right.

To your left is Bascom Art Center, Dry and Bridal Falls.

There are many places to hike around here at all different levels so find the one that is right for you.

Bridal Veil Falls

This is right before you get to Dry Falls on the right. You use to be able to drive your car under it but last time we were there you could just walk under it. There is some parking here,

Dry Falls

This is our favorite. Parking is limited, so get there early. They do have have restrooms here. There are steps to get to it. You can walk under this fall and there are rocks that kids like to "hide" under.

Whiteside Mountain "Geologists believe Whiteside to be one of the oldest mountains in the world at 360 to 490 million years old" according to

The Bascom: A center for the Visual Arts

When the kids were little they had an art class we could drop them off and they kept them for 2 hours for about $10 a kid. It was great as we got a chance to go shop downtown and the kids had fun making art. We still have it hanging up! It is a modern art museum that we enjoy walking around each time we go and taking pictures at the bridge near the parking lot.


Things are slightly higher priced here, so we try to bring as much as we can with us.

Bryson’s Food Store-more like a traditional grocery store and more reasonably priced, about a mile behind downtown. 103 Highlands Plaza

Dustys (On the road up about 2 miles from downtown. A local place to get meats, and fresh food. We like to grill out a lot here. Monday -Friday 8-5:30, Saturday 9-5 and closed Sunday, 493 Dillard Road, Highlands, N.C. 828-526-2762 Falls (Water Fall easy walk with steps)

Mountain Fresh Groceries (at the end of downtown)

Restaurants (We enjoyed a meal at these places)

four65 wine and bistro We were here the week they first opened and loved it!

Madisons In the Old Edwards Inn. Another one of our favorites!

Sweet Treats Ice Cream and Deli this is right across from Old Edwards Inn. It is great for sweets or sandwiches. Fall hours: Sun-Thurs 11-5 Fri-Sat- 11-8, Summer hours 11-8

We always loves strolling the shops. The kids always love a trip to the local The Toy Store too! It is kinda of tucked back from the main street. 364 Main Street.


Canyon Kitchen This place is amazing! The views make you feel like you are in California!! This is a pre-set dinner that comes with a 4 course meal. They do have a kids version that was 3 I think courses. The food was fabulous as was scenery! Make sure to get a reservation ahead of time.

Cashiers also had a great Village Playground.

Places to Stay:

We always enjoy our trips to the Highlands. I will say the roads can be narrow and cruvy so always take your time and drive carefully!

On the way up there or home we like to stop here for fresh fruit and vegetables! 5020 US-441 Dillard, GA 30537

Check back each Tuesday to learn tips for your families trips! Check here for other trips I have posted about! In this every changing world, this information is to the best of my knowledge accurate but things can change daily, so I suggest you always double check before you visit.

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