In this fast-paced world, we all seek out quaint and peaceful destinations to spend our vacations. With their serenity, these destinations assist us to get away from the crowds and relieve stress. But finding such a calm, quaint, and natural setting is not easy; thankfully, we have found one for you, and it is none other than North Carolina’s Highlands. 

Highlands located in Macon city of Northern Carolina is a little town with a lot to offer to visitors, all while remaining peaceful and serene. It is a scenic town surrounded by deep and lush green Nantahala Natural Forests and situated on a gorgeous Appalachian Mountain, which adds to its charm.

The town sits 4,118 feet above sea level. The cherry on the cake is its climate, which remains pleasant throughout the year, making it a convenient all-year-round destination.

If you’re wondering what this teeny tiny town has to offer, we’ve compiled a foolproof list of the top things to do in Highlands, NC. And believe me, after reading this list of 10 Best Things to Do in Highlands, NC, you will undoubtedly want to visit this charming town. So, let’s get started with the list.


1. Explore The Serenity Of Dry Fall

One of the best things in the mountain town of Highlands, NC is to explore the serenity of the dry falls. This enthralling 80-foot drop fall is part of a cascade on the Cullasaja River, which runs through the lush and beautiful Nantahala forests. This magnificent wayside waterfall may be walked behind while remaining dry, henceforth the name “Dry Falls”. The amazing splendor of these waterfalls will take your breath away.

The nice thing about this fall is that it is so easy to access. It is only three miles north of the tiny town of Highland. The rich and vibrant palette of the Nantahala forest that surrounds the Fall will wash away all of your worries and leave you feeling like you’re in paradise!

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2. Indulge Into The Beauty Of Nature At Biological Station

If you wish to experience natural beauty, visit the Botanical Station, Nature Center, and Botanical Garden.

The Nature Center will allow you to engage with the rich flora of the southern Appalachians. Established in 1962 as a demonstration garden, the Nature Center has since grown into a full-fledged botanical station. It now features around 500 different varieties of bushes, ferns, mosses, wildflowers, marshes, trees, and other plants. 

The Botanical Station, Nature Center, and Botanical Garden, along with its walkway lined by meadows, provide a lovely and entertaining experience. Here, you can spend quality time with your loved ones while expanding your knowledge of plant species, or you can enjoy some alone time with just you and the beauty and variety of Nature.

3. Checkout Events at Highlands Playhouse

Yet another interesting thing to do in Highlands, NC is to witness the art at the theater Highlands Playhouse. 

The theater hosts a variety of theatrical productions, cabarets, and films throughout the year. Moreover, during the summer, it presents Broadway musicals. It’s fun to be a part of it.

The theater, which was established in the mid-1930s, also exhibits some of the region’s history. During the off-season, it transforms into a part-time movie theater, offering something special to discover in the Highlands. In addition, the Playhouse Theater provides instructive tours for youngsters.

4. Treat Your Sweet Tooth To Kilwin Highlands

Give yourself a sweet treat at Kilwin, Highlands!

Kilwin Highlands is a North Carolina confectionery chain that is both historic and popular. Ashley Clarks founded it in 1995, and it has since developed into a franchise network thanks to its delectable treats. The confectionery is recognised for its good homemade ice creams, chocolates, and sweets. Furthermore, you may purchase some truly beautiful and personalized gift baskets for your loved ones from the store. 

If you haven’t tried Kilwin’s chocolates, caramels, and toffees, you haven’t experienced Highlands yet!


5. Delve Into The World Of Art- Visit The Bascom Center For Visual Art

Highlands is not only about nature and peace, but also about art! If you enjoy digital art, the Bascom Center For Visual Art is the place to go.

This vibrant six-acre facility, which comprises three 30,000-square-foot buildings, was founded in 1983 by the well-known artists Watson and Louise Bascom. The art center provides a wide range of intriguing visual arts experiences, such as ceramics, pottery, and sculpture creation. For it, the center hosts exhibitions, studio art classes, and other cultural events. 

The best part of the center is that it can be visited by people of all ages. With a variety of activities and displays, the center provides a one-of-a-kind experience that you can be appreciative of. The art experiences provided here emphasize the interdependence between art and the environment.

6. Try Your Hands At Trekking At The Highlands Plateau Greenway

If you’re seeking views, the Highlands Plateau Greenway is a treasure trove.

Hike the Highlands Plateau Greenway to learn more about the picturesque locality of the Highlands. It was initially a 5-mile trail that connected Mirror Lake to Sunset Rock when it first opened in 1989. It has now grown to a total length of nearly 10 miles of interconnected, natural walking trails that run through some of Highland’s scenic and historic spots. The entire greenway is encircled by greenery. It is flanked by woods of fir, pine, oak, rhododendron and mountain laurel.

You can take advantage of the route’s free public access to watch the stunning morning sunrise or afternoon sunset. You can get some fresh air, learn about the regional vegetation, see wildlife, and try your hand at leisure activities while exploring the paths.

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7. Shop, Shop, And Shop At Mirror Antiques

This place is nothing short of paradise for shopaholics. If you’re in the Highlands, do stop by Mirror Lake Antiques. 

The shop features a lovely assortment of beautiful jewellery that you may buy for yourself or as a gift for someone special. You can also browse their small variety of antique clothing and books. The cherry on top is its location, which is both prime and central to the town. And the surprise it keeps for you is its budget, which is really reasonable.

8. Watch Wonderful Performances At Concert Center

A visit to the Outdoor Concert Series for a night of wonderful music is one of the best ways to spend your weekends in Highlands, NC. 

Nobody can ever say no to music, so how can you? Nothing beats listening to music while sitting beneath the stars. And it’s even better when it’s on a cold North Carolina mountainside. The Outdoor Concert Series offers a free concert on Friday and Saturday nights, from May through October, which is a wonderful way to enjoy and save money at the same time.

The concerts here are lively and thrilling, with local singers and bands allowing you to groove to the music with their talent.

9. Enjoy A Breathtaking View Of Nature At Whiteside Mountain

Whiteside Mountain, located south of Highlands, has some of the tallest cliffs in North-East America. With gorgeous mountain laurels dropping along the path and lovely trees surrounding it, the trail is delightful and considerably easier. Further, a half-mile hiking track leads to the Devil’s Courthouse, a rocky mesa that overlooks the Pisgah National Forest and gives breathtaking panoramic views from its pinnacle. 

The Whiteside Mountain National Recreation Path is 1.9 miles long and is generally used for trekking, strolling, birdwatching, and sightseeing. The stroll is open all year and features beautiful wildflowers. Dogs are also welcome, but they must be kept on a leash.
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10. Explore The Art At The Carolina Art Center

Another Highlands site for art lovers to visit is the Carolina Gallery of Fine Art. 

At this gallery, a free public display of work by regional artists is organized. The spaciousness and well-equipped facilities of the gallery create an engaging setting for watching exhibitions more comfortably and effectively. The majority of the artwork on display is paintings, although there are also sculptures and multimedia works. 

Furthermore, the crew here is extremely friendly and accommodating, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in each art form. To put it succinctly, the Carolina Gallery of Fine Art is a mecca for art lovers.

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Final Words 

So, what are you holding out for? Save this list of the best things to do in Highlands, NC, and visit the city on your next vacation to fill your bucket with memories.

The Highlands, NC is home to many wonderful natural and scenic locations. Whether you’re looking for travel adventures, nature excursions, or entertainment, you’ll have a terrific time in this town.

Finally, keep in mind that the aforementioned activities ought to be on your Highlands Bucket List!