Recently, my husband and I took a two-day mountain getaway to one of my favorite places on the planet. It is a small village in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina called Highlands. The town itself offers many boutiques, antique stores, fine dining restaurants, and galleries. But it’s the peace and serenity of the stunning mountain vistas, many awe-inspiring waterfalls, lakes, rivers, and hiking trails that keep us returning to Highlands, the best mountain getaway ever, year after year.
The Inn At Half-Mile Farm
Over the years, we have stayed in several of the excellent hotels in and around Highlands, but The Inn At Half-Mile Farm is, in my opinion, is the most charming place to stay in the area. The renovated historic farmhouse sits on 14 acres with a pond, an orchard, and three reconstructed authentic log cabins. The inn is not just beautiful from the exterior. The elegantly designed farmhouse common spaces and guest rooms are a decorating enthusiasts delight. There is so much to see and admire that I am planning an upcoming post that will just feature the inn’s decor.
We stayed in one of the elegant suites in the inn, but you can also book one of the three log cabins on the property. These cabins, which were all built in the 1800s, were found in other parts of North Carolina and Tennesee, deconstructed, transported, and reconstructed on the grounds of Half-Mile Farm. The rustic historic charm of the interiors has been maintained, but they have been updated with luxurious modern amenities.
On this trip to Highlands, we visited three of the spectacular waterfalls in the Nantahala National Forest. The first one we viewed is Bridal Veil Falls. It is located on Highway 64, just 2 ½ miles from downtown Highlands. You used to be able to drive under the falls, but it is now blocked off for safety reasons. It doesn’t have a lot of water volume, but it is still fun to walk behind it.
Next, we visited Dry Falls, which is similar to Bridal Veil in that it is easily accessible from the road, and you can walk under it. However, the 75-foot powerful water flow of Dry Falls is much more impressive than the relative trickle of Bridal Falls. It’s called Dry Falls because the rock shelter behind it is so deep that you can stand in the back of the falls and remain dry. (In the interest of full disclosure, I did get a little damp from the spray.)
The last waterfall we explored during our mountain getaway was Glen Falls. This one is off the beaten path and much more of a hike than the other two falls we viewed. The Glen Falls trail is well maintained with many railroad tie steps, but it is quite steep, and because of this, the return trip is rated difficult. The great thing about Glen is that it’s actually made up of three different drops of 70 ft, 60 ft, and 15 ft. We hiked down to the first two viewing areas, but the day we were there, it was threatening rain. Because of this, we were advised by some hikers not to bother with the third tier as that part of the trail was filled with roots and the bottom falls was not as impressive as the other two cascades. Nevertheless, the views of the falls that we did see were well worth the effort.
Other Scenic Views Around Highlands
Everywhere you look in this mountain paradise, you see beauty. On the way back from our hike of Glen Falls, we stopped and snapped a few shots of views that caught our eye.
In the morning, we checked out of The Half-Mile Farm Inn, it was raining, but we wanted one more view of our glorious mountain getaway. So despite the inclement weather, we decided to visit Sunset Rock which provides a breathtaking vista of the town of Highlands and the surrounding mountains. You can drive up to the top of the lookout, park, and then walk a couple hundred feet out to the rock. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize this and parked in the marked lot at the bottom of the road. The hike up the steep road would not have been so bad, but when we started back down, the skies opened up, and we were absolutely soaking wet by the time we reached our car. It was foggy on Sunset Rock, but the view was still pretty spectacular.
Highlands really is the best mountain getaway ever, and since I plan to return many more times, I will have another chance to check out this glorious view when the weather is better.
Further Recommendations From Our Fall Trip To Highlands
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