The unique mountain town of Highlands, NC, with its rich history, wonderful climate and enviable way of life is located in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwestern North Carolina.
Highlands was founded as a summer resort in 1875 by two developers, Samuel T Kelsey and Clinton C. Hutchinson, living in Kansas who, according to legend, took a map in hand and drew a line from New York to New Orleans. Then they drew another line from Chicago to Savannah. These lines, they predicted, would become major trade routes in the future, and where they crossed would some day be a great population center. Their logic wasn't completely insane when one recognizes that we are just over 120 miles from Atlanta.
It experienced rapid growth in the 1930’s and became a golfing mecca when golf legend Bobby Jones of Atlanta and several of his business associates established the Highlands Country Club.
This little hamlet of 900 people (2000 census) swells to 10,000 to 15,000 during the peak vacation season of March to November. Local rental homes, hotels, inns and bed and breakfast are typically filled to capacity during this peak period from spring to fall.
Dining is a delightful and varied experience at any of the wonderful restaurants in and around Highlands. Wine Spectator Magazine recently nominated 6 local restaurants to receive their highly coveted award for fine dining.
While here, be sure to take in a play at one of the four theaters. Founded in 1938, the Highlands Playhouse is a terrific historical venue. The Instant Theater Company was founded in 1981 and the Highlands Community Players was established in 1995. Hosting numerous touring groups, the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center is a local favorite.
Sapphire Valley and Cashiers is only a 20 minute drive to Highlands and it is this proximity that lures so many to vacation in the more laid back areas here and visit Highlands on short day trips.
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