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Highlands NC

Highlands NC “Above It All! ”


Town of Highlands North Carolina

On a plateau within the Nantahala National Forest lies Highlands, North Carolina. The town, with a little under 1,000 permanent residents, is quickly becoming a two-season community. People escaping the summer heat and humidity flock to this area to enjoy the cool days and spectacular views. Many visit the area for its fine dining and antique stores. The winter season has also begun to draw an increasing number of tourists through its holiday and romantic events. The town is also popular with backpackers who come to hike one of the many scenic trails or view the various waterfalls. Fishing is also available in Highlands at Harris Lake. Come stay at one of the many historic inns and experience the lovely area that is Highlands, North Carolina!




History of Highlands NC
Legend has it that Highlands was founded in 1875 after Samuel Truman Kelsey and Clinton Carter Hutchinson drew lines from Chicago to Savannah and from New Orleans to New York on a map. They decided that the place where the lines met would eventually become a great trading center and commercial crossroads. Though Highlands has never really gained the population the two predicted, it has become a popular summer retreat for many. 

By 1883, nearly 300 immigrants occupied Highlands. The town began to develop its own community with more than eight country stores, a post office, a hotel and boarding house by the early 1880s. 

The town remained the same for many years until the Chamber of Commerce was established in 1931 causing the population to increase. 

Today, Highlands remains a small community that nearly doubles in size in summer months.  With many zoning laws the land in and around the community maintains a wilderness feel. 


Mountains In Bloom
Come celebrate the 14th annual Mountains in Bloom garden festival with over 1,000 other garden and nature lovers from all over the United States. This festival is held in the mountain resort community of Highlands, North Carolina and is a multiple-day event. The event will feature a tour of beautiful mountian gardens in the Ravenel community, a flower show, an exclusive Benefactor tour of the Southern Highlands Reserve and the elegant Benefactor Party. The flower show will include flower arrangement, horticulture and photography divisions. For more information please see the events sections of our page.